In 2001 we rode a lot of back-to-back days on the weekends including rides in Richland, Vancouver, Millersylvania, Camano Island, all over, really. We did 123 miles at the Pendleton version of the NWTR even though Sheila was sick the first day.
We were more ready for our STP experience this year than last year mostly because we knew what to expect. We trained steadily in the spring, helped by a drought which made for very few rainy day rides. One big difference in our prep was that we didn’t do a century prior to the STP. But since we did Tour de Blast (85 miles) and the Triple Trident (81 miles) back to back, we figured we were ready.
We left our house in the early morning and quickly were joined by 3 singles (Mark, Mike and Dodd) who rode a similar pace. The 5 of us took turns pulling our paceline from Kent almost to Centralia. We averaged 17.5 for the day and had no unscheduled stops. Between Yelm and Centralia Mike began dropping behind. His two friends eventually dropped away from us to stay with him. They had been good partners, but we had further to go that day.
We ended our day at St. Mary’s Center, mile 123. We’d stayed there in 2000. We arrived early enough in the afternoon (just after 2) that we got our choice of rooms. Sheila said it would be nice to sleep together and the organizers gave us the only double which had its own shower! Heavenly! We had a large dinner and went to sleep early.
It was a good thing we slept well because at 4:30 we were woken by the kitchen crew preparing breakfast on the other side of our wall. This was the drawback to the double. Since we couldn’t sleep, we were first in line for breakfast and were out of there by 5:20. It was cool, but now we were just focused on getting to Portland. We flew. There were no crowds anywhere, not surprisingly. When we got to Hwy 30 our speed rose to a steady 20-21 mph with gust of 24-25. We ended the day at 10:40. We were 3 hours earlier than our luggage! Our two-day average was 17.7! We spent a lot of time strolling around the finish area and taking pictures of every tandem we saw cross the line.
That evening we had a big BBQ at Andrew’s, with Mom, Dad, John, Cindy, Emmy and all of John’s kids there. It was quite a party. We think next time we need to get a line of tandems going. That would really be great!