I had planned to ride backwards on the STP route until I met up with Dave and Laura then accompany them on the way back to Portland. However, my sister was planning on driving up to Winlock or Castle Rock to get some photos of her hubby Dave and daughter Laura as they rode their first STP. I reasoned that after a fast one day STP yesterday I had nothing more to prove and didn't relish the thought of riding 70 miles into the wind so I took her up on the offer to load my bike and hop in with her. We rendezvoused with Dave and Laura at Castle Rock. They already had logged 37 miles for the day.
Unlike 1 day riders that just ride single file along the side of the Lewis and Clark Bridge at Longview, the two day riders are gathered into groups then escorted across the bridge taking the entire lane. Here were are gathering for our shot at the bridge.
I suffered no ill effects from the fast 205 miles the previous day and was able to just cruise at will in this slower 2 day crowd. It's a little frustrating to see people who hear "on your left" but don't seem to have a clue what they should do.
I was far from the only rider experiencing frustration with this, and the ride refs were busy trying to keep everybody safe and upright.
I did manage to get a couple of photos of Dave and Laura as they made their way down Hwy 30. It's a little tough timing the camera's delay and making sure some other bike traffic isn't in the way. I have a whole new appreciation for the professional photographers along the route!
The two day crowd is not as concerned with time management at rest stops, and today I was "going with the flow". No PR's would be set today!
We rolled across the finish line at 2PM, smiles all around!
I checked my bike into the bike corral and we spent a couple of hours enjoying the finish line festival...... and beer garden!
This was Dave and Laura's first STP. I was curious how they would look upon it after riding it. They loved it! They said it was easier than they expected it to be. (always a good sign!)
Dave did have a bit of a snafu at about the 10 mile mark. With all the excitement, adrenalin, varying cycling skills, and the sorting process between faster and slower riders it's always one of the more challenging parts of STP. A woman riding in front of Dave slammed into the back of a parked car and rolled out across his path. He went down hard enough to bend his rear wheel and crack his helmet. (note another cyclist happy he was wearing his helmet!) He hobbled his bike on about 14 miles to the REI rest stop where the on site mechanics looked at the wheel and decided it was not repairable. They mounted his tire on a new wheel and sent him on his way. Another example of the great sponsorship of REI, there was no charge. (Thanks REI!)
I only witnessed one crash this year, and it was a doozy. A pair of tandems were leading a pace line of about 8 single bikes at around 25 mph. The first one went down at a carpeted RR crossing. The second tandem went right into them immediately and also joined the pile. About the next 4 single bikes joined the fray. The rider in front of me and I managed to swing to the left and cross over the bare tracks without incident. There were crossing monitors and support personnel at the site so we pedaled on. It appeared that no one was hurt seriously but I'm sure that not all finished the ride after that mess. What a feeling of helplessness to be on the back of a tandem knowing you are going down. :-(
I ended up with 66 miles. The wind was still helping, but not to the extent of the previous day.
.......and for the first time, I finished the STP TWICE in the same year! ;-)
NOTE to those who I saw (and see every year) unloading bikes from cars and affixing STP registration numbers in the last 20 miles........ I earned my 1 day rider medallion. I sleep well at night. When I'm old and grey and unable to ride..... reliving the memories..........I'll have no regrets or excuses.
Shame on you.
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles