STP 2003

Another year, another STP. As with last year, we rode the tandem for a couple of days to get to Portland, to ride the bus back for 3 hours. Once again, we didn’t get that many pictures because we were busy doing whatever we do on a bike for 10 hours a day.

Riders Leaving on STP

Riders are leaving at sunrise.

Last year, we had the tandem for three weeks before the ride – this year we basically didn’t ride in the three weeks leading to the ride. That’s not the best way to train. Not that I actually train for this sort of thing. But the difference between riding and not riding while ‘not training’ is a big one.

Sunrise Saturday morning

The sun also rises.

For the first time in the 4 that I’ve done this, there has been a significant headwind. This time there was a 10-15mph breeze from the south for 50-70 miles. It usually picked up later in the day, just to be helpful.

Riders waiting to cross the bridge

Raiders wait in the rain to cross the bridge.

Like three of the other 4 times I’ve done this, it rained. Not too heavy, not too unplesant or cold. The Saturday evening and the first half of Sunday was wet. One of the two riders who offered to pull through did so in the rain. Of course, he didn’t have a fender.

has anyone seen the bridge?  where's that confounded bridge?

We rode over that. It’s under construction with steel plates and bolts in the roadway. We didn’t even get to do the banked 270 degree turn at the bottom at full tilt this year, cause it was wet and we were being cautious.

There weren’t as many drafters this year, probably because we weren’t going as fast. A few people asked, a few just jumped on. We climbed well, passing a good number of single bikes — even some Litespeeds. But 50 miles in each day, we were feeling the burn.

Next year, and there will be a next year, we will need to ride a little more in the weeks leading up to it. I need to get the aerobars adjusted correctly so that my upper arms can relax. We’re going to take more pictures. And we’re going to get some friends on tandems to come with us to paceline. With feeling and 4 part harmony.

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