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Hey there!
I am planning on riding the Seattle-to-Portland ride this year in honor of my fallen brother.
Does anyone know if there is a course profile available?
Short of that, do any of you have experience on this ride and can you tell me what is the worst I can expect in terms of hills?

What is the average temperature in mid July...

Any and all input would be appreciated, I want a little heads-up knowledge before I get there...what to expect...what kind of roads and support...biggest baddest hils....and so on

Thanks, have a great ride!
Greg
 

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Greg: Check this out: http://www.cascade.org/EandR/stp/STP_Details.cfm

The hills, such as they are, are really nothing to worry about. There is a steep section in Puyallup, I think, but it's very short. The worst is towards the end--there are a bunch of rollers from the border to Portland.

Last year was perfect. Upper 70s, I think.

Support is great. Except for the midway stop--plan on going somewhere for lunch.
 

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gweeg said:
Hey there!
I am planning on riding the Seattle-to-Portland ride this year in honor of my fallen brother.
Does anyone know if there is a course profile available?
Short of that, do any of you have experience on this ride and can you tell me what is the worst I can expect in terms of hills?

What is the average temperature in mid July...

Any and all input would be appreciated, I want a little heads-up knowledge before I get there...what to expect...what kind of roads and support...biggest baddest hils....and so on

Thanks, have a great ride!
Greg
The STP ride is mainly an 'ass factor' ride as it's two centuries back-to-back. The ride will be mainly flat to rolling, with only (IIRC) two hills of any note which are moderately steep but quite short.

From Cascade Bike Club's website:
Total distance (miles) 202.25
Uphill distance (miles) 30.87
Uphill altitude (feet) 1,951
Maximum altitude (feet) 463

As you can see there's not much altitude gain. The 31 'uphill' miles include mostly going up the rolling terrain.

The support is nothing short of fantastic, with SAG everywhere and plenty of food and rest stops. The riders are treated very well. The main concern is just the sheer number of riders, just you and 8,000 of your friends.

My advice to you prior to the ride (I've done it twice, first when I was 59 and again at 63) is get plenty of hours in the saddle and DO NOT change anything position-wise on your bike close to the ride. During the ride, be prepared for crowded riding conditions for the first two hours (it thins out a lot after then), carry en route nutrition with you along with any kind of liquids you may use, be prepared for weather ranging from rain to pretty warm sun (though not usually hot).

It's a really great experience, one that I will do again. You will see riders that will do the entire ride in 8~10 hours, and you'll see very young kids riding with their parents. Riders pulling a trailer with their large dog in it, really old guys (older than I) , riders that have done the ride every year (26). The STP is very well organized with a lot of support from the communities along the route.

Have you seen the route map? http://www.cascade.org/EandR/stp/stp_routemap.cfm Also the STP training plan from the Cascade Bike Club: http://www.cascade.org/EandR/stp/stp_mileage.cfm
 

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My advice, during the ride watch out for EVERYBODY!!! There are a lot of good rides on STP but there are also a whole bunch of morons who have no idea how to ride in a large group. I have ridden twice, (1999 and 2004). Saw a ton of crashes in 2004. Some I still can't figure out how they happened other than just dumb riders. The first day is the best with some really nice scenery and the only major climb isn't all that bad. The last 30-40 miles into Portland is the worst. Rolling hills and, at least in 2004, they route you through a not so scenic part of North Portland. In '99 they had the end of ride party at Cascade park and that was great. Nice location. In 2004 they had it downtown Portland and there were a fair number of the local homeless, etc milling around the park looking for free food. Be sure to keep an eye on your bikes if this is where they have the end of ride party. Train lots! The STP website had a recommended training schedule for both one day and two day riders. My wife had never done a centruy before so we did the STP recommended training. I knew it was complete overkill but she finished the first day feeling good in 5 hour and 20 minutes. Pretty darn good for her first 100 miler. Good ride, just be careful on the road!
 

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gweeg said:
Hey there!
I am planning on riding the Seattle-to-Portland ride this year in honor of my fallen brother.
Does anyone know if there is a course profile available?
Short of that, do any of you have experience on this ride and can you tell me what is the worst I can expect in terms of hills?

What is the average temperature in mid July...

Any and all input would be appreciated, I want a little heads-up knowledge before I get there...what to expect...what kind of roads and support...biggest baddest hils....and so on

Thanks, have a great ride!
Greg
Not yet mentioned is the potential for nasty head and cross winds on highway 30 into Portland. The Oregon portion of the ride is by far the least enjoyable, which I hate to admit being from Portland. There is one good hill on the first day, and some nice rollers late in the day and early on day two. Temps can get into the 90's, or even higher, but not very likely. And there are lots of regular rest stops, with shade, liquids, etc.
One suggestion: if you can get down to Portland, consider doing Reach the Beach in late May. This is a single day century from Portland to Pacific City, with all the climbing towards the end, and a finish into the coast breeze. It makes a really great STP training ride, and STP tickets are a prize for getting $400-$999 in pledges (Reach the Beach is an American lung Association of Oregon charity ride).

Best,
Gordon
 

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I have done the STP three times. Each time it was the one day version. The worst was 1997 with cold temps, headwinds, and rain. The other two times it was good weather with temps in the upper 70's low 80's and a slight breeze. The hill near the beginning is the steepest climb, but it is short and you can see the top from the bottom. Riding long distance is about being comfortable on your bike. In preparation, I would advise you to spend as much time as possible on your bike. Ride some centuries at a 6-7 hour pace. Do a custom tour where you spend the entire day on the bike even if you stop frequently. The biggest thing that I had to adjust to was constantly spinning. I lived in a hilly area at the time and most rides were climb and descend, no long periods of time spent spinning on flat terrain. The best part of the STP is that you will eventually fall into a group that is doing a pace that is comfortable for you. As the day goes on, be more vigilant about your riding partners and yourself. Most crashes occur when someone gets distracted or tired and does something dumb. Good luck, the memories you take away will last a lifetime.
 

