Thursday, July 19, 2012

2012 July 14 - Seattle to Portland Classic

At University Village at 4:30 AM
On Saturday, July 14, 2012, Team Mang set out to do what they have been preparing all year for - ride the Seattle to Portland Classic in 1 day. That's 204 miles of road riding, sitting on their butts and pedaling for at least 14 hours. They targeted a departure time of 4:30 AM and an arrival time of 7:30 PM. A slow start due to congestion had them leave the University of Washington start area with the rest of the thousands who were also attempting a 1-day ride.

They reached Spanaway - the 60 mile mark - a little past 8:00 AM which was their first major break. By 11:00 AM, most of the team had reached Centralia - the 100 mile mark. That's where they had an opportunity to relax a bit and catch their breath - indeed the first half of the ride, a full century, took a lot less time than they'd ever done before (Flying Wheels took 8 hours).
Lunch took a while as the team departed past noon. As expected, the leg from the 100 to the 140 mile mark was the hardest.  With their bodies still digesting the sumptuous meal they just had, the terrain endlessly rolling into hills, the heat bearing down and most of the riders entering into uncharted territory (i.e. the team had not ridden anything past 100 miles in their training), the Team Mang train stretched long. The mini stop at Vader, mile 126, was well worth it and getting to Lexington at mile 140 was a struggle for some. Due to fatigue and heat, most of the team relaxed a bit more than they should have at that stop. but they finally got to task and started riding again.
Some of the guys pose along the route
Crossing the Lewis & Clark bridge at Longview gave everyone a second wind. The psychological boost of getting to mile 150 by 4PM was real and in spite of the coming terrain and temperatures along highway 30, most of the guys were able to regroup and ride in batches. At mile 175, the St. Helen stop, most everyone had regrouped. It was now 6PM and everyone was ready to get this ride over with. It took the lead group just 2 hours (8:00 PM) to get to the finish line from there, this in spite of being hindered by all the city traffic lights. The second group followed a few minutes later with the third group crossing the line around 8:20 PM. There were a couple more riders who struggled in after that but still with daylight to spare. It was a challenging ride, to be sure, but Team Mang proves that with teamwork, determination, camaraderie and good training, you can accomplish great things. The team would especially like to thank the support crew made up of the wives of some of the team - they put in just as much effort driving, parking, serving and just keeping up with the cyclists as they made their journey from Seattle to Portland.  They are as much a part of the team as the riders.

Hanging at the finish line in Portland

Here's a video summary of the ride: STP 1 day Ride and the stats compiled by Eric's GPS unit (which died 5 miles short of the finish): Stats.

Go Team Mang!