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  1. #1
    Bring That Beat Back Old Dirt Hill's Avatar
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    Touring vs. Long Distance Cycling

    Discuss why/how this forum is going to provide different information than the touring forum.

    I know there must be a difference, but I'm not clear on what that is.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Neist's Avatar
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    Touring tends to travel over days in little spurts of say.. 50-80 miles. All the while carrying maybe 50lbs of gear. Touring is like going RV'ing on a bike, only much more enjoyable.

    Something like Brevet or Ultralong distance riding tends to cover hundreds of miles a day, very lightly packed, over maybe a day or two (maybe even 3 or 4). Its more of a test of endurance rather than speed.

    Similar but different. Both dont tend to travel very fast. Maybe 10-14mph average.
    Quote Originally Posted by soze
    I would use something in addition to the U-lock. Like a guy named Tony with a baseball bat.

  3. #3
    so whatcha' want? bigskymacadam's Avatar
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    Roadie Forum - 80 miles or less
    Long Distance Cycling - 100+ miles plus multi day races and events. (RAAM, Furnace Creek)
    Touring - Multi-day Adventures not at speed.

    I'm envisioning LDC forum discussion on endurance training at speed, fueling, supplements and gear.

    The other forums are more based on non-speed specific riding.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Neist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigskymacadam
    Roadie Forum - 80 miles or less
    Long Distance Cycling - 100+ miles plus multi day races and events. (RAAM, Furnace Creek)
    Touring - Multi-day Adventures not at speed.

    I'm envisioning LDC forum discussion on endurance training at speed, fueling, supplements and gear.

    The other forums are more based on non-speed specific riding.
    24 hour time trials are races, but Brevets and Randonnees are completely non competitive. You really dont need to be going very fast at all to finish. But I imagine what you said is true about what this forum is going to be about.

    Im just wanting to get into long distance cycling, and its no laughing matter that your safe with nutrition after 14 hours in the saddle.
    Quote Originally Posted by soze
    I would use something in addition to the U-lock. Like a guy named Tony with a baseball bat.

  5. #5
    Senior Member The Octopus's Avatar
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    I'm really psyched about this forum. I know a lot of the riding I do, and that others here do, too, doesn't fit very neatly into any of the other forums. The racers all think I'm nuts. No one else in the Racing sub-forum or the Road forum rides 24-hour TTs, let alone multi-day races. There was a RAAM thread that got some good action this year (and last year, too), but that was about it.

    The folks in the Road forum also tend not to ride this far (we can debate just what, exactly, "long distance" is in another thread -- 100 mile plus? 5 hours plus?). The touring folks tend not to ride as fast as folks who would describe themselves as "long distance cyclists." Not even as fast as the slowest randonneurs. The touring folks carry a lot of stuff and prepare for anything. Some of the randonneurs do, too, but very few century riders carry much more than they'd carry on a club ride. For an ultra race where I have crew, I carry what I carry when I race a 25+5 criterium -- i.e., next to nothing! The nutrition forum offers a lot of good information, but not much of it is relevant to the special needs of folks who are going to be putting out a lot of power over an extended period of time.

    For the skiers out there, I'd say that the difference between the Touring forum and the LD forum is the same as the difference between ski touring and backcountry skiing. Yes, they're both skiing. They use very similar, maybe even the same equipment. But no one who is "ski touring" is going to ski Dana Couloir. And no one who is "backcountry skiing" is going to attempt the Haute Route. Similar. A lot of overlap in some areas. But at the end of the day, activites pursued by different people with different objective and who have different physical, mental, and nutritional needs.

    Anyway, I think this will be a great forum. I'm looking forward to learning a lot here and to sharing what little experience I have with long rides.
    Last edited by The Octopus; 03-28-12 at 01:33 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member rpc180's Avatar
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    Quick suggestion is that we sticky this and close the thread so everyones know what's up
    cdale r700, r3000, centurion accordo

  7. #7
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    For Example:

    Long Distance Cycling:

    -- 12 and 24 hour events.
    -- Randonnees
    -- Brevets
    -- Double centuries
    -- Centuries

    Timed events, events done on a specific route to accomplish a specific distance goal, events done as "all at once" as possible - through day and night, events where people cycle LONG distances.

    Events done with a fairly lightly loaded bicycle.

