Saturday, July 12, 2003

Check in the Box

I dropped Jeff and our friend Chris off at the start of the STP this morning. They should have a good day for the ride, sunny and temps in the 70's, except I think they've had a head wind all day (at least we've had a southerly breeze all day up here). When you're doing 120 miles in one direction, that can't be fun.

This was the year that I was going to do the STP (Seattle to Portland). I figured that as long as I was training for the Courage Classic, I might as well train up for the STP and get it over with (as a Northwest cyclist's rite of passage). I realized at some point in the spring that I did not want to train as much as I would have to for that ride just to put a check in the box and say that I've done the STP. So this morning, I waved them off without regret. I decided today, however, that I'm going to do this ride one of these years, and that it won't be just to say that I've done it.

I went on a ride today with the Cascade Bicycle Club (the folks that put on the STP). It was a great ride, 58 miles with lots of hills, going from wooded residential areas to farmland and back. The other riders were really nice, and (perhaps because I came on my own for the first time), I got to speak with them more than on past club rides. Most had been riding for years and years, and some had done the very first STP, back when there wasn't an option of doing it in 2 days, it was in June (cold and rainy), and there were only a few rest stops (like every 40 -50 miles). These riders had, between them, gone on rides through France, British Colombia, the Rockies, the West Coast of the US, and all over the trails of the Pacific Northwest; and this is just what I gathered from the jerseys they wore.

I realized that while I have not been riding very long, I have more in common with them (when it comes to cycling) than I have with my self of 3 months ago. I am a cyclist, and when I decide to train for the STP, it will be because I want to ride a great ride with other great cyclists, and not because I want to put a check in the box.


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