Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

First time short tour done.

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.

First time short tour done.

Old 07-03-19, 09:19 AM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 385

Bikes: 1986 Univega Gran Rally 1993 Univega Gran Premio 1995 Univega Alpina 501 Univega Nuovo Sport Univega Viva Sport

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 36 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
First time short tour done.

I know it's not a lot, but I went out and did 53 miles with about 55 lbs of camping stuff and made it to a State Park here in Texas from my house. It felt great! I planned to do 60 to another State Park but made some wrong turns...grrrr Google cue sheet is sometimes wrong, wound up getting off track quite a ways and decided to throw in the towel and have the wife pick me up. 50 miles wasn't too bad but I couldn't do it day in and day for the summer. I teach school and really don't have time to train during the year. I feel more like a 30-40 mile guy with an occasional 50 mile thrown in. My hope was to travel from State Park to State Park but they are all 50-60 miles away. So, I think I may try setting up behind country churches, after contacting someone for permission as a way to facilitate the 30-40 mile days.
Flyboy718 is offline  
Likes For Flyboy718:
Old 07-03-19, 12:16 PM
Full Member
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: WA
Posts: 448

Bikes: Trek Domane, Trek 2120, Trek 520, Schwinn Voyager step through

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 158 Post(s)
Liked 85 Times in 66 Posts
You are off to a good start and a great attitude. Give yourself some time to add mileage. 55 pounds sounds heavy but I have no idea what you may need. Good luck.
debade is offline  
Old 07-03-19, 09:26 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3,150

Bikes: 2013 Surly Disc Trucker, 2004 Novara Randonee , old fixie , etc

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 671 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 49 Times in 43 Posts
Congrats, sounds like it was fun! Not hard to get side-tracked: sometimes road has a different name than what map seems to show, sometimes in rural areas there's few road markings etc. Phone or GPS can be useful backup for a cue sheet to check if one's on the correct route or else get back on track quicker.

Overly-ambitious mileage goals can spoil the fun with being rushed & fatigued. The church camping idea sounds good but would they allow use of bathroom to wash up etc incl at night/early morning? One side of me feels like if you can do 50 miles w/o serious problems, pushing a bit to get to the state park gives the luxury of 24-hr shower/bathroom access.
DropBarFan is offline  
Likes For DropBarFan:
Old 07-04-19, 12:52 AM
Full Member
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: NB, NL
Posts: 251

Bikes: 90's Trek 800 Sport, setup for Fully Loaded Touring

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 142 Post(s)
Liked 41 Times in 28 Posts
Well done on your first tour!

I never train - but sometimes I do practise. Load up the panniers and go off for a day, have a picnic, test out the stove, try out whatever needs to be tried out.

It's easy for me to say, but distance is not that important - enjoyment comes first. I think you're on the right track - trying to find places that are a shorter distance away.
Perhaps you could use your school contacts? Also, check out Warmshowers - it's like couch-surfing for cyclists. If nothing else, local members might be a useful source of places to camp or people to ask.

As for navigation, in my part of the world Google Maps is not for cycling! It's handy as a get out of jail option and for planning to get an idea of general distances and landscape. One handy feature of GM is that you can download a map before you go and use it to get your bearings. Even handier if you've marked off useful locations.

Cue sheets have their flaws as you have discovered, but really need to be backed up by maps, paper or digital.

A very handy app to have, if you have a smartphone or tablet, is Osmand. A bit of a bugger to learn, but free (at least the first sets of maps are) but very handy for seeing where you are. It will even plot routes totally offline. These might not be the best routes, but they will get you out of a hole. It's not as social media friendly as some apps out there, but it works.

Looking forward to hearing about your second tour!
HobbesOnTour is offline  
Likes For HobbesOnTour:
Old 07-04-19, 06:20 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bristol, R. I.
Posts: 4,340

Bikes: Specialized Secteur, old Peugeot

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 662 Post(s)
Liked 491 Times in 297 Posts
I'm not a vastly experienced bike tourer having just several 80 mile weekend outings under my belt. But I have backpacked a fair number of miles and similar principals hold true. Having the right gear is very helpful but no more gear than is absolutely necessary. This means, keep the weight down all you can and especially before getting to your best fitness. Otherwise you will be exhausted at days end. I've paired down weight over the years so that basic pack weight, excluding the variables of food and water, to about 12 to 15 pounds. This is the amount of stuff for any length of tour except for expedition length. I have a repair kit, tools, and first aid kit and some spare parts. Too many clothes is a space hog that may require larger saddle bags (more weight). Females will usually haul a bit more stuff than males.

I love seeing new terrain. Good luck.
berner is offline  
Likes For berner:
Old 07-04-19, 07:15 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 12,422
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2432 Post(s)
Liked 734 Times in 615 Posts
only thing I can add is that 55lbs is a lot, and by bringing this down to lets say 40 or something, you will see a noticeable diff in the day being more manageable.
If you havent done other self supported outdoor activities, look into the gazillion online equipment lists to compare and to see just what the heck you packed to get to 55lbs

if it makes you feel any better, most of us made this beginner mistake and took too much crap.
I did, and combined with not enough low gearing and some pretty darn tough and long hills, my first fully loaded trip was a bear at some points and I even had a knee issue due to all these factors (plus I hadnt ridden with all my junk on the bike beforehand)

reduce the stuff, figure out what crap you took and really didnt need, and change stuff if needed (ie, if your tent weighs 15lbs, or 10--you can find affordable 6 or 7 lb tents, or you can find more expensive 4lb tents, or even more expensive 2lb tents)

if you took a pair of jeans, and six shirts, and this and that---well, you get the drift.....

all the best with reducing the load, and have fun, thats the whole idea here.
djb is offline  
Likes For djb:
Old 07-04-19, 05:35 PM
Over forty victim of Fate
Cougrrcj's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 3,890

Bikes: A few...

