STP, the Seattle-to-Portland Bicycle Classic, is major event for both the Northwest bicycling community and the Washington State Gold Wing Touring Association (GWTA). The 200+ mile rides are the second weekend in July each year.
The largest multi-day bicycle ride in the Northwest, STP attracts up to 10,000 cyclists. The majority – over 80 percent – complete the event in two days. A hardy few, typically 16 to 18 percent, attempt the "double century" in a single day. STP began in 1979 as a U.S. Cycling Federation-sanctioned race and has evolved into one of the country’s premier recreational bicycle events and a "rite of passage" for area cyclists. About half the participants will ride STP for the first time. The average rider is not a seasoned racer, but someone who simply sets a personal goal of completing.
For GWTA, STP is also an opportunity for all our state chapters to come together in a positive way to help the community and be visible good-will ambassadors for our passion. But most of all, it’s a good ride through beautiful Washington countryside, scooting along back roads at a comfortable pace, looking for ways to help others and have a good time. The STP also represents a large fund-raising activity for chapters, but that's probably the last reason why GWTA members participate.