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-   -   Touring vs. Long Distance Cycling (

Machka 03-11-07 12:46 AM


Originally Posted by Bekologist
what if we're long distance cyclists but abhor riding with crowds or in organized events?

what if ones' perspeceptive is that organized sporting events, brevets, randoneuering, whatever, are LAME. That getting together with 4,000 other people to ride Paris to Brest to Paris and back- sounds like NO FUN at all?

If I'll go ride 200K in a day for fun but don't rely on any 'club' for emotional howdy doos, snazzy jerseys, or the chance to brag about my organized accomplishments later,

Am I still a long-distance cyclist? Can I still browse this forum and chime in occassionally?

Of course :) If you do a long ride, feel free to post a ride report here. If you want to do even longer rides and have questions, post them here. If you regularly ride centuries, and someone asks a question about a century, feel free to chime in! If you just want to chat about some aspect of long distance cycling ... welcome here. That's what this forum is all about.

And if you wanted to ride brevets that are completely crowd-free, that don't rely on any 'club' for any sort of support or anything ... come to Canada!! You can ride ALL the brevets here in Alberta, or in Saskatchewan or Manitoba completely self-supported, and completely solo ... much like we all do here. Oh ... and you'll have to bring your own jersey.

BTW - if you want the definition of this forum, go back one page and read the little write-up under the Long Distance Forum heading. :)

Oh, and we do try to be supportive here ... not critical ... we recognize that we all might enjoy a variety of long distance riding, or just one style of long distance riding, but that whatever our preferences are, it's all good, because we're on our bicycles enjoying ourselves.

prestonjb 03-12-07 09:01 PM

Bekologist, I'd call you Alain... My bud who rode across the USA with me... I think the only reason I actually went along was his wife wouldn't let him do it alone (like two guys w/o support riding across the us was so much more safe hee hee...

kreg I don't think that cycling is the only or best way to get from point a to b. That is esoteric in the statement. Each trip would need to be analyzed to see what is the most efficient way to get from a-to-b :) For example a train may be more efficient than a bike... But then again I know where you are coming from ;)

Oh and Bekologist look at my definitions :) you are a LDC if you ride without a toothbrush [you are a touring cyclist if you carry a tooth brush] hee hee...

I guess it is possible to be a LDC if you carry enough money to buy dinner and a tooth brush har har...

skiffrun 07-05-07 01:40 PM


Originally Posted by robow
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 :)


short tour. but touring.

prestonjb 07-06-07 06:05 AM


Originally Posted by skiffrun

short tour. but touring.

If he carries a toothbrush then it is touring ;)

zowie 07-06-07 09:52 AM


Originally Posted by prestonjb
If he carries a toothbrush then it is touring ;)

This reminds me of The Graduate.

prestonjb 08-07-07 07:45 PM

Yepper all I'll have with me when I stop for the night is my bike, my kit and a toothbrush... Now if I were only young again then perhaps I'd be able to get a Mrs Robinson to be at the hotel with me too ;) Nah I don't think Im that lucky....

wordsofglass 10-05-07 01:28 PM

I think the best analogy is comparing Backpacking to Adventure Racing.

spokenword 10-05-07 04:19 PM


Originally Posted by wordsofglass (Post 5399450)
I think the best analogy is comparing Backpacking to Adventure Racing.

while doing so in a forum titled -- long distance foot travel ;)

lux41 01-07-08 10:03 AM

lol cool ,good example ....Its all about time and planned stops ,where is the next grocery store food for energy and no time for site seeing managing the hotel before night fall riding beacon is not so safe ....2 totally different worlds but on the same road ...

Its great ..


skiffrun 01-31-08 05:39 PM


Originally Posted by wagathon (Post 2712371)
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. :)

Now THAT's funny!

wagathon 01-31-08 07:02 PM


Originally Posted by skiffrun (Post 6086235)
Now THAT's funny!

About half way into day-1, I started to think that my Raleigh Grand Prix with the steel rack was a bit heavy. I especially began to think about the heavy chain and Master lock that was wrapped around the seatpost.

So, I took the chain off and locked it around a street sign that seemed to be very distinctive-looking. I planned to pick it up on the way back, which I did.

However, on the return trip, around the area where I thought I'd left my chain, I was surprised to see that there was mile-after-mile of wooden poles, all with a big yellow sign attached to them--but, not my chain and lock!


prestonjb 05-26-08 09:21 PM

I think the definition implies two components that need to be thought through to get the proper definitions:

A) Touring - Implies one is self sufficient and possibly on-one's-own. Within touring one could do this in a LDC way or in a casual "day-treker" way...

The two extremes are easy to see.. Those who only ride like 30 miles a day in a supported "package" vacation style is the "easy-peasy" way... Vs those who ride "expedition-style" where they are carrying tons of gear and going days without the need of outside help... From this one could find that there is a LDC variant of which I've done (you could also through in a PAC TRANS-AM tour as being LDC but that it is also a TOUR...

