Author Topic: My First Tour (Need tips)  (Read 8482 times)

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Offline Athleteboy11

My First Tour (Need tips)
« on: May 04, 2014, 08:18:40 pm »
So here's the rundown, Me and two friends are very into biking and had the idea to take a "tour" (if its even long enough to be considered that) from San Jose CA to San Diego CA.  Just about over 500 miles.  Basically all im asking for are some suggestions on what to expect and how to train for the trip.  Thanks ;D

Offline DaveB

Re: My First Tour (Need tips)
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2014, 08:50:43 pm »
A bit more information would be helpful before any specific recommendations can be offered.   How many riding day and miles per day have you planned for? Are you camping or staying in motels, cooking on your own or eating in restaurants?  What type of bikes and luggage capacity will you have?

As to training, the simplest recommendation is "ride lots" and try to train in terrain similar to what you will encounter on the trip.

Offline Athleteboy11

Re: My First Tour (Need tips)
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2014, 11:09:58 pm »
Well we don't think it will take to long, maybe 3 travel days and 2-3 "Chill in SD" days.  We Have connections in a ton of places in between here and there, and a few of them are on route so we would stay with friends/relatives etc.. but if we couldnt then a motel would be the next option.  Food, we were just going to live off of fast food, protein bars, water, and fruit.

Offline John Nelson

Re: My First Tour (Need tips)
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2014, 12:13:25 am »
Three travel days to do 500 miles? That's not a tour--that's a forced march. If you have to do 170 miles a day, you don't need any tips. Take nothing except money and a credit card, get on your bike and ride ... and ride and ride and ride. Use sunscreen.

As far a preparation, "ride lots" is all you need.

Tell us what month you plan to do this trip.

Offline Athleteboy11

Re: My First Tour (Need tips)
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2014, 12:21:50 am »
Oh but we are gunna take a train through LA just to be safe, but thats the thing, we havent ever really just taken a day to see how far we can get in a day and im not sure how to estimate that.  And The month, June or July

Offline staehpj1

Re: My First Tour (Need tips)
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2014, 05:31:23 am »
My advice is to pack very light and have a flexible schedule.  Ride as far as you feel like each day and take as long as it takes to finish.  Since you aren't camping or cooking it should be easy to keep the load light and eliminate the need for a touring specific bike or baggage.

Something in the 50-80 mile per day range is usually considered to be a normal touring pace.  Faster or slower paces are not unheard of though.

Offline John Nelson

Re: My First Tour (Need tips)
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2014, 10:28:36 am »
As Pete suggests, some people like a very flexible schedule. Others like to create a more detailed plan. You have to decide which camp you fit in. I think many cyclotourists take their first trip with a plan, and then get looser as they gain experience.

Your ideas seem to still be in the early stages, so I would suggest you try to firm them up just a bit.
 1. Read some forums and the "how to" section here, and the journals and forums over at www.crazyguyonabike.com to get some ideas of things other cyclotourists do and how they solve problems.
 2. Read some of the gear lists over at www.crazyguyonabike.com and some of the gear suggestions here, and then start figuring out and acquiring whatever gear you feel is appropriate for you and your trip.
 3. Ride some with your bike loaded with the same gear you will take on your trip.
 4. Plan an overnight trip somewhere to figure out what works and what doesn't. Perhaps pick a spot about 50 miles from home, ride there on a Saturday with all your gear, stay overnight, and ride home on Sunday.

Personally, I like to plan the route and identify potential overnight stops along that route. Identify more stopping points than you need so that you can choose your actual stops according to how you feel on any given day.

Come back here and ask more specific questions as you think of them.

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: My First Tour (Need tips)
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2014, 02:27:21 pm »
All the above advice is good. And since it looks like you have a month or two before you go, check out your local library and see if they have any books about bicycle touring.

Offline JDFlood

Re: My First Tour (Need tips)
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2014, 08:55:58 pm »
I would not do a 500 mile trip until I have done at least 2 two day trips. You got a couple weekends. Do some out and back trips. I'd start with 50 miles. Then you can gauge readiness and what to take.

Offline bigboy123

Re: My First Tour (Need tips)
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2014, 06:58:55 am »
Confortable saddle If you are gonne ride long time.

Offline staehpj1

Re: My First Tour (Need tips)
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2014, 07:58:04 am »
I would not do a 500 mile trip until I have done at least 2 two day trips. You got a couple weekends. Do some out and back trips. I'd start with 50 miles. Then you can gauge readiness and what to take.

Different strokes and there is nothing wrong with doing that, but I think it is mainly an issue for camping and cooking and the OP is doing neither.  Also I really don't think it is important even for camping and cooking if the rider has experience with using his gear from backpacking, canoe camping, or some other self supported method of travel.  Since he is staying with and relatives along the way he could get by with nothing much other than he would carry on any day ride and a tooth brush.  Forgetting some gear item, not being familiar with a piece of gear, or whatever just isn't a big deal on a trip like that.

I know that I did the Trans America as my first tour and had no regrets about not doing warm up trips.  Just me, but I really don't want to do overnight tours at all.  If the trip is that short I'd rather just do day rides.  I generally don't plan trips of less than 9 days or so, but again that is just personal preference.

Offline JDFlood

Re: My First Tour (Need tips)
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2014, 02:41:32 pm »

I would not do a 500 mile trip until I have done at least 2 two day trips. You got a couple weekends. Do some out and back trips. I'd start with 50 miles. Then you can gauge readiness and what to take.
[/quote

I know that I did the Trans America as my first tour and had no regrets about not doing warm up trips.  Just me, but I really don't want to do overnight tours at all.  If the trip is that short I'd rather just do day rides.  I generally don't plan trips of less than 9 days or so, but again that is just personal preference.

Your quite right. That's why I said, "I wouldn't". I like to complete what I start, enjoy it while I'm doing it, and relax. If your into the unexpected, not having the patch kit, or realizing your not going to make it, or you"ll have to kill yourself... I don't enjoy that.

Offline bobbys beard

Re: My First Tour (Need tips)
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2014, 07:51:23 am »
which route do you plan on taking? i've ridden 180+ mile days on the atlantic coast where the roads can be flat and straight. but wouldn't relish attempting it on the pch, where the roads are often hilly and winding. if you go inland, it looks like you may have some very big climbs to get to LA which will slow you down and eat into precious daylight hours.

i don't mean to sound quite so negative and i'm sure it can be done if you have the stamina and a good  attitude, but i don't think even at my fittest i could do that in 2-3 days!

good luck :)

Offline John Nelson

Re: My First Tour (Need tips)
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2014, 01:11:55 pm »
Bobby, I think you made the same mistake I did, and misinterpreted what "3 travel days" means. It apparently does not mean three riding days.

Offline bobbys beard

Re: My First Tour (Need tips)
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2014, 02:12:51 pm »
getting a train through LA would buy you back maybe half a day perhaps, and from the suburbs to San Diego is possible in one day. that leaves a day and a half to get from San Jose, which takes you through Big Sur etc etc. Very challenging terrain for long distance cycling.