Bike Hugger Shirts

14

by Byron on Jul 21, 2006 at 7:28 AM

hugga shirts By popular demand, we’ve got shirts being printed and they’ll be available soon. I know I’ve wanted one and will wear it off the bike, at races, events, and everywhere else.

The response to Bike Hugger has been great, better than expected, and we appreciate it. Here’s an example from Winky

I love this – in fact I love it so much I want to buy t shirts. Isn’t that the ultimate show of loving something creative and idealists – turning it into a retail experience.

Considering a retail experience, if the shirts sell well (and I think they will), we’ve got a whole line in mind, as well as schwag. If you’re interested in a shirt, post a comment and we’ll get them to you first.

Going into the Fall and the next cycling season, we’ll sponsor a women’s cycling team and you’ll see us at more events. Look for even more Bike Hugger.

Update

Preorder a Bike Hugger Shirt from our Amazon.com store. They’ll be ready to ship in about 2 weeks.

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Bicycles on Trains

8

by Byron on Jul 20, 2006 at 5:14 PM

During a business commuter train ride to Portland on the Amtrak Cascades, I got to talking with the Conductor and cycling came up. He’d just finished the STP and was, as he said, “hooked.” I told him another great ride is the MS 150 and Courage Classic. We did discuss how he wasn’t really ready for STP, but he knows what to do now!

It was fitting that the conducter was a cyclist as Amtrak is not only cycling friendly, but pro-cycling. They’ve got signs on the trains welcoming bikes, pamphelts, and are actively promoting cycling.

This bike hugger felt right at home and next time I’m bringing my bike.

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Seattle to Portland, 1-Day, Solo

9

by John Calnan on Jul 19, 2006 at 8:03 PM

Just what have I gotten myself into?

I had set a goal last year of riding in the RSVP. That was two days, 188 miles. I accomplished that goal, but friends it was not pretty. I trained from February on, riding 1,700 miles in preparation for that ride.

This year, some friends set a goal of doing the STP in one day. So I’m 50, a bit rotund, and I’ve been “serious” about cycling for one year. Sure! Sign me up!!

After a couple of different offers of riding companions, I was feeling that a lack of speed compatibility, along with a desire to run my own show, led me to the decision to ride the 200 miles solo. Some of you may be like me, in that I can successfully talk myself out of a 50 mile solo training run at mile 10 (hey, 20 is a nice, round number!). One thing I was certain of: there were going to be some interesting conversations between me, myself, and I during this trip.

Training

I tried to not “stop” riding this winter, and usually got out once or twice a week. Training got more frequent and serious in March of this year, and I managed ride 2,300 before the big day July 15th. The difficulty in training was setting aside time for long mileage. I had committments to lead rides for the Cascade Bike Club, and to help train my wife for her RSVP attempt this year. Consequently my longest mileage prior to STP were rides of 75, 92, and 101 miles. I had no idea how that was going to set me up for success or failure on a 200 mile ride, but I started with the idea that if I got into trouble, I could always call for help and my wife Terri would swoop in to the rescue.

Preparation

I had the forethought and good fortune to get the day off on Friday before the ride. Unlike my frantic night-before the RSVP last year, I had time to contemplate, pack, and most importantly nap during the day. I get wound-up before a big ride it seems, and I manage to get 4 or 5 hours sleep, max. By Friday night I was ready mentally and physically, and I could relax.

Morning, Sunshine!

I woke at 2:45 AM. I didn’t plan to leave until 5 or so. I got up and ate a good breakfast, showered, dressed, filled bottles and camelbak, and pumped tires. The camelbak was water, bottles were reserved for “sports drink”. (“Sports drink” tastes pretty good at first, then starts to taste really bad about halfway through the ride. The last 30 miles, it tastes like heaven. Go figure.) OK, so now it’s 4:10, John. I re-entered the bedroom, laid down on my side (so as to minimize the crunching sound of the Clif Bar wrappers in my pockets) and power-napped for 30 minutes. Then it was up, kiss the wife, and out the door of my house at 4:45.

I live in Auburn, close to mile 27.5 on the STP route. I chose to avoid the start line frenzy of my 8,999 companions by leaving from home and doubling-back on the route to get the full mileage in. This was a good decision, and my planned northward detour worked out to get me the needed mileage.

