Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Bikes: True North tourer (www.truenorthcycles.com), 2004; Miyata 1000, 1985
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"My longest ride last summer was 30 miles, so needless to say I have a LOT of training to do."
Maybe not. If you are young -- and even if you are not, but are in reasonable physical shape -- you may not have to do that much training. In fact, you may be fine without any training. Just ride as much as you can in the coming year. Many people discover that training to get "in shape" is not a good motivator. I would suggest instead that let pleasure be your guide. Go out for an hour's ride after work to unwind. On weekends or holidays, head out on 20 or 30 or 40 mile spins to someplace nice. Try loading up your bicycle and going three or four hours in one direction, stay overnight, and return the next day. Take a course on basic bicycle maintenance. It's a good feeling to know you can adjust the brakes or derailleurs whenever they need it rather than wait for a mechanic.
When you finally begin your epic, take it easy for several days. You will build endurance as you go. Don't make every day a marathon.
When I first began multi-day touring, I told myself that I should get in better shape before each trip. But I never seem to do more than get into the habit of stretching three or four days before I begin.
That is all I managed before my first major trip, when I was 42-years-old. I was, however, comfortable on and familiar with my bike. I went riding with friends two or three times a week. I did day treks in the country. About two weeks before I left, I loaded up my bike for a single, two-hour trial run. And that was about all.
I set out on a 14-day bike trip. Day 1 was difficult. I relaxed my pace on Day 2 and stopped riding by mid-afternoon. Day 3 was fine. By Day 4 I was beginning to hit my stride. On Day 5, I headed up into the mountains! On Day 6, I rested. For the next several days I ascended and descended several mountain passes a day with a lot of effort but without trouble. Life was good! By the end of the trip, I was ready for anything! And I had hardly "trained" at all.
Good luck on your trip. It sounds like an amazing opportunity.