Seattle To Portland (STP)

Feelings experienced during the STP:
Concern – When my front tire popped for the first time at the first rest
stop (25 miles)
Frustration – When my front tire popped for the second time taking me out
of 23 mph paceline
Resignation- When my front tire popped for the third time in the first 50
miles, and I no longer had a spare.  (A support motorcycle stopped to help
Frustration – When I followed a guy with 2 1-day STP patches on his bag
that went off course, and caused me to take a 3.7 mile detour.
Hubris – When my body felt invincible at the 100 mile mark in
Pain – Starting about mile 150 when shooting pain started in my
Fear – When I was 5 miles from the finish line and my legs started cramping
Gratitude – When my neighbor and friend, Karlin, stuck by me as I walked up
the hills, to provide moral support.
Relief – When we finished in Portland and I could get off my bike once and
for all.
Joy – After having missed our buses back home, when our friend from Church,
Dave Carlson offered to find us rides home.
I suppose the bottom line is that we finished.  We finished at 9:30pm in
the dark – 16.5 hours after we started.  30 minutes after the buses had already
left.  With that said, it was not a pretty finish.  For 3-4 hours, it felt as if
my legs were being stabbed by knives with every pedal.  In the last 6 miles, my
hamstring started cramping every time I tried to ride uphill on a steep grade,
and I had to walk up 3 hills and over a small bridge. The first half of the
mile, my speedometer said we’re averaging about 18.5 mph.  I’m guessing that the
average over the last 10 miles was barely 10mph.  Those last miles truly took
incredible stupidity and determination to crank out.  Luckily, I was stocked up
in both departments.  Today (Sunday), my knees are no longer being stabbed by
knives, but I can not bend them, which makes me walk like Frankenstein.  One
weird issue is that my left thumb has gone numb.  I’m assuming that these
issues will at some point correct itself.  I never want to take another sip of
gatorade (of which I drank 8+ bottles) or take a bite of a clif bar ever again. 
I’m also tempted to get rid of my bike… As of today, I don’t think I could
ever be convinced to do the one-day STP again.  However, I would love to do the
STC (Centralia) at some point… maybe when my kids are a bit older…


  1. So it\’s Saturday night and I thought I would catch up on my "blog reading".  I love your blog!  Here I sit in my little quiet apt. in the middle of the woods somewhere in Alaska…laughing out loud like a banshee (I had to use that reference after you sharing your sleeping bag with Caleb).  I am really looking forward to you & Tee\’s visit…and to more fun laughs.  Thank you, Don for sharing your insights and experiences…and brightening my day!  Keep the stories coming!! 
    Excellent work on completing the race!  You and Karlin are amazing!!

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