The first 100

I had ridden this route as far as Yelm, so there weren’t really any surprises (with the exception of the staleness of the peanut butter sandwich in Spanaway). There were volunteers showing along the route in greater numbers as the day wore on, warning us of bad railroad tracks and even covering then with old rugs. I snagged a banana from a nice lady in McKenna at about 18 mph (thank you, ma’am!). I started to have some pain in my left wrist, which I think was due to me being too tense, or bending my wrist, or some vague bike fit issue that I’ll have diagnosed next week.

I made it to Centralia and the midpoint food stop before 11 AM. I ate a creamsicle, another stale peanut butter sandwich, and filled my bottles and camelbak. I had pre-measured 8 refills of sports drink into snack-sized ziplock bags. (This is a good idea if you like a particular sports drink!)

The second 100

After you leave the Centralia/Chehalis area, the scenery picks up and gets downright beautiful in places. The clouds of morning gave way to mostly clear skies, sunshine, and HEAT. I’m feeling pretty good at this point, thinking that I may just be able to do this thing and arrive before midnight! When we hit the town of Napavine, we are stopped by a policeman who informs us that because the annual parade is happening, we will have to walk our bicycles through town so we don’t run over their children. There’s only one through-road in this town, so we walk. After a few blocks we remount to ride down an alley, across a lawn, through a gravel buffer to a mini mart parking lot. This vigorous 100 yard jaunt is brought to an abrupt halt by yet another of Napavine’s finest, who has us dismount then wait for the train which also arrived in town (but didn’t have to walk). The cross-training portion of the ride ended after another couple of blocks of clomping cleats, and we were back in the saddle and doing the rollers south toward Winlock.

I didn’t stop in Winlock, and didn’t see the world’s largest egg. Shame on me. I did stop at a mini mart in Vader and buy ibuprofen for my wrist, which now was uncomfortable both pulling and pushing on the handlebars. You climb out of Vader with the sun square on your back at this time of day. I’m tired, and trying to spin my way to the top with limited success. I get a snippet of conversation from a pair of biker-boys passing me about having to pass “Steady Eddy” yet again. Sure, I’ll be “Steady Eddy”, and remember I’ll pass you exactly one time less than you will pass me today, guys.

The Advil helped the wrist, as did the ice pack and ham sandwich I obtained at the Longview stop (ice pack on wrist, ham sandwich in belly, not vice-versa). The Longview Bridge is an awful stretch of roadway-little shoulder, huge expansion joints, and steel plates across the path in places. The alternative is to swim with your bike, so buck up & just slow down on your descent.

The last 50 miles rolls and rolls and rolls. The pleasant scenery died about Longview. We were quite lucky to have a tailwind for much of this section, which was a huge help. I made almost every stop (on the advice of a friend who’s done this a dozen times), and got my hydration, nutrition, and rest. It was hot enough that I also availed myself of the opportunity to put my head under the faucet at these stops to keep cool. These stops helped break up the monotony (and the never ending conversations with myself).

At about 15 miles to go, folks would occasionally set themselves up along the route to cheer the riders on. This was an incredible lift, for which I am very grateful. I also got a private rooting section as I crossed the Broadway Bridge in Portland, as fellow cyclist, blogger, and bridge-tender Scout was working that bridge that day. We had a lovely 3 minute visit, when she shooed me off to the finish line festival. I hit the line at 7:45 PM, exactly 15 hours after leaving home. I had no idea that I would be announced as I entered the park to cross the finish line and pick up my “One Day Rider” patch. My wife was there waiting, and after dinner and a little wine to celebrate, my head hit the pillow and I headed off to the land of nod.

The ride was a great accomplishment for me. Huge mileage, double what I had done in a day, ever. Also huge because my training wasn’t probably what it should have been in terms of long mileage days. It’s hard to enjoy the day if you’re wondering whether you’ll make it for the first 3/4ths. Will I do it again? Uncertain. If you had asked me right afterward, I would have said “absolutely not”. Of course, that’s what I said after last year’s RSVP. But this really isn’t a pretty ride, it’s an event. A life-force thing more than a scenic tour. I’m glad that I did it. I’m proud that I did it in one day. I do love scenery and wildlife, however. Therefore, I’ll be back at it in a few weeks, RSVP’ing once again!

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Cyclefest Outdoor Cinema

0

by Byron on Jul 19, 2006 at 5:21 PM

The biggest Tour de France party on the west coast is tonight at Warren G. Magnuson Park. The event is sponsored by Outdoors NW and Raleigh Bicycles and features a mondo outdoor screen, food, beer, and more. And it’s free!

