|Fun with refrigerator magnets at the halfway point|
I've crossed something off my Bucket List! As a little girl growing up in Longview, Washington, I would watch for the bicyclists in the Seattle to Portland bike ride to come through town every summer. I remember being at the intersection of Fisher Lane and Westside Highway, waiting for cyclists to pass and telling Mother Superior, "I'm going to do that some day." Well I did, finally! Bucket List pic to the right, taken on West Side Highway, one mile north of that intersection!
The Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic (STP) is a 204-mile supported ride organized by the Cascade Bicycle Club. It started in 1979 as a race but is now a noncompetitive ride capped at 10,000 participants.
|Team Awesome, AKA Dan and the smyelin' babes!|
Theresa and I loaded our bikes on my car and headed up to Seattle the night before with Mother Superior. Thanks, Theresa, for the wonderful suggestion on staying in the Seattle area the night before rather than driving up at 2AM! We met Dan at 5AM at the start in the parking lot of the University of Washington. Mom then drove my car back home to my house. Thanks, Mother Superior! We couldn't have done it without you and all your driving!!!
|Kent REI Rest Stop|
|STP Day 1|
The next half of the trip skirted behind Fort Lewis Army Base, a road with a narrow bike lane and fast traffic. We stayed on this path until Yelm where we hit the Yelm-Tenino Trail for 14.5 miles. It was nice to have a dedicated bicycle trail after miles of fast traffic roadway.
|Theresa and Dan enjoying beers!|
Mother Superior noticed prior to the ride that the route was going to pass right in front of the Canterbury Inn where Grandma Janet lives. So we gave a heads-up text to Mom when we left Lexington and stopped to visit Mom Sup and Grandma four miles later. It was so great to stop and visit Grandma and be greeted with cold washcloths for our faces and fresh fruit from Mom! Mom and Grandma had been sitting out front for an hour enjoying watching all the riders pass...they were cheering and clapping for them and the riders waved and hollered back and rang their bicycle bells as they went past.
From there we hit the Rainier Bridge to take us over the Columbia River into Oregon. The Goldwing Touring Association escorted us over the bridge in big groups, shutting southbound traffic occasionally to let us have the roadway to ourselves. The bridge wasn't nearly as difficult as I had psyched myself into...in fact, pretty easy (but hey, thanks to Dan's Skyline Blvd. tour the week before, EVERY hill was easy!)
|Waiting at Rainier Bridge|
|That's us...Dan, Theresa, and me, approaching the Finish Line!|
I had seven total medical assist stops on the route; two the first day and five the second. Most were sore knees, scrapes from minor falls. I did treat two bee stings to the lips, fortunately no allergic reaction component to either. The most significant injury was a broken clavicle sustained during a low-speed collision and crash at the Winlock food stop. Will definitely do medical support in the future and have a list of things to include next time...like waaaaaay more ace bandages!