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Signed up for my first tour ...

Old 06-27-16, 10:55 AM
  #1  
CanoeU92
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Signed up for my first tour ...

I am riding in a C&O Canal Towpath supported tour in a couple of weeks (at least that is the plan), and I am worried that I might not be ready. The tour is a four day tour, with the shortest day being 40 miles and the longest being 51 miles.

In preparation, I have ridden up to 40 miles (2x), with a standard work out that averages between 20 and 35 miles. When I ride alone, I find myself racing the clock as each mile passes, which makes an otherwise casual ride more intense and perhaps not the best gauge of how I will do on a friendly, family oriented tour. My weekly mileage is between 80 and 100 miles (I work in DC and commute from Northern Maryland so I do not have a lot of time to ride during the work week).

A couple of weeks ago, I rode a very easy, relaxed 20 miles with a friend at a pace of 11 - 12 mph, and felt like I could have gone all day.

Thoughts?
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Old 06-27-16, 11:13 AM
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monsterdog
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IMHO, the best prep for a tour is riding consecutive days. Don't worry so much about mileage. You need to get your body used to daily riding. Butt and legs..
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Old 06-27-16, 11:19 AM
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CanoeU92
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I did what I will call a mini-tour two weeks ago - cycling 30 miles up the NCR trail to York, PA - where I spent the night, and before cycling back the next morning.

I then rode 18 miles the following day and felt pretty good doing it. I guess the worst part about not knowing is not knowing.
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Old 06-27-16, 02:45 PM
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pdlamb
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On a tour, you've got all day to get to the end of that day's ride. Ride a couple hours, you've only made 25 miles? Find a good place to sit and rest (easy on the C&O), munch on a snack, have a drink, talk to your fellow riders (or the ducks). Ride another hour, have some lunch. Still have a ways to go? Get back on the bike and ride a while more.


(If you can't guess by now, my vote would be to go for it!)
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Old 06-27-16, 07:26 PM
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Go for it! You are riding/training enough to make this 4 day trip. Your average speed on the Towpath is unlikely to be more than 12 mph so you are prepared now. Take it easy and enjoy the sights and sounds of the C&O Canal! It's a nice ride with no traffic and some nice places to stop enroute. Have a good time!
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Old 06-28-16, 06:35 AM
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monsterdog
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Originally Posted by CanoeU92 View Post
I did what I will call a mini-tour two weeks ago - cycling 30 miles up the NCR trail to York, PA - where I spent the night, and before cycling back the next morning.

I then rode 18 miles the following day and felt pretty good doing it. I guess the worst part about not knowing is not knowing.

I would say you have the multi day covered.... You will be spending most of the day doing your miles, it isn't the same as 1 shot deal.. (much easier).


Another note - not that you asked.. The C&O can be rough riding. The YCH/NCR is beautiful and packed compared to much of the C&O.. But the views are well worth it.. if you have an option for fenders and any rain is in the forecast I do recommend them for the mud!


Have fun..
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Old 06-28-16, 06:52 AM
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djb
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if this is any consolation to you, in all the 25 years that I have done touring, my average speed has tended to stay about the same 17-19kph , which is pretty much 11mph.

Just go at your pace that you know from experience you can comfortably do all day and go more or less that speed, and you will get to the end of the day with no major problems.
I've sometimes ridden with faster riders on either day rides, or supported tours, or when touring on my own, and just be careful not to try all day to keep up with faster riders, it can take some of the fun out of your day--as the saying goes, I aint your mom, so do what you want, but as a general rule, keeping at a pace that is comfortable for you will make for a more enjoyable day.

Sure, you will be tired and sore at the end of the trips days, that's normal, but riding within yourself is the best way to not be totally whacked at the end of the day.

and it goes without saying, don't try new shoes, or new bike shorts or whatever, go with what you know works for you. Bring optional clothes with you if you are not sure, and will weigh practically nothing in a pannier if you really do have doubts.

Good luck with the weather.
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