Events I have watched and/or participated in

This page provides an overview of some of the events and activities I have participated in.


The STP Bicycle Ride

The STP (Seattle-to-Portland) bicycle classic is a two-day, 200 mile bicycle ride that is put on every year by the Cascade Bicycle Club. Every year, about 7000-8000 cyclists participate. It starts on the University of Washington campus in Seattle, Washington and heads down to a city park in the Rose Quarter neighborhood of Portland, Oregon. I have done the ride three times. It is fully supported and a lot of fun. It is possible to do the ride without being exceptionally fit (Hey, I can do it) but of course some training would be a good idea. I have found that my daily commute to work is sufficient training to be able to handle the ride. Those who are exceptionally fit have the option of doing the whole ride in one day, and then gloating (and fighting cramps) on the second day. A few truly insane people ride down on one day, and back to Seattle on the next. Mortals like me take chartered buses back. My cousin has done the ride multiple times on a unicycle. Scenery is good and 99% of people are very friendly, though there always seems to be at least one bitter hick in a rusty pickup truck shouting insults. People like them are probably just jealous because they will never have the resolve to be able to achieve even the relatively modest goal of riding a bike a couple hundred miles in two days. Overnight options are camping at various sites, or if you reserve well in advance, hotels in any one of the many small towns along the route.


Land Rover club events

PCRC (Pacific Coast Rover Club), the Land Rover car club that I belong to, offers the chance to participate in a variety of club activities over the course of the year. They range from too-extreme-for-my-tastes off road challenges (body damage expected) To more casual off and on road outings, and two British car shows every year. It could be considered a support group for people nutty enough to drive anything built by the British, but it is a good way to meet people with some common interests. Besides, if you use something like a 1962 Land Rover as your daily driver, you need to have a good local network to find parts and advice.


Port Townsend Kinetic Sculpture race

Port Townsend is a small town on the Olympic Peninsula, about 2 hours from Seattle. Every Fall it hosts a kinetic sculpture race. The object of this race (as closely as can be determined, as the actual goal appears to be a guarded secret) is to build the wildest, most whimsical one-or-more-human-powered amphibious vehicle possible (you can see where my curiousity was piqued); and then to race it around a course consisting of streets, beaches, muddy slopes, and of course the bay. During competition, points can be awarded and taken away for all sorts of infractions, including but definitely not limited to: Going too fast or too slow, running over people, not having a teddy bear, bribing the judges, asking too many questions, having a dog that looks like Elvis, and stopping for ice cream too often. I only observed in 2006, as I was not sure how my (marginally practical and not very artistic) amphibike would have fit in. The amphibike would have been by far the smallest machine present, and would have probably been competitive on hard earth and the water, but I would not have done as well on soft surfaces such as mud and sand compared to some of the vehicles with much larger, wider wheels. Incidentally 2007 is the 25th anniversary of the event, and will likely be quite a spectacle as a result.