Seattle to Portland Ride: Sasha’s Final Day
By Sasha Aslanian
Pulling up the stakes this morning in our tent city. Felt like college when we rolled in last night: beer garden, pizza, dorm showers. Found a great old pool hall in town with a special carbo-loaded menu for STP riders.
The nice part about such a long-standing ride (STP began in1979) is they’ve really worked out all the kinks with bike storage and the care & feeding of 10,000 cyclists. We’re a little short on cash though after all the 5 bucks here & there for showers, bike storage, etc.
Yesterday the best riding by far came in the second half of the day once we hit the bike trail in Yelm. Today it’s the opposite- nice in the beginning and less serene as we get to Portland.
The Great Chamois Butt’r Debate
Forgot to fill you in on a very earnest pre-trip discussion the team had about Chamois Butt’r. A female member of the team asked, ‘Where exactly do you put it?’ The guys got all embarrassed and thought she was kidding. What she meant was do you use it like a bandaid and put it where it hurts? Or apply like sunscreen ahead of time? If you’ve never used/needed it, is game day the time to start?
A little sample pack came with our registration packets. I busted mine out at mile 70 on day 1. As the ride went along the little packets were piling up in the corners of the Biffies. Since this is not a litterbug crew (I think Seattlites compost their dental floss) I was surprised to see all the little used packets lying around. Could it have been a courtesy to fellow travelers in need? Then one of my teammates–who shall remain unnamed–admitted to using a bit from a discarded tube. I can only imagine the hairy guy who used it first.
20 Miles to Breakfast & the Paper Army Keeps Flying By
Late-ish start this morning (7:30) and the bike rack was nearly empty when we got there. So where do these bikers keep coming from that are passing me? I call them the Paper Army because they’re all wearing the paper STP windbreakers that came with our registrations.
Enjoying a fine breakfast at the American Legion in Winlock. The dust up here is that the Lion’s Club is stealing customers with a rival feed.
Knee-Deep in Pain
Mile 43 and we’re a sorry lot. The one-day riders are looping back passing us on their climb back to Seattle. More bikes passing–lashed to the back of support vehicles. My batteries are low…literally & figuratively.
Crossing Into Oregon
The good news is we made it to Oregon. The bad news is that we’re riding on a highway shoulder all the way in to Portland.
7:05 p.m. we crossed the finish line. My sister-in-law, team leader Sandy, rode in behind me and caught the rear view of my ‘photo finish.’ I think you can imagine my grin on the other side. Next post will be ‘Rookie Rider’s Lessons Learned.’