B) The LDC definitions shown most often here are a mix of BREVETS/randonneuring which is not racing and those of Ultra-marathon-cycling which is racing. The analogy of backpacking and adventur racing is making the fallacy that LDC is adventure "racing" when in the case of a BREVET that it is definitely not.

So my toothbrush joke is the indication that actually the premise of the thread (touring vs. LDC) is incorrect because "one man's porridge is another man's gruel"


Biglittlegiant 06-04-08 05:45 PM


Originally Posted by Banzai (Post 2974458)
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! :D

No you are not a Winnie. If you can ride a century. You can ride any distance. Iím not any great athlete. I went from riding a few centuryís, to a 600k. And finished in 31 hrs. . I applied all the same principles of the centuries to the longer rides [Eating / drinking]

RogerTully 10-15-08 04:51 PM


Originally Posted by Little Darwin (Post 2754633)
Well, being a fat slob I guess it is my turn... :eek:

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. :D

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? ;)

Yes LittleDArwin
Get a Recumbent, mine has the closest posture to a couch. They are great for LD. I use a trailer and a set of rear paniers. I have set it up for unsupported touring/LD/ night riding etc. I'm wondering why there is so much angst over hanging a label on what you do. I just do it.

olan 06-04-09 01:42 AM

touring and long distance cycling? yes they have simmilarities but they had a big difference. a lot of difference that can't discuss in a short message.

riderman14 07-08-09 01:01 PM

i do what i call "long distance touring" by my own standards.i guess if point A, to point B is thousands of miles,which i have been doing for a long time,it's considered long distance.dont really care how many miles i cover per long as i reach point B.seems like something so easy,is sounding so complicated here!

dalepmajors 10-20-09 06:12 AM

being able to shake the schedule is what I like most about touring, long distance cycling seems a bit more sporty than I would like my tours to be. Living outside is the best!

Canada to Mexico in 2004
3500 miles in Europe in 2006

benajah 10-29-09 11:41 PM

A lot of what touring is about is camping, campsites, slow speed routes, things like that, tourist sites. Think of touring like a car road trip. In a road trip forum you probably would not talk too much about the car or driving styles, things like that. More about the places you go and where you sleep.

benajah 10-29-09 11:44 PM

Randoneuring is about seeing how long you can stay awake or seeing about how well you can balance keeping calories coming in versus calories going out. Its like ultra marathon running.

Homeyba 10-30-09 12:23 AM


Originally Posted by benajah (Post 9951879)
Randoneuring is about seeing how long you can stay awake...

That's not my definition of Randoneuring. I like my sleep and have no problem getting plenty of sleep, even on 1200ks. Seeing how long you can stay awake is a recipe for crashing...RAAM on the other hand...

Machka 10-30-09 12:50 AM

In thinking more about this ......

Long distance cycling is more about the distance you can cover in one day, or in one relatively short event.

Touring is not so much about covering a distance, but more about seeing the world.

In other words ... long distance is about going out and riding a century, double century, brevet, a 24-hour race, a 1200K randonnee, the RAAM, etc. These are often organized events, although many centuries and double centuries and that sort of thing are not. And these are all about covering a lot of distance in as short a time period as possible.

A tourist, on the other hand, may cover several thousand miles on a tour, but the daily distance might not be that high, and the goal might not be to cover as many miles in as short a time period as possible ... therefore the tourist is not a long distance cyclist.

Many long distance cyclists (those who knock off centuries and longer distance such as the ones mentioned above and in the Long Distance Forum description) have never toured, and have no desire to tour. They prefer to go out and ride their butts off for 8 or 12 or 24 or 90 hours, and then call it a day.

Many cycletourists have never done long distance cycling. They might have covered 100 miles in 2 or 3 days, but they've never done a century (100 miles all in one day), and they may have no desire to do massive distances in as short a period of time as possible.

And some cyclists do both ... like me. :) I will often surround my long distance riding (i.e. the Great Southern Randonnee 1200K) with touring ... like the three months I spent touring around Australia before and after that randonnee. And sometimes I'll include a century day in my tours just to throw a little long distance riding into the touring.

If I were to group the Long Distance forum with another forum, I'd group it with the Road Forum because Long Distance riding is much closer to what the people in that forum do than it is to what the people in the Touring Forum do.

Theresa Brown 01-18-10 07:45 AM

Some long-distance inspiration!
Some long distance inspiration!:lol:

61 riders roll out of Cairo and head for Cape Town.

mr geeker 06-15-10 10:36 AM

do metric centuries count? if so i wouldn't mind doing one of those and calling it a day.

defrag 07-11-10 12:36 PM

Long distance cycling or touring? Remy Lafreniere will covered 65 000 km in one year with no assistance.

Site :
Spot messenger link :

unterhausen 07-11-10 12:53 PM

the point of this thread was to encourage touring posts in the touring section, and keep the randonneuring and ultra-distance posts in here. Touring is a separate discipline, and they have expertise that is not necessarily possessed or interesting to the people that this forum was created for. A good rule of thumb is that if there is a story about people that are sensible enough to get a good night's sleep on their ride, it goes in touring.

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