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Seattle-to-Portland bike ride returns after two-year pandemic hiatus

Nearly 6,000 cyclists were registered for the 206-mile ride. Most riders take all weekend, but some finished on Saturday.

PORTLAND, Ore. — This past weekend, we saw something in Northeast Portland we haven’t seen in a while: riders finishing the Seattle-to-Portland bicycle ride, known as STP for short.  

Because of the pandemic, 2019 was the last time riders made the 206-mile ride from Seattle to Portland. This was a good Saturday to start again. 

"Oh man, it was incredible. We had mild temperatures and cloud cover practically the whole way through until we just arrived. The weather was on our side," said rider Vince Wiener after crossing the finish line at Holladay Park Saturday evening.

People armed with signs stood near the finish line, including youngsters waiting for granddad to finish but cheering for everyone. The fastest riders made the trek in just over 10 hours.

"It was a brutal ride, it's not easy for anybody," Wiener said. "Even if anybody gets here in 16 hours, which is what I got my first year I ever did it, it took me 16 hours and 47 minutes. It was brutal then and it's still brutal now, no matter what the pace is— but it's a ball." 

The first Seattle-to-Portland ride was held in 1979, and it was a race. Now it's considered a recreational ride. About 8,000 rode in 2019, a couple thousand more than this year, and organizers say that’s where they cap attendance.

Only about 500 of the 5,800 riders registered for this event were expected to cross Saturday. The rest finished on Sunday. However, all riders can claim a sense of accomplishment.

"it was great," said rider Mitch Niemela. "I started with some friends, and then I ended up pairing up with a legend, a guy 60 years old. We rode the last 80 miles together."

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