Is there anything like fun-runs, but without the running?
August 24, 2007 7:11 AM   Subscribe

I liked doing fun runs and half marathons. Are there any other sports which offer similar events? Are bike races as beginner friendly?

A few years back I did a lot of jogging and associated fun runs, but my joints are no longer up to the strain (at least, not until I lose a bit of weight). One of the things I really enjoyed were mass participation fun-runs (5ks, 10ks, 1/2ms) at which I would invariably finish near the back but get a real buzz from anyway. I'd like to have something similar to give me targets in my day-to-day exercise.
posted by handee to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You can definitely do charity bike rides (as opposed to races)-- those are way friendly. Generally you group yourself in as beginner, intermediate or expert (by mph that you average) and ride more or less with that group. The people on the charity ride I did last month were super friendly.
posted by sneakin at 7:40 AM on August 24, 2007

I did the Trek Across Maine charity ride, and there were plenty of beginners there (self included - it was my first big group ride). Everyone had a great time, and people were very friendly. I think the majority of charity rides are more about fun than racing.
posted by mikepop at 8:24 AM on August 24, 2007

Conventional wisdom is that mountain bike racing is more noob-friendly than road bike racing, at least in the U.S. YMMV. As mentioned above, here we have lots of charity and fun bike rides (centuries, etc.) that would probably be more welcoming than racing to a beginner - dunno about across the pond.
posted by exogenous at 8:37 AM on August 24, 2007

Bicycling also has Critical Mass rides, but those are more of a political statement than a race.

Boston has occcasional midnight rides around the streets.
posted by mkb at 8:43 AM on August 24, 2007

Have you considered going for a hike? You won't find the crowds associated with the big fun runs, but you can find a great challenge and it's pretty easy to set targets and realize them. Over time you will see your hikes go from 1-2 mile quick outs, to day hikes 20+ miles or more if you want to do an overnight or two. Plus the rewards of getting to places few people have been to are great. It's also a great way to lose weight. You lose about 300-400+ calories an hour hiking (depending on if you've got a pack, terrain, etc). Its easy to burn 5000+ calories a day on the longer day hikes. If you really miss the big groups, you could join a hiking club and get out there with a group of people as well.
posted by ShootTheMoon at 8:47 AM on August 24, 2007

nth organized bike rides. Races are typically a completely different animal.
posted by jtfowl0 at 9:27 AM on August 24, 2007

You're looking for charity rides or century rides, organized by charities or local bike clubs. These range in length from 5 miles (kids rides, not really worth doing), 30 miles, 65 miles (metric century, 100 Km), and 100 miles on up. The longer ones are good since you don't have to worry about routing, food, or support. Look in your local bike shop for brochures or flyers, or check your local bike club's website.

Entry-level road bike racing is about competition and winning, and is gut-wrenchingly difficult. If you've never ridden in a pack (spacing between bicycles less than a foot) at 25+ mph, you shouldn't go to a bike race.
posted by meowzilla at 10:36 AM on August 24, 2007

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