Frequently Asked Questions about the Group Health STP Presented by Alaska Airlines

Q: Are the roads closed to vehicle traffic?

A: No.  Riders are expected to follow and obey the rules of the road.  Please be respectful of the local communities we ride through and people trying to go about their day.  There are many police on route and they can and will ticket cyclists not following the law.  We ride on many roads and bike trails that will require you to stay single file, do not cross center lines, do not ride more than two abreast and remember that single file is safer. 

Q: How long does it take for STP to sell out?

A: If there were a way for us to predict this we most certainly would, but it is impossible for us to know.  STP traditionally sells out within 2-4 weeks after opening to the general public.  The real answer is, if you don't want to miss out, don't wait!  Sign up as soon as it goes on sale to the public, or if you want to absolutely gaurantee a spot, become a member and sign up during the one month members only period.  For details on becoming a member and membership benefits click here.

Q: I didn't get in before it sold out, is there a waiting list?

A: We do not have waiting lists for our events.  STP could reopen one month before the event.  Keep your eye on the STP webpage as we near the 30 day mark.  If we get enough refunds we will sell more spots.  

Q: If I register to do the ride in two days but decide to do it one day what do I have to do?

A: All that you need to do is put your bags on the Portland truck at the start line instead of the mid-point trucks. Now you are committed and it is on to Portland. 

Q: How do I find my bib number for packet pickup?

A: Group Health STP Presented by Alaska Airlines rider bib numbers can be printed from your online account.

Printing Instructions. You will need to bring your bib number to packet pickup. You can pick up packets for other people as long as you have their bib number and your photo ID.  If you paid for packet mailing, you will not need your bib number printed.  If you lose or misplace your bib number, you can still pickup your packet at the packet pickup times listed with photo ID.  

Q: Can a minor ride unaccompanied?

A: Cascade Bicycle Club and STP do not recommend that minors ride unaccompanied. A parent or supervising adult must ride the course with them; and, minors must have the “Consent to Medical Care and Treatment of a Minor” form on the back of their number bib signed by a parent or legal guardian.  Cascade does not take responsibility for unaccompanied minors and your minor cannot be placed in a support vehicle without the consent of their supervising adult.  

Q: Is there a special rate for families?

A: Riders or passengers from the ages of 1 to 12 have a discounted $55 registration fee. Age is determined based on the event date. A separate registration form must be completed for each person.  

Q: Do Cascade Bicycle Club members get a discount?

A: Yes, members get a $20 discount.

Q: What is the registration fee for tandem riders?

A: Each rider must complete a registration form and pay the entry fee to get a registration packet, food at food stops, baggage services, souvenirs - the full STP package of services and support.

Q: Can I get a refund after I register for Group Health STP Presented by Alaska Airlines?

A: Yes, a 75% refund is available up to a month before the event. After that date there are no refunds for any reason, medical or otherwise. Registrations are NOT transferable. View the detailed policy.

Q: Where is packet pickup?

A: Packet pickup will be at REI in Portland and in Seattle.  Packets will also be available at the start line. Please see the Packet Pickup section for details.

Q: Can I get my packet mailed to me?

A: Yes you can for an additional fee. See the registration page for details.

Q: Can I pick up a packet for another person?

A: Yes, as long as you have their confirmation and your photo ID.

Q: Can I pick up my packet at the start line?

A: Yes, you can; but, please allow extra time due to the hectic nature of the starting line.

Q: Do I have to make my own arrangements for midpoint housing?

A: Yes, see the helpful information on the lodging pages

Q: May I ride with one ear bud? Or two?

A: Whatever your opinion on earbuds all safety factors concerning them change when you ride in a group of 10,000 people of varying ability.  We do not allow earbuds on any of our events as a courtesy to the riders around you.  Remember that you are not only endangering yourself, but you are endangering others.  We ask that people use their voice or a bell to communicate to their fellow cyclists about passing, stopping, and hazards.  Don't drowned them out.  You can do whatever you like on your own time, but when you register for STP you have agreed to follow the rules and restrictions set by the event organizer.  If necessary to check, use, or answer a cell phone or pager, cyclists must first pull off the road or trail and stop. 

