Touring - Highest Average Daily Milage
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07-26-06, 07:23 PM
I'm planning a tour from Oregon to San Diego for August. I realize this goes against a lot of the spirit of touring, but I'm looking to get there about as soon as possible. I figure if I'm running on the edge of what my body can handle I'll gain as much mentally from the trip as if I had done leisurely 50 mile days and stopped at every lighthouse along the way. Plus I'll be by myself and I'm heading to a friend's house which is the real "point" of the expedition, so I look at it as experience and training for more traditional tours later in life.
The entire trek is 1250ish miles. I feel like I could do at least 100 miles a day in my current shape, but I've never toured before and had to ride such distances on consecutive days. I would imagine you get run down, so although the prospect of two 50 mile treks a day seems easy to me, I realize it might not be the case on a loaded bike, day after day.
So I ask, what are the highest daily averages you guys feel you could maintain on tours, whether you really maintained this average or not?
07-26-06, 08:48 PM
I dont know, but I'm sort of in the same posistion. We are departing for our CC tour August 25 and are starting the TransAm (but we might change to WesternExpress--->TransAm) and we've got to cross the Rockies ASAP and get out of the mountians before the weather gets bad.
My suggestion is, even on your rest day (if you plan on taking one) try to get in 50 miles. The easiest way to make a goal is to pick a point where you are going to stay the next night on your map and dont stop till you get there. I also find it easier to ride more miles in the morning (less traffic and cooler) and then less miles in the afternoon.
Ive spoken to a guy here that did his CC tour and with 2 weeks to go he was way behind schedule and had a flight to catch. He woke up at 5am and got in a 100 miles or so. And he usually had that finished in time for a late lunch. Then he just hung around until 6 or so and took off for another 40 miles. He said it wasnt so hard because after you spend 4 hours by yourself in a town (without setting up camp) you are eager to get back on the bike and make your destination.
You can probably find a lot of people who have done the same route you are planing, on crazyguy, and actually look at their mileage logs. The hourly mileage question has come up pretty often here and it often comes to about 10 miles an hour. Nailing 10 of those together without so much as a bathroom break is a tall order. So you are talking about going faster than the average, and since I managed the 10 mph at 47 with basically one leg that works I don't see why a fit person can't manage a lot more.
If your loaded touring one thing that you run up against is just the time spent doing stuff like setting up campsites, food, and so forth, but if you keep it simple I'm sure your could manage to pump up the speed a lot.
On my tour last year I did zero miles an hour when I couldn't turn the crank over in the lowest gear against a ferocious headwind while standing on it, and an easy near 20mph average with a slight downhill, tailwind, and nice driving conditions. So terrain and weather are huge, and you probably know what to expect if the road unwinds from your door.
I agree with the tip on morning mileage. I often find the first 40 is like clockwork, and realtively easy, but then the heat doldrums in the afternoon, and the time taken up in other things like food and campsites, often meant getting in the next 40 or more seems pretty hard.
10 mph comes up because sh*t happens.
On a day without major hills or headwinds, I always do better than that. Hpowever, its nice to have that buffer. 100 miles is 10 hours. That means leaving early (which i hate doing, I'm no morning person).
Most 1st time tourers over estimate how quicly they can go. 50lbs of stuff with a giant sail (your gear) makes life much harder. Where you notice it is in the hills. Even a sliught incine becomes noticable.
Also, pounding out the miles is hard on you physically and mentally.
Thats not to say it can't be done, but think realistically.
07-27-06, 06:29 AM
Have you been training on your touring bike? Fully loaded? (If you'll be riding a loaded touring bike)
On my last tour, I found out real quick that just because I could ride 100 miles on my regular road bike like it was nothing, that doesn't mean that I could ride the loaded touring bike the same distance, in twice the time! Even though it was all fit up for me and stuff, I found that you have to ride a loaded touring bike differently. The bike "shimmies" a little, so that when I stand up, I can't sway from side to side the same as I would on my regular bike. Plus it's just a lot heavier, and my knees take a beating from it. I ended up having to come home and cut my tour short the first try, because my knees were shot. The second try I purposefully went very slow for the first couple of days, and averaged about70- 80 miles a day. By the end of the tour I was doing around 100 miles a day, including one day of 148 miles.