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I did it last year. Ditto on the comment about other riders.

If you choose to get in a pace line, stay towards the front of it and only stick around if there are good riders around you. I found lot of riders without group/pace line skills and that is scary.

You will find that people will just suck wheel too and not take any turns pulling, when that happened last year we dropped them on the next hill.

I'm on the fence as to whether I would ever ride it again, the course is nice towards Seattle and gets pretty boring towards Portland. The road sucks the closer you get to Portand too.
 

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Nobody mentioned the bridge over the river from Washington to Oregon. If you are riding it in one day, you will have to contend with heavy traffic and a narrow shoulder that is sometimes covered with debris. Take control of the road. I would recommend that even if you are riding in two days to go off with the first wave. I road it twice and always did this so I would be on the course ahead of most of the lousy bike handlers. In the end, there were still a few as people would appear in front that you know did not pass you along the way. What happens is that many people do not ride the entire route. They start from home or drive to a nearby place along the route and start the ride from there. Expect to probably ride the fastest century or double century you have ever ridden if you are in with a good group. Limit your stopping time and get back on the bike. It may not be an issue for you, but the Sports Drink in Tenino and Lexington were terrible and gave me stomach problems the first time I did the ride. The next time I just brought some pre-messured sports drink in some zip lock bags and made my own.

The first 45 miles are almost entirely flat except for gradual altitude changes in the valleys and one hill leaving Seward Park (Lake Washington) there is also a nice S curve downhill to Lake Washington early in the ride. At about 45 miles is the longest hill of the entire ride leaving the valley just NW of the town of Puyallup and the hill is called Canyon Hill by the locals. It is relatively flat until south of Tenino where there are some mild undulations. After Centralia there is a stretch along I-5 that can sometimes have strong headwinds. Then you climb what is probably the second longest hill to Napavine and then you encounter the most rolling part of the ride until Lexington where things flatten out until you cross longview bridge which is probably the third longest hill. There are a couple short ones after crossing into Oregon and then it is flat with sometimes very strong head or cross winds until you enter Portland where there are some small hills through town.

Here is a link with a great profile of the ride http://www.jimcarson.com/a/2004/07/stp_part_ii_1.shtml
 

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Spinnerman said:
Nobody mentioned the bridge over the river from Washington to Oregon. If you are riding it in one day, you will have to contend with heavy traffic and a narrow shoulder that is sometimes covered with debris. Take control of the road. I would recommend that even if you are riding in two days to go off with the first wave. I road it twice and always did this so I would be on the course ahead of most of the lousy bike handlers. In the end, there were still a few as people would appear in front that you know did not pass you along the way. What happens is that many people do not ride the entire route. They start from home or drive to a nearby place along the route and start the ride from there. Expect to probably ride the fastest century or double century you have ever ridden if you are in with a good group. Limit your stopping time and get back on the bike. It may not be an issue for you, but the Sports Drink in Tenino and Lexington were terrible and gave me stomach problems the first time I did the ride. The next time I just brought some pre-messured sports drink in some zip lock bags and made my own.

The first 45 miles are almost entirely flat except for gradual altitude changes in the valleys and one hill leaving Seward Park (Lake Washington) there is also a nice S curve downhill to Lake Washington early in the ride. At about 45 miles is the longest hill of the entire ride leaving the valley just NW of the town of Puyallup and the hill is called Canyon Hill by the locals. It is relatively flat until south of Tenino where there are some mild undulations. After Centralia there is a stretch along I-5 that can sometimes have strong headwinds. Then you climb what is probably the second longest hill to Napavine and then you encounter the most rolling part of the ride until Lexington where things flatten out until you cross longview bridge which is probably the third longest hill. There are a couple short ones after crossing into Oregon and then it is flat with sometimes very strong head or cross winds until you enter Portland where there are some small hills through town.

Here is a link with a great profile of the ride http://www.jimcarson.com/a/2004/07/stp_part_ii_1.shtml
You guys are forgetting the most critical thing: bring those little packs of chamois butt'r with you!!!!!!!!! A friend of mine claims to have scarring still from his one day STP adventure. I'll take his word for it.
 

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Thanks gweeg:

I hope you enjoy the experience. Make sure you are prepared for rain with a light rain jacket just in case and if it feels cool in the am, some llight arm warmers or knee warmers are a good bet.

One other thought, I always rode it in one day taking just over 11 hours the first time and almost 10 hours the second. But, you don't need to ride hard to ride it in one day and, if your body is capable, it really is the most enjoyable way to do the ride. If you start with the first riders at 5AM you will have 16 hours until the course closes at 9PM. Let's say you average 1 hour of stopping time for each 100 miiles. That means you only need to average 14.3 mph to just make it under the time limit for a one day. It really is easy and if there ever was an "easy" double century this is it. My VDO, which is very accurate said it was about 4000; elevation gain. 4,000' over 200 miles is about as flat as you can get unless you are in Florida:) Find some nice pace-lines that are comfortable for you and if you see any squirely riders in line in front of you drop out of that pace line and find a new one or move toward the front of the line if at all possible. Usually you can expect temps in the upper 70's to mid 80's in Portland. Which usually equates to the mid to upper 80's on the bike over tarmac.

Enjoy the ride.
 
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