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Gallery: This is the way we walk in New York

0

by Frank Steele on Jul 19, 2006 at 12:04 PM

Found a cool photo gallery via del.icio.us:

This is the way we walk in New York

It’s a messenger’s-eye view of the Big Apple and bike messenger culture.

One of my favorites:

One light bike

That’s one light bike.

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How not to ride STP

9

by Kelli on Jul 19, 2006 at 8:52 AM

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.

  1. Do Not ride STP without adequate saddle time.

    Believing myself to be a hard-core bike chick, I’ve long since forgotten all of the novice rules. Rule #1 in training for a long ride is to log enough time in the saddle. While my legs and the rest of my body were up for the challenge, my rump had been in the saddle for only a few quick spins in the preceding weeks.

    If it means strapping a bike saddle to the top of your office chair, be certain that your ass is quite familiar with the shape and firm texture of the saddle. For as much training as we should be devoting to our heart and legs, ensure that your butt is given the same consideration. If not properly trained, I assure you that it will command the attention so rightfully deserved around mile sixty, in a most unforgiving way.

    Needless to say, this a lesson re-learned the hard way. The second half of the day one and most of day two found me on the back of the tandem wincing in pain. Standing helped for a split second, but only after I managed to pry myself up off the seat while holding back the tears.

  2. Do not ride STP on a tandem that you’ve never trained on.

    With my training plan scrapped and my arm in a sling, my riding partner tells me that she’s bailing. Desperate to make the ride, I put in an emergency call to my father, and personal cheer-leader, and ask him to ride with me. It had been thirteen years since I tucked in behind him on a tandem, but we were excited to ride together again and quickly went about renting one. He’s a much stronger rider than I, regularly logging 150-mile weeks. At the very least, I knew that he was ready for the ride and figured that I could just kick my feet up and let him take me all the way into Portland. After some final adjustments to the bike, I was as ready as one could expect to be only seven weeks after a breaking a clavicle.

    What I failed to account for is that in the last thirteen years, I’ve become my own cyclist. The control-freak in me has only grown up and it didn’t take long for me to realize that the novelty of a tandem ride had quickly worn off. I’m not saying I will never enjoy a tandem ride again, there’s much to be said for having your riding partner with you at all times, not having to really pay attention to the road and being able to pick all the music.

    The trade-off is having to ride as one unit. I was unable to stand or coast when I wanted to, shift weight at a whim or even reach down to grab water with

    1. Do Not ride STP without adequate saddle time.

      Believing myself to be a hard-core bike chick, I’ve long since forgotten all of the novice rules. Rule #1 in training for a long ride is to log enough time in the saddle. While my legs and the rest of my body were up for the challenge, my rump had been in the saddle for only a few quick spins in the preceding weeks.

      If it means strapping a bike saddle to the top of your office chair, be certain that your ass is quite familiar with the shape and firm texture of the saddle. For as much training as we should be devoting to our heart and legs, ensure that your butt is given the same consideration. If not properly trained, I assure you that it will command the attention so rightfully deserved around mile sixty, in a most unforgiving way.

      Needless to say, this a lesson re-learned the hard way. The second half of the day one and most of day two found me on the back of the tandem wincing in pain. Standing helped for a split second, but only after I managed to pry myself up off the seat while holding back the tears.

    2. Do not ride STP on a tandem that you’ve never trained on.

      With my training plan scrapped and my arm in a sling, my riding partner tells me that she’s bailing. Desperate to make the ride, I put in an emergency call to my father, and personal cheer-leader, and ask him to ride with me. It had been thirteen years since I tucked in behind him on a tandem, but we were excited to ride together again and quickly went about renting one. He’s a much stronger rider than I, regularly logging 150-mile weeks. At the very least, I knew that he was ready for the ride and figured that I could just kick my feet up and let him take me all the way into Portland. After some final adjustments to the bike, I was as ready as one could expect to be only seven weeks after a breaking a clavicle.

      What I failed to account for is that in the last thirteen years, I’ve become my own cyclist. The control-freak in me has only grown up and it didn’t take long for me to realize that the novelty of a tandem ride had quickly worn off. I’m not saying I will never enjoy a tandem ride again, there’s much to be said for having your riding partner with you at all times, not having to really pay attention to the road and being able to pick all the music.

      The trade-off is having to ride as one unit. I was unable to stand or coast when I wanted to, shift weight at a whim or even reach down to grab water without methodically balancing myself such that I didn’t throw the weight of the bike too much. In addition, the stoker (rear rider) bears the worst of all bumps in the road, which did not help the aforementioned rump issues.