Q: I would like to produce my own STP jerseys, T-shirts or other merchandise for my group, club or charity. Can you send me the event artwork?

A: Cascade logos and artwork may not be used on clothing other than that which is officially produced for the event. Official event merchandise is available for order and for purchase online or at the event finish line. If you would like to produce a custom jersey for your riding group that doesn't incorporate the event logo, our friends at JL Velo are happy to help. More info available here.

Q: I see riders with really low numbers. How can I get a number less than 100?

A: Volunteers who donate their time to STP can earn a free registration with a volunteer designated bib number less than 100.  Also, you may purchase the Cascade Season Pass which includes guaranteed entry into all of our major rides.  For an additional fee you can purchase a 2-digit number ($100) or 1-digit number ($300) of your choosing.  Numbers are on a first come, first serve basis.

Q: Can I park my car or camper at the start line on Friday night?

A: Yes, beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday night you can park in the North end of the E-1 parking lot at the University of Washington. For Friday night parking you will need to buy a parking pass in advance via the registration form or at packet pickup. Please do not arrive before 5 pm on Friday.  The UW does NOT permit tent camping in the grass next to the parking lot.  See Start Line page for details.

Q: How do I get my bags to the midpoint and then to the Finish line?

A: Please remember that your bags are being loaded and unloaded by volunteers, not professional baggage handlers.  A maximum of two bags (20lbs ea.) per rider will be transported from the start line to the listed mid-point locations or to the finish line (one day riders). Locations and times are listed under baggage services section. Your bib number comes with two luggage tags that must be attached to your bags.  Please see the baggage service page for more details.

Q: I am flying out of Portland after the ride, can you transport my bike box to Portland?

A: Yes you can for an additional bike box shipping fee of $20. See the registration page for details. Your bike box can be transported directly to the finish line on the Portland baggage truck. Make sure to put the bike box tag on the box then put it on the Portland truck and it will be waiting for you when you arrive in either one or two days.

Q: How do I get back from Portland?

A: You may purchase return transportation for yourself (by bus) and/or for your bike (by truck) for an additional fee. You must sign up for this service in advance by using the registration form or at packet pick-up. (Note:  both Bus and Bike Only tickets often sell out prior to packet pickups.)

Q: What if I can’t make it to Portland? Will STP support vehicles give me a ride home or to the finish line?

A: No. The support vehicles are on the road to provide emergency services to those riders in need. They will transport stranded riders to the nearest STP food stop or mini stop for mechanical or medical assistance. If the rider is unable to continue, he or she will need to make their own arrangements to get to their final destination.

Q: What happens to my bags if I don’t make it to the finish line?

A: All unclaimed bags are brought back to the Cascade Bicycle Club offices in Seattle. Lost and found hours are between 9am and 5pm.  Pick them up prior to August 1st.  After the 1st all unclaimed items will be donated to charity. 

Q: How hilly is the route?

A: The majority of the ride is on beautiful, rolling rural roads. For a 200+ mile ride the route is pretty flat with the “Big Hill” coming at the 45-mile mark. It’s a mile long with about a 7 percent grade.  Then there is a 15 mile stretch of rolling small hills shortly after the halfway point, the Longview bridge over the Columbia River crossing into Oregon and the bridges going into Portland. See Route Logistics page for maps and details.

Q: What kind of food is served at the Official STP Food Stops?

A: The food that is served is high carbohydrate and high energy types of foods. The food is not meant to be a meal but is designed to keep you going. If you need a meal or have special dietary needs you should plan accordingly. Typical food at the stops include items like Clif bars, bagels, fruits, cookies, and small sandwiches or wraps.

