Are you a Hall of Famer? STP seeks to honor its top riders

A group of cyclists roll west out of Yelm during the 2008 Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic.
A group of cyclists roll west out of Yelm during the 2008 Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic. Staff file, 2008

Becoming a Hall of Famer is now as easy as riding a bike.

It’s also as challenging as riding that bike from Seattle to Portland five times.

The Cascade Bicycle Club announced recently that it is starting a Hall of Fame for the Northwest’s largest and most famous ride: The Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic.

The STP Hall of Fame will be unveiled shortly after registration for this year’s ride opens on Feb. 13. In the meantime, the club is working to collect the names of those who’ve completed the 200-mile ride at least five times. The club is asking five-timers to fill out a questionnaire at cascade.org/stp.

“For a lot of people, the STP is a bucket list item and they only do it once,” said Brent Tongco, spokesman for the club. “But for a lot of people it is an annual tradition and they are very proud of how many times they’ve finished.

“We wanted to recognize those people. This is a badge of honor.”

The annual summer ride draws about 10,000 riders from around the world. Most take two days to finish, while about 20 percent finish in one day. The ride started as a race in 1979 but was canceled in 1980 because of the eruption of Mount St. Helens. It resumed in 1981 as a non-competitive ride. The 39th edition of the ride is scheduled for July 14-15.

Hall of Fame inductees will receive a pair of stickers denoting their status and their names will be published on the club’s website. Tongco said the club is considering eventually adding tiers to the Hall of Fame for people who’ve finished the ride 10, 20 or more times.

Tongco says nearly 1,000 people have met the requirement so far.

Noted Seattle cyclist Jerry Baker rode the first 36 STPs before he died in 2015. He’s believed to hold the record for most times finishing the ride.