Wednesday, July 20, 2011

STP 2011....correction S2P

The one and only, Seattle to Portland ride.  This event is the penultimate bucket list items for many many folks in the Pacific Northwest.  There's even people that travel from all over the nation to attend.  Here's some stats from their site:
Who rode in 2011?
  • 9,999 other riders
  • Oldest rider: 85
  • 18% first-time riders
  • 100 safety and medical riders
  • 30 Ride Referees
  • 228 riders who have participated in 10+ STPs
  • One rider who has ridden them all: Jerry Baker!
  • In 2011, riders came from 42 states plus Canada (Alberta, B.C. & Ontario) and England.
Unfortunately the stats they provide don't show how many folks opted for either a two day (100 miles each) or a one day (200 miles).  Since this was my first go at it, and I'm convicted not to participate in anything that will take place during worship hours on Sundays, I opted for the one day. Also, I rode along without paying for the event.  I know it may seem wrong at first, but here's my logic:
  1. I don't want any of the food they're providing, I'm packing my own the entire way. Plus, the products I use work really well, so why go with something that isn't proven? 200 miles is a lot of work, I'd hate for something to go wrong and upset the whole ride.
  2. I'm broke. The fitness funds in the budget have been turned upside down, and I really wanted to get this particular ride under my belt at some point. (see next point)
  3. My companies convention has always fallen on the same weekend as the event, except for this year...
  4. I'm not completely convinced that the organizing body of the event is high on my list of favorites. 
  5. I don't need anything that they're providing along the way, there's plenty of facilities all the way there.
So here's the tenants that I agreed in order to ride the event without paying the registration fee:
  1. No using any food or water at the rest stops. Gotta find my own way.
  2. No using the restroom facilities they provide. Gotta find my own means.
  3. No enjoying the starting line or finishing line festivities. It's their party, not mine.
  4. Find my own way home. 
All that said, it would be simple enough to do this quick 200 miler (double century).  Also, I was still not convinced that it was an ok thing to do without paying... But... 202 miles with almost 2,000 feet of climbing, sounds like fun. 

First the nutrition plan

Sustained Energy by Hammer Nutrition
I really like Sustained Energy, and planned on 2.5 scoops per hour for no more than 12 hours.  If it went beyond that I would be in trouble, or have to stop at a mini-mart to get food.  That being said I know that I went through nearly $45 in product during the ride.  Also, I've yet to figure out a method to keep the bottles from spoiling when mixing more than 2 hours.  It's a great concept to stretch out the time needed between rest breaks, but haven't been able to break the 2 hour barrier...yet.  Perhaps I'll have better luck with the other nutrition source, Perpetuem by Hammer.

Nuun Tablets
Electrolytes without the calories.  Nuun would be my mandatory electrolytes during the ride, 1 bottle per hour.  I had enough for 14 hours.  Very simple, very easy choice.  I love the product!

Everything on the ride was great.  Most every time some friends would stop for a rest break, I would simply "catch up" with them later on the ride.  Or if I did head into the break area, there was no sampling of the goodies, enjoying the fellowship of other folks suffering (camaraderie is a big deal here), or even using the can.  In fact weeks later I would get a compliment from a new friend about sticking with my own rules.

It all seemed logical, and straightforward.  Until I got to Portland.

Once in Portland I got a flat.  No surprise as later I found out that someone had tacked the course, who does that???!!!! (Oh wait I know someone who would do that... yes they have just as pleasant a personality as you'd imagine).

The thing with this flat was that I didn't want to stop to change the tube.  So I aired it up, and kept rolling.  Took 15 minutes to leak out but I was only just a couple miles out from the finish so I thought.  So I stopped and aired up, 10 minutes to flat, air, 7 minutes, air, 5 minutes, air, 4 minutes, air, at this point I saw lots of people on the side with a huge number of flats in Portland, strange... (tacked course) 3 minutes, air.... ARGGG!

Finally I rolled past (not through) the finish line to meet up with my sister and the rest of the group I'd ridden with for the last 200 or so miles.  It was great to be done, but especially great to not deal with that flat anymore.

After missing the last train to Seattle, and finding only an overpriced (although quite comfy) hotel room nearby, and missing Church the next day.  Also, I had a terrible chafing issue that is quite indescribable.  All that and I finally learned a little lesson.

Even though I can justify, and fully support myself on a ride like that, and make great time doing it.  ALWAYS PAY TO PLAY.  I thank God for teaching me a little lesson about what is right, and what's not.  Fortunately for me, those kinds of lessons only need to be taught once.

For 2012 already a fellow co-worker wants to do the ride in one day, and I'm kinda hoping that she forgets about it, as there are so many great rides in July!  Although, I do really want to do it again sometime, but this time pay and enjoy.