Q: Will I have to pay for food on the ride?

A: At the Official STP Food Stops the food is part of your registration. These stops are located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Centralia (for one-day riders only), Lexington and St. Helens. There are many other Mini Stops (not STP sponsored) that are fundraisers for local community groups and have food for sale.  See the Route Logistics page for more details.  Food at the free food stops is not meant to be a full meal.  If you are looking for more than your standard ride snacks and food please support a local business along the way!  

If you have dietary restrictions we have worked to accommodate many of the most common ones, but you should have some bars that you know you can eat and you may have to purchase food along the way.  We ride through many towns and by grocery stores that can accommodate your specific needs.  

Q: How will the new food stop at Joint Base Lewis-McChord be handled?

Entry onto the base will be for registered riders and pre-approved STP support vehicles only.  We are entering the base through an exclusive gate and Military Police will be loooking for official rider bibs for entry onto the base.  This is an STP exclusive look at our military and it only comes with official registration of the event.  Entry will have open and close times, these times (TBD) will be on your official STP route map.   We have made the open times accommodate both early and late starts, as well as adjusted for the varying speed of riders.  Be aware of these times, an alternate route (the old route on SR- 507) is possible if you miss the gate.  Personal Support Vehicles will not be admitted through the STP gate.  You can meet your support vehicle on either side of the base like the rest of the route the 12 miles on base will be well supported and the traffic controlled by the military.  You do not need personal support on this section of the ride. 

Q: Why am I given numbers for the front of my bike and helmet?

A: Your bike number has many purposes

  • It is your ticket for free food and services at each of the sponsored STP food stops
  • The bike numbers and helmet numbers are used by the photographers to take event pictures. If these numbers are not visible they will not be able to match you with your picture. Proofs and an order form for these pictures will be mailed to riders shortly after the event.
  • Your bike number will be used for bike shipping/pick up.  You must have your bib number in order to claim your bike.  
  • This number will also be on your luggage tag and used to match you to your bag
Q: How can I locate another rider during the event?

A: With 10,000 riders on the road it is virtually impossible for Group Health STP staff to track down riders. We suggest that riders with these concerns carry cell phones or personal radios to keep in touch.

Q: Do the medical stations give out over the counter drugs? (Aspirin, ibuprofen, allergy medicine, etc.)

A: The aid stations provide basic first aid to get you back on the road and have limited medical supplies. Over the counter drugs will ONLY be at staffed medical stations, which are located at the free food stops.  Mini stops will not be equipped with medication, only basic first aid supplies.  Please carry your own medication to cover known conditions and plan ahead for common occurrences such as muscle fatigue, saddle sores, sun burn, and chapped lips.  

Q: Is there a map of the route?

A: Yes, One will be included in your rider packet or you can download the PDF from the Route Logistics page.

Q: Does Cascade offer any services to help me train?

A: Cascade has an annual Cascade Training Series that starts in April and goes all the way to STP. Note that this program is fee-based and the limited registration opens the same time as STP. The CTS page also has instructions for taking advantage of Cascade’s Free Group Rides program to design your own personal training program.

Want to test your fitness prior to the event?  Local century rides are a great way to do it.  Cascde Bicycle Club has the Flying Wheels Summer Century at the end of May (Redmond, WA).  The Portland Wheelmen host the Pioneer Century on June 6th (Portland, OR).  Find a supported century near you.

Lost and Found

Mark everything with your name, phone number, bib number and lodging location for each night. After the ride, all unclaimed items will be taken to the Cascade Bicycle Club offices at 7787 62nd Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98115, where they will be available starting the Wednesday after the ride from 9 am to 5 pm. Call (206) 522-3222 for more information. Unclaimed items will be donated to charity after August 1. Bicycles unclaimed at the University of Washington may be retrieved during lost and found hours by payment of a $10 per day storage and handling fee.

Q: Where can I get additional information about STP?

A: Email or call the office at (206) 522-3222.