05-10-05, 11:15 PM
Hey guys (and gals)
Just curious if anyone has a link for a suggested training schedule for getting ready to tour. I checked out a link posted yesterday (maybe) from bicycle magazine for preparing for a century...but it was really more like "the century is next week...what can i do?".
We're going on our 1st tour in late August-early September in Bavaria and really looking foward to it. For now, we've just been trying to ride every day. I seem to be doing about 1-1.5 hours/day and about 20-35km in that time.
Should I just try to use the 10% rule: add 10% each week (I know that's simplifying)?? Any other suggestions since we have awhile to get prepared?
05-10-05, 11:51 PM
For August/Early September, sounds like you're doing fine. (Do you have any clue how long your days will be on the tour? Or, are you just going to explore and go with the flow?) If you have a route and definite places you are going to stay, so known distances each day, and if there are some long days, you might try some longer rides of comparable length and terrain, on the weekend.
I'd recommend not trying to keep to a rigid schedule. If it is beyond your capability, the whole tour can become a bad experience. Our best adventures have been when we had plenty of time and no place we HAD to be on any given night.
Training is good, though, and we aim to get a lot of miles in our legs before a tour, but there was one year that it was so rainy, here in Juneau Alaska, that we were both rather out of shape at the start of the tour (in British Columbia). We planned some fairly short first days with the intent of riding ourselves into shape. It should have worked, but bad info from the Canadian tourism folks left us facing a 75 mile day on day two (twice as long as the info we had said it would be). And, no options for stopping along the way, it turned out (well, there were some campgrounds down dirt roads some unknown distance off the highway). We got into the second night town/campground pretty tired, but not shattered. The next day, we woke up feeling OK.
I would suggest that you ride your bike for the fun of it. Throw in some longer rides, if you can. Then, start the tour with shorter days to see what you can deal with riding a loaded bike on the actual trip.
We are aiming for a month in southern France in September. My wife had been riding 15-25 miles every chance she gets. I have more day time available and have been riding hard and easy from 15-75 miles, usually in the 30-40 mile range. I like riding my bike and being fit. I don't view bike riding as training for anything, just a joy. On our tour, I envision days ranging from 40 km to 75 km loaded. But, we're riding through the Pyrenees, so the climbs will necessitate less mileage. Weather, how we feel, some place interesting to spend some time at, may mean some days less that 40 km. It's possible we'll want to push 100 km for a day or so (not in the mountains). We'll see.
05-11-05, 12:31 AM
That seems like sound advice. Actually the tour won't be all that demanding. We're allotting a couple weeks just b/c we can...which means that we could do as little as 50-60k per day and still be able to more or less take our time and enjoy everything around us. Supposedly the route isn't too challenging hill-wise so that shouldn't be a problem. We chose the route though as (1) it leads down to the German-Austrian border allowing great views of the Alps, (2) you don't have to actually climb in the Alps, and (3) it's a circular route. Should be interesting.
Thanks again for that info...it'll make the wife feel better! :-)
05-11-05, 11:59 AM
How about weight? Train with simulated load or just ride free?
I commute every day and as I get closer to tour I always put my front panniers on to get used to both the changed handling and the additional weight. I ride recreationally most weekends, so for the weeks before tour I usually ride with all four panniers with most of the gear. If you are going on a long tour, I'd just do low mile for the first week, you'll be fine after that. If you are only doing a week or two tour then I think it is more important to be ready for daily riding of decent distance.