    Events like these:
    http://www.ultracycling.com/

    http://www.randonneurs.bc.ca/links/links.html

    http://www.rusa.org/

    http://www.audax.org.au/index.asp

    http://www.audax.uk.net/index2.htm

    http://www.pactour.com/

    http://www.adventurecorps.com/

    http://www.machka.net/links.htm



    Touring:

    -- Riding with the local cycletouring club on a weekend, cycling during the day, camping/hostelling at night
    -- Recreationally and flexibly cruising through another country to see the sights with no time limits and no preset routes, no preset distances, etc.
    -- Riding with a full touring load

  8. #8
    Bring That Beat Back Old Dirt Hill's Avatar
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    All great posts, pretty much agree with all of it. Looking forward to having this new forum. I wouldn't consider myself a Touring or LDC quite yet, but I'm very interested in both.

  9. #9
    Banned wagathon's Avatar
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    It was years ago but, now that I know the terminology, I once went on a 3-day round trip from Carpenteria to Morro Bay, comprised of a 2-day tour--75 miles each day--and, a 1-day (and long into the night) return trip of long distance cycling.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigskymacadam
    I'm envisioning LDC forum discussion on endurance training at speed, fueling, supplements and gear.
    Topics like this, for me, are probably the biggest distinguisher between touring and long-distance cycling. The requirements for gear, training and nutrition are a lot less stringent for touring, because you're going at a pace that you dictate. Whereas with long-distance cycling, while the pace can be leisurely, you are constantly aware that there's a clock ticking behind you; and people obsess on proper lighting systems, real food vs. high-tech supplements, sleep strategies, etc.

    Or to put it more simply: if I go on a tour, I eat pancakes instead of hammer gel. I sleep six hours instead of two. I think more about using my camera than using my dynamo lights, and I plan my stops around swimming ponds and ice cream shacks rather than 24 hour convenience stores and public toilets.

  11. #11
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spokenword
    Or to put it more simply: if I go on a tour, I eat pancakes instead of hammer gel. I sleep six hours instead of two. I think more about using my camera than using my dynamo lights, and I plan my stops around swimming ponds and ice cream shacks rather than 24 hour convenience stores and public toilets.

    Funny, but that about describes how I'm looking at the 600k!

  12. #12
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Randonneuring and other long distance riding is about extending the limits of your endurance in a single ride. touring is about doing multiple rides to get to a destination with adequate recovery between rides.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Neist's Avatar
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    At any rate, theres definitely going to be many different types of long distance cyclists who come out to read these forums. Theres definitely a distinguishable difference between Radonneurs and 24 hour time trialists. I guess any of these may appeal to certain people, and each person will approach them differently in different circumstances.

    Im just getting into LDC, but I'm probably only going to carry a decent sized saddlebag and a storage capable Camelbak. But I guess it just goes back to the nature of the different types of LDC. Radonneuring is about self dependancy.
    Quote Originally Posted by soze
    I would use something in addition to the U-lock. Like a guy named Tony with a baseball bat.

  14. #14
    Year-round cyclist
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    There's a lot of common ground between both forums, just as there are between many forums. Time will tell whether this forum is really different from the other ones. Still, here are a few differences I see in terms of technical interests:

    – Randonneurs travel lightly because they have some form of support. Usually minimal, but it helps decrease payload when you don't need to be prepared for a broken bottom bracket (for example) in the middle of nowhere.

    – Randonneurs have light equipment because of time limitations, but their most important criteria is reliability. Time to repair flats means less time for sleeping... Other differences in equipment may also show in gears as tourers like to climb hills without strain whereas randonneurs don't want to loose time and roadies see it as a challenge.

    – Route planning is not the same. Tourers select a route for its scenery or to reach a destination. Randonneurs have a fixed route, but may like to know in advance the profile.

    – Tourers and randonneurs ride in the rain. Sometimes in the snow too.

    – Most roadies don't ride at night. Most tourers in the North don't, except maybe after a restaurant meal. randonneurs ride extensively at night; they need lights that work for 5-20 hours (depending on ride), with a headlight that truly lights the highway and a taillight visible on axis from afar.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  15. #15
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    Discuss why/how this forum is going to provide different information than the touring forum.
    Well, bizarre as it may seem - "touring" means to "tour" and "long distance" means whatever a "long distance" means to you.

    If one was to have discussion forum about "touring" - one would discuss the conditions, needs, wants and enjoyment associated with touring. I could suggest mentioning, cameras, clothing, mapping and information needed to succesfully find destinations and routes that provide satisfaction.

