Super Long Distance Cycling

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Captain Control
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Super Long Distance Cycling

Postby Captain Control » Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:36 am UTC

I was thinking of riding about 280 miles on a road bike. I'm in pretty good physical condition, I can cycle for pretty much all day and run almost every day.
I was wondering if 30 miles a day was a reasonable goal for the trip.
And what kind of training regime should I take on?

And finally, if you guys have any suggestions as to what I should bring, that'd be awesome. :D
Man, I just realized that 30 miles in six hours is five miles an hour :| That is ridiculously slow.
Last edited by Captain Control on Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:24 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

Sketch Country
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Re: Super Long Distance Cycling

Postby Sketch Country » Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:03 pm UTC


I recently cycled 110 miles in two days, and I had a lot of similar questions!

First off, I cycle 4 miles a day to work and back so I'm sued to being in the saddle, but was worried about hitting 55 miles in a day. As it turns out, it really wans't too bad - I kept up fine with the group. The following might be useful though:

Check the terrain: We were cycling on canal paths which are basically dirt tracks. It was pretty tough going. We took 25 hours over two days to cover the miles, a group who took a road-route did it in 14 hours over two days.

Check the terrain 2: Our route was flat, the road route was hilly. They still did it faster than we did! Decide if you're going to do road or track cycling.

Training: My training consisted of two 30 mile cycles and a 20 mile cycle. Maybe I got lucky, but you'll probably be fine if you can already do a day's cycle!

Equipment: Full repair kit, including about four times as many puncture repair kits as you think you'll need. Lots of carbs. A tent? Google search for 'cycling forum expedition kit' and you'll find a lot more detailed information!

Summary: 30 miles a day on roads would be a piece of cake for a reasonably fit person. If it's dirt track then it'll be a little tougher but you should still only be doing 6-7 hours in the saddle per day. 30 miles a day for 280 miles is about 9 days - maybe build in a rest day at the half-way point...

Final thing to consider, if you're doing this as a group, try and aim for similar fitness. The varying levels in the group I did it with caused some tensions - no one wants to feel like a burden for nine days by being slower than everyone else. Split the group if you can. Also, consider punctures. If each person gets one puncture a day (not unreasonable), then a group of ten will lose about 3 hours per day total if everyone stops for each puncture. A single rider only loses about 20 minutes per day - small groups = better!

Good luck!

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Captain Control
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Re: Super Long Distance Cycling

Postby Captain Control » Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:42 pm UTC

I was hoping to ride mostly on roads, but I don't know if that is going to be possible as it's illegal to ride on most highways and I'm not sure if there are service roads all the way to where I am going. So, we'll see about that.
I was thinking of doing something similar to that and now that I have some reaffirmation, I'm definitely going to do it.
I was planning on doing it alone, as there are little to no cycling clubs out here =(

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Re: Super Long Distance Cycling

Postby Speedo » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:10 am UTC

Especially if you haven't done any touring before, think long and hard about doing it alone. Murphy's law is a bitch, and WILL take advantage of anything you don't prepare for. Bring a phone. Make a map, a DETAILED map. Give a copy of it to someone you trust, along with where you should be at what days/times. Cash money, drinking water, first aid and flat kits, etc etc etc, be overly-prepared. Getting lost, bonked and dehydrated by yourself is terrible beyond words.

Concerning the ride itself, 30 miles a day isn't very much at all; if you commit to doing a few 50+ mile rides a week for a few weeks, you should be more than comfortable enough to do 280 in a matter of 3 or 4 days.

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Re: Super Long Distance Cycling

Postby Jacque » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:24 pm UTC

On the subject of long distance cycling I recommend anyone who's into biking, check out this documentary in the works called For Thousands of Miles. It's in the works, due out not-soon-enough, but in the meantime I really recommend watching the short videos in the making-of series called 64 Days.

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Re: Super Long Distance Cycling

Postby akashra » Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:13 am UTC

280 miles is most likely more than I'd consider ever doing in a day, though it's achievable. Longest ride I've done in one go is 270km, which had me back by around 3 in the afternoon (leaving at 6).

The main thing you want to keep in mind is where you're going to be riding. I'd be more comfortable doing that 270km again since it was in to the city, then down to the southern peninsula, then back up through the city again - ie, you're always near civilisation. I wouldn't feel nearly as comfortable riding that distance to a country town where you have all kinds of dickheads on the roads.

As far as training goes, my simple recommendation would be 'ride lots'. 10 hours a week is a good, round figure - beyond that it starts to get testing to find the time.

30 miles a day is bugger all. If you did it in a small bunch, that'd be a little over an hour.
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Captain Control
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Re: Super Long Distance Cycling

Postby Captain Control » Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:23 am UTC

Yeah, I wasn't thinking of doing it in one day. Way too hardcore for me.

That was one thing I am kinda worried about. I'm gonna see if I can find frontage roads to ride on, instead of main highways and such.

Yeahhh, I just picked that number outta the air. Didn't realize till later that it equated to 5 miles an hour. I was thinking that 60 miles would be a more reasonable estimate with how hot it gets during the summer (110F) and carrying all the extra weight in my pannier bags n shit.

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