Last weekend we completed our first STP. Cascade Bicycle Club’s annual Seattle to Portland Ride is incredibly popular and almost a rite of passage for anybody riding a bicycle in Seattle. This was the 33rd edition and it again drew over 10,000 participants. I’m not sure why it’s the biggest cycling event in the PNW – other rides have more beautiful routes, are more challenging, and have less crowds. Maybe it’s just the right distance to be challenging yet achievable for the casual rider. It certainly has an extremely diverse group of participants. For us it was a good opportunity to take our tandem on its first big outing; and to go on a ride with Wendy’s sister and her son.
Overall we had a really good time. The weather wasn’t perfect with clouds and drizzle in the mornings; but it wasn’t unpleasant for riding, and the afternoon sunshine made up for it. Our tandem performed well: we only had a minor issue with a few spokes loosening on the rear wheel. And we are becoming a much better tandem team. Starting and stopping is no longer an issue. We’re able to get up out of the saddle to crank up hills or accelerate hard. And I’ve become better at communicating the right information so Wendy is not caught by surprise by e.g. a sudden change in direction or pothole in the road.
For the first time we also experienced the power of the tandem: on flats and downhills we just flew by other riders. It can be quite addictive.
Check out the photos.