Training for extended tour

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by Jon Meinecke, Sep 5, 2003.

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  1. Jon Meinecke

    Jon Meinecke Guest

    I've done only short tours previously, but am considering a longer, self-supported tour, 500-600
    miles. Any insight and experiences in training for and planning such a trek, or pointers to other
    sources of bike touring information would be appreciated. I've scanned the archives of
    rec.bicycles.rides and a bike tour mailing list.

    How do you train for an extended bike tour? How many miles per day do you do when training? Do you
    add luggage to the bike when training?

    When planning routes through areas you're not familiar with, how do you characterize the route
    choices? On a short tour, I'd planned to use a less-traveled smaller road, only to find it filled
    with loose gravel!

    So how do you plan daily routes? Choose one and have alternates?

    Jon Meinecke
     
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  2. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > I've done only short tours previously, but am considering a longer, self-supported tour, 500-600
    > miles. Any insight and experiences in training for and planning such a trek, or pointers to other
    > sources of bike touring information would be appreciated. I've scanned the archives of
    > rec.bicycles.rides and a bike tour mailing list.

    If this list is [email protected], IMO you can not find a better source of collective touring
    experience.
    ==============================================================
    To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit http://phred.org/mailman/listinfo/touring
    or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to [email protected]
    ==============================================================

    Scanning the archives is not enough, jump in and ask your (dumb oft repeated) questions. Someone
    will answer it and someone else too shy to expose themselves will thank you. No question should go
    unasked, no matter how basic it might seem.
    >
    > How do you train for an extended bike tour?

    The simple answer is ride your bike... a lot and daily.

    > How many miles per day do you do when training?

    At least 10, seldom more than the longest day you expect to encounter on tour. My 'rule-of-thumb' is
    to ride weekly,twice the average number of miles I would expect to cover on a day touring. For me
    that is 100
    mi/wk and I try to never ride more than 50 mi/day while on a tour.

    > Do you add luggage to the bike when training?

    No but commuting to work with my panniers probably helps.
    >
    > When planning routes through areas you're not familiar with, how do you characterize the route
    > choices? On a short tour, I'd planned to use a less-traveled smaller road, only to find it filled
    > with loose gravel!
    >
    > So how do you plan daily routes? Choose one and have alternates?

    I start with 1:200 000 scale maps. Pick the tertiary roads and hope for the best. As for gravel, I
    tour with wide tires Vredestein S-Licks and try to have several options to get from point A to B. In
    Danish, Grus happens! So expect some gravel along the way and you will not be disappointed.

    Remember, touring is not a race, Even though you _can_ do 50 miles a day for 10 days in a row, does
    not mean that you should plan your trip to do just that. Expect to average 12 mph.

    My best tours have been when I did not have a daily target in mind each day, but mearly looked ahead
    in hope that I could find an place to stay along the way.

    BTW, these last two paragraphs are wisdom gained just recently.

    --
    Cletus D. Lee (world traveler) Bacchetta Giro Lightning Voyager http://www.clee.org
    - Bellaire, TX USA -
     
  3. Chris French

    Chris French Guest

    In message <[email protected]>, Jon Meinecke
    <[email protected]> writes
    >I've done only short tours previously, but am considering a longer, self-supported tour,
    >500-600 miles.
    >
    >How do you train for an extended bike tour?

    I don't. I just ride my bike regularly. Which means commuting, round town use, and the occasional
    longer day ride. My daily cycling at the moment may range anything from 0 - 10 miles

    > How many miles per day do you do when training?

    > Do you add luggage to the bike when training?
    >

    I guess some of this depends on what sort of riding you do on a day to day basis. assuming you ride
    regularly and if you can happily ride the sort of daily distance you expect to on tour without
    feeling absolutely wrecked then you'll be fine.

    It's not the total distance that makes it harder IMO, it's the daily mileage you hope to cover. In
    fact I would say a longer tour is easier. If you just go for a few days, you body might just be
    settling into the swing of things and you stop. On a longer tour of say a couple of weeks or more
    after a few days you body has settled down into it all and it just then gets easier.

