Looking to do "Tour du Canada", anyone done a long ride?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by origanic, Mar 7, 2005.

  1. origanic

    origanic New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello fellow riders.

    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/pics/docs/07/788/large/trainbridge.jpg?v=x

    I am here seeking major advice on doing a tour across Canada from British Columbia to Newfoundland. In other words, a "Tour du Canada". I am going with 2 others and planning to sleep in tents and odd hostles. I am here on the Cycling Forums looking for some more information on how to plan and train for a trip of this kind.

    Is there anyone else out there who has done anything like this for personal enjoyment? I am looking for advice on how you began planning, tips, maps, etc. We are going to attempt an average of 130 km a day for about 2-3 months. Canada tour is approximately 7750km across so depending on out pace and touring while traveling, we are looking at just over 2 months.

    The plan as it stands is to leave in May 2007 (which allows plenty of time to train). Leaving at this time also works out nicely because it will be the summer following my University graduation so I will not be rushed to make it back for September.

    So, I am basically looking for ANY advice on planning a trip of this kind. I am sure with all the hardcore cyclists, one of you must have done a large trip like this.


    You can e-mail me at [email protected] com if you have lots to say, or just posts here will be much appreciated.

    Thank you and hope to hear from anyone!
     
    Tags:


  2. fabrice

    fabrice New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2003
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi,
    I've done a bit of road here, in Britain.
    Last time, I tried to cycle to Stonehenge for the solstice and had a few problems on the way, which allowed me to trouble shoot.
    Firstly, there's the trailer versus panniers thing. Everybody told me that panniers make the bike sluggish and so to opt for a trailer.
    I realised later that a trailer has the disadvantage to be attached to the bike by a bracket. This tends to wear off. Also, natural movement of the trailer can make riding extremely tedious. At times, when riding uphill, it truly felt like I was draging someone on water skis behind me. So, as far as I'm concerned, it's pannier for me from then on.
    I recently met a elderly German couple who have been riding accross Europe for about a year on rusty mountain bikes. I was really surprised at their choice of machines, especially because they clearly were much more experienced riders than me. their advice was simple: ride a bike you've already know well. Like that not only will you be prepared for whatever might go wrong with it (and something WILL go wrong at some point ot another) but also comfort is primordial. A steel frame also presents another major advantage: As I was coming out of Oxford, I rode over a pot hole. My front wheel got caught, I hit the breaks and bent my forks. I was in the middle of nowhere without a soul around for miles. somehow, I still managed to bend the fork back into some sort of a shape that allowed me to ride the bike and the whole of my kit, though very slowly to the nearest place where I could get help. An alu or carbon frame would just have just snapped and I would have been totally screwed. it was bad enough in Britain where distances are much shorter, so imagine what a nightmare the whole situation could be in Canada...
    Apart from that, you can pretty much ride any type of bike you feel good with. I made my own bike from a 1970's 531 Dawes hybrid frame (the frame is light enough and the lugged construction provides the most strength).
    It is equiped with a Shimano Octalink MTB bottom bracket for ultimate lightness and strength and also to keep the gears as low as possible. It also offers the advantage to be compatible with drop handlebars and STIs shifters for comfort and a more aerodynamic riding position. I had it rebuilt by Alf Webb of the Bike Inn. Alf and his wife Theresa have toured India for several years and I knew they were the best people to advice me.
    I wouldn't necesarily go for what most cycle shops sell as "touring" bikes as they tend to be heavy and sluggish, but instead re-kitted an audax or cyclo-cross frame to take cantilever brakes. I also had lots of braze-ons put on for pannier brakets, extra bottle cages, etc. The whole thing costed me about £500, so £200 to £300 cheaper than if I'd picked up the bike ready made from my local cycle shop. Most components were bought on-line.
    I felt better about having meaty tyres and rims, but theresa did the whole of India on 700C X 25 road tyres and only punctured a couple of times.
    Now, the technical bits: travel light. You'll always find a place to wash clothes on the way. Always carry food. It will be draining and it's primordial to have something to eat with you. I found it a good idea to carry a couple of self-heating ready-made meals. You can get these in any good camping shop. They contain a chemically activated heating bag that gives heat when you pour water into it. You may use water from a stream to save drinking water as the food is in a separate bag.
    Also, a tin of beer is generally more than welcome in the evening before going to bed. Not to get drunk (that could be a really bad idea if you're knackered) but because of the magic of yeast: Honnest, I was absolutely shattered, aching all over, a sip of lager and I was like Popeye after eating spinach. My vote goes to Molson.
    Lastly, pace yourself. Do not overachieve. It's easy to pass a perfectly good spot to camp and just go: "I can do another 20 miles." That's how mountaineers die. It might sound strange, but when you're going for a ride on that kind of scale, it makes sense to develop a phylosophy of "underachieving"
    It's about doing a bit and then stop. Even if you're not necessarily very tired, just stop for a little while, have a drink, have a chat, sit down, and then carry on. It's not about the target, it's about the trajectory.
    That's about all I can think of from the top of my head.
    Let me know how you're getting on and if you can think of anything else.
    In the meantime, you will, I'm sure, appreciate a picture of cycling-wind goddess of the underworld Pazuzu, to bear you luck and inspire you in your journey.
    best,
    f.j.
     
