Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Partial STP - Seattle to Spanaway and Back

Yesterday I set out (and did) the first 60 miles of the STP, following the spray-painted symbols all the way to Spanaway, and then rode back for a total of about 120 miles. There's only one notable climb in the whole first 60 miles of the route, which made it a quick ride; I was holding 22-25 mph on the flats, and made it down there in about three hours.

As a side-note, why oh why did they choose dark purple for the spray-paint color? It's on dark asphalt after all! I'm sure there's a reason, but those symbols aren't the easiest to see if you ask me. Maybe neon green would be better next year...

Just past Puyallup (yes that's really the name of a town around here!) there's 'The Hill', a one-mile ~7% grade, which is talked about as if it's the Alp d'Huez f-in climb... I saw people walking up it during the 2005 STP! Come on folks, that hill isn't even as bad as climbing 10th ave up Capitol Hill.

The way back from Spanaway was a totally different ride; 20+ mph headwind, tons of traffic (especially around Kent, which I now officially hate), and I was starting to tire a bit. I can't wait to roll with 1k other riders, that'll keep the traffic at bay!


Anonymous said...

I think they did dark purple last year too. I don't understand either. I was in the middle of a 30ish rider train when we entered Puyallup and the lead rider missed a turn, it's not a fun place to get lost - lots of dead ends.

I agree on "The Wall", I'd ridden the hill before years ago but not the road on the route so I was expecting something more. Just doesn't make much sense.

matt said...

Maybe Cascade has to use dark purple since the public utilities use neon colors for their markers?

It would be sweet if somebody sprayed mile-markers near all of the STP markers.. then I wouldn't even carry a cyclo-computer.