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A Northwest [Bicycle] Classic : STP

The highly anticipated Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic is the largest multi-day bicycle event in the Northwest.  I must say that watching the more than 10,000 cyclists ride more than 200 miles from Seattle to Portland made me feel a little lazy enjoying the trip in the WALLY van!

For the last 33 years, thousands of cyclists have been making the journey between the Northwest’s two largest cities in the Group Health Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic. Most riders complete the adventure in two days with the mid-point at Centralia College where many spend the night…and get all-you-can-eat spaghetti! Other brave souls continue on further and a few intrepid riders complete the back-to-back centuries (100 miles each) in a single day.

The WALLY team was there to join in the fun and our first stop was at the halfway marker where our stash of sunscreen proved very popular as the sun came out. Later, we followed the party to Portland’s Holladay Park where we got to talk to six-year STP veteran Kevin from Seattle.

STP rider

Kevin is one of those riders who uses blood, sweat and tears to reach the 150 mile mark on the first day before sleeping in and eating a huge (and he does mean huge) breakfast before the last 50 miles on day two. For Kevin, the best part of the whole ride is an absolutely stunning valley just north of Chehalis where the riders pass a classic old red barn. The hardest part, he says, is not the infamous—and aptly named—Vader hill, but rather the rolling hills from there to Castle Rock. As he puts it: “None are hard, but all together they’re killer.”

Seattle-to-Portland (STP) half-way point, Centralia College

Kevin and thousands of other riders remained enthusiastic all of the way to the finish as they coasted into Holladay Park. We hope to see some familiar faces cross the finish line when the WALLY team returns next year!

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