Random Musings

Takeaways from the 2012 Seattle-to-Portland Ride

Tom at the STP

Last Saturday I participated in my 7th Seattle-to-Portland bike ride. This Northwest rite of passage is a 204 mile journey that most riders complete over two days. Some people, yours truly included, like to hammer it out in one day.

You get a lot of time to think when you’re pedaling for 12 hours. I thought I’d share some pearls of wisdom that crossed my mind during the ride:

  • Snot rockets in a pace line are not cool
  • Next to wine and coffee… ice cold Gatorade is the best beverage on earth
  • Unless you can figure out a way to incorporate a ball or puck, cycling is not a team sport
  • You large-statured cyclists might descend faster than me… but I will smoke you on the uphill

(Trust me, there is a wine angle to this post)

  • Dude. You shaved your legs to shave 3 minutes off a 12 hour ride. Really?
  • There is no amount of ibuprofen that will make the pain in your butt go away post-race. Not even the most high tech cycling shorts make a difference. Unless maybe you strap a futon to your seat.

Thanks for reading this far. Now for the wine angle:

  • The $20 I spent gels, bars and gummies would have been better spent on a 2010 Cotes du Rhone. They literally give that stuff away at each and every pit stop on the course.
  • It might be time to defer some of my wine budget to a new bike before the 2013 STP.
  • Wine people are cool people.

I had the opportunity to ride a stretch with Steve Saxon, a fellow wine collector/consumer from Gig Harbor, WA. We were discussing one my favorite Washington wineries and he mentioned the wines might be something special in 10 years. I told him I thought the people behind the winery were first class as well. Steve responded that most people in the wine business are good people. This got me to thinking about all the winemakers, shop owners and wine consumers I know.

I agree with Steve: We are extremely fortunate to be involved in a hobby with such cool and generous people.

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