SEATTLE TO PORTLAND
JULY 13 & 14, 2002
The Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic is an event produced by the Cascade Bicycle Club. (Here is the link to the STP website)
Basically it is two hundred miles from Seattle to Portland and the idea is to ride a bike from one city to the other. You can do it in one day or in two with an overnight stop in about Centralia WA.
Bicycling magazine says that the STP is one of the best cycling events anywhere (acording to the Cascade Bicycle Club material). It is definitely the premier cycling event in the pacific northwest with something like 7,000 participants.
It is kind of a 200 mile party with little segments of biking in between stops – there is a major rest stop (with food, etc.) every 25 miles and mini-stops in between. The route is basically flat (three “big” hills, counting bridge approaches) and pretty much all of it is on roads with a good sholder or without much traffic. People wear costumes. There are people on cheap old bikes and on expensive new bikes. There are lots of people on recumbants and tandems. There are kids (mostly pretty young and on tandems) and old folks. Lots of old folks. There are unicyclists and roller-bladers and wheelchair riders and lots of other stuff.
The riders overwhelm the towns at the mid point so they spread out and fill up all of the motels and camp in the parks. There are all-you-can eat dinners and breakfasts and live music and just a generally fun time. The Cascade Bike club does a great job of organizing the event. (They raise a million dollars a year doing it.) They provide transportation back to Seattle for riders and bikes after the ride. They put on a party in Portland at the finish.
Will and I rode the 2002 STP. We did it in 7 1/2 hours the first day and 7 hours the second. I was glad that we trained as much as we did because we rode strong and really felt pretty good afterwards. We stayed in a motel (The Inn at Centralia) right at the midpoint rest stop. We had breakfast at the Nazarene Church in Centralia. Neither day was too sunny or hot. We had no accidents, no injuries, no mechanical failures, and a lot of fun. Odette met us in Portland and drove us and the bikes back to Seattle.
Here is a list of the rides we did training for the STP.
Here are some photos that Odette took: