Yesterday thousands of cyclists rolled down Highway 30, crossed the Broadway Bridge and rolled into Holladay Park near the Lloyd Center. The occassion was the 27th annual pedaling pilgrammage known as the STP or, Seattle-to-Portland bike ride.
Organized by Cascade Bicycle Club, STP has become an institution for thousands of Northwest cyclists.
From what I heard it was a near-perfect event. The weather cooperated and so did a nice, northerly wind all the way from Seattle.
Local cyclist and photographer Dat Nguyen was among the finishers. It was his third time doing the ride. Check out his photos from the road.
Dat was on his nice, carbon-fiber Orbea road bike but you don’t need a high-end bike to make the 206 mile, two-day trek.
Take Ty Metsker for instance. Ty was rollin’ with this classic Schwinn World Voyager 10-speed. He picked it up a few weeks from the Goodwill for just $9.99. It was a tough haul for Ty (the palms of his hands were bruised and his knees “gave out” several times) but he pressed on.
I asked him why he decided to do STP on a whim and he said, “I just turned 50 and it’s been a goal for a long time.” Congratulations Ty, I hope I’m as tough as you when I’m 50.
For others, the STP is as much a social event as a physical test. I saw tons of grassroots team jerseys, including a colorful, tye-died crew that called themsevles the “Grateful Peds“.
It’s also a ride that caters to everyone. I saw people of all shapes, sizes, and ages. This kid looked serious, but was probably barely a teenager. On the other hand was Alan Bunin. He and his friend Alex have been doing STP since the early ’90s. They told me their combined age was 133 but judging from this sign on the back of Alan’s bike, he’s still got plenty of kick in those legs.
I heard about a guy doing it on a skateboard, a unicycle and even a modified Big Wheel! Yes, I’m not sure if this guy completed the ride, but Matt Picio sent me a photo as proof of the craziness:
By the end of the day, I was kicking myself for not doing the ride. Next year, next year.