STP Summative Overview -Portland Bicycling Club

STP Summative Overview

The 2023 STP is in the books once more. About 5500 riders completed the 204 miles by Sunday evening. For PBC, the work started months before the first rider headed south Saturday. Permits from the City needed to be obtained. Dozens of PBC volunteer slots were filled. The Skyview High School coaches agreed to bring their athletes to handle the truckloads of baggage and bicycles. Scores of smaller tasks were completed. All the while, emails and phone calls flew back and forth, bouncing between PBC, Cascade Bicycle Club, the DoubleTree Hotel, and Portland government. After months of work, the preparations were complete in late June. 

On Friday morning, the big weekend kicked off. Buses and trucks pulled up to the DoubleTree and eager riders loaded up for Seattle. Barricades were lined up in Holladay Park, concessions were readied, and the finish line completed. For long hours on Saturday and Sunday, tired riders crossed the finish line. Lines of fatigued yet proud riders loaded onto a stream of buses to return to Seattle. All the while, the Skyview kids unloaded truckloads of luggage and loaded hundreds of bikes. On Sunday evening, the park emptied, and the finish-line system was torn down. On Monday morning, weary riders lined up quietly for their bus ride back to Seattle, and the event was over for another year.

What does it take to put on this event? The answer is simple for PBC. The work of dozens of our members make this ride happen. I thought one incident characterized the willingness of PBCers to make the 2023 ride a success. On Saturday, we learned the first baggage truck would be late arriving at the DoubleTree. Our morning crew of Skyview kids had left, and the afternoon crew wouldn’t arrive until later. What to do? The answer was simple. A number of mature (older, LOL?) club members quickly pitched in, unloaded the truck, and organized the baggage in the Event Hall in short order so riders could claim their bags. Jocular humor flew as the work was done in short order. Advil might have been needed the next day, but our members saw a job needed to be done and did it without complaint. I know there were many examples of this kind of commitment throughout the weekend.

I would like to thank a few of the key people who made this event a success. Denise Hare and Dave McQuery took on the tasks of getting the permits from the City. Cindy Bernert-Coppola stepped forward to manage the all-important volunteer coordinator position. PBC veterans Corey Eng and Ann Morrow provided their energy and years of experience to function as overall advisors. Lynn Blanchard raised her hand to oversee the challenging job of return transportation team lead. I’m leaving out countless others, but as I walked around the park, I saw your smiles (usually!) and hard work all weekend. Thanks again for your hours of work. Many riders thanked me and said the ride organization was excellent. The credit goes to you all. I left the park Monday happy the event went nearly seamlessly…and went home and took a nap!

Eric Hendricks, 2023 STP Finish Line Coordinator

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