      By the end of our 200-mile journey, I wanted my own bike. The idea of another long tandem ride definitely appeals to me, but only if it’s on a bike and with a partner that I’ve trained with for longer than one afternoon. The same rules should be considered when riding a single bike. Do not make any severe changes within the last few weeks before the event and ensure that you’re training the way you expect to ride.

    3. Do not leave home without pain killer.

      Two-hundred miles is a long, long way. Whether attempted in one day or two, your legs are bound to be tired your butt very sore and, if you’re lucky, your knees will only ache a little bit from grinding up the rolling hills. I realize pain killer can be tricky and many fear that it might mask pain from more severe injuries that should be looked at. But it’s a beginner’s trick and despite being a pain-freak, I haven’t a clue why I didn’t jump on the drug wagon earlier.

      With a very sore behind and my knees slowly beginning to complain, three hours into day-two I finally doped up on some pain killer to help pull me through. About twenty miles before we hit Portland, it finally kicked in. I rode strong the last few miles, my butt and knees comfortably numb, and kicking myself for not having popped pills the previous day.

    4. Do not ride with your life on your back.

      Having just recently completed two very well supported events, I’m consistently surprised by the amount of crap that people insist on carrying themselves. A minimalist by nature, I do my best to pack as light as possible and only carry necessities, but I can certainly appreciate a less-experienced rider wanting to carry some of their own items.

      I was seriously shocked, however, to find so many people with bikes and backpacks loaded with gear. Since the ride provided baggage transport, plenty of food and maintenance support, I cannot imagine what on earth these people considered so indispensable that they had to add another twenty pounds to their load.

      In a ride as well supported as STP, you can expect to find adequate food, drink and bike services approximately every 30 miles. With a couple of water bottle cages on board, a small tool kit, and a three-pocket bike jersey, there is plenty of room for all of the necessities. Do yourself a favor and drop the backpack off at the luggage truck, your legs will thank you for it.

      How exactly do you fit everything in? Glad you asked. Here is a packing list of the very basics that you’ll need.

      In a saddle pouch:

      • tire irons
      • multi-tool
      • patch kit
      • compressed air pump (unless you have a hand pump on the bike)

      On the bike:

      • hand pump (unless compressed air is in pouch)
      • two water bottles (one for water and one for electrolyte drink)
      • bento box (if you must)

      In the jersey:

      • route map
      • two of the following: energy bar, half of a bagel, banana or other portable food
      • cell phone (if you must)
      • spare tube (unless it fits in the saddle pouch)
      • a gel or two (if you’re really afraid of bonking).

      Only if you must:

      • jacket - make sure it’s light and can either be tied around your waist or stuffed into a jersey pocket, tyvek jackets are great and portable
      • water pack - only if the ride does not offer water stops every 20-30 miles or if you absolutely must have your own electrolyte drink in both of your water bottles.

    5. Do not expect flat to really be flat.

      Surrounded by some of the highest peaks in the Western Hemisphere, the STP route is surprisingly flat, which for many, translates more directly into rolling. With a few big hills, either steep or particularly long, there are equally as many fast descents and a good portion of the route is quite flat with a bit of a downhill. Throw in a good tailwind and this year’s route was one of the best I’ve ever ridden.

      Read the route map and do some asking around, most of the veteran riders will attest that this route is not flat. It is, however, beautiful and worth the extra effort of getting up those rolling hills. Find your lowest gear and your happy place and sit in up those long hills. Trust me, you will get up them eventually.

    6. Do not stop at every pit-stop.

      It is tempting to stop when you see a hundred or so other riders all gathered around, laughing, eating and having a great time. But finishing a long day’s ride without being completely burned out also requires managing your refueling stops. Prior to setting out, select stops between twenty and forty miles at which you’ll stop to refuel. Use the other small stops for emergency refueling or repairs only. As important as selecting the stops, riders must be careful not to stop for too long. As the body cools down, it becomes only more difficult to get back on the bike and ride on.

    7. Do not use your own Personal Support Vehicle (PSV).

      Touchy subject, but I’m going there.

      With 8,907 riders taking to the back roads, most often two-lane roads, we must remain vigilant and alert. By adding additional vehicles to these roads, we are only increasing the danger to ourselves and the many other riders around us. Too often throughout this weekend’s ride, we were passed by caravans of cars with bike racks on them. Several times, cars awaiting their riders would be parked on cross-streets or driveways, positioned as if they were headed into traffic. Each time, we as riders must assume that these cars do not see us and that they could pull out in front of us without notice. We slow our pace until we are able to ensure our safe passage, all the while slowing those behind us and creating greater risk as riders bunch up on narrow roads.

