Monday, July 21, 2014

Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic 2014 (12-13 July)

My second time doing this.

You can find last year's on Storify.

This post is mainly going to be tweets and photos with little bits of other things here and there.

More after the break…

Day 1

I left home at about 04:15, with a rack bag containing gear and a small amount of food, as well as two large panniers and a sleeping bag that were meant for the support trucks. I saw a number of cyclists around the BGT between home and Wallingford, but none once I got past the trail detour. I did see some on Stevens Way in UW, though.

I was starting to feel a bit sore at this point, but after thinking about it more after I got home the following Wednesday, it was probably because my cadence was a little too slow.

The foot pain also goes away with the more balanced pedal stroke that comes with a faster cadence.

I started feeling pretty sick at some point past Spanaway. When I stopped for seltzer water at a gas station, the clerk recommended that I instead get ginger ale.

In reality, it was probably because of dehydration. I know I've had to carry Pepto-Bismol on my rides because of illness, and I really think dehydration is the root of the problem.

It started getting very hot in the afternoon.

When I got to Toledo, I didn't see any sign of activity at the fire station (my midpoint lodging), so I walked across the street to a wine tasting to ask them about the public number for the station. I didn't know if I could just go in. The guy I called right as I entered the station and went down the foyer after someone said that the station's foyer is probably public. Everything in the main room was as expected.

Toledo

Everyone else who had arrived earlier was napping. The fire station was air conditioned so it was a lot more comfortable than outside. Going out, however, was like hitting a wall of hot air.

I didn't have any reception in the building, but found 2G in the men's room on the morning of the second day of the STP (and later also found it on the outside of the fire station on the same side).

I wandered around the area to check out town while waiting for dinner.

There had been a parade earlier in the day, and there was also a beer festival going on in addition to a wine and cheese festival.

And inside the Napa Auto Parts was a cafe and convenience store.

The town is right on the Cowlitz River.

They fed us a big dinner with the choice of lasagna or broccoli alfredo, and either brownies, Jello cake, or peanut butter pie. Breakfast was eggs, pancakes (blueberry or regular), sausage, and fruit.

The next morning, I left at about 06:00. I would've loved to leave earlier, but nobody else wanted to eat any earlier.

Day 2

I took what I think was the old route of US 99 from Toledo to Castle Rock, which was significantly hillier than the STP route itself. It paralleled I-5.

Castle Rock itself seemed to have had a downtown renovation relatively recently.

At Castle Rock, I rejoined the STP route on the West Side Highway.

I really pacelined with random groups on both days, but I did it even more on this day.

Even before I imbibed in anything, I was still keeping a very good pace with a faster cadence than I've used on most rides before the caffeine-fueled speed runs at the ends of them.

I did stop for a triple mocha in St. Helens. I only had a cup of drip coffee last year, but I really wanted to feel it this year.

After that, I was passing everyone like mad. According to Endomondo, I set the following records for myself, with everything but the 100 km one being on US 30 in Oregon:

  1. One hour: 29.57 km
  2. 10 miles: 32m:13s
  3. 20 km: 40m:20s
  4. 50 km: 1h:44m:58s
  5. 50 miles: 2h:57m:05s
  6. 100 km: 3h:49m:11s

The 100 km one was from the big support stop in Lexington to the finish line.

This coworker was surprised to see me catch up to and pass him in the last few miles before the finish line.

So just like last year, I ended up going out in a blaze of glory…except my super-fast cadence prevented my legs from getting sore or even stiff, so I was feeling good enough the next morning to do some fun riding in Portland.

And also like last year, I stayed in Portland for a bit, but with a bicycle this time.

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