“As each player goes through the first hoop, as he undergoes a metamorphosis . . . the male antagonist becomes a creature too vile for language. The decency of womanhood has disappeared by the third hoop.”
Living Age, circa 1898, quoted in Croquet: A handbook of all the rules, strategies, techniques, and tips you need to be a better player by Steven Boga
The owner-operator of the STP and Beyond bike ride announced today that the famous Seattle to Portland ride was now a subsidiary of the longer ride.
“We are happy to incorporate the STP in our longer, more textured ride,” the announcement from the STP and Beyond organization said.
It went on to give a detailed review of this year’s ride, noting that with the smaller number of riders, individual attention can be paid to each participant.
“You can get lost in the 10,000 riders in the STP,” the announcement said. “Not so in the STP and Beyond.”
Fact checkers, despite overwork from the GOP convention, were quick to pounce on that statement, noting that riders on the first day of the ride became lost and had to carry their bikes across railroad tracks.
“Typical media, ignoring all the good things that happened and concentrating on a minor incident,” said one unidentified ride official. “If we had not sought out the Interurban Trail — not used on the STP — you would have accused us of plagiarizing the STP route. So screw you, media, we’ll say whatever serves our purpose. That seems to work for others.”
Despite getting lost in the Renton area, riders did make it to Emerald Downs in time for the first race, dinner with other participants and a night at an Auburn motel.
Day Two featured a 117-mile ride to Castle Rock in cooperation with the STP subsidiary organization. Accommodations at the fabulous 7 West Motel and dinner and breakfast at Peper’s 49er Restaurant. Who could ask for anything more?
On Day Three, riders finished the STP portion of the ride and were joined by an experienced SAG team (thank you, Wendy, Nancy and Kathy). At dinner that night at Nostrana, riders were regaled by Will, telling tales of downsizing, home sales and “positional reciprocating carnality,” an interesting concept that took little explanation.
Day Four saw more riders joining the group as it left Portland and headed up the road to Mount Hood. The first three days covered 231 miles and this was a shorter ride at 53. It took the riders to the Resort at the Mountain in Welches, OR.
The STP and Beyond, of course, is known for more than bike riding. Riders are expected to engage in other activities as well. Fancy meals and drink, get-acquainted hot tub sessions and ruthless croquet games.
The men folk this year had their sore butts handed to them by the croquet team of Nancy and Kathy, who used teamwork and stra-tee-ger-ree to win every game.
Media reports have pointed out what they choose to call another snafu on the bigger ride — something that never would have happened if riders had just stuck to the STP. Riders were promised cobbler as their dessert after dinner at Altitudes. That did not happen.
“This was totally out of our control,” the spokesperson said. “We are investigating why the cafe staff stashed the cobbler in the cooler and closed early. But again, this is nothing compared to what we bring to the bicycle riders of America. Besides, there’s no fruit cobbler on the STP.”
But one rider was especially upset about the cobbler cop-out.
“I remember the cobbler from 12 years ago on a ride through here,” she said. “I guess I’ll just have to come back in another 12 years.”
It was pointed out that she would be 81 years old then.
“So?” was her only response.
Last day of the ride had the bikers climbing up to Government Camp for a hearty breakfast before continuing on Highway 35 to Hood River.
It was there, on the deck of the Three Rivers Restaurant, that Jerry, a strong rider in tune with the flow of things, asked the group: “Is there any reason — outside of those that have to do with testosterone — why this ride should not end right here?”
With 58 miles ridden that day, a fine lunch in front of us, good friends around us and a head wind blowing up the Columbia Gorge, no one could find a reason to keep riding. The bikes were packed into the truck and van, and off we went to the Skamania Lodge for hot tubs, moonlight and a good night’s sleep.
The next day, two riders went on to Multnomah Falls, but the rest of us packed up for the trip back to Seattle, happy in our accomplishment, five pounds heavier (speaking only for myself) and looking forward to next year’s STP and the Beyond.
Life is a journey. We are on yet another one as we zigzag our way across the USA this summer. The plan is to reach Cumberland Gap National Park in the Applachian Mountains before turning around and heading back to the Spokane area. We are traveling in our trusty 26 foot, 2006 Artic Fox travel trailer pulled by a 2010 GMC Sierra truck. Mom, Margaret, is with John and me. Why should she stay home and read the blog when she can be part of the journey? I’ll try to keep it current with travel updates and photos for you to enjoy…or ponder…or laugh at...as the miles roll past us. Cherish the journey!