After riding my first ever STP in 2014, I wanted to try it again in 2015. My riding companions from 2014 weren’t riding as a group this year, so I decided to ride with the Seattle GayCity team. Throughout the spring and early summer, I rode several training rides with a few of the guys.
Once again, it was a wonderful ride. The weather was much better than 2014. Plus, the route through Joint Base Lewis-McChord was an excellent addition. We rode through the shady tree-lined avenues and roads of the huge military base. There was even a large rest area near an open-air museum filled with vintage aircraft and military vehicles. Unfortunately, some of us spent too much time here looking at the vehicles and relaxing. Maybe next year, we’ll spend a little less time here.
Our camp-spot in Vader was, roughly, at the 130 mile mark. Besides being right next to a fairly busy railroad crossing, it was a great place to camp. Due to a mechanical in Chehalis, I arrived at the camp later than the rest of the gang – about 5 PM or so. We showered while the crew cooked up a great taco buffet. A couple of the guys went to a nearby convenience store for some beers. We relaxed on camp chairs and watched very late-arriving cyclists pedal by onwards to their overnight destinations (hopefully, none of these very late cyclists were going all the way to Portland tonight).
The next morning, we were off and riding at 6 AM. With only 70 miles to ride, Day 2 was rather shorter than Day 1. In fact, I pedaled through the Finish Line just before noon! This was a much better time than I did last year.
What a great ride!