    The first tour i did was 4 weeks in Ireland, I had only recently (in the previous year say) got back
    into cycling proper. As well as my 'utility cycling' i did go out for a few longer rides of say
    30-50 miles in the preceding few months just so i was happy that my body was ok with that.

    I often have loaded panniers on my bike anyway, so am used to that, and at the moment I'm often
    towing the kiddie trailer so that's a good load. If someone hadn't ridden with a full load, esp if
    they were taking front panniers as well then I would recommend they at least give the bike a try
    like that, just so they know things handle all right if for no other reason.

    >When planning routes through areas you're not familiar with, how do you characterize the route
    >choices? On a short tour, I'd planned to use a less-traveled smaller road, only to find it filled
    >with loose gravel!
    >
    >So how do you plan daily routes? Choose one and have alternates?

    I just pick the likely looking roads, usually the small wiggly ones, and take it from there, I often
    will change the route plan from day to day as things pan out. It helps to know how the maps will
    relate to the terrain of course
    --
    Chris French, Leeds
     
  4. M Worth

    M Worth Guest

    I do long tours all the time (say 800-1,200 miles). My basic advice is:

    1) Doing is the best way to learn, i.e. each time you go out you learn more for your next trip.
    Since you indicate you have done some tours already then I'd imagine you've got a handle on what
    to bring. My training for a new year is usually 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100 mile rides starting every
    other day and going further and every day as I work up to it. Then I do about three 3 day - 2
    night tours over known territory to work out the equipment kinks. Then 5 day tours ultimately
    going on up to two week 1,000 miles or so tours.

    2. Listen to your body. Years of long distance running have left me in tune with what my body is
    doing. I'm not in nearly the same shape anymore but I still know how to keep myself in the zone
    between under and over-exertion. With the high-heat, high-humidity days here, this is a
    life-or-death matter. In bad conditions I usually take a mid-day break and force fluids according
    to a schedule that is working for me.

    > So how do you plan daily routes? Choose one and have alternates?

    I prefer main routes that I hope have a wide shoulder. With a suitable shoulder then I don't care
    about the traffic volume and speed. I imagine most do the opposite, seeking a quiet back route with
    the view that a shoulder is not needed with few cars. Another main route benefit is that they will
    have the least elevation changes, which is nice. Also, I rely on roadside services (water, food,
    email, etc.) so back routes with no services are both unappealing and not useful to me. Since I
    camp, the other consideration for me is to not end the day in a built-up area. So as with golf, I
    either lay-up and camp before I get to a city or plan on pushing on to insure I'm far enough past
    it. And of course toward the end of the day I have to think about whether I should stop earlier at
    the first good camping area I see or get some more miles in and hope there are other good sites
    down the road.
     
  5. Jon Meinecke

    Jon Meinecke Guest

    "Cletus D. Lee" <[email protected]> wrote

    Thanks for the response and welcome back! Hope you'll soon post reports of your latest travels. The
    signal to noise ratio of the newsgroup will likely beneifit whatever you post. %^)

    > Scanning the archives is not enough, jump in and ask your (dumb oft repeated) questions.

    I've subscribed and will submit a few questions, very likely naive, shortly...

    > > How do you train for an extended bike tour?
    >
    > The simple answer is ride your bike... a lot and daily.

    That I am doing, though I could, probably should, do more.

    > > How many miles per day do you do when training?
    >
    > My 'rule-of-thumb' is to ride weekly,twice the average number of miles I would expect to cover on
    > a day touring. For me that is 100
    > mi/wk and

    I'm doing about 100 miles a week and hope to maintain that through the fall and winter (tough for
    me to do).

    > I try to never ride more than 50 mi/day while on a tour.

    Perhaps I'm being too ambitious, then. The routes I'm looking at fit best with 75+ mile days... I
    probably need to adjust my expectations to more like 50 miles. I can do 50 miles, lightly loaded,
    without feeling too tired unless the terrain is especially hilly.

    > No but commuting to work with my panniers probably helps.

    I carry probably an excessive amount of tools for day outings, but I think I need to add even a bit
    more for training.

    > [from maps] Pick the tertiary roads and hope for the best.