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 620 Post(s)
Liked 368 Times in 255 Posts
One of my 'bucket-list' tours has a maximum of 60 miles between projected overnights, with most being between 35-45 miles. That's only just over two hours of riding to just over three hours of saddle time each day. Extremely flat ride, following the Ohio River or Lake Erie shoreline for more than half the ride.... That leaves me several hours for exploring the towns/museums/attractions at the interim towns. Three weeks and I've done the entire 1050 miles or so... Visit. Take in the local culture and history... I've even allowed a few days of 'down-time' for weather, doing laundry, maintenance, etc...

Back 40 years ago, I did a three-week ~1100 mile unsupported 'minimalist' ride that was five days of 100-miles/day, with a week off in the middle for visiting family, then 500 miles back home... Best ride/time of my life!!!
'75 Fuji S-10S bought new, 52k+ miles and still going!
'84 Univega Gran Tourismo
'84 Univega Viva Sport
'86 Miyata 710
'90 Schwinn Woodlands
Unknown brand MTB of questionable lineage aka 'Mutt Trail Bike'
Plus or minus a few others from time-to-time

Cougrrcj is offline  
Likes For Cougrrcj:
Old 07-04-19, 10:03 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 3,473
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 363 Post(s)
Liked 28 Times in 22 Posts
Nice! As mentioned by others, lowering your weight will help a lot. And once you start going, after the first 4-5 days, do a couple rest days. Then the next 4-5 days will be much easier. Do a couple more rest days. By the third 4-5 days, with less weight on your bike, you'll be able to hit those 50mi days. At least for myself and many others who have commented in the past, your body is quick to adapt to the mileage even if you haven't had a chance to do a lot of long training days. Just try to keep up with short rides a few days/week. Then if you can get in a 10mi ride once a week too, you'll be good to go.

One thing I've heard is that most people can add up the miles they average in a week, and be able to ride that total in a day. If you start pushing higher mileage daily, your body will catch up in 2-3 weeks.
3speed is offline  
Likes For 3speed:
Old 07-04-19, 11:10 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3,150

Bikes: 2013 Surly Disc Trucker, 2004 Novara Randonee , old fixie , etc

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 671 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 49 Times in 43 Posts
Well I'm impressed a newbie is willing to tackle Dallas summer heat. June wasn't super hot but OTOH significant humidity. Next 10 days high temps near 100 F. Only time I was in Dallas was in winter during an air flight layover...20 F & windy!
DropBarFan is offline  
Likes For DropBarFan:
Old 07-06-19, 06:58 AM
Senior Member
staehpj1's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 10,907
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 873 Post(s)
Liked 317 Times in 261 Posts
Great start.

Cutting the gear weight may help with increasing the mileage. 55# is a lot, you should be able to easily cut that to at least 30# without spending a fortune on UL stuff. When it comes right down to it you really need very little stuff.

Food and water should be resupplied along the way. Carry enough to be safe, but restock often rather than carry much for very far. If you know for sure there will be a store buy food daily. If you know there will be water, restock as often as you can, water is heavy. Have a little in reserve, enough to be safe, but don't weigh yourself down unnecessarily.

Yes there may be times when you may need to carry a lot of water, but don't do it when you don't need to.
Pete in Tallahassee
Check out my profile, articles, and trip journals at:

staehpj1 is offline  
Old 07-06-19, 07:58 AM
tcs's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Parts Unknown
Posts: 7,342

Bikes: Mike Melton custom, 1982 Stumpjumper, Alex Moulton AM, 2010 Dawes Briercliffe, 2017 Dahon Curl i8, 2021 Motobecane Turino 1x12

Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1132 Post(s)
Liked 822 Times in 508 Posts
I know everything is bigger in Texas, but you might be overstating the distance between campsites. In the lovely Brazos River Valley I make it:

Cleburne AmTrak Station to Dinosaur Valley SP - 37mi
Dinosaur Valley SP to Meridian SP - 40mi
Meridian SP to McCown Valley Campground - 32mi
McCown Valley to Cleburne SP - 35mi
Cleburne SP to Cleburne AmTrak Station - 27mi

tcs is offline  
Likes For tcs:
Old 07-06-19, 09:50 AM
tcs's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Parts Unknown
Posts: 7,342

Bikes: Mike Melton custom, 1982 Stumpjumper, Alex Moulton AM, 2010 Dawes Briercliffe, 2017 Dahon Curl i8, 2021 Motobecane Turino 1x12

Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1132 Post(s)
Liked 822 Times in 508 Posts
Originally Posted by Flyboy718 View Post
My hope was to travel from State Park to State Park but they are all 50-60 miles away.
How about Eisenhower SP to Bonham SP, 43 miles, to Cooper Lake SP, 41 miles, to Bob Sandlin SP 53 miles, to Dangerfield SP, 31 miles, to Atlanta SP, 41 miles?

tcs is offline  
Likes For tcs:
Related Topics
Thread Starter
Last Post
06-11-16 12:39 PM
06-03-16 02:27 AM
08-20-15 05:26 AM
General Cycling Discussion
09-20-14 08:01 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.