Major Tour

Discussion in 'Touring and recreational cycling' started by Average Man, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. Average Man

    Average Man New Member

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    Hi, i am planning on touring around 3000 to 4000 miles on my bike in 3 years. I need some general advice on how to prepare, saftey, equipment and any other advice. Thanks
     
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  2. jstava

    jstava New Member

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    Wow, where to start? It's not clear whether you intend to do that sort of distance OVER the 3 or 4 years or do a trip of that length sometime in the future - 3 or 4 years away. Or whether you have any similar tour experience. whether your intended tour is self contained and camping, supported tour or credit card / accommodation based. Where you might be going.

    Relevant equipment and safety advice is pretty hard to give when you give no details of destination or types of road or terrain you intend to travel. QUITE different advice is in order if you intended to travel in Australia, South America or through the Midwest USA.

    No wonder you haven't got much in the way of replies

    Many a trip of the lifetime has come unstuck because people are simply not prepared for it. Oh they have all the whizz-bang gear, but aren't really ready.

    Physical preparation. Make sure that you are fit. That practically goes without saying. You'll ideally be doing distances resembling touring distances daily, but that doesn't really prepare you. A loaded touring bike often comes as a surprise when it is loaded up. It will be heavy, if you intend to be self sufficient, in my view, it is essential to undertake some rides, on the bike with full load, under similar conditions prior to setting out.

    I'd recommend AT LEAST 1, possibly two short trips of 7 to 10 days duration. These "shake downs" will provide you with an idea of your daily capability on the extended tour, identify bike tuning issues, allow you to consider your packing options before committing wholesale. Make sure that some rotten weather is involved so you know how well your setup resists wetness and how well you cope with poor conditions.

    Apart from that, don't let anyone tell you how far is reasonable to travel in a day. Everybody is different and different patterns are comfortable for different people. This is also something that you will work out to an extent by doing a short shakedown, and what you reckon on the shorter trip will change once on the road for a longer time, for a variety of reasons. An extra day or two (no travel days) a week is a good idea. I've found 3 days for each 2 weeks on average works for me.

    For me, I like to travel (and sightsee) for 4 to 6 days and have 2 nights and one whole day off the bike in an interesting place. I could just exist out there indefinitely doing that. I dislike and avoid the "destination mentality"and so rarely have daily target destinations. Oh I'll decide where I'm likely to spend the night, usually by 4:00 PM or so. It's also easy to wreck yourself if you suffer from "home stretch syndrome" by going too hard in the final days getting back, making up days or just eager. Better to just get off the bike and have business as usual, no recovery required. The home stretch thing is as much about attitude as it is the body.

    Someone else can tell you about their favourite equipment. You need to give more information. That's the best advice I can give.

    Suffice it to say, I value self sufficiency, in the field repairability (if you can't have absolute reliability) simplicity, and commonality (get what you need to proceed anywhere). Steel frames, simple shifters and brakes, big tyres on 26 inch rims, and things that fit and wool.
     
  3. PedaltheGlobe

    PedaltheGlobe New Member

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