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Thread: New To Touring

  1. #1
    Senior Member jamse's Avatar
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    New To Touring

    okay, i need some advice.
    I am pretty new to cycling and heading over to Denmark for a 3 week vacation. I plan to do some long/touring riding of 150-200miles a day at a pace of 15-17miles/hour. If anyone could give me some advice on the whole touring thing, what i should bring, sleeping arrangement, etc.

    Here is my list so far:
    • IRO Mark V single speed
    • Helmet
    • Multi Tool (everything to take my bike apart, besides chain tool, and wrench to tighten my wheel bolts
    • and take off my pedals)
    • Oil/Lube
    • air pump w/ gauge
    • Spare Tube
    • Tire Patch Kit (10 w/ glue)
    • 550mL Water Bottle
    • 2 x 1L Nalgene Bottle
    • 2 x White T-Shirts
    • Bicycle Short
    • 2 x Soccer Shorts (my chode is steal, i can ride about 80miles without padding, no problem)
    • Long Sleeve Under armor summer wear
    • 4 x pairs of socks
    • Black Berry Curve & Charger
    • Directions/Map
    • Passport/ID/Cash/Credit cards
    • Sunblock
    • Camera
    • I-Pod Nano 16GB & I-River 8GB

    For food Im bringing this to denmark, but dont know how much I will be taking on my 2-3 day trips:
    • Box of 20 Cliff Bars
    • Box of 40 nature valley Bars

    Here is what i am going to buy/find at my rents house:
    • Insect Repellent
    • Combo Wrench (box/open)
    • Fleece hoodie
    • Northface Hydration Pack (going to strap it to the rear rack instead of getting a rear pack)
    • Sleeping bag (I might just sow the hole up in my down sleeping bag and use that)
    • Rear Rack
    • Left & Right Panniers
    • Bike cover
    • waterproof bag for sleeping bags to sleep in when it rains.

    I am kind of nervous on doing this trip, cause im going to a different country, even though most Danes and Scandinavians speak english very well, but i still have my reservations since i am in a different country.

    My itinerary is going to try to do a few day trips from Copenhagen (Kobenhavn), DK to Malmo, SE; Kobenhavn, DK to Aarhus, DK ; Kobenhavn, DK to Hamburg, DE to Berlin, DE, then either take the train back. that is my tentative schedule at the momment, if anyone is in the area and wants to join me i would gladly accept the company.

    but yeah any advice would be appreciated or suggestions of things to bring or leave out.
    Last edited by jamse; 07-30-08 at 09:31 PM.

  2. #2
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    I don't have any personal experience with the IRO, so I can't comment much on the bike and loading it. IMO, doing 150 - 200 miles a day is very ambitious. Just for reference, I think that most of the folks on this forum average about 70 - 80 miles a day (with an average speed of 10 - 15 mph).
    Without knowing your physical condition and experience, I can't comment on what a realistic goal for you would be, but I think it's better that you understand your limitations and set reasonable goals. I have read about a few folks on this forum who pushed themselves early in their tour and ended up burning out and aborting it.

    As far as sleeping arrangements, you can try to search for "Stealth Camping" on this forum and you will get some ideas.

    FWIW, I am a SLOW rider with an average speed under 15mph (all the time!)

    Ravi

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    that's a ton of miles, especially only a single speed!

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    Just a few suggestions since you'll be on your bike for 10 + hours a day(!): you might want to buy a rain jacket, fenders too; for the panniers: some plastic shopping bags for the contents and maybe rain covers as well.
    By waterproof bag for your sleeping bag, I take it you mean a Bivy Sack? Have you considered a tent instead?
    I don't think you should be too nervous. Most people treat foreign touring cyclists pretty well. Heck, someone just might treat you to a free meal or let you sleep in their back yard. Also, I hear motorists in that part of the world are very respectable to cyclists.
    One last thing, will your fixed gear be suitable for the terrain there?
    Have a great time!

  5. #5
    SNARKY MEMBER CardiacKid's Avatar
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    I believe he is trying to pull our collective leg.

