STP Prep

STP  (Seattle To Portland bike ride) is in 7 days
Farthest ridden in one day: 100 miles.
Miles ridden today: 40 miles.
Number of hours we have until the 9pm bus leaves from Portland:  16 hours.

I was almost on the brink of quitting last Friday.  I had ridden a
hundred miles the previous Saturday, and felt that I couldn’t keep up
the pace to get me into Portland by 9pm (which is when the bus leaves
from Portland to take us back to Seattle).  The straw that broke the
camel’s back was that my rear wheel was falling apart, the rim was
cracking and it seemed a bit dangerous to keep riding on it.  I was
probably already about $400-$450 into getting my Walmart bike ready for
the STP, and didn’t want to spend any more.  I was about to call Karlin
(my neighbor) and let him know that I was going to drop out.  I told
Tenille who had also been reluctantly supportive due to the amount of
time the training was taking, and she urged me to ride.  She told me
that I can’t just bail out on Karlin now…. It was kind of like that
moment in Rocky III, when Adrian, in the hospital bed after having
given birth to their first son, told Rocky that she wanted him to
win…. (well, maybe it wasn’t that dramatic…)  But, we renewed
determination, I went wheel shopping… Apparently, my Walmart bike
didn’t quite have the normal equipment that most road bikes come with. 
Most bikes nowadays come with rear wheel with a cassette where you can
load up the sprockets.  Mine had a screw on sprocket set.  Furthermore,
mine only had 7 gears, whereas most bikes come with 8-10 gears… After
stopping at several bike shops, I’m finally told at Performance Bike
that I need a special wheel… (which is usually code for… "oh man..
this is going to cost you….")  I was prepared to spend up to
$150…   He goes to the wheel section and says, "Sorry man, this is
the only wheel we got for you that will fit your sprockets…. "  It
was $35!!!  AND it was quick release, so I didn’t have to carry around
a big wrench any more!  The best part was that the repair guy spent a
couple hours and tuned up my entire bike!   Best $35 I ever spent on my
After I got home, I called Karlin to tell him my tale of how I almost
dropped out… It ended up that he, too, was actually having second
thoughts as he just had a baby a few weeks ago and was going through
sleep deprivation as well as not able to train.  We re-committed
ourselves to at least starting the ride.
Today, we went on a ride to Fremont and it felt like we were averaging between 17-18 mph, which is pretty good for me…
We’ll see if I can keep that up for 200 miles.   Regardless, I’m sure there will be an interesting story next week.

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