The STP is over and I have had time to recover and mull over my performance as well as the bikes performance. I had a bit of bad luck going in. I broke my prescription sunglasses at my house the morning of the STP. I hit 2 major potholes on a 33mph descent at around mile 15 during the STP and crashed with a front flat at mile 20 and mile 155. My rim needed to be repaired by use of pliers and sandpaper. And I received some 12 sq inches of abrasions during those falls. All of this obscured the performance of my riding and my bike.
Looking back after a week I can now see how I did without the blur of the accidents that occurred. I averaged 16.9 mph for the first 120 miles, I slowed down from Winlock onward after a near brush with heat exhaustion. I now know how important it is to douse myself in water while riding to keep cool in hot weather. This is something I have been told before but it didn't really sink in until I noticed symptoms of heat exhaustion on the way to Napavine. Clammy skin and feeling cool at the skin layer (best I can describe it). I stopped when I noticed the clammy skin and used my spare water bottle to cool down.
Due to my wheel issues from the crash I also climbed Puyallup using a gear of 34.6 inches. I didn't love it but I was able to without too much issues. This tells me that I could and should bump up my gearing on the raptobike putting my low at 25gi instead of 20gi. I will also add a water bottle cage to the raptobike on the handle bars. This will free up my jersey pocket that I dedicated to this.
I also found that Cytomax is awesome and I do very well with it as long as I have water besides. Next year I will do the STP in one day. I have a number of modifications to the raptobike that I plan on.
- Terracycle Idlers - the current ones are not as efficient and the power side idler currently is dragging badly.
- Water bottle cage for the handlebars.
- A second mirror (B&M Cyclestar 901/3)
- A rear rack probably from Tubus, maybe the airy. A good base to mount my tailbox too.
- a homemade Coroplast Tailbox. I have a design in mind that will be aerodynamic, have a decent carrying capacity and have a latching enclosure. I will also build cargo stops inside to allow me to keep smaller loads closer to the front and near the seat.
- 38mm Schwalbe Kojaks to replace the 28mm Schwalbe Duranos.
- A front fender.
- A larger front chainring (62T)
- slightly lowered handlebars