Why Over ST Johns?

I was just wondering why the route the last few years has been over the St Johns Bridge and through allllll those traffic lights.  Is it the city that dictates the route in to Portland?  It just takes so long to get to the finish line with all those red lights.


Glenn H

Submitted by Fred Julian on

Can't argue about all the lights, it probably added a half hour to the day.  However,  I came back last year after a 14 year hiatus and loved this new route.  The old one went through the industrial district with bad road surfaces and some weary hills iirc.  The new route may not be less hilly, but I think it is definitely a more attractive and pleasant entry into Portland.   

I had planned to retire last year, ending on a pleasant note, if you will.  However, I enjoyed it so much last year I came back this year for my 10th STP. 

Crossing the St. Johns Bridge itself is cool, but I hate all those traffic lights. I was gunning for a particular time goal this year and thought I had it in the bag easily when crossing the bridge...but then hit so many lights I barely managed to hit my goal.

This was my 15th STP, 14th one-day. Did several in the eighties and early-mid 90s, then returned to riding in 2009. They used the "industrial" approach that year, and I preferred it to St Johns/traffic lights of more recent years. I'd add that IMO the climb to St Johns is among the toughest on the course, because it's so steep and comes when we're so tired.

While we're on this subject, one other finishing site I remember from long ago, that was really nice: Delta Park, up along the Columbia River. Not far from the St. Johns Bridge, and the final approach was by bike trail. The big downside to Delta Park, though, is that it's so far from downtown and all hotels. Probably not possible to go back there, given how large the event has grown.

This was my fifth STP, and my 1st 1 day.  In all my rides I have noticed there is no police support in Oregon.  In Washington there is police support from Seattle to Kelso. It would be nice to have some help through the intersections on the final leg of the ride.

Submitted by Jim Werner on

with some being one day riders and others two day riders it would be too expensive to have police out there for two days. in addition the riders straggle into portland over such a long period of time.  your argument has wings if they had the one day riders go out on sunday as they formerly did.  also when coming down from seattle they are able to eliminate the police presence as the morning wears on.

since i live in portland i take my own route through portland as some others do.  many portland riders just ride straight home and avoid the finish line.