People on Bikes: 44th annual Seattle to Portland ride

People on Bikes is a series where we share portraits of people riding. See more from this series in the archives.

5,500 people biked into Portland this weekend for the 44th annual Seattle to Portland ride. STP, as it’s known by locals, is such an institution around here it’s almost a rite of passage. The ride is a fundraiser for its organizer, Cascade Bicycle, a large cycling advocacy nonprofit group based in Washington.

The 200+ mile route comes right by my house near Peninsula Park in north Portland as riders pedal the last four miles before the big finish line party at Holladay Park in the Lloyd. Every year I walk to the corner and watch them roll in. It’s always an inspiration to see so many beautiful people of all shapes, sizes, colors, and ages roll by.

Check out the photo gallery below to see what a few of them looked like about four miles from the finish line.

If you like these images, check out more from our People on Bikes series.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

15 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Greatdane
Greatdane
7 months ago

I was a first time STPer! Finished in 1 day around 7ish. Very cool ride, Congratulations to all who finished… I only provide these details because being from PDX and riding on these roads all the time… I was soooooo disappointed coming into town. After 200 miles on the road it was incredibly disappointing to have almost no support from the city (particularly compared to getting out of Seattle). I get why the route goes down Rosa Parks, Vancouver, and Multnomah. Supposedly premier protected bike lanes! After 200 miles of riding, I had to stop at every intersection (not an exaggeration!) on that route, including the one where i could see the finish line a block away. I was reminded why I never go that way. And I was kind of embarrassed that our city doesn’t do better to get people to the finish line more efficiently for a once a year event. Rant over.

Fred
Fred
7 months ago
Reply to  Greatdane

But you rode 200+ miles in one day, which hardly anyone does. No one expects a Sat evening finish. Had you finished on Sunday at 2pm, say, you would have been greeted by bigger crowds, including JM with his camera.

Pockets the Coyote
Pockets the Coyote
7 months ago
Reply to  Fred

In 2022 about 1000 of the 5500 completed in the first day.
Certainly curious how finishing day one differed from day two, as even rounding well down, 15% is hardly no one. While of course a ride that has so many finishing between 2 days is going to be a huge logistics challenge, saying they were unexpected is a stretch.

Greatdane
Greatdane
7 months ago
Reply to  Fred

Seemed like there were plenty of people coming through the finish line Saturday to me. Good crowd and energy too! I know it’s real spread out at the finish, probably even more so on Sunday, but I at least thought it would have been nice to have a few blocks at the end where you got to just roll through to the finish after all the other lights.

As a person who loves my city, it was kind of a bummer to hear all the people from Seattle and elsewhere talk during the ride about how crummy it was to come into Portland at the end. I didn’t understand it until I got here.

Jay Cee
Jay Cee
7 months ago
Reply to  Greatdane

They city can’t even be bothered to do a proper Sunday parkways anymore in a way that offers protection from or consequences for gun brandishing motorists driving through the route so I’m not surprised they dgaf about STP

Questionable priorities
Questionable priorities
7 months ago
Reply to  Greatdane

Greatdane, I had the same impression! And I rode in with the masses on Sunday afternoon.

Hwy 30 is awful and it’s embarrassing (yet telling) that ODOT doesn’t do anything to make it more comfortable when they know thousands of people will be biking it. Not only is it unpleasant with fast, loud, noxious traffic (we even got coal rolled) and limited space for biking, the bike lane was blocked in multiple places by parked cars. Could the bike lane on a scary road be enforced for a single day when thousands of people are biking through? (Apparently, no it can’t.) This ride has lots of people new to biking long distances, and it appears ODOT wants to scare them from ever doing it again.

The Portland section was similarly disappointing and embarrassing. There was no accommodation on the segment of Willamette that lacks a bike lane. Then we had to stop at every light for the last 5 miles, and ride around more cars parked in the bike lane.

It would only take a little parking enforcement and bike priority to make the Oregon portion much better, but even a little effort appears to be too much. It’s hard to believe Portland used to be a considered a leader for biking.

