Riding STP Meat-Free, and in One Day with Family

  • STP Ambassador Bee Fischer is training for her first STP by bike commuting and cross-training–powered by plants.
  • Ambassador Tai Shih is training with his parents for STP in one day–at age 13. 
Riding my electric cargo bike is my favorite thing

Paul Tolmé

Tai Shih finishes STP 2023.

Bee Fischer wants to help dispel the myth that you need to eat meat to be strong.

Tai Shih wants to ride 206 miles in one day–at age 13.

Both are among Cascade’s 2024 STP Ambassadors, a diverse group of 41 individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds who are sharing their stories on social media to show that STP is for everyone. 

Click Here to Register for STP 2024!

In our last post we met Afro-Latino bike influencer KevDoes and Canadian Ambassador Neil Parkinson-Dow. Now let’s learn about two more STP Ambassadors.

Bee Henthorn
Bee Fischer rides to inspire! 

An Aerial Silks Performer Discovers Cycling

Fischer has never ridden STP, but she wants to show how someone new to cycling can train for and complete STP in two days. 

“I thought it might be helpful to see someone who is very much in the beginning of her journey,” she says. “STP will be my first bike event ever and it seems like a fun first challenge. It’s not a race, just a bunch of people on bikes having a great time going a great distance.”

Bee training for STP

She initially trained by doing one long ride on a weekday, followed by back-to-back long rides on Saturday and Sunday. “This became difficult time-wise as the mileage has increased, so I modified my training a bit.”

Fischer now bikes daily for transportation while doing CrossFit training four to five times a week, climbing one or two times a week, and occasionally running and swimming. “I’m still getting weekday rides in, just a bunch of small rides instead of one long one. It’s been a couple of months since I’ve had to use my car.” 

Fischer’s athletic adulthood is a big change from her childhood, when she was an “indoor kid” who “was always picked last in kickball and wasn’t good at sports.” 

That changed after college when she discovered aerial silks–a form of acrobatics performed while hanging from fabrics or silk. Her athleticism and confidence grew, and she began trying new sports and activities–climbing, weight lifting, and running.

Bee performs on the aerial silks

In 2022, Bee got a hand-me-down bike and fell in love with riding. Her skills and strength improved quickly. 

While STP will be her biggest bike adventure ever, training for the ride has inspired her to sign up for a triathlon. She also hopes to become a competitive CrossFit athlete.

“It’s empowering to realize that you’re capable of so much more than you think.”

In addition to exercising regularly, Fischer is a vegan who wants to encourage others to ditch meat in favor of a healthy, plant-based diet.

“I want to be another example that you don’t need meat to be strong–an idea that still persists throughout the athletic world.” 

Tai holds up his Ambassador banner

Tai Shih: STP at 13 with the Family

Training for and riding STP has become an annual family affair for Cascade Board Member Kai Shih, his wife, Ingrid Chiang, and their children. This year they are picking up the pace to ride it in one day.

In 2022, Shih and Chiang finished STP with their 9- and 11-year-old children in two days. In 2023 they again rode it as back-to-back centuries, and Shih offered his “Dad’s Tips for Riding STP with the Kids.” 

Kai and Tai and family
Cascade Board Member Kai Shih, left, and Tai, front right, are stoked about STP!

This year, their 13-year-old son, Tai, decided to challenge himself to ride the entire 206 miles in one day. Ingrid and Bei, 11, agreed to join Tai in the one-day challenge.

Like a good dad, Shih is training with them but will ride SAG during STP. 

“I don't want them to be biking in the dark. If anyone is struggling, I'll bike with them at a slower pace and turn it into a two-day ride.” He has booked a hotel room at the halfway point in Chehalis just in case. Kei, 9, will ride SAG with her father.

About 10 percent of STP riders do it in one day, which requires training for both distance and speed. Shih bought a cycling computer so the family can train at a consistent and faster pace. The family is also practicing riding in a paceline so they can draft one another, which is more efficient but requires communication and focus. 

Tai leads the paceline

“Everyone has to signal before they slow or stop. And we need to be focused so we don't accidentally crash into each other.” 

Keeping growing kids on the right bikes has been a challenge. Tai is now taller than his father.

“Tai is on my road bike, Bei is on Tai's old road bike, and Kei is riding Bei's old road bike,” Shih says. “I'm on whatever is left over.”

Tai rides STP 2023
Tai looking strong and focused during STP 2023!

In addition to providing his family with an athletic goal, Shih wants to inspire other parents. Riding STP as a family, he says, is an unforgettable experience with memories to last a lifetime.

Register for STP

Ready for more inspiration? Read how Kevin Frias is training for STP by bikepacking and gravel riding, and how Neil Parkinson-Dow is waving his rainbow maple leaf flag and encouraging more Canadians to bike southward, in “Our 2024 STP Ambassadors Ride to Inspire.

See the stories, photos, and videos of all our STP Ambassadors–and share your own–on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok with the hashtags #STP2024 and #SeattleToPortland.


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