(Update: July 14, 2012 — See photos from 2012 STP.)
With pleasant weather forecast for this weekend’s Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic, the gnarliest part of the ride just might be getting to the starting line.
An official 10,000 cyclists could be leaving the University of Washington parking lot early Saturday morning for the 202.5-mile one-, or two-day bike ride to Portland’s Holladay Park.
To avoid some of that, the hosts at the Cascade Bicycle Club have arranged for a Friday night baggage drop and bike check at the UW parking lot ($5 for luggage and $5 for bikes). It will be open from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday in the E-1 parking lot. (Check the pre-ride guide for details.)
Cyclists who drop off their bags early can simply leave their home by bike early Saturday morning and meet the ride in progress. Eastside cyclists, for instance, can meet the riders at the base of the I-90 bridge or in Renton.
If you labelled your luggage accurately, it will magically show up in Centralia, Portland, or whatever other stop you chose.
The bike route is posted online at Garmin Connect and in the rider packet that you received in the mail or picked up.
Who are the 10,000 riders on this year’s STP?
Cascade says 2,624 are women and 7,376 are men. The oldest cyclist is 85 years old and one — Jerry Baker of Seattle — has ridden in all 33 STPs.
The cyclists represent four countries — the US, Canada, Malaysia and Thailand. Those from the US come from 40 different states.
Not surprisingly, the largest contingent comes from Washington state — 7,740. Of that, 2,049 come from Seattle.
Temperatures are forecast in the low 60s for the start of the STP in Seattle with highs in the mid-80s at the hottest part of the day, whether you’re in Chehalis or Portland. The weather on Sunday will be a couple of degrees cooler.
Good luck to everyone on this year’s ride, and be safe.