    This is my thought, but someone else pointed out that bigger roads often have shoulders. It's
    diffucult to tell how busy a given road is from just a map. Some two-lane, no shoulder FM roads are
    quite heavily travelled around here.

    > As for gravel, I tour with wide tires Vredestein S-Licks and

    I need to take a look at different tires. I'm not running tires that are adequate for touring, but I
    had four flats in less than 50 miles of riding this weekend. One was a rear tire blowout (from a
    sidewall cut) at about 20 mph! I had to use the folded dollar bill patch/trick to limp home with the
    ruined tire. Add to that, a flat tire and broken shifter cable on an errand run later the same day,
    rude drivers honking, and two more flat tires on Sunday, and perhaps I had a pretty good tour
    training weekend after all! %^)

    > Remember, touring is not a race, [...] Expect to average 12 mph.

    Funny you should mention 12 mph! I have 12mph plugged into MS Streets and Trips options for speed
    on all roads! %^) I also add about 30 minutes of 'rest stop' per 20 miles of riding and additional
    meal stops.

    I presume from your 50 miles/day and 12mph 'thumb rules' that you plan to spend about 4 hours per
    day actually riding.

    > My best tours have been when I did not have a daily target in mind each day, but mearly looked
    > ahead in hope that I could find an place to stay along the way.

    That's the adventure I hope for, but I need to calibrate my expectations to my abilities.

    Jon Meinecke
     
  6. Jon Meinecke

    Jon Meinecke Guest

    "Chris French" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > if you can happily ride the sort of daily distance you expect to on tour without feeling
    > absolutely wrecked then you'll be fine.

    I can do 50-60 miles without feeling too wiped out, but I'd like to increase that.

    > On a longer tour of say a couple of weeks or more after a few days you body has settled down into
    > it all and it just then gets easier.

    That's good insight and I hope that would be true for me. I'm not a spring chicken, however.

    > I just pick the likely looking roads, usually the small wiggly ones, and take it from there, I
    > often will change the route plan from day to day as things pan out.

    Do you seek "local opinions" on routes before or during tours?

    > It helps to know how the maps will relate to the terrain of course

    I have TopoUsa that gives a good overview of elevation profiles of routes. I just wish there were
    maps that better differentiated road types (surface material, shoulders, traffic load, etc...)

    Jon Meinecke
     
  7. Tom Blum

    Tom Blum Guest

    Another suggestion re. tour training;

    If your schedule and budget allows, take part in a supported tour as part of the training.

    These typically involve 6 days of riding to cover about 400 miles. They are supported, which means
    trucks carry your baggage. Some camp, some "motel". They usually have mechanical support and a
    "sag-wagon" . These things form a nice safety net if you're not sure of your capabilities.

    --
    Miles of Smiles,

    Tom Blum Winter Haven, Florida Homebuilts: SWB Tour Easy Clone Speed Machine Clone High Racer Clone
    www.gate.net/~teblum
     
  8. Jon Meinecke

    Jon Meinecke Guest

    "m worth" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I do long tours all the time (say 800-1,200 miles). My basic advice is:
    >
    > 1) Doing is the best way to learn, i.e. each time you go out you learn more for your next trip.

    This is good advice I plan to implement. I'm not getting any younger waiting. %^)

    > My training for a new year is usually 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100 mile rides starting every other day
    > and going further and every day as I work up to it.

    Wow, that's serious mileage! I'd really like to be able to plan 70-80 miles/day tours eventually for
    cross-country type traks.

    > 2. Listen to your body. Years of long distance running have left me in tune with what my body is
    > doing. I'm not in nearly the same shape anymore but I still know how to keep myself in the zone
    > between under and over-exertion. With the high-heat, high-humidity days here, this is a
    > life-or-death matter. In bad conditions I usually take a mid-day break and force fluids
    > according to a schedule that is working for me.

    I have and regularly use a heart rate monitor. I have improved my cardiovascular and aerobic
    conditioning over the past two years. The HRM really helps to calabrate and pace myself.

    > I prefer main routes that I hope have a wide shoulder. With a suitable shoulder then I don't care
    > about the traffic volume and speed.

