Padded bike shorts? I just don’t know.

ImageI work with a tremendous group of people. There are 10 of us and we have all worked together for 5 years. If I had to describe the group in general it is young, eco-conscious, athletic, dedicated, fun, solid academic pedigree (myself excluded unfortunately), nerdy (but doesn’t know it) and tablet PC loving. I am so thankful for such a talented group of people to team with.

On Friday, one of our Principals threw out the idea of our team doing an out of town bike ride together in September. The plan is to bring significant others (and maybe kids) and make a weekend out of it. The race is a popular one and is already 80% – I need to sign up if I want in. But I don’t know. Do I want in?? My outdoor cycling “experience” can be summed up as cruising the boardwalk on a garage sale beach cruiser.

The 2013 Lighthouse Century starts in Morro Bay (a major plus) and has three route options: 65 miles, 87 miles and 100 miles. I would obviously opt for the 65 mile route. But, I am still hesitant. Here is what I am thinking:


  • It would be a challenge and I like a challenge (well, sometimes and not sure if this is one of those times).
  • A fun weekend with the team and our families.
  • I really enjoy the momentum and energy around races.
  • The 65 mile route is relatively flat and along one of my favorite coastlines in California.
  • A key person in my fitness evolution (the spin instructor I wrote about here) is on board and a weekend of hanging with her is almost reason enough to say “hell yeah!”.


  • I feel way out of my league. There are some straight up athletes in the group that have a long history of accomplishment. For example, two Iron Man finishers, a multiple time Boston Marathon finisher, and two cyclists who live a mile above sea level and have crazy high altitude blood supply.
  • I am afraid of riding a road bike in totally new territory. What if it rains you guys? What if I fall off the bike?
  • Padded bike shorts are my only option if I am riding 65 miles… and I don’t think they would be all that flattering to my body type (just being honest here).
  • I don’t want to incorporate outdoor cycling into my regular routine. I imagine I could fit two outdoor rides in twice a month between now and September. That doesn’t seem like enough.
  • I don’t want to feel like a wimp for doing the 65 mile route while everyone else does the 100 mile route.

So, any thoughts? Do I dare sign up? Any experienced riders out there with some insight? Would I be setting myself up for failure if I didn’t put in some serious outdoor cycling time?

P.S. There is no way I am going to go up for the fun weekend and not do the ride. Too prideful. Not an option. Don’t even suggest it.

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