    If some one wants to discuss "long distance", then each person would bring to a discussion, comments about how they attain enjoyable bicycling at various distances. It doesn't much matter what the distance is - only that person discussing a ride, is "focusing" on a distance as the one of the main objectives to be overcome during the ride.

    It doesn't matter at all - what distance is being discussed -- only that subject of discussion is directed at information to completing a given distance as it's topic. Obviously, very long bicycle rides require an attention to bicycle accessories and nutritional details that may vary considerably from the priorities of a racer or casual cyclist.

    The point is - details and contents of forums often overlap -- but the focus and reasons for the comments should always refer back to the "title" of the forum.

    Why people have a difficult time understanding the "titles" of forums is a mystery to me. Now, if we can just one more "forum" setup -- "I'm a fat-slob, and don't want to quit eating - but need to tell everybody about it on the Internet" forum - well that will clear up a lot space everywhere else.........

  16. #16
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cranium

    Why people have a difficult time understanding the "titles" of forums is a mystery to me. Now, if we can just one more "forum" setup -- "I'm a fat-slob, and don't want to quit eating - but need to tell everybody about it on the Internet" forum - well that will clear up a lot space everywhere else.........

    Wow. 1/2 or more of the web would go away!

  17. #17
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cranium
    Why people have a difficult time understanding the "titles" of forums is a mystery to me. Now, if we can just one more "forum" setup -- "I'm a fat-slob, and don't want to quit eating - but need to tell everybody about it on the Internet" forum - well that will clear up a lot space everywhere else.........
    Well, being a fat slob I guess it is my turn...

    Actually, even though I am a fat slob, that is not my main point. I want to add some counter-balance to some earlier messages.

    Many posts have talked about riding distances at a relatively high speed... While it is true that a faster speed will lead to longer distance in a given time, Long Distance Cycling when it was suggested seemed like a great idea to me... if we add the need for speed, then I am less interested, even though I track my average speed when I ride because it matters to me as a fitness indicator.

    I think it is great when people want to ride distances quickly and accomplish their goals... but frankly if the only emphasis is going to be how to get the best speed for xxx miles, I think we would be better suited to go the road racing forum and start an occasional thread about the training, nutrition and equipment necessary to maintain the speed for longer than most road racers.

    My definition of Long Distance Cycling, as it applies to me, is to drag my 300+ pound 49 year old body for at least 100 miles in September, and for a couple of 60-70 mile jaunts in the interim to build myself up to the 100 mile goal. My time goal??? There is none, but I hope I am done before they close the course. However, I don't expect their closing of the course to stop me if I take longer than they think I should. I also hope to drag a few less than 300 pounds with me, but that is another topic... I'll go over to the "I'm a fat-slob, and don't want to quit eating - but need to tell everybody about it on the Internet" forum for that.

    I recognize many of the names preceding me in this thread, and I know you have no major objection to what I am saying here. I just wanted it explicitly said so that others perusing the forum don't assume that the forum is only about 24 hour time trials and the PBP. I think we can also agree that the spirit of this forum is not even limited to organized rides and events (though we know there will be plenty of discussion in those areas).

    If someone wants to hop on a bike and pedal it for several hours until their odometer hits triple digits, it is long distance cycling. Whether it took them 25 hours at 4 mph or 4 hours at 25 mph is irrelevant. To assume that either of those extremes (and everyone in between) is not included in long distance cycling seems counter-intuitive to me. Either of these riders that wants help in attaining their goal, or a place to talk about their accomplishment should be welcome here.

    In closing, don't let any of the above minimize what I am about to write... Those of you who do 24 hour time trials or randonnees... you deserve and have my respect at your accomplishments! I look forward to learning from you.

    Now... Can someone tell me how to ride 100 miles without getting off this darned couch?
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

    People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  18. #18
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgregory57
    Now... Can someone tell me how to ride 100 miles without getting off this darned couch?
    Here ya go. Your dream come true: http://www.bikeforest.com/cb/index.php

  19. #19
    carpe napum
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom
    Here ya go. Your dream come true: http://www.bikeforest.com/cb/index.php
    Haha. That was a worthwhile read. Thx.

  20. #20
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Darwin
    Well, being a fat slob I guess it is my turn...

    Actually, even though I am a fat slob, that is not my main point. I want to add some counter-balance to some earlier messages.

    Many posts have talked about riding distances at a relatively high speed... While it is true that a faster speed will lead to longer distance in a given time, Long Distance Cycling when it was suggested seemed like a great idea to me... if we add the need for speed, then I am less interested, even though I track my average speed when I ride because it matters to me as a fitness indicator.

