August 2014
M T W T F S S
« Jul    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Archives

My first STP experience

This past weekend, I rode my bike from Seattle to Portland for the GroupHealth’s Seattle to Portland Classic. All in all, it was 202 miles from UW Seattle to Portland. I took two days to get to Portland and many events happened, I will try to share my experience and hopefully, this will help future STP riders.

When my friends and I decided to do the STP, we decided early that 1 day STP would be way to crazy, that would be over 12 hours of riding at an incredible speed of 18 or 19 miles per hour. Since we did not want to do that, we decided to do a two day ride. Instead of a even break of around 100 miles the first day, and around 100 miles the second day, we decided to do around 150 miles to Longview, WA on the first day and around 50 miles to Portland.

DAY 1 – 150 Miles to Longview, WA

Day 1 started off really early, we decided to meet around 4:45 am, so I was up around 3:45 am to get ready and prepare. The night before I went to sleep pretty early, but I was very nervous and anxious about the ride. I have never done anything like this before, the longest ride I have ever done was 77 miles. This was going to be a challenge. When we got to UW, it was around 5:30 am and the sun was already peaking out, we started from the starting line at 5:45am.

3 of us before the start

At the Starting Line

After a short and fast 25 miles ride out of Seattle, we arrived at our first official rest stop.

@the first stop - REI Stop 25 miles in

Shortly after our first stop, we faced “the hill”. “The hill” suppose to be the largest climb of the day and of the ride, but we found out later that this doesn’t seem like the case. It maybe because it is still early in our ride, I was able to climb “the hill” without too much trouble at all. Shortly after the hill is the first series of rolling hills through Auburn, WA.
This is also when I got one of my first comments about my Auburn University Bicycle jersey. The comment was, “humm… it ironic that you are riding through Auburn with an Auburn jersey on.” Of course, my answer was, “that’s right!!! WAR EAGLE, BABY!”

Leading the pack

On my 3rd rest stop of the STP ride, I came across an Alabama guy. He was wearing an Alabama jersey. “Oh”, I said to myself, “I’ve got to take a picture with that guy”.

Auburn vs Alabama... WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!

100 miles later, we finally reached Centralia, WA, the mid-point of the ride. This was where most people stopped for the night, but my group decided to stop at Longview so we still have another 50 miles to go. When we first roll in to Centralia College, it was very welcoming. There are people giving out cream-sicles (ice cream on a stick) and lots of festival activity, but for us, we knew that we still have 50 miles to go, so we took a short break at a small turkey sandwich, fill our water and we were off again. Oh there are times that I wish that my first day ride just ended in Centralia, but I know that if that is the case I will hate myself on day two.

Finishing my first century ever!!! reaching Centralia College

Happy

resting with Colin at Centralia... 50 miles to go.

After Centralia was a series of rolling hills again, then there is the Napavine hill. I found this hill much tougher than “the hill”. Maybe because it is 100 miles later or maybe it is truly a bigger hill, but it was tough. There are no official stops from Centralia until few miles outside of Longview, WA. After leaving Centralia, I stopped at ever stop alone the way, Napavine, Winlock, Vader, and Castlerock. Along the way I got lost, took a wrong turn, but did end back on the trail, I also begin to have cramps on my calves, but with the help of banana and electrolytes, I was able to bike to Longview, WA. I remember really clearly the last few miles before Longview, I was mentally telling myself just few more miles to go, and comparing the distance to my distance to work. Around 5:30 pm I made it to the motel in Longview. After around 12 hours, I biked 150 miles. For dinner, we had some wonderful local Mexican food and shortly after that I fell asleep.

Day 2 – 52 miles to Portland

Day 2 started off pretty slow, we met up around 7:30 for breakfast at the local McD. Yep the breakfast of the champions right? Around 8:45, we departed from the motel and are on our way to Portland. Our estimated time of arrival will be around 12:30pm to 1 pm. Around 9:00 am, we biked across the Longview bridge into Oregon. Good-Bye Washington, Hello Oregon. I was feeling a be sore at first, but after 30 minutes or so, I am feeling great. After the bridge, the route follow along the river and it’s once again rolling hills. As I was going up one of the hills, I heard some one yell out, “Are you from Auburn?” I said yes, and we both yelled out “WAR EAGLE!!!” Our battle cry gave me an extra bit of juice and I pedal faster and stronger up the hill. During the first 15 miles to our first stop, I reached my all time high top speed of 40.5 miles per hour. It was amazing fast going down hill on my bike. Thinking back, it’s pretty crazy and I don’t know if I would do that again.