  3. origanic

    origanic New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey! Thanks so much for all these tips guys! Well, here's the latest, this trip is falling apart. Its unfortunate and I'd still love to carry it out. One of the three of us riders bailed on the trip. My boyfriend and I are still looking to complete the adventure. I really appreciate all the advice you are all providing. Getting feedback from others experiences is probaby the best words that you will hear on carrying out a trip of this kind. Thanks again and keep these great words comming my way! If any of you have MSN: [email protected] com (without the space, avoid spam)!
     
  4. fabrice

    fabrice New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2003
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey, you don't necessarily need 3, 5 or 20 people to come with you...
    This German couple were doing it on their own. Alf and Theresa travelled together throughout India... And, I mean, these guys are in their 60's...
    I mostly cycle alone.
    I always propose other people to come and join me but they always chicken out and say I'm mad and it's impossible... :eek:
    Somebody introduced me to this guy who was supposedly a semi-professional triathlon guy saying he was the only one fit enough to go with me and he freaked out like a little girl when I told him what the plan was.
    And it's not like I'm that fit... I couldn't do triathlon, I swim like a padlock and I can't run 20 yards without coughing my guts out in bloody chunks. :(
    Granted, now I've broken my bike and I'm pennyless, but I'm still riding and already working on a new better bike and he's the one feeling stupid for not doing it.
    It's like, you just get on a bike and you somehow gel. pack up your panniers and... the world's your oister :D
     
  5. pinkfreud

    pinkfreud New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2005
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    My first post
     
  6. islandboy

    islandboy New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2005
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    My girlfriend rode a "supported" tour with http://www.tourducanada.com/ and said it was the best summer of her life! Basically they supplied a driver with a one ton moving van to carrry tents and clothing. The driver did the grocery shop and the riders (21) had 7 sets of 3 people alternating the cooking. They tented most of the way. Rest days every 7th day. You may want to check it out for 2006.

    PS: we just had one of Melissa's friends (Australian) from the tour stay with us prior to returning to do the tour Pacific with the same outfit
     
  7. Dijital

    Dijital New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2004
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    There are three cross Canada blogs/journals that I am aware of. I have read Alan's and am on the last section of Karls. I highly recommend these as both a good read and a guide as to what to expect.

    Alan Medcalf http://www.medcalf.ca/
    Karl Augenstein http://www.karlaugenstein.com/

    I have not read this one YET, but I probably will over winter
    Don Peddie http://www.geocities.com/don_peddie/

    I am sure you are aware, but for completeness, Cycle Canada http://www.cyclecanada.com/ runs the Tour du Canada each year which is what these three guys completed. http://www.tourducanada.com/

    Personally, I think this would be the option I would choose.
     
Loading...
Loading...