    That was my experience.

    > I imagine most do the opposite, seeking a quiet back route with the view that a shoulder is not
    > needed with few cars.

    I like this too. There seems to be a dicotomy between 'cross-country' destination-oriented trips and
    less destination oritented, exploration tours... I'll have to fly somewhere to do the later.

    > I rely on roadside services (water, food, email, etc.) so back routes with no services are both
    > unappealing and not useful to me.

    Some of the routes I'm looking at have 'cities' that are 40-50 miles apart!

    Thanks for the advice. I'm sure I'll have more questions.

    Jon Meinecke
     
  9. Jon Meinecke <[email protected]> wrote:
    : "m worth" <[email protected]> wrote in message

    :> My training for a new year is usually 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100 mile rides starting every other day
    :> and going further and every day as I work up to it.

    : Wow, that's serious mileage! I'd really like to be able to plan 70-80 miles/day tours eventually
    : for cross-country type traks.

    Last year I did some 75 km rides on the upright. This year I increased my weekly long ride to 200
    km, gradually. I figure I could do 400 km the next if I wanted. Not to mention it's a bit easier on
    a quality bent :)

    I think weekly mileage follows the same pattern, unless it's even easier to increase. So one could
    estimate that you can reach your goal in about 2 seasons, provided you have the time, probably
    faster if you just concentrate on adding miles and even cross the boundaries of reason as comes to
    what's a good progression of training miles.

    --
    Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/hpv/hpv.html varis at no spam please iki fi
     
  10. Jon Meinecke

    Jon Meinecke Guest

    <[email protected]> wrote
    > Last year I did some 75 km rides on the upright. This year I increased my weekly long ride to 200
    > km, gradually. I figure I could do 400 km the next if I wanted. Not to mention it's a bit easier
    > on a quality bent :)

    75km => 200km => 400km

    That would be an impressive two year performance improvement curve! %^) 240 miles in one day's
    riding would be impressive! (Yes, I know the 24 hour endurance bicycling distance record is more
    than *twice* that distance.)

    > So one could estimate that you can reach your goal in about 2 seasons,

    Yes I need to train more miles. My goal is to ride more, rain or shine, cold or not, throughout the
    fall and winter. I think having some 'aggressive' spring tour plan may help me keep on track. Some
    fall/winter weekend tours will help calibrate.

    > cross the boundaries of reason as comes to what's a good progression of training miles.

    Yes, as long as family and job will permit, and as long as the body will adapt and be strengthened
    and not be permanently damaged. %^)

    Nothing exceeds like excess!

    Jon Meinecke
     
  11. Jon Meinecke <[email protected]> wrote:
    : <[email protected]> wrote
    :> Last year I did some 75 km rides on the upright. This year I increased my weekly long ride to 200
    :> km, gradually. I figure I could do 400 km the next if I wanted. Not to mention it's a bit easier
    :> on a quality bent :)

    : 75km => 200km => 400km

    : That would be an impressive two year performance improvement curve! %^) 240 miles in one day's
    : riding would be impressive! (Yes, I know the 24 hour endurance bicycling distance record is more
    : than *twice* that distance.)

    The trick is that one is not really increasing performance, but duration (endurance). The key idea
    is that you are essentially running in a steady state. You replace lost energy by eating while
    riding or by burning fats from the huge fat storage that is there in almost any human body. The
    strain of riding minus your recovery ability is +/- 0. With a little of training you can push the
    equilibrium just a litte, and double the mileage. Your equilibrium pace will become faster, so you
    need slightly less time, or perhaps more probably, you ride farther and farther under the
    equilibrium, so it's less of a strain per hour of riding. Or your body just becomes very efficient
    in maintaining the equilibrium...

    The hard part is building the base so you can go for 100 km before your body overloads.

    :> cross the boundaries of reason as comes to what's a good progression of training miles.

    : Yes, as long as family and job will permit,

    That was really the time part. If you think that your weekly long ride is 200 km and you can do 20
    km in an hour of real time, you soon realize that this single ride will take half of your weekend. I
    see this as a serious challenge in audax riding, you eventually have to sacrifice humongous amounts
    of time to improve. Just general racing is more relaxed, you can ride to work and back or go ride
    after work and that makes for nice training...

