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How to !!Succeed!! in STP
   -> Seattle to Portland Bicycle event:
      200 miles, 1 day


What To Do for Riding 200 Miles in One Day

Ride 200 miles in the Seattle to Portland Bicycle event?
Yeah, sure, in my dreams.  I'm over 50, how can I do that?

Yet, I've done it two years, in a row, in one day each.....
but I've also !!FAIL!! and done just about everything wrong a person can.
    Drink before you're thirsty!
       the Sodi(um) jerk will get'ya
    Eat before you're hungry!
       the Stomach Curmudgeon rules and has the Osmotic Police to enforce!
    Max Heart Rate is 220 - age (or so)!??!
       and fat burning shuts down at 75(%)!

This is the book I wish someone would have given me before I was foolish enough to try.

Books in the STP library

WTF - If you knew this why didn't you tell me?

OK, riding a bike is "It's Simple".
Yeh, Right
All you have to do is:

  1. Eat before you're hungry,
  2. Drink before you're thirsty,
  3. Be confident and well conditioned, and
  4. have decent, fitting equipment.

Yeah, yeah, yadda, yadda, be strong, conditioned, blah, blah.

But, WTF!! why didn't they tell me about "little things" like Max Heart Rate! Greedy Piglets! Osmotic Police! Bowel Cleansing!
Etc! Etc! Etc!

The secretive young jerks, waning to make a fool of me(?), keep silent.
.....or maybe they are clueless young jerks...

==> I need a Book!
How not to !!FAIL!! at STP!! Book:  WTF?

How to !!FAIL!! At Riding STP: It's Simple!
   The Book I Shoulda Had

200 miles in one day of pedaling is a long time to ride a bicycle. That's what I had to do to complete the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Event in that one day. 16 hours is an interesting length of time: a lot can happen. While the "course" is not particularly "hard" 200 miles isn't easy, even if everything goes well!

While I've survived to complete the 200 miles in one day for two years in a row, I've also not made it multiple times with a big !!FAIL!!. I suspect I've done just about everything wrong a person can do.

This is the book that I wish I had had when I started riding longish distances - like more than 10 miles: something to tell me what the simple rules of "drink before thirsty" and "eat before hungry" really mean. Book:  Introduction

The Agony of Max Heart Rate: 220-Age

If you check with the American Heart Association, they will inform you something like, "while everyone's max heart rate is difference, they all decline with age: something like '220-age'.

But what they don't tell you is the "collateral damage":

  1. Max Speed ~= Max Heart Rate
  2. Your Stomach shuts down at 75% MHR!
  3. Stomach shut down == no water!
Just try eating a burger while on a long ride! Maybe the "kids" can do it and then ride slowly but that is faster than your !!FAIL!! hammer! Book:  Max Heart Rate

Fueling: Eat Before You are Hungry

OK, "eat before you're hungry".
But, my MHR is way too low so I'm basically "time trialing" for 16 hours(!), and, it is warm, I'm drinking a bunch, so how and what do I shove in to me?

I have and have seen lots of bad examples!

So, a very simple way to !!FAIL!! on STP, is: don't worry about food:
just eat what "feels good" at the moment in the service area or in the stands selling burgers and fries.
Or, just don't eat at all and "burn off that lard".
Yep, sure fired way to !!FAIL!! and end up like some oversized road kill. Book:  Fueling

Hydration: Drink Before You are Thirsty

OK, "drink before you're thirsty".
Yeah, as I noted in Fueling, not only is the water "hydrating" it is also transporting fuel. The fuel management part of it might be enough, but, how to tell?

Most of my bad examples have been me! It is really hard to tell if dehydration or over-hydration with no electrolytes, is a problem until a person, figuratively, keels over.

Definitely, drink before thirsty, but when and how much to avoid !!FAIL!! cramps, slosh, desiccate, roast, etc.?
Yep, sure fired way to !!FAIL!! and end up road kill is to not worry about hydration and electrolytes! Book:  Hydration

Old, rusty clunkers and blue jeans

At the start line for the 2008 STP, there was at least one guy on a uni-cycle and 3 folk with old clunker road bikes (complete with market basket and read baskets). They seemed to be awfully casual about the ride (they did say it was their first time) in their blue jeans and sneakers.
No, they weren't planning on a one day ride, but, as the expression goes, "better them then me"!

Yes, a person could ride STP in one day with most anything, but it is oh so much easier to !!FAIL!! by having less than decent equipment. I studiously try to avoid things like sore butt and pain in the legs, etc.

I view that decent bicycle equipment is mandatory for a one day ride, but even more important are the "details": seat, shorts, fit, etc. Book:  Equipment

Bicycle Technique

Don't get hit! Book:  Technique

Bio-mechanical Breakdown

Don't strain yourself. Book:  Conditioning

Luck and Confidence Book:  Luck and Confidence

Mud Splats On My Bike: Notes, experiences, and Stories from riding my bike

Sometimes, you miss the puddle,
other times the puddle misses you,
but then all too often, you and the puddle become one.

When one is riding long distances, like 200 miles, one often has "experiences": some good, some not so.

But good judgment comes from experience,
and the best remembered/learned from "experiences" are the ones that came from bad judgment (or bad luck).

This book captures some of those experiences, the good, but mostly the well remembered bad ones.  This is the feedstock and the capture of knowledge for the other books on How to !!FAIL!! at STP. Book:  Mud Splats

Recent Commentaries
in STP

STP:MudSplats - March 14, 2017
2.5  A Long Distance Ride
STP:MudSplats - June 20, 2015
4.5  Hydration Bowel Cleansing
STP:WTF - April 21, 2015
1  Introduction:WTF
STP:WTF - April 20, 2015
4  Eat Before Hungry??
STP:WTF - April 20, 2015
9  Have Fun!
STP:WTF - April 20, 2015
8  Everything Else
STP:WTF - April 20, 2015
7  Training and Conditioning
STP:WTF - April 19, 2015
3  Heart Of The Matter
STP:WTF - April 18, 2015
5  Drink Before Thirsty???
STP:WTF - April 18, 2015
6  Salt?
STP:WTF - April 11, 2015
2  Know? then Fuhgeddaboutit
STP:MudSplats - February 25, 2015
4  Fueling
STP:MudSplats - February 25, 2015
4.4  NYT - Fats or Carbs?
STP:MudSplats - February 24, 2015
4.3  WSJ - Ease Up On Water
STP:MudSplats - June 28, 2014
4.2  Fattening Up The Greedy Piglets
STP:MudSplats - January 21, 2014
4.1  Carb Loading, Sarb loading!
Carpe Diem: What you can envision, you can achieve!sm
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