Fred
Fred
7 months ago

The variety of bikes and body types is amazing. Just shows that every body can ride a bike. During this summer of apocalyptic heat, we all need to embrace cycling as a way to limit GHG emissions.

jakeco969
jakeco969
7 months ago

Despite an early panic (see attached posting) and some gratuitous bicycle disdain, the ride went well as far as I could tell through Yelm. I came into town for hay and errands and thought the riders were infinitely more pleasant than the straight pipe motorcycles or derestricted diesels that I normally encounter when having to come into town. My puppy (well, if 4 years old still counts as a puppy) and I watched for a bit and she seemed to enjoy watching the riders go by. The police had cars set up to help with navigation and things seemed to be going well. It was very inspirational, kudos to all who participated!

STP_LI.jpg
John
John
7 months ago
Reply to  jakeco969

Mind boggling. In a small town, one day a year, where they might face a few minutes delay (if that) waiting for a break to cross one road, and they have to make this ridiculous post talking about when they “take back the road”. At least they were generally talking about being cautious, but even so it was just so passive aggressive and whiny.

Looks like a fun ride though, I might like to try that some day. I wonder what it’s like on non-event days (like if I just wanted to ride it next month or something).

Nick
Nick
7 months ago
Reply to  John

I’m no fan of jerks either but I don’t think that’s what the post says:

We usually take the back roads or stay home

John
John
7 months ago
Reply to  Nick

Hah, wow I read that wrong. I was trying to find what made jakeco969 mention an “early panic (see attached posting)”. Still pretty passive aggressive (just the whole “they don’t all follow the rules” as if drivers do or something), but not like I thought.

jakeco969
jakeco969
7 months ago
Reply to  John

If you do come up here I would recommend bicycling on Joint Base Lewis McChord. I’ve often thought it would be a good break for people enduring the carcentric hostility of Portland to try for some relaxing ride time on Base. JBLM has plenty of what is missing in most urban settings and that is fear of the authorities. There is fear of the Military Police as any trouble with them goes straight to ones chain of command and you will hear about it next day as well as fear of who the bicyclist might be. There is no difference between work hours and after hours, soldiers are always on duty and are treated as such. They could be a senior enlisted or an officer who can lawfully give you orders that are backed up by administrative punishment or even jail time. Imagine having a vehicle pass too closely and yelling at them to stop and pull over and they most likely will knowing that if they try to get away it is they who are escalating the situation. Or, if they are going too fast or don’t stop there is no need to call the police and hope that they show up, just get the person’s license plate, go to the MP’s and let that person’s chain of command know that soldier was driving dangerously. Driving on Base is an actual privilege and can be taken away in a heartbeat.
So for the most part JBLM has cautious drivers that are respectful of bicyclists because while not perfect, the rules of the road are draconically enforced by MP’s as well as by the bicyclists themselves.

Cindy Bernert-Coppola
7 months ago

Portland Bicycling Club manages the finish line for the STP. We had over 81 volunteers spend many many hours over the weekend: sending busses of Portland riders and their bikes up to Seattle on Friday, marking the course, welcoming these 5,500 riders for both one-day and two-day rides, making sure they have a safe entry into Portland, sorting their bags, putting their bikes on trucks, and loading busses back to Seattle. We also supported many of our members as they completed the ride! Come ride with us and let us help you train for your next event!

Greatdane
Greatdane
7 months ago

The bus from Portland to Seattle was very well run and the finish line and Holliday Park party was also amazing. Thanks to all the PBC members who worked hard for this event!! I’ll definitely be back.

I’m curious… do you have any insight into some of the comments from questionable priorities above? I’ve found biking in Portland way less friendly in the last couple of years with less and less traffic enforcement (or really non-existent enforcement), and there’s a lot of evidence to suggest I’m not alone. Does PBC work with Portland police or the city around this event? Either way, is there any discussion of how to make the actual biking in Portland part of STP any better in the future, given the current conditions?

Thanks again for everything PBC contributed to this event!

nic.cota
7 months ago

Thanks PBC folks! The ending at Holladay Park felt really organized and really well staffed. Really glad to have a network of bike volunteers to show up for when Portland gets the ‘bike spotlight’!