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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 08-28-05, 04:52 PM   #1
Notpluggedin
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Found a route...

but is it that easy? I have found a route which I can ride... ive never gone long distances. Just 20-30 miles a week on four or five differnt trips to different places. I know that 80 miles is nothing to some of you, but this trip frightens me thinking about it. I can most likely make it in 10-12 hours. Up and down allegheny mountains...
But is that it? Find a ride and go? Im surprised, it seems all too quickly achieved. I worry and scare and just cant imagine..

If it is, then its not that much different than one of my more common, smaller rides. I jsut pack up, head out the door like always. I just.. will be gone longer. Will be stopping for lunch.

Is there any prepartion that I really need, anything extra? Im I thinking that this should be bigger than it is?
Thanks
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Old 08-28-05, 05:23 PM   #2
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Hi,
1) Go for 2 or 3 days and take a day off. Your body will need to heal.
2) The first day or two will be a real shock to the system (see Point #1)
3) If you can start the tour by adding a few miles each day, that will help.
4) You will be amazed at how heavy your bike is after you get all that crap on it.
5) Eventually you will throw some of your junk in a box and mail it home.
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Old 08-28-05, 05:28 PM   #3
Mentor58
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If you're going from
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ive never gone long distances. Just 20-30 miles a week on four or five differnt trips to different places
to 80 miles in a day, I'm going to recommend that you get some good miles under your legs first. You might be able to make that leap, but I can promise that you won't enjoy it, and will turn you off from what should be fun.

A lot of us do pretty much what you are planning to do, find a route and ride. I have jumped on the bike Saturday morning to ride to a state park 50-60 miles away, spend the night, and ride back the next day. I had no real plans for those rides, but the weather is nice, no household chores that have to get done, so I do it. A lot depends on your comfort level. Some of us want everything all mapped out, timelines triple checked and four backup plans for each part of the trip. Some of us are more comfortable with a map and an idea where they want to end up. What ever works is good, me I'm someplace in the middle.

Bike touring is, at it's heart, simple. 1.Pack what you need, 2.point bike toward destination, 3.pedal. Repeat step 3 if requried If you approach it as a death march, you probably won't enjoy it. If you take the mind set that I'm touring on a bike, and I will get where I'm going when I get there, and If I don't get to that point, I'll stop someplace else and enjoy that.

I'd recommend making some shorter tours first, just out and back day trips to build up the miles, and then some overniters. If you make it bigger than it is, it will be. (and believe me, you can make it so big that it scares ya off), but if you simply say, "this is nothing more than what I've already done, Just a bit longer, but I know I can do the miles, so I KNOW I can do this" Attitude is a lot of it.

Hope this helps,

Steve W.
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Old 08-31-05, 04:45 PM   #4
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Hello,

I just finished a 2,500 mile tour, and rarely rode more than 55-60 miles per day. My record was 74 miles, and sometimes I rode only a half-day, covering roughly 35 miles. My relatively low mileage occurred partly because my level of fitness wasn't up to par when going over mountains. The main reason, however, was because the lower mileage, and thus less riding time, enabled me to enjoy immensely every part of the trip: every experience, every person I met, every place I saw.

In contrast, I met a number of cyclists along my route who only bragged of their extreme mileage (by my standards) but failed to tell about the things they saw or people they met. Did they really take the time to see and explore?

I cannot tell you how many times I stopped to chat with someone, or explore an interesting town I came across, etc.

The main thing to remember, I think, is that the journey is yours. If all you care about is making miles (I would respect it but not envy it), then do what you need to do to get in shape to ride them. But I think it's far better to think of your tour as not only riding the bike with its physical challenges, but also a time to explore the world in a unique way, up close and personal, on your bicycle machine.

David in PA

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