    I think it is great when people want to ride distances quickly and accomplish their goals... but frankly if the only emphasis is going to be how to get the best speed for xxx miles, I think we would be better suited to go the road racing forum and start an occasional thread about the training, nutrition and equipment necessary to maintain the speed for longer than most road racers.

    My definition of Long Distance Cycling, as it applies to me, is to drag my 300+ pound 49 year old body for at least 100 miles in September, and for a couple of 60-70 mile jaunts in the interim to build myself up to the 100 mile goal. My time goal??? There is none, but I hope I am done before they close the course. However, I don't expect their closing of the course to stop me if I take longer than they think I should. I also hope to drag a few less than 300 pounds with me, but that is another topic... I'll go over to the "I'm a fat-slob, and don't want to quit eating - but need to tell everybody about it on the Internet" forum for that.

    I recognize many of the names preceding me in this thread, and I know you have no major objection to what I am saying here. I just wanted it explicitly said so that others perusing the forum don't assume that the forum is only about 24 hour time trials and the PBP. I think we can also agree that the spirit of this forum is not even limited to organized rides and events (though we know there will be plenty of discussion in those areas).

    If someone wants to hop on a bike and pedal it for several hours until their odometer hits triple digits, it is long distance cycling. Whether it took them 25 hours at 4 mph or 4 hours at 25 mph is irrelevant. To assume that either of those extremes (and everyone in between) is not included in long distance cycling seems counter-intuitive to me. Either of these riders that wants help in attaining their goal, or a place to talk about their accomplishment should be welcome here.

    In closing, don't let any of the above minimize what I am about to write... Those of you who do 24 hour time trials or randonnees... you deserve and have my respect at your accomplishments! I look forward to learning from you.

    Now... Can someone tell me how to ride 100 miles without getting off this darned couch?
    Thoughtful post.

    Tongue firmly planted in cheek, I'd say when you clear the 100 mile marker, couch or no, you've started into the realm of "distance".

    Which is interesting, because "long" distance is usually only defined by whats come before.
    Its all relative.

    Good luck on your century.

  21. #21
    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
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    So if the longest distance I do is a century;

    In this forum I'll be basically a lightweight weenie.

    But...if I post in General Cycling...I may look like a rock star to some!
    Good night...and good luck

  22. #22
    Life is simply timing...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Dirt Hill
    Discuss why/how this forum is going to provide different information than the touring forum.

    I know there must be a difference, but I'm not clear on what that is.
    Personally, I think the moderators were rather hasty in creating this forum with its rather narrow definition of long distance cycling and that it is inaccurate to define long distance cycling as brevets, centuries, double centuries, etc. which take place as "timed" events. For example, someone who decides to get on their bike (and off their couch) and cycle tour across the continent is just as much, or perhaps even more of a long distance cyclist than someone who does a century in a one day timed event. Don't get me wrong, I think that this is an excellent forum that is distinct from the Touring Forum. I just believe that it does a disservice to call it long distance cycling and imply that people who tour are not long distance cyclists.

    In summary, for me it is not a matter of saying "Touring vs. Long Distance Cycling" but rather: "Touring IS Long Distance Cycling".

  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    it might just be that "Long Distance Cycling" is a poor label for the topics of this forum, and it might just be inherited from the Bicycling Magazine forums, which has a similar forum for centuries and 100+ mile rides that's called "Long Distance Cycling" . "Endurance Cycling" might be more apt, I think; because it should encapsulate the fact that most centuries and brevets are timed events, whereas touring is self-paced.

    While one can make the argument that touring can be a test of endurance; the core of the touring experience is travel and exploration, and trying to complete a certain number of miles in a certain amount of time just for the heck of it frequently runs counter to that goal.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    "Endurance Cycling" might be more apt, I think; because it should encapsulate the fact that most centuries and brevets are timed events, whereas touring is self-paced.
    That's an excellent point. I tried to affect that same idea in my comments that noted that any distance can be considered long depending on one's current ability or the conditions of the ride.If you're on a scheduled ride, you must endure, if you are touring, you simply adjust your route or schedule to your comfort.

  25. #25
    Senior Member robow's Avatar
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    So this weekend my friend and I will ride about 90 miles a day for three consectutive days across the state, while staying in a hotel at night and will average about 14-15 mph, is this touring or long distance riding, I'm sooo confused

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