It was my first Seattle-to-Portland one-day ride.  It was my 2nd STP; the first time took me 2 days.  130 miles the first day and 70 miles the following day.  This 2014 STP was brutal because of the heat that got up to mid-90s especially around the middle of the ride at around 100 miles.  I started cramping up after the mid-point stop at Olympia and I actually started to turn around ready to call it quits.  I figured that I wouldn't be able to finish even if I rested a while. But the cramps eventually went away. I finished a bottle of Gatorade, I rested for about 15 minutes, and I just kept the legs moving and pedaling.  Mile 105 to about mile 130 was the toughest stretch because of the intense heat, the heavy lunch--which is a big lesson-learned, and just the thought of you're only halfway and that you still have another 100 miles to go.  

I started about 15 minutes ahead of everyone just to get that head start and just to make sure that my expected pace would give me enough time to make it to Portland before sunset.  I spent about 30 minutes in Olympia which, thinking back, was too long a break for me because it was so difficult to get back on the saddle and my legs felt stiff for a while, even having some bad cramps.  I also had a big bowl of spaghetti which I think was also too big and too sudden and that I felt so heavy after lunch.  

Despite the cramps and the heat slowing me down, I pretty much stayed on pace and on schedule as I had planned. I also rode alone and so I didn't have the benefit of any kind of draft.  I saw a lot of people getting flat tire and ending up on the side of the road for other reasons.  I really have to just be thankful I finished the way I did.  

Overall, this was another well-organized ride by Cascade Bicycle Club.  Kudos to the organizer, the volunteers, and everyone else who made it happen.  This was another awesome ride and I hope to be able to do it every year.