How not to ride STP

With the perspective of a seasoned cyclist and the training of a complete novice, here’s my how-not-to ride the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic.

No bikes in this area.

When my husband and I were transplanted here nearly two years ago, I quickly discovered the cult that are STPers and knew that I just had to join. Despite many years on the bike, I hadn’t yet completed a full century (though I’ve come darn close) and longed for the challenge of a double-century. Unfortunately, while on one of my first rides following some intense spring marathon training, I suffered a broken collarbone from a fall. With just over seven weeks before STP, I was uncertain whether I would make the ride at all, and knew that my whole training plan was scrapped. At best I would be riding as a relatively seasoned cyclist with the training of a complete couch potato. With two weeks to go, I could reach my handlebars without too much pain and managed a quick 35-mile spin around town. That was enough for me, I was in.

A team sport

Frank detailed the teamwork in today’s tour stage on the Tour de France blog. I get asked that question frequently and how exactly does a team work together? If you didn’t get to watch it, check Frank’s post and the full report from Cyclingnews. That was the best example I’ve ever seen of riders sacrificing themselves, giving up their bikes, water bottles, and giving everything they’ve got for their leaders.

Photo of the day

9,000 riders take to Chicago’s streets by night

Late-night ride attracts thousands

At 1:30 Sunday morning, 9,000 cyclists set out on Chicago’s annual Long After Twilight Ends (LATE) ride, a 25-mile circuit ride that starts and ends at Buckingham Fountain, and takes in northside neighborhoods and the Chicago Lakefront Path.

Here’s the only Flickr photo I could find; anyone seen any others?

Update: Here’s the L.A.T.E. Ride’s official site, and here’s a post from someone who rode this year’s.

Photo of the Day: STP Symbol

STP Symbol, by DanHenry.

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