Seattle to Portland Thoughts

Here we are, three days after crossing the finish line in Portland. My rear end no longer pains me when I sit, the old man noises have dwindled some and I was able to walk the neighborhood with Michelle.

The bike still sits in the garage and will NOT move for another week, but the body is on its way to recovery.

This was my 4th time on this ride, the first was exactly 10 years ago, and I did it in two days, the rest were all 1 day rides.

These are just some random thinkings about my rides and the STP in general… Continue reading “Seattle to Portland Thoughts”

I know, I know… I said I would never do it again….

Well ladies and gents, let’s go into the Way Back and machine and dial-up 4 years ago this weekend. In 2014, late on Saturday night, our hero, rolled across the finish line in Portland.

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It was the 2014 Seattle to Portland, I had ridden 200 miles in some seriously brain frying heat. I look pretty spry here, but 10 minutes later…

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I looked more like a zombie! In all honestly, I had planned be done with that ride! I said never again.

Then 2018 hit… Continue reading “I know, I know… I said I would never do it again….”

There is something about the Seattle to Portland ride

You know, it never fails. Every time July rolls around people ask me if I will be riding the STP this year.

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It makes me smile when people seem honestly  shocked that I am not riding. It make no difference which rides I AM riding in that year, or how hard they may be. To my non riding, and, to some extent, my riding friends, my not heading south this next Saturday morning seems strange. Continue reading “There is something about the Seattle to Portland ride”

Racking up the Miles: August 2014

it is really hard to believe we are in September!  But sure enough, last night it was dark by 8:30, tomorrow they are calling for some rain.  The tomatoes are ripening, the firewood will be delivered tomorrow and it just feels more refreshing out there!

It’s also time to recap the month of miles for August… Continue reading “Racking up the Miles: August 2014”

Heading South!

Folks, just a quick short post today.  By the time this publishes, assuming the alarm went off, I got out of bed, and everything else worked correctly, I will be tapping into my inner barbarian

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to get me well on my way into the Seattle to Portland ride (204 miles in one day).

I am leaving at 4 AM, an hour earlier than the official start time to try and get as far as possible before the 90 degree heat hits!  I will update Facebook for those who are friends on my personal page, as well as Twitter (@mountainstroh) each time I stop for food, water or a honeybucket.

Wish me luck folks!  I am the wind!!  I’ll let yall know what happens!

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Very Proud!

As I posted a couple of days ago, Saturday, the 13th, was the start of Western Washington’s biggest cycling event, bar none, of the year: Cascade Bicycle Club‘s Seattle to Portland.  As I also mentioned, two of my friends from the Holy P, Auburn Liz and Mighty Manda were riding this for the first time!

Now I am not sure I’ve ever told them this, but those two played a huge role in the formation of the 10,000 mile blog! Continue reading “Very Proud!”

The Night Before the STP

AS I write this, it is the night before 10,000 of my best friends (cyclists all) converge on a parking lot near Husky Stadium (University of Washington) in the wee-hours of the morning.  Yep it is the night before the biggest cycling event of the year for Western Washington, Cascade Bicycle Club’s Seattle to Portland!

Yep 206 miles of rolling hills, small towns, back roads, official food stops and kid’s bake sales.   Continue reading “The Night Before the STP”

Slow and Steady Dearie, You’ll Make it!

I’ve told the story in here about my first hike to Camp Muir, at the 10000 foot mark of Mt. Rainier.  I was trudging along a very steep path when this little old lady (who late I found was in her 70s) passed me like I was standing still!  As she went by I heard her say, “Slow and steady dearie, you’ll make it!”

My first trip
My first trip

This story came to mind again today as I was talking with one of the ladies training for the Seattle-to-Portland.  She was telling me that her friend is very worried about how slow she is and whether she’d be able to finish “in time!”

I started thinking about the rides I have done.  Of all of them only 2 had real time limits in my mind.  The finish line for the STP closed at 9PM on the first day.  My personal goal was to get there (206)  by that time (16 hours and 15 minutes).  If I was later, I would’ve still finished in “one day” but that was my personal goal.  The other was the High Pass Challenge.  That one had a true time limit, 10 hours or no medal.  My goal was just to completed the course.  That is until I was under 15 miles to the finish and just under an hour to get there!  MADE it and have the medal!