    : and as long as the body will adapt and be strengthened and not be permanently damaged. %^)

    Here's where the insanity pops in. I think permanent (or semipermanent) damage can often only be
    detected after the fact, so it's better to be on the safe side.

    This is the primary reason for annual mileage limits. You could bust your knees if you go beyond
    safe limits, maybe over double the mileage you did last year... but better to check literature such
    as The Complete Book of Long-Distance Cycling. I recall they had a 10% max monthly increase rule...

    --
    Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/hpv/hpv.html varis at no spam please iki fi
     
  12. Jon Meinecke

    Jon Meinecke Guest

    <[email protected]> wrote
    >
    > The trick is that one is not really increasing performance, but duration (endurance). The key idea
    > is that you are essentially running in a steady state.

    Yes, perhaps performance wasn't the best term. Still, I consider an increase in endurance at a given
    level of effort a performance improvement.

    > The hard part is building the base so you can go for 100 km before your body overloads.

    I can and do ride 100k without overload. How well I can do that distance and longer for many days
    straight on a loaded tour is the question... As you point out, that's the endurance and
    effort/steady state vs. recovery issue.

    > you can ride to work and back or go ride after work and that makes for nice training...

    I wish I could ride to work. %^(

    It's 35+ miles one way by direct freeway route. An acceptable route by bicycle would be probably
    40-45 miles.

    > check literature such as The Complete Book of Long-Distance Cycling. I recall they had a 10% max
    > monthly increase rule...

    Thanks for the reference! I'll look it up.

    Jon Meinecke
     
  13. Jon Meinecke <[email protected]> wrote:
    : I wish I could ride to work. %^(

    : It's 35+ miles one way by direct freeway route. An acceptable route by bicycle would be probably
    : 40-45 miles.

    You could do it once or twice a week. Also think of one-way commute. Can you sleep at the office? =)

    --
    Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/hpv/hpv.html varis at no spam please iki fi
     
  14. <Chas>

    <Chas> Guest

    "Jon Meinecke" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > <[email protected]> wrote
    > > Jon Meinecke <[email protected]> wrote:
    > > : I wish I could ride to work. %^(
    > >
    > > : It's 35+ miles one way by direct freeway route. An acceptable route by bicycle would be
    > > : probably 40-45 miles.
    > >
    > > You could do it once or twice a week.
    >
    > At my speed and with traffic, 90 miles would be 6 hours, optimistacally! %^P I think I wait until
    > my average speed is 20+ mph before I try it.
    >
    > > Can you sleep at the office? =)
    >
    > Office? Not anymore. It's Dilbertsville, man.
    >
    > Jon Meinecke
    >
    Jon,

    Could you try this routine:

    Drive to work (with clothes for next day) Get a friend to drive you home from work Ride to work Put
    your bike in/on your car for the trip home

    I do this "one-way" commute routine 2 or 3 times a week. It lets me ride to work in the morning when
    it's cooler and traffic is lighter and I'm fresher. It gets my friends a car-pool partner for the 2
    or 3 trips home.

    My commute is 22 miles each way, so it's a fairly short one-way, but it's just a little too much to
    do both ways with a full day of work in the middle.

    The guy who taught this technique to me rides 35 miles one-way, then takes the train home at night.

    My $0.02 worth

    <Chas> Haluzak Hybrid Race -- the inline wheelchair
     
  15. Jon Meinecke <[email protected]> wrote:

    : At my speed and with traffic, 90 miles would be 6 hours, optimistacally! %^P I think I wait until
    : my average speed is 20+ mph before I try it.

    Yes. The real hurdle could come from 6 hours of cycling + 8 hours of work being a too tough a day.
    Can you find less demanding work in your area? =) Another challenge is eating and hydrating properly
    towards the end of the working day, so you can be in proper cycling shape when the moment
    approaches.

    --
    Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/hpv/hpv.html varis at no spam please iki fi
     
  16. Jon Meinecke

    Jon Meinecke Guest

    <[email protected]> wrote
    > 6 hours of cycling + 8 hours of work being a too tough a day.

