Touring - How many days off?
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12-10-10, 05:40 PM
When you tour, how many days off do you take? Do you take a lot of days off or do you tend to ride every day?
We've changed over time - in the beginning we rode a lot more, but now we like more days off. We tend to take at least one day off for every two cycling days now. We like our down time to wander around and relax!
I generally take one day off every 4 riding days.
12-10-10, 06:26 PM
I've never toured for true extended periods, but I tend to think the ratio is about three to one if mileage exceeds sixty miles a day.
12-10-10, 08:45 PM
When I am touring, I usually have something, someplace or someone I am on my way to see. Therefore, I usually don't take any days off the bike since I will be off the bike when I arrive. However, if I am on the road for more than two weeks, I usually do one or two short days. Now, if I was going to do trips as long as Nancy SV does, I would have to radically alter my approach.
12-10-10, 09:06 PM
Before I head out on tour I tell myself that I will take a day off every 3-4 days or so, but it never happens. Usually it is more like a day off a week. There were a few times that I wanted to take a day off but the campground wasn't very nice or had loud folks in them. My decision usually had something to do with the campground and proximity to hiking trails, services, and the quality of the town for sightseeing/relaxing.
12-10-10, 09:56 PM
Seems like I take a day about every 5 or 6. Time for mental and physical recuperation. More mental than physical.
I like the every 5 day or so break. I find I would be more rested and such, when I didnt take a break, I found I got run down a bit and it is a nice change.
12-10-10, 11:02 PM
I take a day off every 6 to 10 days. I hate taking days off, but if I don't I get sick.
Of course, I have only ever toured for up to 3 months, I imagine after a year or two (!) you might be less motivated.
Four years ago my wife and I took 3 rest days on a 74 day 3650 mile self-supported trip. While we didn't push too hard , we had some pretty short days as well as some pretty long days. Two of the rest days were with family, and while it would have been nice to visit a little more; we got really antsy to get on the road. We had a couple thousand miles of good riding in the months prior to the trip. We don't susbscribe to the premise that you can ride into shape. Our recent trips have included more rest days. While they have been shorter they were more physically demanding. As I get older my recovery time takes a little longer:(
On a trip like Nacy's, I'd need a lot more days off the bike. Not only to recover physically, but to take in parts of the world I've never been to.
12-11-10, 12:15 AM
Rest Day on day 4 then every 7-10 days.
A week off after every 4-6 weeks on the road.
12-11-10, 01:14 AM
Being a family and enjoying exploring together in a foreign land would make the rest days quite interesting.
I really feel the call of the road and don't enjoy traditional touristy things so the closest to a rest day is a short day on the bike. I hook it in to needing to wait for a bike shop to open, or something like that.
12-11-10, 05:44 AM
Even on 2-3 month tours I prefer occassional short days to rest days.
12-11-10, 06:48 AM
Sometimes I need to take a completely horizontal rest day.
For me , a rest day every week and an easy day mid-week seem to work. Sometimes I take unsheduled rest days due to ferries, bike repairs, shopping for special kit/tickets etc.
12-11-10, 07:19 AM
If I am on a two to three week tour I very rarely take rest days - on the longish tour I did last year (135days) I took 14 - 4/6 of which were enforced waiting for damage to my ankle to heal - 2 were semi-planned beach days - 1 was due to a stomach bug - 2 due to not liking the weather - 2 for touristing in a couple of large cities - 1 waiting for a bike shop to get something so in total 6 - 8 actual rest days to do laundry etc
In retrospect I should have been much more disiplined in my approach to rest days and taken more - (from southern Germany, through Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia I cycled for 37 straight days) not so much to stop me being tired but more to keep things like the amount of dirty clothing I am carrying around in check - say 1 in 7 - but I find that often I don't particulary want to just stop randomly - idling the time away and much prefer to be on the road and fit the domestic chores in at the end of the day - if i am tired a short day is often my best solution.
12-11-10, 09:06 AM
I tend not to take rest days, but when I do I enjoy them a lot. I started a trip down the Oregon coast by riding from the Portland Amtrak station out to Fort Stevens outside of Astoria. I wasn't in good enough shape, and after two days of riding (which weren't even that long) I needed a day off to recharge. It was a nice relaxing day in a nice spot. I did have to ride to Fred Meyer for food, but it was only a few miles. When I started my "real" tour the next day I felt much better and never needed a rest again until Brookings, where I had to line up a rental car to get home the next day.
Last summer I rode for three weeks. The only rest day I took was the Fourth of July. Two nights before I was in a campground where they put reservation cards on the posts by the campsites. Virtually the entire campground was reserved over the Fourth. I decided to play it safe. When I got to Walla Walla on the third I got a motel room for two nights. It was a little boring, and I prefer camping to motels, but it was alright, and I didn't have to face not being able to find a campsite.
Two summers ago I rode across the Northern Tier, from Omak to Glacier National Park. I stopped at a campground on Lake Pend Oreilles in the panhandle of Idaho. It was a place I went every summer for two weeks when I was a kid. I decided to take a rest day there and relax, check out some of the places I remembered, go swimming, etc. That was my only rest day on that trip.
I've always thought I would take a rest day if I woke up to a horrendous rainstorm - probably find a motel room if there weren't any services close to the campground. Lucky for me, so far that hasn't happened. I guess it's because I almost always tour in the middle of summer. Knock on wood.
12-11-10, 09:12 AM
Even on 2-3 month tours I prefer occassional short days to rest days.
Me too. It is nice to ride in the morning and once in a while take the afternoon off to read or swim. I think of them as half days. I much prefer them to rest days.
The exception being that I might take some time if there is something I want to see or do, or if I am sick (that has only happened once). They are not really rest days though. In 73 days on the TransAmerica we took a day off to go ww rafting. On the Southern part of the Sierra Cascades route we took a week to see Yosemite Valley, again not really rest days we were on the go as many hours per day as when on the road. I actually think the hiking might have been harder than riding.
12-11-10, 09:44 AM
Actually, planning rest days allows you a great deal of built-in flexibility if you are taking a longer tour.
(They really don 't apply as much for short tours.) If you have plotted out a route that requires 75 miles per day - every day - and anything goes wrong, then you miss your flight back to Peoria.
Including at least one rest day per week allows you to chill out at that beautiful campsite with the people you have just met. It allows you to do a half day and quit in a nice town or park that you didn't know about. It allows you to spend the afternoon at a bike shop without freaking that your "schedule" is getting totally messed up.
I have done many 3000-5000 miles trips. I usually do about 400 miles per week in summer - less in winter with the shorter days. That usually translates to 4 full days, 2 half days, and one day off. Like most touring cyclists, I like to tour the spectacular scenery - - so why not get out and hike in it? Like Yosemite or Grand Canyon or Denali?
PS - Of course, Nancy, I'm not sure if you have ever taken a "longer" tour. Hee-hee.
12-11-10, 09:59 AM
Riding the Southern Tier, I took a four-day layover in the middle (at home!), but other than that did not have any zero-mileage days. Most of my days were on the long side, but I did have four short days sprinkled in there. Only one was really for R&R—stuck between the two most mountainous days of the ride—and I was glad I took it. The others I took more for scheduling reasons.
12-14-10, 08:59 PM
Like others, I prefer short days to complete rest days, and so do my legs for that matter. I find it just about impossible to maintain the same rhythm and technique on the bike after a rest day. That said, I do tend to take them once every two weeks or so (on average), as I become mentally tired and want to do something else for a day or so. On those days I usually hike, or if I'm in a big city, I might spend a day exploring that by public transport.
12-15-10, 05:46 AM
It's interesting to see how we all work on a different schedule.
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