      STP offers sag support for riders with mechanical or other issues and will get riders and their bikes to the next stop where they can receive the assistance needed. Although I understand riders wanting the option of a personal vehicle to take them all the way in if they are unable to continue, there is no need for their PSV to ride the exact same route as the riders. If you must have a PSV, consider having them take the main highway and meeting you at a more convenient stop, than simply waiting for you in an empty driveway and following you all the way in.

    8. Don’t ride STP without some decent training.

      I’m proof positive that it is possible to ride two centuries back-to-back without little more than some bike knowledge and a decent fitness level. But I wouldn’t recommend it. At the very least, a beginner should expect to plan four to six months of training to allow adequate time to work up to the distance.

      In my original training plan, I had intended to ride a minimum of 50 miles each week, counting commuting, in the two months preceding STP. My long rides would increase from approximately 35 miles to 100 miles and I had planned to ride two 70-mile days back-to-back.

      Still recovering from a very sore bum, I’m happy to have survived my first STP with as little training as one might possibly be able to get away with. That said, even the bike chick in me wouldn’t dream of riding it again without more serious training.

    Though challenging on so many levels, STP was one of the best routes and most organized rides I’ve ever been a part of. Many thanks to the wonderful volunteers that did everything from haul luggage and bikes to preparing the most wonderful peanut butter tortillas at the first food stop. Kudos to Cascade and its many partners for such a wonderful event.

    I had many mixed feelings after we rode across the finish line on Sunday afternoon. I was moderately bitter at my lack of preparation while excited for having made the ride at all, upset at the few cyclists that continue to make the roads unsafe for the rest of us and so thankful to everyone who had a hand in putting on such a great ride.

    Over the last couple of days, I’ve been uncertain whether or not I would go ahead with my plan to train for the one-day ride next year. That is, until I realized that the one-day riders get a different patch. Instead of simply reading Finisher, the one-day patch reads One-Day Rider. I must have one.

    out methodically balancing myself such that I didn’t throw the weight of the bike too much. In addition, the stoker (rear rider) bears the worst of all bumps in the road, which did not help the aforementioned rump issues.

    By the end of our 200-mile journey, I wanted my own bike. The idea of another long tandem ride definitely appeals to me, but only if it’s on a bike and with a partner that I’ve trained with for longer than one afternoon. The same rules should be considered when riding a single bike. Do not make any severe changes within the last few weeks before the event and ensure that you’re training the way you expect to ride.

  3. Do not leave home without pain killer.

    Two-hundred miles is a long, long way. Whether attempted in one day or two, your legs are bound to be tired your butt very sore and, if you’re lucky, your knees will only ache a little bit from grinding up the rolling hills. I realize pain killer can be tricky and many fear that it might mask pain from more severe injuries that should be looked at. But it’s a beginner’s trick and despite being a pain-freak, I haven’t a clue why I didn’t jump on the drug wagon earlier.

    With a very sore behind and my knees slowly beginning to complain, three hours into day-two I finally doped up on some pain killer to help pull me through. About twenty miles before we hit Portland, it finally kicked in. I rode strong the last few miles, my butt and knees comfortably numb, and kicking myself for not having popped pills the previous day.

  4. Do not ride with your life on your back.

    Having just recently completed two very well supported events, I’m consistently surprised by the amount of crap that people insist on carrying themselves. A minimalist by nature, I do my best to pack as light as possible and only carry necessities, but I can certainly appreciate a less-experienced rider wanting to carry some of their own items.

    I was seriously shocked, however, to find so many people with bikes and backpacks loaded with gear. Since the ride provided baggage transport, plenty of food and maintenance support, I cannot imagine what on earth these people considered so indispensable that they had to add another twenty pounds to their load.

    In a ride as well supported as STP, you can expect to find adequate food, drink and bike services approximately every 30 miles. With a couple of water bottle cages on board, a small tool kit, and a three-pocket bike jersey, there is plenty of room for all of the necessities. Do yourself a favor and drop the backpack off at the luggage truck, your legs will thank you for it.

    How exactly do you fit everything in? Glad you asked. Here is a packing list of the very basics that you’ll need.