    8 hours? There's few workin' 9 to 5 and 35 hour work weeks here. Must be an EU thing! %^P

    > Can you find less demanding work in your area? =)

    I would consider a new career as a fact and logic checker for some 'conservative' commentators
    here... But that would be a (repetitive and boring) full time job. %^)

    --

    On the other hand of "training" for touring, I'm getting practice at bike repairs... I had a run of
    tire cuts and punctures recently. I rode for more than a year without flatting. Since July, I've had
    two blowouts (only one at speed), three ruined tires, and 6 punctures. I also had to limp home with
    a broken rear shifter cable last weekend.

    On the routine maintenance front, I recently replaced my chain, rear cassette, brake pads, and
    repacked wheel bearings. I haven't serviced the bottom bracket or headset.

    One of my clipless pedals had been squeaking. I partially disassembled, cleaned and lubed them last
    night,-- hope that will get rid of the squeak.

    I need to learn more about wheel maintenance. I had the wheels trued by a LBS. In terms of
    on-the-road repairs, knowing how replace spokes (and/or use "emergency" spoke) and at least crudely
    re-true a wheel is probably next on my agenda.

    Maybe I should get a junk wheel and try replacing a spoke and true it... Can I learn enough from
    on-line sources, or do I need to find a copy of Brandt's _The Bicycle Wheel_?

    Jon Meinecke
     
  17. Jon Meinecke <[email protected]> wrote:

    : I need to learn more about wheel maintenance. I had the wheels trued by a LBS. In terms of
    : on-the-road repairs, knowing how replace spokes (and/or use "emergency" spoke) and at least
    : crudely re-true a wheel is probably next on my agenda.

    At least hopefully, spoke breakage should be very rare, with well-built wheels.

    : Maybe I should get a junk wheel and try replacing a spoke and true it... Can I learn enough from
    : on-line sources, or do I need to find a copy of Brandt's _The Bicycle Wheel_?

    I looked at sheldonbrown and he seems to have quite good instructions. Haven't tried them out yet,
    maybe in a week or two...

    --
    Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/hpv/hpv.html varis at no spam please iki fi
     
  18. direwolf

    direwolf Guest

    Hey Jon,

    You're asking the right questions - the most important part of tour planning. I'm sure you'll figure
    out the physical conditioning aspects, and quandries like how much water and road food to pack along
    each day [lots]. Contrary to most people's advice, I'd advise fairly meticulous planning of your
    route. You don't want to get into a situation where your only way out of some place is via
    interstate highway or major truck route. You also don't want to be somewhere where the nearest
    potable water is 80 miles away.

    When I switched to recumbent touring, it became apparent that I couldn't count on bike shops along
    the way to stock the essentials. If you have a 20" wheel, you better haul some patch kits and a
    decent supply of tubes. I always haul a spare 20" tire too, and I've had occasion to need it. Same
    thing with spokes. You can't expect every bike shop to have those little spokes. I have a 26" wheel
    in back, so I don't load up as much one extras for that, since bike shops should have the goods.
    Have a tool for every bolt on the bike. I try to make all my bolts Allen type, so I don't have to
    carry a lot of different wrenches. Sometimes bolts loosen and fall out, so I carry a few spares. For
    some reason, I go through a lot of zip ties and a little bit of duct tape on most tours. I'd
    recommend a continuously renewable power source [generator] for the lights. Night riding is one of
    the great pleasures of extended touring - relieves much of the time pressure on a given day. It also
    avoids the necessity of riding in extreme heat or foul weather, and gives you options when the
    pre-planned overnight town is not to your liking.

