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Thread: STP training

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    STP training

    I started cycling last september and recently decided that a good training goal for this year would be to do the STP in one day (hopefully in under 12 hours). Is there anything I should know about training for that which isn't obvious? What would be a good training goal for May if the ride is in July?

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    Center of the Universe ngateguy's Avatar
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    Here is a link to the Cascade training guide website, They have lots of good pointers. Good luck and enjoy the ride

    http://cascade.org/EandR/stp/stp_mileage.cfm
    Matthew 6

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    easy to do, if you can put in the time

    I did a one day STP last year, also as a training goal. I followed the one day rider training schedule from the CBC website, got a professional bike fitting, and finished in 12 hours (11 hours in the saddle).

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    so whatcha' want? bigskymacadam's Avatar
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    ... and start your fueling strategy. you're gonna want to know what your performance will be after eating certain items. if you can find a group to ride it with, it makes it super fun. you'll get to portland quicker too

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    Senior Member smurf hunter's Avatar
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    I was contemplating a one-stp (never STP before), but have 2 buddies wanting a two-day, so going along with that plan for now.

    I've got a reasonable understanding of my endurance and energy needs for 50 miles rides, but don't yet have a frame of reference for epic distances. I'm guessing it's not simply linear (at speed x every y miles takes z calories - or whatever).

    -Sean

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Pratt
    I did a one day STP last year, also as a training goal. I followed the one day rider training schedule from the CBC website, got a professional bike fitting, and finished in 12 hours (11 hours in the saddle).
    Brian, I want to do the STP in one day myself (2008 Seattle-To-Portland), and was wondering what type of bike would be ok for it? I mean, assuming that I get a good, comfortable, bike fit for long distance riding, and I follow the schedule for a double century ride, would it be possible to do it in one day on say, a touring bike? or a cyclocross bike?

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    Quote Originally Posted by fat_bike_nut
    Brian, I want to do the STP in one day myself (2008 Seattle-To-Portland), and was wondering what type of bike would be ok for it? I mean, assuming that I get a good, comfortable, bike fit for long distance riding, and I follow the schedule for a double century ride, would it be possible to do it in one day on say, a touring bike? or a cyclocross bike?
    Hey FBN,

    2008 is good, 2007 and 2008 is better! I started biking a year after knee surgery (torn meniscus, not a huge deal), and went from literally no distance experience to the one day STP in a single spring and summer. Set your goal aggressively, it's doable this year!

    I bought a race-ey bike suitable for touring (a Lemond Croix de Fer, not terribly expensive, steel frame, nice wide handlebars) and (stressing this again) got a professional bike fitting. You could do it on a sit-up-and-beg type bike but wind resistance adds up over time. You do see an amazing variety of bikes on STP, though, even some with knobbies - there was even a skateboarder(!!!), and I hear stories of guys on Big Wheels (yeah, the plastic toys). Personally I like the drop handlebars since it's at least three hand positions to rotate through. With a mountain type handlebar set you get only one hand position, and that's bad (for me, anyway).

    The two big things that will get you to Portland in one day are:
    1. present-minded on-bike nutrition and hydration (just go high tech, bars and goo, and powder in the bottle, figure out what works for you then bring your own to the ride - DO NOT sample the drink powder handouts at the ride, your gut will revolt), and
    2. the ability to ride in a paceline (not a crazy fast one, mind you, but one full of other riders your speed), and for that you need a bit of practice - go on some CBC rides or (as I did) just do Flying Wheels to get the feel of a large organized ride event and learn some paceline ettiquette. After STP I did Hot August Days in Wenatchee, it was lightly attended, my buddy couldn't make it, so no paceline or partner to share the fight with headwinds and I cracked at mile 100 of 150 (mind you, that was a lot more climbing and some wicked heat, but it taught me not to try to go it alone again).

    Just put in the time on the bike per that CBC schedule, which looked daunting to me at first but quickly became a joy. You'll have to create an understanding with your S.O. because you pretty much won't be home weekends as the miles pile on, but if he/she/they are supportive of your goal then you are in for an amazing and transformative experience, and you'll do a one day STP like you've been riding double centuries all your life. Oh yeah, and don't forget that your chain is a consumable - I left mine on way too long and it ate my drivetrain. And get clipless pedals/shoes, so you can use all your leg muscles (a little spooky for the first 10 minutes, then autonomic, just set 'em as loose as they go then leave them that way).

    For ongoing inspiration I'd recommend a subscription to Bicycling magazine, it seems geared to us noobs and duffers.

    Good luck, have fun, you can do this - it's not as hard as everyone wants everyone else to think it is!

    - Brian

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    Thanks for the advice, Brian.

    The reason I'm holding off until 2008 is because I don't have a bike to train with right NOW. I probably won't be able to get one until like...June this year

    I also prefer dropped handlebars myself, as flatbars make my wrists hurt after about 5-10 miles.

    I'm not married, nor do I have a girlfriend. It's mainly just unsupportive family that's blocking my way, my Mom especially (see my "So How Bike Friendly is Seattle, Exactly?" thread for details). And the STP training schedule on the Cascade Cycling Club's website doesn't look very daunting at all. If anything, I'd probably want to do many more miles during the week than what's advised

    I love to ride extremely long distances on my bike, which is why I wanna do this thing in one day; the problem is, I haven't found a bike reliable enough to last more than 40 miles at a time before deciding to break down on me. Or if it is reliable enough, its geometry is more suited to mountain biking than to road riding, which I cannot stand for more than 5-10 miles at a time (those darn flatbars).

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    I don't know your financial situation, but you can find some decent cycle to rent (or borrow) for the occasion, or a decent used one in time. And given the relative flatness of the STP route, you might be able to do it using a "bombproof" fixed or single speed gear with a old road frame.

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    Quote Originally Posted by genman
    And given the relative flatness of the STP route, you might be able to do it using a "bombproof" fixed or single speed gear with a old road frame.
    Not in one day

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    Wanna race? goldbam's Avatar
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    I did one day last year also, and let me just say, it is SOOO rewarding to pull in and get that one day badge. It's also nice to know you don't have to wake up the next cold morning and ride another 100 miles which is what I did in 05' (bad mistake, it was cold and raining the next morning).

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    I'm planning on doing the STP this year in one day. I'm doing it on a touring bike. Anyone interested in forming a group? 14-15 hours bike time (14.5 hrs x 14mph = 203); 2.5 hrs off the bike, so pull into Portland at about 10 pm (I hope they're still handing out 1 day patches then.) I think, that as a group, that would be an achievable goal (newbies OK, as long as you get some group riding experience before the event.)

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    Hello again trace22clawson,

    I'm sorry I can't do the STP this year with ya, 'cuz I know that riding a paceline is a lot easier with two or more people and doing the STP in one day is easier with a paceline.

    How's your training going? Is your touring bike up to snuff so far? I was wondering whether to go with an unloaded loaded tourist or a 'cross bike for the ride.

    An edit to an earlier post: actually, it looks like I might not get a new bike until July-August-ish. Maybe I can get it in July if I beg all my relatives to give me money only for my birthday and accumulate enough for a new bike (none of them think that a bicycle should cost more than what's at Wal-Mart).

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