  6. #6
    Senior Member jamse's Avatar
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    thecrunge: thx for the extra things to bring, might not get the fenders cause im on a tight budget, only paid 94bonars for the plane tickets (thx to the miles my parents dont know they have) i think i want a bivvy sack cause it will be lighter than a tent. I've already plotted out the path im going for the first two destinations malmo and aarhus, but need to figure out the third.

    Krafcik: well i plan to space things out my malmo trip will be my first which is only 60miles, then my aarhus trip (~200miles), these are just my single day trips and denmark is def alot less hilly than south west missouri :/ the good thing about aarhus trip is my gf mom lives there and my gf is working in odense which is half way between kobenhavn and aarhus, so she could just meet me there and then i could try to ride back the next day to kobenhavn, when she has to go back to work.

    rsattuluri: hopefully ill be alright.
    im only 21, ive been training pretty hard lately, took a break from 17th-26th while my gf was here to visit me. but my usual schedule 3days a week of soccer (football) for 1.5-2hrs (agility for 45mins), 2mile run 3days a week, and interval runs once a week 100m, 200m, 400m, 200m, 100m for 3 miles. then gym for 45mins hard 4 times week, and power cleaning two days. then i try to ride ~100 miles a week, since i got my bike a month ago, by doing a few 30mile rides then a full 60mile ride or back to back days of 40miles. this last sun-mon i knocked my 60mi pace to 3.5hrs from 4hrs, though coming back took me 4hrs 20min

    but i set my itinerary up in a progressive manner so hopefully ill def be ready for the ~600mile trip during the end, but then again you might be right that im aiming too high to fast :/
    Last edited by jamse; 07-30-08 at 09:35 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    I like 50 miles per day. Are you planning on having any fun?

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    Blimey. Leaving aside any hills, on a singlespeed the slightest headwind could change your day completely! Might be best to have a contingency plan for any day when you just don't want to do 150mls.

  9. #9
    Forever CLYDE ! cyberpep's Avatar
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    Hi jamse, WOW 150-200 miles per day. Even unloaded that is a very aggresive tour. Loaded I do 100-120km, max 160km per day at about 20km/hr. For me the destination is not as important as the journey. You should be nervous, I wish you luck.
    2003 Giant Cypress R
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    To get back to the list, however...

    IRO Mark V single speed - check
    Helmet - check
    Multi Tool - check
    Oil/Lube - check
    air pump w/ gauge - d'you really need a gauge?
    Spare Tube - take a couple
    Tire Patch Kit - check
    550mL Water Bottle - take 2
    2 x 1L Nalgene Bottle - swap for Platypus or similar - fold away to nothing when empty
    2 x White T-Shirts - check
    Bicycle Short - check
    2 x Soccer Shorts - check
    Long Sleeve Under armor summer wear - check
    4 x pairs of socks - take 2 and wash them
    Black Berry Curve & Charger - leave at home. Free yourself from the chains of email!!!
    Directions/Map - check
    Passport/ID/Cash/Credit cards - check
    Sunblock - check
    Camera - check
    I-Pod Nano 16GB & I-River 8GB - leave at home

    For food Im bringing this to denmark, but dont know how much I will be taking on my 2-3 day trips:

    Box of 20 Cliff Bars - buy real food
    Box of 40 nature valley Bars - take six for emergencies

    Here is what i am going to buy/find at my rents house:
    Insect Repellent - check
    Combo Wrench - check
    Fleece hoodie - great thing, but maybe too bulky for cycling?
    Northface Hydration Pack - why, if you're taking bottles on the frame/in the bags?
    Sleeping bag - check
    Rear Rack - check
    Left & Right Panniers - check
    Bike cover - why?
    waterproof bag for sleeping bags to sleep in when it rains. - Breathable? If you mean a giant plastic bag you're in for a wet night whatever happens!

  11. #11
    Senior Member simplygib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsattuluri View Post
    I have read about a few folks on this forum who pushed themselves early in their tour and ended up burning out and aborting it.
    Or sustaining injuries that kept them off their bike for 6 months (knee damage). Jamse - you are young and in good shape, it appears, but have you ever tried riding those distances on a loaded bike? Going that distance on a loaded single speed sounds like pure misery to me. But I'm a slow, old fart, so take that into consideration. Best of luck.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Newspaperguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamse View Post
    I am pretty new to cycling and heading over to Denmark for a 3 week vacation. I plan to do some long/touring riding of 150-200miles a day at a pace of 15-17miles/hour. If anyone could give me some advice on the whole touring thing, what i should bring, sleeping arrangement, etc.
    I'd suggest you rethink your route and schedule.