Holding the bronze medal after the High Pass Challenge!
Holding the bronze medal after the High Pass Challenge!

Adding a time limit increases stress for new riders.  I sometime “Race the Sun” trying to get home, before sundown, but to me it adds to the fun.

For new riders, getting ready for the first century ride, adding time concerns can cause them to give up before they even start.  So here is a trick I used.  Assume you will average 10 miles an hour.  (I would bet most people doing a century are faster than this, but I still use 10 cuz I like easy math!)  If it’s a true century, 100 miles, it will take 10 hours at 10 MPH.  So if the start of the ride is at 7, you will be done around 5.  Now, if you ride faster than 10 MPH on average, then you will know you will be done sooner!

The two ladies I am referring to, have no set shut down date on day one, they can take as long as they want.  This means they can take their time and enjoy the ride, visit the food stops, hit the honey buckets, and not stress in the least.  She is worrying about something that doesn’t matter.

My kids used to ask “Are you going to win the race tomorrow?”  Nope not a race guys, it’s a ride.  It’s not about how fast you get there.  It’s about  getting there.  I found that if I didn’t wear the watch, suddenly I’d be crossing the finish line, and wondering where the rest of the ride went.  Then when I checked the time, I find I was MUCH faster than I thought!  It’s hard to give your best performance when you are stressing about things that “just don’t matter!”

There is plenty of time later for rides with time limits (RAMROD for me this year) if you are looking at your first century ride do these few things:

  1. Cross the starting line when it first opens, maximize your time
  2. Don’t try to keep up with the “real bikers” you’ll burn yourself out
  3. Eat and Drink the whole time
  4. Have Fun!
  5. Brag about it when you are done!
The end of my first century, notice the thumbs up!
The end of my first century, notice the thumbs up!

biking 100 miles in a day is a true accomplishment.  Look around you, how many people do you know or work with who have done it?  Screw the time, just handle the miles!

 

How NOT to get Lost on an Organized Ride

With the Chilly Hilly in 3 days, I wanted to share a personal story for new riders to help them with their first organized ride!

Many years ago, I decided it was time to up my game a little. I had done the Chilly Hilly, 33 miles of cold and hills a couple of times, and I was starting to feel cocky!

I looked around, and found the Salmon Run, a now defunct ride held by the Cascade Bicycle Club. It had a 60 mile route throughout the city, which went by the Ballard Locks, where you could see the salmon in the fish ladders heading upstream (hence the name).

In every ride they provide turn by turn directions, and I had those. In the Chilly Hilly, however, all I ever did was follow those in front of me. Easy. This ride though turned out to be a longer course with fewer people… Meaning that soon I had no one in front of me.

No worries, I had directions, and had worked in Seattle for years, how hard could it be! (I said that same thing once when I tried to replace a kitchen sink….famous last words). Also remember, these rides tend to use lesser travel, lessor known roads whenever possible. I thought I was doing well until i read on the directions “Lincoln Park will be on your right.” I was at Lincoln Park, but it was on the left… Luckily at that point I saw a pack of riders with numbers heading the opposite direction and I jumped on their back wheels and they got me on track.

I was mad about the lack of markings! I almost called to complain, but let it go. The next year, at the Chilly Hilly I heard people explaining to a newbie to follow the “Dan Henry’s” “What’s a Dan Henry” he asked. (I’m glad or I would’ve had to ask.)

Well turns out, almost all rides use Dan Henry’s, named for the man who first came up with them, to mark the routes. They are markings spray painted strategically along the route to tell riders whether to turn right, left or straight.

Generic Dan Henrey's
Generic Dan Henrey

I had been looking at street signs, not looking down! I was going to ride it agin the following year to see what I had missed, but they didn’t hold it again To make it even easier, most rides customize the markings so you know its for the ride you are on. Here is one for the Seattle-to-Portland.

Left turn ahead on the STP
Left turn ahead on the STP

So when you ride, look around you, but keep an eye on the ground for directions!