    In a saddle pouch:

    • tire irons
    • multi-tool
    • patch kit
    • compressed air pump (unless you have a hand pump on the bike)

    On the bike:

    • hand pump (unless compressed air is in pouch)
    • two water bottles (one for water and one for electrolyte drink)
    • bento box (if you must)

    In the jersey:

    • route map
    • two of the following: energy bar, half of a bagel, banana or other portable food
    • cell phone (if you must)
    • spare tube (unless it fits in the saddle pouch)
    • a gel or two (if you’re really afraid of bonking).

    Only if you must:

    • jacket - make sure it’s light and can either be tied around your waist or stuffed into a jersey pocket, tyvek jackets are great and portable
    • water pack - only if the ride does not offer water stops every 20-30 miles or if you absolutely must have your own electrolyte drink in both of your water bottles.

  5. Do not expect flat to really be flat.

    Surrounded by some of the highest peaks in the Western Hemisphere, the STP route is surprisingly flat, which for many, translates more directly into rolling. With a few big hills, either steep or particularly long, there are equally as many fast descents and a good portion of the route is quite flat with a bit of a downhill. Throw in a good tailwind and this year’s route was one of the best I’ve ever ridden.

    Read the route map and do some asking around, most of the veteran riders will attest that this route is not flat. It is, however, beautiful and worth the extra effort of getting up those rolling hills. Find your lowest gear and your happy place and sit in up those long hills. Trust me, you will get up them eventually.

  6. Do not stop at every pit-stop.

    It is tempting to stop when you see a hundred or so other riders all gathered around, laughing, eating and having a great time. But finishing a long day’s ride without being completely burned out also requires managing your refueling stops. Prior to setting out, select stops between twenty and forty miles at which you’ll stop to refuel. Use the other small stops for emergency refueling or repairs only. As important as selecting the stops, riders must be careful not to stop for too long. As the body cools down, it becomes only more difficult to get back on the bike and ride on.

  7. Do not use your own Personal Support Vehicle (PSV).

    Touchy subject, but I’m going there.

    With 8,907 riders taking to the back roads, most often two-lane roads, we must remain vigilant and alert. By adding additional vehicles to these roads, we are only increasing the danger to ourselves and the many other riders around us. Too often throughout this weekend’s ride, we were passed by caravans of cars with bike racks on them. Several times, cars awaiting their riders would be parked on cross-streets or driveways, positioned as if they were headed into traffic. Each time, we as riders must assume that these cars do not see us and that they could pull out in front of us without notice. We slow our pace until we are able to ensure our safe passage, all the while slowing those behind us and creating greater risk as riders bunch up on narrow roads.

    STP offers sag support for riders with mechanical or other issues and will get riders and their bikes to the next stop where they can receive the assistance needed. Although I understand riders wanting the option of a personal vehicle to take them all the way in if they are unable to continue, there is no need for their PSV to ride the exact same route as the riders. If you must have a PSV, consider having them take the main highway and meeting you at a more convenient stop, than simply waiting for you in an empty driveway and following you all the way in.

  8. Don’t ride STP without some decent training.

    I’m proof positive that it is possible to ride two centuries back-to-back without little more than some bike knowledge and a decent fitness level. But I wouldn’t recommend it. At the very least, a beginner should expect to plan four to six months of training to allow adequate time to work up to the distance.

    In my original training plan, I had intended to ride a minimum of 50 miles each week, counting commuting, in the two months preceding STP. My long rides would increase from approximately 35 miles to 100 miles and I had planned to ride two 70-mile days back-to-back.

    Still recovering from a very sore bum, I’m happy to have survived my first STP with as little training as one might possibly be able to get away with. That said, even the bike chick in me wouldn’t dream of riding it again without more serious training.

Though challenging on so many levels, STP was one of the best routes and most organized rides I’ve ever been a part of. Many thanks to the wonderful volunteers that did everything from haul luggage and bikes to preparing the most wonderful peanut butter tortillas at the first food stop. Kudos to Cascade and its many partners for such a wonderful event.

I had many mixed feelings after we rode across the finish line on Sunday afternoon. I was moderately bitter at my lack of preparation while excited for having made the ride at all, upset at the few cyclists that continue to make the roads unsafe for the rest of us and so thankful to everyone who had a hand in putting on such a great ride.

Over the last couple of days, I’ve been uncertain whether or not I would go ahead with my plan to train for the one-day ride next year. That is, until I realized that the one-day riders get a different patch. Instead of simply reading Finisher, the one-day patch reads One-Day Rider. I must have one.

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A team sport

0

by Byron on Jul 18, 2006 at 7:36 PM

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.

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

0

by Frank Steele on Jul 17, 2006 at 10:43 AM

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.

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