    I've experienced or seen all kinds of mishaps on tour. I'll spare you the ones of socio-political
    nature. But the mechanicals have been pretty impressive - broken rims, broken axles, broken spokes,
    sprung freewheels. A couple I toured with this Summer experienced a broken seat mount on their
    recumbent tandem. NBD: they found a welder in the next town. Some things you can plan for, some you
    can't. If you hear a squeak or rattle, fix it. Example: this Summer, the shifting of my front
    derailleur gradually got worse. I could make it work, but the shifts weren't crisp. I checked the
    derailleur and cable. They seemed fine. I rode more, it got worse. Finally, I had somebody hold up
    the back end whilst I turned the pedals with my hand. The chain ring bolts were so loose they were
    about to fall out. [My tour bike has the chainrings under the seat, so I couldn't view them as I
    rode.] If I wouldn't have tightened them then and there, I would have been in a whole world of hurt.
    If you regularly deal with a good recumbent shop, have their phone number with you so you can have
    them FedEx you replacement parts.

    If you have the opportunity, I'd recommend the self-contained form of touring. As with night riding,
    it expands the options substantially.

    In the end, of course, you end up just doing it, learning as you go. What could be better?

    Bobby

    PS. I saw the later thread about wheel truing and maintenance. If you start with solid wheels, you
    don't need to be an artist to maintain them. Just check them frequently. I pluck the spokes and
    spin the wheels before starting every morning - more often if I've been in potholes. Use the
    brakes as a guide to make sure the wheels have stayed true. It's not too tough if you deal with
    them when they're only a little out of true. Even if you break a spoke, if you fix it right
    away you only have one variable to deal with - the tension on the replacement spoke. Just
    tighten that one until the wheel is true - it should at least get you to the next bike shop.

    Jon Meinecke wrote:

    > I've done only short tours previously, but am considering a longer, self-supported tour, 500-600
    > miles. Any insight and experiences in training for and planning such a trek, or pointers to other
    > sources of bike touring information would be appreciated. I've scanned the archives of
    > rec.bicycles.rides and a bike tour mailing list.
    >
    > How do you train for an extended bike tour? How many miles per day do you do when training? Do you
    > add luggage to the bike when training?
    >
    > When planning routes through areas you're not familiar with, how do you characterize the route
    > choices? On a short tour, I'd planned to use a less-traveled smaller road, only to find it filled
    > with loose gravel!
    >
    > So how do you plan daily routes? Choose one and have alternates?
    >
    > Jon Meinecke
     
  19. Chris French

    Chris French Guest

    In message <[email protected]>, [email protected] writes
    > Contrary to most people's advice, I'd advise fairly meticulous planning of your route. You don't
    > want to get into a situation where your only way out of some place is via interstate highway or
    > major truck route. You also don't want to be somewhere where the nearest potable water is 80
    > miles away.
    >
    I think this kind a depends on where you are touring.

    In much of the UK (or even much of Europe) for instance there are many route options at
    anyone point, and in areas where there aren't route planning is easy as you don't have many
    to choose from :)

    And as for no potable water in 80 miles - you can't go 80 miles without coming across a number of
    settlements :)
    --
    Chris French, Leeds
     
  20. Jon Meinecke

    Jon Meinecke Guest

    <[email protected]> wrote
    >
    > You're asking the right questions - the most important part of tour planning.

    Thanks for the response! Planning is also a way to extend the tour to before the tour... %^)

    > I'm sure you'll figure out the physical conditioning aspects, and quandries like how much water
    > and road food to pack along each day [lots].

    Yes. I have some background in backpacking and tend to plan for a good margin of safety.

    >[...] I'd advise fairly meticulous planning of your route. You don't want [...] only way out [...]
    >interstate highway or major truck route.

    Exactly. Although, as some people have pointed out, the major rode may be better than the minor road
    depending on conditions that may only be known locally. There are places (I25 Colorado) where bikes
    are permitted on some sections the interstate.

    > I always haul a spare 20" tire

    Is there a folding 406 tire available?

    > zip ties and a little bit of duct tape

    The modern day bailing wire and bubble gum! %^)

    > [generator] for the lights [...] gives you options

    Hub dynamos are apparently the choice option, but expensive. I presume the bottle-style generators
    have improved since the last one I had (20+ years ago). Alternate plan is to use LED-based indicator
    and headlights.

    > In the end, of course, you end up just doing it, learning as you go. What could be better?

    Being prepared and doing a good turn daily! %^)

    Thanks,

    Jon Meinecke
     
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