Monday, July 2, 2012


STP Training Day.  Wow - that was an adventure!

A little rain never hurt anyone - right ...!?
Last Saturday, two of our group (Mike and I) decided it was a good idea to go for a nice, long ride around Seattle in preparation of the upcoming STP (Seattle to Portland) ride mid-July.  After all, we signed up for the 204-mile odyssey this year with the SINGLE DAY option in mind. 

204 miles in one day? Are we nuts?  Has sanity left the building?

The answer is a resounding "Yes"!

The day started relatively warm (low 60's) and with high humidity.  We don't really get a lot of muggy days, but this was one of them.  A 50% chance of rain was forecast - which for Seattle meant that rain was inevitable - you'd just be rained on for 50% of the time.  It was relatively dry outside when we started around 8:30 am, and we happily started our trek, with rain jackets tucked neatly in the back pockets of our jerseys. The idea was to ride a relatively easy ride - twice around Lake Washington / Lake Sammamish - to simply get some 'saddle time' in (that's the part of you that really tends to 'wear' on long distance rides - I won't go into heavy detail here) and get our bodies used to pedaling for a good part of the day.

To make a long story short, we had a great, most-of-the-day cycling adventure, but what an adventure it was!  Here's how the day went, in a nutshell:
  1. Miles ridden: 120;
  2. Rain: 50% of the time, as promised;
  3. Mid-way lunch stop: 1.  (Thanks to my wife for meeting us - kids included - with PB&J sandwiches, bananas, and water!  Oh - and extra tires, see next point);
  4. Flat tires: 4, between the two of us. (Mike: 2 front flats.  Patrick: 2 back flats.  Remember to bring extra tubes and air cartridges!);
  5. Bloody knuckles (see flat tires): 1.  (I will blame this on a relatively new back tire, slippery conditions, and overall poor form on my part. I must admit, though, that in the rain a good skinned knuckle really looks like a gusher);
  6. Tinkerbell bandaids: 1. (Thanks to my 3-1/2 year old daughter during the lunch stop);
  7. Broken spokes: 1. (At mile 95, middle of a good stretch of cycling, Mike yelled out "your rear wheel is WOBBLING!"  And so it was. Holy crap. Taking off a fender, loosening off the brake, I was able to limp to the nearest bike store, hoping to get my wheel fixed.  Mike rode steadfast behind me, watching to see if my wheel would self-destruct in the meantime ...);
  8. In-ride stop at bike shop to fix broken spoke: 1. (While assessing the damage of the broken spoke - and simultaneously Mike's flat tire - I called a few local bike shops to see who could help. The dudes at Gerk's - said, "We're closing in 25 minutes.  If you can get in here before then, we'll see what spare parts we have, and what we can do." With 10 minutes to spare, they spent 40 minutes on my bike - well past closing time - and VERY luckily happened to have one spoke - rear wheel, drive side, Mavic black bladed spoke - to replace the snapped one and had my wheel trued and on my way in no time.  Even checked my rear hub and cleaned it out. And EVEN had a spare rear 'loaner' wheel ready to go, if they didn't have the part.  I love personal service - can't recommend these guys enough ...)

The broken spoke ... amazing how one small part can derail you ...

At the end, Mike and I were tired, slightly daunted, but all-in-all I think we had a "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" kind of day.  The riding was good, the views and routes stellar, and the 'saddle time' well spent ... and we now have a good bike cleaning ahead of us.

Looking ahead, though ... just 12 days until the STP ride!  Wish us luck between now and then with the remainder of our training rides, and more so on the ride itself!  If you'd like to ride with us this week (likely Wednesday and Friday, limited rides), during the ride (pacelines!) or after the ride, please let me know -

Oh, and yes, of course:  Please join us at the 2012 Seattle Century ride at the end of the month.  More information, including a $10 registration discount code, can be found here: - the more the merrier, and the more support we can muster for LIVESTRONG the better!


Team Captain, Ride for LIVESTRONG Seattle
Senior LIVESTRONG Leader 

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