Saturday, July 11, 2015


Author:  Les Becker

My Dad rode the STP in one day many times on his 10-speed Raleigh Supercourse (which is currently in my garage undergoing restoration). Back then the ride started at Seattle City Hall and ended at Portland City Hall. Since he passed away in November I wanted to do the ride one more time in his memory, so I signed up. My goal was not to race, but to do it in a good time since my 4 previous rides had gotten too tied up with long lines at the rest stops. When I told Dwaine I was riding, he asked if he could accompany me and that turned out to be great since we ride similar and had some nice training rides together. More good fortune when Scott Wager said he was riding but his riding partners had opted out so I invited him to join us. Turns out we made a great team and had lots of fun.

The 2:30 wake time was not fun, but  recent Cyclopath rides had been good training for getting up early. Dwaine drove his truck to the U district and we quickly connected with Scott (in the darkness) and started the ride with the early wave at 4:48.

Mike called me the evening prior and described in detail how he (singular) wanted to ride from home and  rendezvous with us near the REI rest stop near Kent. So when six Cyclopath riders came up the road it surprised the heck out of me! Initially I thought I was seeing things! Thank you to the Puyallup Cyclopath Escort Service for the company and assistance for that part of the ride. It made me sad to see you turn around at the gate at Fort Lewis.  I wish you all could have accompanied us all the way to Portland.

We bypassed many of the rest stops, especially early in the ride but when we did stop, there were no lines. Scott’s advice to start early was good advice. Rains soaked and chilled us just before Centralia but only for awhile, and we soon dried out. Past the Lexington rest stop near Longview, we rarely saw another rider so I was very happy to have Dwaine & Scott; our 3 man paceline was very efficient. But a group of 6 appeared behind us along the long stretch past Longview along the Columbia and caught us. However, they did not pass, but fell in behind us and when we rotated off the front, went to the back and they would do their pulls. Since they’d caught us, I assumed they were fast and would forge on ahead, but it was clear they appreciated our help as they stayed with us for quite awhile.

I had paid for the timing chip and finished #21 of 331 riders that had a chip and turned them in. Approx 1500-2,000 riders complete it in one day and someone at the finish line said perhaps 20-30 riders had come in before us and our total elapsed time was 11 hrs 55 minutes. For me the ride was a big success performance-wise and having a great adventure with wonderful friends Dwaine & Scott. Who wants to ride STP next year?

Author:  Lanny Moore

Last year after waking up at 0230 to be up in Seattle by 0430/0445, I decided this year I was going to grab an extra hour or so of sleep and depart from the house and ride to Kent to meet up with my riding partners from eBurg. Mark, who I graduated high school with and Julie, a local triathlete. Yes it would've been easier to just meet them in Puyallup or at McChord. But I am committed and certifiable and I wanted the 200 miles.  After eating a bowl of my "power" oatmeal* and downing a cup of coffee out of my Portland themed Starbucks cup (extra motivation) I departed from my garage around 0507.

My route took me down 176th to 122nd. From 122nd I buzzed down Military (man I love that hill) to Orting highway and up through Sumner, Pacific, and Algona where I caught the Interurban to 228th. I pulled up on the sidewalk at 228th and W. Valley around 0630. It appears I just missed that Big Orange train pulling out.  I wasn't there more than two minutes when I spotted Mark and Julie ride by. I caught up to them and suggested we take a detour to get away from the gaggle of bikes and traffic lights and cruise down to Sumner from which I came. They agreed so we took a left at James and jumped on the Interurban.
I recommended this for two reasons. 1) West Valley sucks. 2) I would've been tempted to climb Little Italy and make our way through Edgewood and come down Chrisllia for added elevation... Lol

From this point to McChord was a breeze and I even set a PR on the "Hill". Unlike last year where I had to stop for a freight train in Puyallup.

The ride through McChord and Ft Lewis was awesome! Great route change. Kudos to Cascade and a salute to JBLM for the access.

