I turned 53 a week ago. I bought a bike about a month and a half ago. Right now, I am enjoying weekend rides on the Heritage trails along the rivers of Pittsburgh. My time on the bike is limited due to work, kid, and volunteer commitments, but I'm able to get 15 mile rides in on the weekends. My boss and I are are giving serious contemplation to riding the Great Allegheny Passage in the Spring, from Cumberland to Pittsburgh. He's a more serious athlete than I am, having been a runner for much of his life (but his knees aren't what they used to be and his running days are over).
My current rides don't tire me out and I plan to work up to doubling this very soon, possibly this weekend. Still, I'm looking for some advice on how to better train for the GAP. Our itinerary looks to cover about 40 miles a day. I figure I'll have maybe 45 days in the spring to get back into shape before we hit the trail. I'm very excited about the prospect of the ride and have been reading as much as I can about it. I figure I need to get to the point of training on 40 mile rides on back-to-back days to get there.
Any help, pointers, tips on how best to do this would be gratefully accepted!! I don't want to be embarrassed out there. My concern is for that first day climbing out of Cumberland to the Eastern Continental Divide. Right now, we're thinking late April as our target date, but subject to change due to work and kid schedules.
And I'll be checking in for suggestions on racks, packs, panniers and that sort thing over the winter. We're not plannig on camping - credit card touring, I guess, best describes what we're thinking.