At our first stop of the day, we all felt really strong and did not stop long and we were on our way. As normal, Colin was the strongest and was gone shortly after we left the rest stop. I was slower than Colin, but faster than Brian. Shortly after we left the rest stop, we were all on our own following different pace lines. As I was around 1 mile out from small town of St. Helens, a group of bike in front of me slowed down all of the sudden. I grab my breaks and slowed down, and BAM!!!! Out of no where, I was slammed by another bike!!! I flew forward for about 3-4 seconds trying to regain my balance and fell on the pavements. I was on the ground trying to see if I am bleeding or now and then to check on what’s going on. I saw the other guy on the ground too. But he seems to be ok as well. While I was still in shock, all I remember is all the other STP riders yelling, “get the F*CK off the road!!!!” Yes, guys very very classy. and the fact is there is a minivan that stopped to help us and was actually blocking the bike land to protect us, they really do not need to be so rude. Amazingly, the Goldwing riders came by really quickly and check to make sure we are ok. Physically, I seem to be ok, my left arm is bang up, but I was ok, no major cuts, however, my bike was not so lucky. My new bike that I just bought one week ago is all messed up. The rear derailer was messed up, and one of the rear tire spoke was out of the hub and bent. There was no way I was able to ride on. My only hope was to get to a near by mechanic and maybe, maybe they have a new tire or something that can help me through my last 30 miles. The person that hit me was friendly, he was from Canada. When I told him of my bike situation, how my bike was stolen 1 week before STP and how I just bought this brand new bike, he agreed to pay for my repairs.

IMG_0022.jpg

IMG_0025.jpg

Since I was stuck here, I called Vicky and asked for a pick up. Vicky was about 1.5 hours away so we waited. The Canadian’s ride came about 1 hour later and agreed to drop me off at the nearest rest stop with a bike mechanic, which was only one miles away. When we got there, I wasn’t sure if they can help me. But amazingly enough, Ted from BikenHike, a bike shop from Portland, OR, was able to patch me up, adjust my derailer and sent me off to finish my last 30 miles. My derailer performed excellent, I could not tell that I had an accident. So, please visit them, BikenHike. if you need a bike and you are in Portland, they are great!!!

IMG_0026.jpg
Ok, enough promotions, back to the story. I fill up my water bottle and continue my ride. At this time, my friends are already finished the ride and started on their beers and I was still 30 miles out. The unfortunate thing is that when my bike was fixed Vicky was only 5 minutes out and I told her that I am going to finish my ride. I felt bad for Vicky doing all that extra driving, but I do really appreciate her support and felt really loved to have someone to be there for me. I love you, Vicky!!!

The last 30 miles was pretty good, I did not stop at any more stops. When I finally reached the St. Johns Bridge, I knew I only have few more miles to go.
IMG_0027.jpg

714469-6097-0042s.jpg

After the bridge, it was a slow ride across the north end of Portland and eventually ending up at the finish line. Right before the finish line, I saw Vicky waiting for me, I cheered for her, she tried to snap a picture of me and … well… she tried, I was riding too fast, I was too excited.

IMG_5782.jpg

202 miles, a bent spoke, broken hub, brused arm, and 4 War Eagles later, I finished the 2011 Seattle to Portland Classic. An Auburn Tiger never quits!!!

714475-7543-0020s.jpg

Oh and the beers and the hamberger at the after party are the BEST EVER!!!!!

IMG_5783.jpg

IMG_5788.jpg

IMG_5791.jpg

So will I do it again? Oh I don’t know yet… ask me in 8 month!!!
What would I change? I probably would train more, and change how I eat during my ride.

Take a look at all the pictures below. Enjoy!!!

Photos: 2011 STP Pictures

Get your very own Auburn Tigers Bicycle Jersey Click HERE!!!

just yet another training day

Since STP is only 2 weeks away, it’s time to train more!!! So today, my friends, Bob and Brian, joined me for a 72 mile bike ride around the greater Seattle area. It’s basically a big loop around Lake Washington. In the end, it felt pretty good. I was a bit tired, but still felt pretty good. I can say one thing, I felt much better than when I rode the 70 miles for the Tour de Cure. Take a look at our stats below.

The following are few pictures from the trip.



I did not know that there was an I-90 Tunnel for bicycles.


A different view of the City.

Bike to Work Day 2011

So today is bike to work day. I’ve been fighting this cough for a week now, and this is the first time returning on my bike since my fall. The ride to downtown was great almost all down hill going in. The day was beautiful and the ride was great. The only problem was that today was also the day that I had to teach a class in the Seattle office, so I had to bring my laptop and also some demo gear as a visual aid for my class. So my little backpack was packed and heavy. As I stated, getting to work was great, however, on my return trip, I discovered something. I got my 4th flat this year!!!! Yeah… just before I was leaving the garage I notice the my bike sounds a little funny, I was thinking … oh no not again!!!!

And yes… another flat.. the back tire this time. Luckily, I just bought 3 tubes this week. but then I noticed I don’t have my pump with me… yikes!!!

Luckily, my best buds Colin and Brian are around, they came down to the garage with a small pump and helped me out. After about 15 minutes, got a new tube, pumped up and I was on my way.

4th one of the year!!! what’s going on this year….
so tomorrow will be my first 70 miler with Tour de Cure!!!!

Wish me luck!!!! oh and also if you feel like donating to help the fight against diabetes click here!!!

First Training ride to Marine Park in Everett, WA

So today is my first training ride for STP. My buddy Brian and I decided to ride up to Everett and back for our first long ride. The round trip is around 60 miles or so. The trip started off really well, the day was beautiful and we rode 29.8 miles and reached Marine Park in Everett, WA. The destination was not what I expected, but it was a destination. We did see an aircraft carrier at the Navy base!!!


