Seattle to Portland 2022 in Photos: Tutus, Smiles, and Stoke
5,500 riders made the 206-mile journey from Seattle to Portland on July 16 and 17
From the starting line stoke to the finish line fun, we celebrate the return of the Kaiser Permanente Seattle to Portland Presented by Alaska Airlines.
They rolled out of the Husky Stadium parking lot before dawn on Saturday, July 16, heralding the return of the Pacific Northwest's most iconic and historic big group ride.
By Saturday afternoon, the first one-day finishers arrived in Portland elated and exhausted after completing the 43rd Kaiser Permanente Seattle to Portland Presented by Alaska Airlines.
On Sunday, the two-day riders including Jaanya Teli, 8, began arriving in ever-larger waves as the afternoon sun brightened the finish line festival in Holladay Park, where family and friends awaited with hugs and high fives.
STP has returned for the 43rd time following a two-year hiatus. Tell your friends and family who couldn't make it this year to mark their calendars for 2023.
Executive Director Lee Lambert sent the riders out in waves starting at 5 a.m. The course took riders through city streets while most of Seattle slept.
The University Bridge provided a stunning backdrop as the sun rose over the city.
From the bridge they headed toward scenic Lake Washington Boulevard as riders began their southbound journey.
All Bodies on Bikes co-founder Marley Blonsky was all smiles while cruising up Boyer Avenue. All Bodies on Bikes was among the affinity based bike clubs that rode No. 43 as Cascade intentionally sought to increase inclusivity and show that everyone is welcomed to join the excitement of STP.
Cascade staffers worked almost non-stop from Friday through Sunday, setting up aid stations and rest stops, driving luggage trucks, managing the Operations Center where riders could call in for assistance, and doing countless other tasks that go into holding the massive rolling party that is STP.
I followed riders for a few miles in Seattle before driving to Portland where volunteers, staff members, and our friends at the Portland Bicycle Club were busy setting up the finish line festival that included a beer garden, food trucks, music, a secure bike corral, massages, and more.
Forest Hietsap was the first person cross the line, averaging nearly 22 miles per hour. STP is a ride, not a race. Races have just one winner. Everyone is a winner on STP.
Even so, we celebrate the athletic achievement of the first finishers. Hietpas has ridden STP 14 times. He was followed by Scott Thomson, whose wife and sons greeted him with hugs--and a bubble gun.
Samantha Knapp of Spokane was the first female finisher, coming across the line on her Liv road bike and looking as if she barely broke a sweat.
One-day finisher Mary O'Donnell of Cork, Ireland, enjoyed the camaraderie of STP. "I had so much fun. It was a really nice experience."
One-day riders shared stories and sweaty hugs in the shade of Holladay Park, where bubble machines provided a fun atmosphere.
Ezell's Famous Chicken CEO Lewis Rudd, a longtime supporter of Cascade, celebrated his 31st STP at age 67 by posing in the photo area. Many spectators held signs and rang cow bells as their loved ones crossed the Finish. Participants ranged in age from eight to 80 and up.
Two-day riders began arriving early Sunday after camping in Centralia or staying at one of the other lodging stops at the mid-point.
Riders cruised up a long straight-away in a protected bike lane as they approached the finish.
Stoplights along the finishing stretch required riders to pause for green while within sight of the big green Finish banner. They took it in stride with a smile.
Marathon Foto had photographers in Portland to capture images that riders can order online from a link in their STP finisher email.
A free and secure bike corral allowed riders to drop off their bikes to enjoy a meal or drink in the beer garden.
Colorful flags lined the finishing chute, which rang with the sounds of cowbells and cheers, and where spectators took a bajillion photos.
People ride all kinds of bikes on STP. Many rode it on electric bikes, including Manuel Ramos and Susan Taber, below. "I rode STP twice on a road bike, and this is my first time on an ebike," Ramos said. They carried spare batteries and charged up overnight after riding 130 miles to Toledo. "I'm a 240-pound guy, and we ride on the lowest level of assist and just coast on the downhills and turn it off on the flats."
Board member Gabe Castillio, founder of the Filipino bicycling group Gruppetto Cycling, rode his electric road bike and looked like he could have done another 100 miles. Then there are these guys below, who rode it on vintage cruisers!
Eight-year-old Jaanya Teli was a media darling of STP 43. She trained with her father, Parthik, and was greeted like a hero by her "proud mom" and family.
Jaanya and about 30 volunteers with the nonprofit Asha for Education rode to raise money for school children in India. The Portland Oregonian sent a reporter who interviewed some Asha riders for a great feature story on the sights, sounds, excitement, and inclusivity of STP.
We are busy collecting and editing photos from the middle of STP and will file another post in the coming days with more images. Meantime, we offer a huge thank you to all the volunteers, participants, and sponsors who made STP 43 such a success. If you missed STP and want another chance to ride 200+ miles over two days, sign up for R2B2 on Aug. 20 and 21.
And one last hug for Jaanya!