I would say that 100 miles a day should be no problem if you're in shape for it, and certainly shouldn't be a problem if you are touring "light". I would just recommend training on the actual bike, with the actual load, that you will be touring on, before you make plans based on average daily mileage. And, like everyone else mentioned, weather conditions, terrain, and how well you sleep/rest/eat/recover will play a big part.
07-28-06, 04:36 PM
People do the Race Across [W to E] America in like 8 or 9 days with like 2 hours of sleep a day and carrying minimal things. Of course, they've been training for that. So I guess that it's humanly possible to do like 300 miles a day. That said, you probably won't be able to do very much more than you've done so far. If you've done centuries before, you could probably do close to one with your gear. Of course the less you carry, the easier it will be. As far as multiple days, you'll probably be sore on the 2nd day but the 3rd and after shouldn't be very bad. I think there's an ultra-long-distance forum but no one posts there much.
07-29-06, 08:35 PM
100miles a day is do-able if you are in pretty decent shape. I averaged 140-150kms (80-90miles) a day on my cross Canada tour in 2005, although I started slower due to crossing the mountains and rains. I think the keys to success are:
1)1250 miles, would be 12-14 days, a longer tour might really wear you down, for a 12 day I donít think a rest day would be needed, I started the tour off with days of riding without a day off, 1300 miles, I did a couple of days light days of 55-65miles, and two tail wind days of 140-160 miles. On average it was 8o miles a day. Towards the end of the journey the average was up to 100 miles a day.
2) Start early, end late. In my first 2 weeks I had a couple of late starts, and early finishes, on average I was on the road for 10 hours a day for this section, by that I mean I started the clock when I started riding, and stopped when I started setting up camp, so that 10 hours includes all breaks as well. Starting and hour earlier and ending an hour later would give you all the time you needed
3) Avoid restaurants, a lot of my 'on the road' time was spent in restaurants where a meal could last an hour by the time you sit, order, wait, eat, wait, pay, leave. Eating while riding is the fastest way, but never leaves me full.
4) Pack light, no brainier, leave the gadgets at home, if you are riding long days you wonít have time for them anyways.
5) Try aero bars, I have yet to try them, but I rode with a fellow that had them on his 29incher MTB bike. When he rode normally we went at the same pace, the second he dropped into the aero bars he gained 1-3 mph and easily pulled away from me. If your set up allows them, and you can find a comfortable position, then I would recommend them. 1-3mph over 10 hours is 10-30 miles.
6) Get into a good routine with setting up and breaking down the camp, longer days on the road means you have less time to set up, eat, sleep and break down. If you are cooking, break out the stove and start cooking as you set up your tent. Do the reverse in the morning when making breakfast.
7) Diet would be key, my diet is absolute crap.. so I am not the best person to give advice, but I would bring a hydration drink like eload. I'd also eat a lot of protein and salty foods at the end of the day to help with muscle recovery, hell Iíd just eat a lot of everything. I'd also take some vitamins to prevent muscle cramps.
8) Donít be afraid of the dark, just be prepared for it. Not only is it cooler at night, there is normally less traffic. I used to be worried about riding at night, but with a good mirror you can see a car coming from a mile away, and watch to see if they pull over to avoid you. Iíve never had any close calls at night when well lit up. Make sure you have a back up lighting system as well. Services are often closed at night, make sure you have more than enough food and water.
I think desire is the biggest thing that will help you, if you desire to push yourself, to stay on the road longer, to cumulate those miles, than you are already a step ahead on your goal.
Every year I do a 2 day, 525km (325mile) tour partly loaded. I mostly do it to push myself and to see what I can do at my limit. This year I crawled on the second day in 90 degree heat, and a good head wind. But in the end it was the type of challenge that I look forward too once a year. 2003 trip can be found here: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/journal/Kingston2005
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