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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Ohio
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    105

    Getting in shape to tour

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    I'm wondering how much riding you do to get in shape for a tour. The last few summers I've just done my usual 3 days a week 30-40 miles sneaking in a 50 or 60 mile ride once a week when I get closer to my start date. This is he first year that I'm doing a multi day so early in the spring and I won't have so many miles under my belt when I go. Getting ever so close to 50 I'm a little worried about preserving my knees.
    _________
    1996 Kona Kula-14
    2011 Surly LHT-46

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,192
    We always laugh about "getting in shape" to tour - to me, with that amount of riding - you are in great shape Have some friends who just left for a two year tour and they said they'd be spending the first couple of weeks just getting their touring legs back. Of course, when we don't have two years to tour we don't have that luxury. For me, I am pretty religious about gearing and not pushing to hard of a gear. If I am fairly loaded up I stay extremely aware of that so I don't stress my knees. Another thing I have enjoyed is having some strong core body conditioning - has made a big difference in the stress on the knees as well. Where are you off too?
    Sky King
    ____________________
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,101
    We are doing a supported tour on June 21, and a couple of years ago we did a very challenging tour in Spain at the end of May. I did ride more for the tour in Spain, but this year, the weather has thwarted me. I've come to the conclusion, that when I have to, I just suck it up and suffer a bit. Like Sky King, I am religious about using my low gears and remembering I am on a tour. I don't even try to go as fast as I might go on a ride, as I have the tendancy to just ride through, to get done. Then, I don't see anything...
    Even unloaded, this kind of riding is different. Riding 30-65 miles a day, several days in a row, is not the norm for me. I do go, very religiously to boot camp twice a week, and that helps with overall fitness.
    Last edited by Crankin; 04-29-2015 at 01:14 PM.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,981
    I've only gone on 2 supported bike tours. The other multi-day and multi-week bike trips we had to cycle our own loaded panniers and food occasionally if we camped (which we haven't done over last 15 yrs. We've been cycling last 25 yrs.).

    I'm 56 and will say this: if you already bike nearly daily as part of your lifestyle plus you are hauling groceries every week by bike for a good distance, it will help. Do a few 2-3 day loaded bike tours where you are cycling for 3-6 hrs., each day. Bike touring to me, means cycling at a moderate but not very fast rate all the time, because of the need for endurance with extra weight and balance especially if I have 4 panniers. I've never worried about my...knees.

    We do hills on our self-loaded bike tours, but we don't deliberately throw in a long climb just for interest sake, it really is part of the route that he plans the best route without making too long convoluted detours just to see stuff along the way. We will ride through industrial park areas if it means to avoid a superfast busy highway section or it's the most efficient segment between points C to D.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 04-29-2015 at 03:04 PM.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    105
    I'm trying to get a few people started on touring and they often ask how many miles should they be able to do before they start off on a tour. I had read somewhere that if a person could ride 40 miles on a ride they wouldn't have trouble doing 70-80 miles a day on a tour.
    _________
    1996 Kona Kula-14
    2011 Surly LHT-46

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,556
    Quote Originally Posted by Hartmame View Post
    I'm trying to get a few people started on touring and they often ask how many miles should they be able to do before they start off on a tour. I had read somewhere that if a person could ride 40 miles on a ride they wouldn't have trouble doing 70-80 miles a day on a tour.
    I think that might depend on how they felt at the end of the 40 miles. If they were comfortable - maybe. If they were dead tired and couldn't go another mile, then maybe not so ready. I also think terrain and whether they'll be loaded makes a huge difference - loaded in the mountains - again, maybe not. Supported tour on flats - probably OK.
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,636
    Agree with Blueberry. 40 miles unloaded is not really the same as 70-80 loaded unless the 40 miles is hilly and the tour is flat!

    When we were training for our 9-day self-supported tour in very hilly country (Finger Lakes and Adirondacks), we made sure we had ridden several back-to-back long days (each weekend day for a few weeks ahead of the tour). We also took one two-day shakedown tour, which I highly recommend. We loaded up our panniers with a similar load as we'd have on the tour and on a Saturday, rode similar mileage on a relatively hilly route to a town about 60 miles away, spent the night in a hotel, and rode home on Sunday.

    To me, the most important things were getting my azz ready to ride in the saddle day after day, making sure I had shorts that worked well for me, and hillwork. I always spin, so didn't worry about my knees.

    Good luck! Touring is such fun.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,192
    Quote Originally Posted by emily_in_nc View Post
    Agree with Blueberry. 40 miles unloaded is not really the same as 70-80 loaded unless the 40 miles is hilly and the tour is flat!

    When we were training for our 9-day self-supported tour in very hilly country (Finger Lakes and Adirondacks), we made sure we had ridden several back-to-back long days (each weekend day for a few weeks ahead of the tour). We also took one two-day shakedown tour, which I highly recommend. We loaded up our panniers with a similar load as we'd have on the tour and on a Saturday, rode similar mileage on a relatively hilly route to a town about 60 miles away, spent the night in a hotel, and rode home on Sunday.

    To me, the most important things were getting my azz ready to ride in the saddle day after day, making sure I had shorts that worked well for me, and hillwork. I always spin, so didn't worry about my knees.

    Good luck! Touring is such fun.
    Couldn't have said it better myself! Of course, I would encourage relax, enjoy and try not to get hung up on miles in the day (okay sometimes that isn't possible but always my goal)
    Sky King
    ____________________
    Gilles Berthoud "Bernard"
    Surly ECR "Eazi"
    Empowering the Bicycle Traveler
    biketouringnews.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,101
    In retrospect, I should have trained more for my trip to France. Although the mileage was not huge (30-50 miles a day), there was 14,000 ft. of climbing in 5 days, and the heat was unbearable for me. And, I didn't even attempt to ride up Mt. Ventoux. I did it, like I said I would, but I was suffering. Part of it is on these trips to Europe, I am eating and drinking way more than usual, and frankly, that is also an important part of the trip for me. My stomach and whole body, really, are very sensitive, but I think riding in 80-90 degree heat was what pushed me over the edge.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,636
    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    In retrospect, I should have trained more for my trip to France. Although the mileage was not huge (30-50 miles a day), there was 14,000 ft. of climbing in 5 days, and the heat was unbearable for me. And, I didn't even attempt to ride up Mt. Ventoux. I did it, like I said I would, but I was suffering. Part of it is on these trips to Europe, I am eating and drinking way more than usual, and frankly, that is also an important part of the trip for me. My stomach and whole body, really, are very sensitive, but I think riding in 80-90 degree heat was what pushed me over the edge.
    I can imagine! The heat and the intense climbs, coupled with eating rich/more foods than normal and drinking as well...that would do me in as well. And I totally understand! If I were fortunate enough to travel to Europe, you better believe I'd want to enjoy the amazing food and wines even if it meant my cycling would be somewhat compromised!
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

 

 

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