    You may be able to go 15 to 17 miles an hour, you'll go a bit slower on a loaded bike. When you're doing long distances on a loaded touring bike, you'll have to slow down even more if you are to have any energy left at the end of the day.

    Also, if you've got a fully loaded bicycle, you'll find 150 to 200 miles a day difficult if not impossible. If you're facing a decent wind and are traveling at 10 miles an hour you'll spend 20 hours to cover 200 miles. After that much time riding, you'll be tired. I'd suggest much shorter distances of 50 to 80 miles a day. A 100-mile day is okay every once in a while, but not daily.

    More importantly, you're taking a vacation to Denmark. Don't forget that part. You're spending three weeks in a foreign country and there's plenty for you to see and do. If you want to experience it on a bike, that's great, but don't forget to stop, meet the people and experience the places along the way. If you just want to ride your bike, there's no need to leave the country to do that.
    Life is good.

  13. #13
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    Hi Jamse:
    I want to suggest one thing to you, since you are new to cycling. If you have your gear and panniers (or at least part of the stuff) with you, try hooking up to the bike and going for some test rides. Ideally, I would recommend that you start with a 20mi trip and gradually work your way up to a 100 miler.

    I personally commute to work regularly (33 mi round trip), and just recently, I did my first metric century (100km) and a century (100mi) on a supported ride. I was fine on the metric century, but when I did the century, I hit a wall at 62 miles and my speed dropped from about 18mph average to under 13mph. note that this was on a road bike weighing 18lbs (the good ole days) and with no load (no panniers etc)

    I have seen a thread on here before with a guy who did more than 100 miles (upto 195 miles) on tour (he was pretty committed to riding as far as he could), so it could be done (sorry, can't find the post now)

    Anyway, doing a few practice rides should give you a good idea on where you stand. There are different thoughts on whether touring should be about enjoying the ride or mileage, but it all comes down to what you think is fun and what you want to do.

    Ravi

  14. #14
    cycling n00b Black Shuck's Avatar
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    Denmark is fairly flat, but has strong winds and rapidly changing weather due to it's low profile and being near the North Sea. Some parts are rolling, small but frequent hills and the asphalt can be very rough on the smaller roads. Stealth camping is illegal but widely tolerated as l÷ong as you're respectful and take your waste with you. Camp sites can be expensive, be sure to get the Scandinavian Camping Card for rebates. 90-120 DKK for a tent space is usual, cabins range from 270-1000 DKK.

    Food is cheapish, to me and you can buy wine in grocery stores at decent prices compared to where I live.

    People speak good english, and If you need help around Copenhagen, the cycle taxi guys know the town like the back of their hand. One of them even gave me a nice map :-)

  15. #15
    cycling n00b Black Shuck's Avatar
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    Drat, it won't let me edit my post. I figured I'd throw in a pic


  16. #16
    Senior Member brianmcg123's Avatar
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    jamse,

    I think your tour would not go very well at all, and that is if it was fully supported and you were on a race bike. Loading up all of your stuff and trying to maintain those speeds and distance seems highly unlikely.

    Have you ever ridden more than 200 miles even in one week?
    Everyone's a roadie, they just might not know it yet.

  17. #17
    Senior Member jamse's Avatar
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    well ended up not doing the whole touring bit, but I have been in Denmark for about 5 days and got a few 80km rides in, its soooo much easier to ride here... i love it, going to try to do some 160km rides this week and then a 200km ride, hopefully by next week i can nail 300km down. really wish i could tour, but the lack of spots to hook my bike up with gear made it hard... especially with a 25lb limit with a seat post beam pannier, which conflicts with my 2 bottle water bottle holder attached to my seat... and only having 1 water bottle holder on my frame. oh well, i think im going to ride the **** out of denmark.

    thx for the input guys

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