Hope you all had an awesome weekend! I didn’t think this would happen, but I hopped back on my bike less than a week after STP. The soreness in my legs was pretty much non-existent after Wednesday of last week, so it felt good to get back on the bike a few days after that! :)
If you read the STP day 1 recap, there’s a whole extra 100 miles that haven’t yet been covered in the recap. Day 2 of STP started off bright and early at 4:30am. The goal was to be back on the road by 6am, so we woke up at 4:30, cleaned up, packed up our tents, and threw our backpacks onto the truck, and sat down for a full breakfast. The same folks who had put together dinner the previous night woke up at 4am to start prepping plates full of pancakes, sausage patties, and scrambled eggs.
We were back on our bikes just before 6am and headed out full speed ahead! After day 1, my right hip was hurting quite a bit (I’m guessing it was from continuously clipping in/out of my pedals) so I had to take a couple ibuprofen pills before jumping back on. The pain induced from the constant riding was not exactly something I had even considered when signing up for STP, but I knew I would only have to tough it out for a few hours before the finish line. And by a few, I mean 9. haha!
Here’s the scenery from the halfway point of day 2:
Beautiful bikes littered all over the (dried out) grass as we all raced to the food and water refill tents. Looking back at these photos, I’m amazed that I didn’t lose my bike. Imagine trying to navigate through 12,000 riders and bikes that start to look the same after you’re delirious from little sleep…
Day 2 was full of fun road challenges! I took way less photos on the second day since there were long stretches of rolling hills that made me a bit grumpy. haha! I know this ride isn’t supposed to be a walk in the park, but I also didn’t think the trail would be 20 miles of oscillating hill climbing! A really fun challenge, but also one that made me super tired and not want to take my phone out of my pockets.
One of the most interesting things to witness was the logistics behind directing traffic. There were police officers helping to push the sea of cyclists through lights and major intersections. In the photo below, a few hundred of us are waiting to get onto the Portland Lewis and Clark bridge. Having just missed the last pack of riders on the bridge, I was at the front of the line for the next batch. We baked in the sun for about 20 minutes, waiting for a few hundred more riders to join us before we were allowed, as a group, to stop car traffic and get on the bridge as a single unit.
Looking back on this whole experience, I am so grateful for the love and support from my friends who had to put up with a lot of my whining during the training days leading up to the ride. I whined A LOT whenever there were hills, or when we’d ride for longer than 50 miles in the heat. In retrospect, they whipped my butt into shape and made STP a lot more enjoyable than it could’ve been had they been easier on me in training.
Long story short: YAY! 206 miles later and we made it to Portland safe & sound.
Quick stats from the trip
Total distance traveled: 206 miles
Average speed: 14.975 mph
Average break time: 20 minutes every 20-25 miles
Ibuprofen pills taken: 8
# plates of pasta consumed: 3
# cake slices consumed: 2
# bottles of water consumed: 6/day
Total riding time: 14h 20m