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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 03-20-03, 04:18 AM   #1
NuTz4BiKeZ
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Getting Started (Newbie)

Reading all of the great information on this board is really encouraging and helpful.
What I would like to know is how to get started with touring?
Is it just a case of over time extending the distances you ride until you can handle decent distances or are there a whole bunch of tricks of the trade that will help you succeed?

Common sense tells me that it would be wise to work up to longer tours rather than to try something big to start off with.

Any tips you guys are willing to share will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-20-03, 06:19 AM   #2
cwodave
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I can't speak for New Zealand since I haven't been there yet, but the way I started was to search online for bike rides. Many of our states have tours that cover a good bit of the state and are well supported. I road Cycle North Carolina last year and had a great time.

Of course you'll want to get some saddle time before you embark on a long distance tour and that can be accomplished by doing single day rides. Check with your LBS and see if there are any bike clubs in the area and get information from them. Riding with others is good motivation and will give you a chance to meet others who ride.

Good luck, Dave
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Old 03-20-03, 08:24 AM   #3
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I took my first tour last year and am gearing up for a ride of the C & O Towpath and some extended solo weekenders this year.

Personally, I'm not thrilled riding in a big pack or being part of an "organized" tour, so I do all of my training solo and my tours with small groups of friends.

Check out the book, the Essential Touring Cyclist as a good reference for equipment choices, techniques, and training regimens. In preparation for my first tour, I rode three to four times a week for about a month in advance, pulling mileages between 7 miles on a light day to 40 miles on a big day. The tour I rode with two friends was self-supported and averaged 65 miles per day for three days. I had no major difficulties keeping up, but of course, this is dependent upon your individual level of fitness and threshold of pain ;-)

Best of luck with your adventures!



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Old 03-20-03, 09:37 AM   #4
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I started out with day rides. Without any particular "training" they extended from 25 miles up to 70 miles within a few weeks. For most non-athletic riders , 70 miles is the start of endurance riding.
My first tour was using the network of youth hostels, so I didnt have to pack very much. It is still my favourite way of touring.
Supported tours are useful if you are travelling for the first time in foreign lands, but on your home turf you shouldnt need to do this.
If you get into camping, its good to try a local shakedown tour to get confidence in your rig, before you set off on an extended multi-day ride.

Ive never felt the need for training to get fit for a tour, a couple of 20mile spins is usually enough, but I commute every day. As far as technique goes, learn to pace yourself and to use your gears properly to pedal at a high cadence.
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Old 03-20-03, 10:55 AM   #5
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Same as Willic. Started riding out for the day (with a packed lunch ) at 14. Gradually the distances got longer.

Remember, when touring you may only average 12mph or so with seeing the sights etc so it's not a hard pace.

take a tent, stop when you want, don't push it. You'l feel a great sense of achievement whatever you do.
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Old 03-20-03, 04:39 PM   #6
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Thanx Guys...

You are the kind of people that make this forum great.

Often when newbies ask what sometimes seem kind of lame questions they get chewed up and spat out by the experienced guys.
This doesn't happen here which is very encouraging to those of us who are looking at extending their cycling and just want to be like you guys.

Thanx all for your input... hope to see you on Kiwi roads sometime... well not actually on the roads like possums, those flat animals that live on NZ roads.
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