5:25 AM, I left with a pack of riders for my third STP, sporting the ever popular Pastry Powered jersey. About 13 and a half hours later, I pulled into Portland, exhausted but triumphant. 204 miles, 18.8 MPH average moving time, 10,000 Calories burned, 1 broken spoke. The day started early, and I found myself in a paceline towed by some BBTC riders and then by some Byrne folks. In both cases, the team was rotating in the front, leaving the bandits like me behind to sit in. While I know what I’m doing, I wasn’t sporting my Wines jersey but my PPTM colors, so no reason for them to know that I knew what to do. And hey, I’ve got 160 miles to go or so…. no problem sitting in for me!
The morning progressed without much event until near Centralia, when I broke a spoke. Fortunately, I was able to make reasonable time and get into Centralia, where the fine folks from Gregg’s got me a new spoke and trued the wheel for the everyday low price of two PB&Js — turns out they hadn’t had any time to get some food for dealing with all the riders pulling in!
The afternoon I went a bit slower. Pacelines were a bit harder to find, so there was a decent amount of solo riding. This was fine, as I could keep to a good heart rate and still push the gears and hit about 20 MPH pretty easily. About mile 125 or so, I started to feel it — I had only done one century so far this year (Flying Wheels), and while I had nearly twice the miles under my belt this year as last year, it was lots of 40 and 60 mile rides and 3 hour races. So about hour 7 or so, the legs started to hurt. Badly.
I ran into another Wines teammate in Castle Rock and rode with him for a bit, and then at St. Helens ran into a guy I worked with at Real. We rode together with another co-worker of his, until I caught a paceline he was unable to. However, a few miles to the end after the paceline had disintegrated he caught up to me with another group, and we all rode in together — exhausted, but exhilerated!
I was talking to another 1-day rider who left at 4:45… apparently, leaving earlier means you’re on some bigger, and faster, pacelines. Apparently he found one that was led by a well organized, rotating paceline with two riders acting as sweep, preventing anyone from entering the group — but also allowing everyone to sit in and enjoy the pace between 23 and 25 MPH. He made it down in under 10 hours, if I recall properly.
All in all, a good experience… although we’ll have to see if next year I try for 1 day again, or just put a big pastry cart on the Bianchi and do more of a fun ride!