From newbie to cross canada in 9 months, doable?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by tmckendry, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. tmckendry

    tmckendry New Member

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    Hey all,

    I've been contemplating an ambitious idea for the last few hours. I'm interested in cycling across most of Canada over the course of ~120 days. The route is ~7000km, averaging out to ~70/km day with 20 rest days. Thinking of starting ~June 1st 2013.

    I'm interested if my journey is feasible given my situation. Hopefully I can tap into some of the knowledge on this board.

    As of today, I'm a 23-year old male, 6"1, 190 pounds (carry a few extra pounds). Overall, below average shape for my age. Play tennis 2-3 times a week for 40-60minutes. I make an effort to walk around. I rarely bike, but enjoy cycling when I get the chance. I play poker professionally, live or online.

    Between now and june 1st I'm living out in whistler and will be skiing 5-6 days/week, beginning soon. The lease in whistler is up April 1st. I expect to lose ~10 pounds of fat and get in average/above average shape for my age/gender this winter.

    Between April 1st- June1st I plan to train for my trip. I'd have to be able to bike ~150km in a day, eventually. I could start off doing 70-100km day trips for the first couple weeks. Also, I would need to play poker 6-7 nights/mo in casinos across Canada.

    To complete this trip, would it be sufficient to get in better shape between now and April 1st and begin training (cycling 5-6 times/week, I'd assume) from April 1st-June 1st?

    Any feedback/opinions are welcomed! This is just an idea, for now.
     
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  2. Monroe71

    Monroe71 New Member

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    Good on you - that's quite a trip if you've never done any long distance riding before.
    If I were you I'd be starting your training right now. Every serious rider will tell you that the beginning of training is laying down a mileage base before any specific training periodization is done. If you haven't ridden long distances before deciding to do 100 km in the first couple of weeks is unwise. Build a solid base starting now and you'll have the legs and endurance to be able to roll in the longer distances.

    If you put in the time you can make the trip and training enjoyable rather than painful - it will be important not to dent your enthusiasm along the way by going too hard too soon. Remembering that you likely be hauling a lot of equipment as well.


    Good luck - keep us posted.
     
  3. tmckendry

    tmckendry New Member

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    Thanks! I haven't done any long distance riding (25km+), so I'm unfamiliar with it.

    It's going to be challenging to cycle when I'm living in the rockie mountains during the winter months. Would skiing be enough to get some "base" training? I'd have ~2months to cycle once the snow melts.

    In terms of equipment-- I just realized I'll need a tent along with an assortment of other tools. I'll have to bring 25-35 pounds along with me on the ride. Not cool.

    In terms of finances, the initial outlay costs are going to be in the $2-3k region, and the trip will run up $1k/mo bringing the grand total to $6-8k. This translates into 10-15 hours work/wk.

    I'll try and keep everyone posted. I think it might be a good idea to try and find a riding partner for the trip.
     
  4. bobqzzi

    bobqzzi New Member

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    You do need to lay down some base mileage, but you are young. Biggest issue is being able to tolerate 7-8 hours on the bike- hands, feet and seat.

    I don't think downhill skiing will do much for you cycling wise. Cross country skiing certainly will. Running is also helpful for building the aerobic engine.

    Honestly, I think one of your biggest hurdles is going to be equipment. You'll need an appropriate bike and gear, and you'll need to practice with it. Certainly, you'll need at least a couple of multiday trips beforehand to iron out the bugs.

    One frequent trouble area is wheels. You will need to invest in a set of robust properly built wheels(36 spokes mandatory for this type of work, at least in the rear). Getting this right will save a lot of heartache.
     
  5. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    If you want a chance to suceed you'll need to make cycling pretty much the single focus of your life - now, not in April. Buy a trainer to put your bike on and ride during winter. Concentrate on shorter efforts of 20 minutes or so - so a session like:

    10 minutes warm up
    20 minutes hard
    5 minutes rest
    20 minutes hard.
    10 minutes cool down

    ... would be a good place to start. Find a pace that you can hold for 20 minutes but go hard enough to where it's hard at the end. Keep the pace even. Indoor training tip #1: Buy a f--king huge fan and lay a towel across your handlebars and top tube. That you'll sweat lots doesn't mean you're working hard, if the fan is a small wimpy POS then it just means you're hot.

    Sessions like this will train your aerobic systems very nicely. Once you get a handle of doing the 2x20 you can push it out to 2x25 and then either 2x20 at a harder pace or 3x20. Both would be good but personally, for weight loss I'd opt for the latter and you really won't be going that much harder on the 2x20.

    Training is only part of the equation. You need to have some idea what it's like to sit in the saddle for 150km a day for many days at a time. Once you can get to that point then you'll start to understand the stresses that are placed upon your body, stresses other than just sore legs from pedalling. Saddle sores, sore neck, hands, feet and crotch. How will your digestive system deal with a ton of random "bike food" for days on end. Will you start the ride in good shape so the inital week or so won't be so bad that you'll actually get some good sleep and recuperate...?

    ... and when you start training in such a manner you'll be able to tell if your position is good for that much riding and that critical bits like shorts, mitts and shoes are comfortable over such durations.

    I wish you all the best on this awesome ride - but thinking that you'll have enough gas in the tank to concentrate on poker and night is a bit of a stretch. If you start training in April, I don't think you'll have enough training to finish the first 10 days...
     
  6. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    60km/day and no rest days. 30k in the morning. 30k after lunch.

    Easy to do. Make your training goal: 30k without a break and without working hard.
     
  7. vspa

    vspa Active Member

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    yeah install on them 14 gauge 2.0mm spokes, like DT Swiss, and carry a good amount for eventual replacements on your trip
     
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