Thursday, July 18, 2013
Finished STP on Sunday, and you couldn't have asked for better conditions. Cool and clear in the morning, warm enough on Saturday, breezes from the north that translated into warm tailwinds, a friendlier and more well-behave peloton than Flying Wheels, all in all, a fine ride.
What went well:
Saturday, in retrospect, was easy. If I had made other plans, I could have gone farther than the 102 miles from Seattle to Centralia. Started off watching a wannabe sprinter crash into a tree in front of Hec Ed pavilion, no more than 150 yds from the start, but then saw no further crashes throughout the day. Starbucks at Leschi, Subway for lunch in Spanaway, long Tenino trail, and was in to the midpoint by 3:30. Massage, hot tub, La Tarasca, and a DQ Blizzard, and I was done.
Sunday a bit tougher, but in no way the schlep it's been in the past. Started out at 5:30 after 1st hotel breakfast, second in Winlock after rolling through farmland south of Chehalis with terrific views of Mt. St. Helens. Crossed the mighty Columbia, and then had a good tailwind down US. 30 into Portland. Again, finished by 3:30. Average rolling speed = 14.8, compared to 14.2 the day before.
No problems with Bleriot, save handlebar tape unravelling a bit, and old gloves finally wearing out. No flats either, although saw many on the thinner tires of others. A ride ref reported that there had been tacks on the road near Spanaway and Puyallup.
Things to consider for next time:
CTS was well worth it. I was in road shape, and ready to ride long distances.
Second day was hot, and I ended up eating poorly, maybe too much, and felt dehydrated toward the end. I gained weight on the ride.
Avoid the REI stop. Loud music, crowds, not pleasant or restful.
Similarly, the Finish Line festival in Portland was loud, a bit obnoxious, and after two days of riding, I wanted to just get cleaned up and out of there.
Four days later, I still have some discomfort in right quad and right lower leg. Recovery not as easy as I expected. Maybe more and better sleep a couple of days before, maybe more mid week rides? Maybe I'm not as young as I used to be? Maybe better core and upper body conditioning? Or, maybe don't sweat it, cause the important thing is to enjoy the ride, the scenery and the group experience!
A big 'we'll see' about next year, or maybe it's RSVP.