From out-of-shape to the STP
April 21, 2014 12:27 PM Subscribe
So I've gotten it into my head that sometime in the next few years -- possibly as early as 2015 -- I want to participate in the Seattle-to-Portland
bike ride. Though doing it in 1 day sound like a cool accomplishment, 2 days would be fine. Difficulty level: I have zero experience with distance riding, am in somewhat poor shape, have no idea what I'm doing, and, to the delight of shopkeepers everywhere, am a total sucker for trying to combat my ignorance with my wallet.
posted by rouftop to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
My background: I've been riding casually for years, though generally just toodling around for no more than 30 minutes at a time and rarely breaking a sweat. Right now I bike to my office every day... but it's only 1.5 miles each way, and I curse at the tiny-ass hill I have to climb every time. I know nothing about bikes, bike clothing, maintenance, riding etiquette, or how to fix my stupid kickstand so my bike won't fall down when breathed on. My current bike is a 5 year old Specialized Sirrus Hybrid
. My helmet was the cheapest one on the shelf at the time of purchase.
Talk me through the process of becoming a competent distance biker, from (reasonable) purchases through riding regimen.
- What kind of bikes do people ride for distance? (corollary: How much money am I about to drop on a bike?) Aluminum? Carbon? Potassium? (That would be a hell of a ride!) Disk brakes? Shifters? etc ad nauseum
- How much time do I need to devote each week to riding? I've seen the recommended distance workouts on STP's site but have no concept of how much time people spend on their thrice-weekly rides.
- I own no specific biking clothing. What's useful? Like, how many pairs of biking shorts should I have in my closet? (I live in Seattle, so: consistent drizzle.)
- Are hills ever enjoyable?
- What questions am I not asking that I should be?
Beyond this ride, I like the idea of bike touring, possibly even trying multi-day trips involving camping or motels. But all on roads -- mountain biking is not my thing.