Team Sky was kind to grace us with their presence. I spearheaded the paint restoration of that old C-124 (old shakey) in the background during my time at McChord.

On the way down to Centralia, some weird liquid started to fall from the sky and by the time we arrived for lunch the roads were wet and I was covered in grime. I didn't mind at all.

Our lunch stop in Centralia was longer than I had hoped as Mark's wife met him down there so Julie and him could change kits. After about 45 minutes we got rolling again and the new bike path out of Centralia to Chehalis was another welcome change. After we crossed over I5 I ran over a piece of glass and punctured. Great! Second flat in two weeks. Right as I was starting to put in  the new tube when Motorcycle Mike from the Goldwing Association pulled up to lend a hand with his electric pump. Yes! Big round of applause.

We kept the pace around 16-18 mph while stopping at all rest stops as Julie's foot started bothering her. The same one in which she had a stress fracture back in the spring.  This was Marks 4th STP and my second. Julie rode with us last year but had to bail at mile 160 due to heat exhaustion. So our plan was to get her to Portland and across the line. The 160 is the furthest she's ever ridden.

After we stopped at the elementary school rest stop, I believe in Castle Rock we/I encountered one of the problems with riding in such a big event. Less experienced cyclists who can't keep a pace line going up a small incline.  I was leading and keeping a pace of 16 mph when I was passed by a tandem and 8 other cyclists following them. As they passed, I noticed a small hill coming up so I slowed down a bit to let them get ahead. Well I can only go so slow. I gave them a good 30 yards and by the time I reached the hill they were all bunched up like morning traffic at 512/410/167 interchange. So now I'm doing 6 mph and a half a wheel length behind the last guy when not once but twice he stands up and lurches his bike backwards and almost takes me out. This set me off. I looked ahead and none of them are moving up the hill. I said something, pulled out, proceeded to pass all of them up the hill and drop the hammer down and soloed into the Lexington Park outside of Kelso.  On the positive side I had my daughter and son here waiting for me so I was able to visit with them a little longer. They then drove to PDX to pick me up. While here, they were parked next to, I believe it's Kurt, another cyclopath and him and his crew were kind enough to share some water and ice with me.

We left and headed to Oregon. As we approached the bridge it started to rain again...WTF?! Lol. It only lasted until we got over the bridge. On HWY 30 Mark was setting the pace which was steady and then he tired so I took control and kept it the same, only to see them falling off.  I kept soft pedaling waiting for them to catch up and then I lost sight of them. So I soloed into Portland. Along the way I saw Nick making a u turn in a parking lot to head the other direction. Around he 12 mile mark I started to run out of gas. I was happy to finally get over the St John bridge. Of course now comes the challenge of all those silly traffic lights. My success rate was about 50%. At one stop light I heard another ask another behind if they were going to ride next year. At this point I'm thinking to myself, " ask me on Wednesday".

I made it across the line at 8 with Mark and Julie coming across at 830..

Looking forward to riding it again next year. However, I would like to be able to do it in a time comparable to Les, Scott, and Dwaine whose total elapsed time was within a 1/2 hour or so of their ride time. Quick stops. Good job guys.

Author:  Craig Hill

I was riding at a slower clip with a buddy who doesn't bike much. We started from our homes to stay ahead of the masses and caught the route in Roy.

Knowing you guys (i.e. Puyallup Cyclopaths Les Becker, Scott Wagar, and Dwaine Trummert) would easily catch us, Scott Wagar and I were in contact hoping to meet up and ride together for a bit.  As misfortune would have it, when my buddy and I took a quick Honey Bucket stop in Castle Rock, I saw three incredibly loud, orange jerseys zip past.  I hollered "Wagar." He didn't hear me (or ignored me).

It seems we missed each other by minutes in Lexington. We might even have been there at the same time.

They were probably soaking in a hot tub by the time we arrived in Portland about 90 minutes behind them.

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