Aircraft Carrier in Everett!!!

After a brief, lunch at a brewery nearby to carb load, we started to ride home. Around 11 miles from completing our trek, I got a flat, I took the time to patch my flat and I thought all is well and started to ride again. After another mile, right when I was crossing a street, my tire gave away, I slipped and fell, luckily I was not hurt. Since I did not have any spare tube, I decided to end my ride for the day and call for recovery. Vicky was quick to arrive and pick me up. So after a long day, I completed 52.56 miles, but was not able to finish my entire 60 mile trip. The good news is my buddy Brian was able to finish the 60 miles!!! Good job Brian!!

The Tulip Ride

So this past weekend was my friend Howard’s Annual Tulip Ride. It was an ok day at first but it got really beautiful in the afternoon. The ride was a short and sweet. We rode from Bay View Park to the tulip fields and then to La Conner for lunch. Enjoy the pictures.


IMG_1624.jpgIMG_1625.jpgIMG_5172.jpgIMG_5182HDR.jpgIMG_5184HDR.jpgIMG_5187.jpgIMG_5188.jpgIMG_5189.jpgIMG_5192.jpgIMG_5194.jpgIMG_5195.jpgIMG_5198.jpgIMG_5204.jpgIMG_5207.jpgIMG_5208.jpgIMG_5209.jpgIMG_5210.jpgIMG_5213.jpgIMG_5214.jpgIMG_5217.jpgIMG_5228.jpgIMG_5229.jpgIMG_5230.jpgIMG_5232.jpgIMG_5233.jpgIMG_5234.jpgIMG_5237.jpgIMG_5239.jpgIMG_5241.jpg

My second flat tire

So this morning was suppose to be a beautiful weather day, but after picking up Vicky’s car and paying outrageous amount of money for a water pump replacement, the weather started to rain. And BTW why is it so expensive to work on a car?? Some times I wish I have a shop so I can do work myself.

Anyways, It was raining and I was suppose to ride to work today. So, I waited until the rain stopped and decided to ride anyways. I needed to training for STP. As I was checking my tire pressures, my rear tire pressure valve broke and PTTTT…. there goes my air and my rear tire is flat. Doh!

The good thing is that now I have a chance to change my rear tube. The experience was not as bad as the first time. I was pretty efficient and quick and soon. I was on my way.

The ride to work was pretty good, only one close call, there are alot of crazy drivers on the road that don’t respect the bicyclists. However, I’ve also seen some really stupid and irresponsible bicyclist that just totally ignores all traffic lows and cut cars off. I can see why the drivers don’t respect us. So stop being stupid crazy drivers and bicyclists!!!

My first flat tire

Well, it was an interesting afternoon today. It turned out to be a beautiful and an amazing day, however, it was still very cold out. So after work, I was all geared up for my ride home and when I was just about to unlock my bike I noticed my front tire was flat. I was afraid of that. This morning a ran over some rocks and ended up with a small piece of short rock stuck to my tire, I was worry that I got a puncture, but I was able to ride to work without any noticable difference. But yeah, that did puncture my inner tube. So after 2 years of riding on this bike, I got my first flat.

I called Vicky and informed her of my situation and decided to replace the tube on the spot. Since I am prepared (I have two inner tube and a patch kit on my at all time while riding a bike), I figure I better replace a flat and figure it out before STP. I thought, how hard can it be? I am an engineer, this is a bicycle, I will replace my tube and be on my way in 5 minutes, max.

5 minutes later, I was still trying to get my inner tube out. I was feeling completely stupid, what the heck am I doing wrong. About 10 minutes later, after a brief youtube video on my iphone confirming that I am doing everything right, I got my inner tube out. And yes, i found a small puncture. So after about 20 minutes, I finally got my tube replaced and I am back.

I did not ride the entire trip back home, but I only rode about 5 miles to Ranch 99 to meet up with Vicky. But that was a pretty quick ride, averaged around 13.5 mph. Still more training to come…

The beginning of my cycling adventure

I never ran a marathon before, I’ve never biked over 50 miles before, but recently I decided to take a chance and signed up for STP with my two best friends. STP for those that don’t know is a bike ride from Seattle to Portland (http://shop.cascade.org/content/events/stp), hence the name STP. The ride to Portland is around 202 miles. The plan right now is to do it in two days. Day 1 will be approximately 120 miles and around 80 miles the second day. With that said, I am starting to train and I find that I am so out of shape. So today is my 3rd ride to work this year. The weather is still cold, but it suppose to turn around. However, it still seems a little gray. I think it will get better this afternoon.

So also as part of my training, I will be signing up for the Tour de Cure. I haven’t decided how much I will ride yet but stay tuned.

So many things have been going on lately after I got married, I haven’t really had time to make much updates, but I do miss posting on my blog and BTW my blog is almost 9 years old!!! Can you believe it!!! The next couple of weekends will be pretty exciting so I will hopefully post some more and keep this blog alive.