Getting Ready for STP
We are again preparing for the Seattle to Portland (STP) bicycle ride to be held on July 17th and 18th. This annual event is recognized as the premiere bicycling event in the Northwest, and is put on by the Cascade Bicycle Club of Seattle with Group Health as its title sponsor. As STP committee members, we are helping to organize and run this event, which is now in its 25th year. Although this event is attended mostly by cyclists here in the northwest, it attracts cyclists nation wide and from around the world. The youngest rider has been about 8 and the oldest 83. Statistics show that 25% of the riders are women, and 20% of the riders complete the ride in one day, a total distance of about 210 miles. It is expected that there will be a sell out of 8,000 riders this year, which is the limit for the ride. It is quite a spectacle to see that many riders at the start line and along the backcountry route.
Diana is the Volunteer Coordinator for STP. This huge job involves rounding up over a hundred or so volunteers to help do the tasks necessary to put the event on. She not only does that, but also organizes volunteer work parties, shows them what to do, and prepares food for them. Some of the tasks she has them do is data entry of registrations, mailing of confirmations, packet stuffing of numbers, packet pickup at REI, route marking of the roads, sign posting, and monitoring of railroad crossings. At the start line, she provides people for setup, the announcer, baggage truck loaders, baggage truck drivers, support car drivers, parking attendants, and people for other miscellaneous tasks. When it is all done and over, the euphoria of knowing you pulled off this large of an event seems to make it all worthwhile.
Not only is Diana doing all that work, she is actually going to ride STP, like she has done the last 12 years or so. But, this year she plans to do the ride in one day! Normally, we ride the event together on our Rodriquez tandem in two days, but Dave decided to retire after 7 consecutive years of riding STP and he will be working in the Operations Center during the event. So, Diana has bought a new fast single bike made by Specialized, the Sequoia model, with carbon forks (see picture above, and click here for details). When she finds time, she is trying to do some long distance training to build up her endurance. Her plan is to leave the starting line in Seattle at 4:45am on the morning of the 17th with the goal of arriving at the finish line in Portland by 9:00pm (although she will be happy to arrive by midnight). To arrive by 9:00pm, she will need to average 13 miles per hour during the 16.25 hours. With "energy replenishment" stops, which could take up to a minimum of 1.5 hours, she will need to maintain over 14 miles per hour. As a side note, super fast "animal" riders complete the ride in about 9 hours, averaging more than 23 miles per hour.