Author Topic: Vancouver, BC to Astoria - first long bike tour  (Read 8123 times)

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Offline tara.chklovski

Vancouver, BC to Astoria - first long bike tour
« on: January 18, 2021, 12:58:51 am »
Hello! Happy New Year!

I am curious to bike ("credit card touring" as I read somewhere its called!) from Vancouver, BC down to Astoria, OR. Its something like 500 miles.. Maybe in 5-6 days.. I have done some 60-100 mile rides in my life - but 20 years ago! So I dont think it counts!
I am 43 now :) riddled with running injuries.

I got the Training Bible (although its very professional and very intimdating).I have two questions... what would be a good time of year to do this ride? And what type of training plan should I use? (I am not in any type of hurry to do this ride).

Thank you for any advice :)


Offline John Nelson

Re: Vancouver, BC to Astoria - first long bike tour
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2021, 02:42:33 pm »
As far as weather, almost any time in the summer would do. I'd probably wait for the rainy season to be over in the Northwest, so maybe wait until at least mid-June.

You've set pretty ambitious daily mileage goals, so a bit more training than usual is warranted. But it's pretty simple. Just ride lots. Be sure to include a significant amount of hill riding, and do at least some of your riding loaded with all the gear you plan to take with you.

Offline HikeBikeCook

  • World Traveler
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Re: Vancouver, BC to Astoria - first long bike tour
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2021, 03:59:03 pm »
If this is your first long ride, day one is usually driven by enthusiasm, but also plan to deal with tweaking gear and equipment. Day 2 is sore muscle day from being too gung-ho day 1. Morning of day 3 is stiff and then hitting your rhythm by afternoon.  Keep your miles reasonable if you want to enjoy the ride. Learn what you body is telling you. I don't like long stops during the day. I would rather eat light and often and get done early rather than take an hour for lunch. If I take a long break I suffer getting started again. Some people are the opposite. I am a morning person and love to get on the road and eat as I go, my wife not so much. Find your rhythm and listen to your body. Most of all hydrate - most people do not drink enough.

Training - I used to do multi-day charity rides a lot. Usually 100 miles+ a day for 2 to 3 days. I would ride 50 mile training rides during the week and try and get a long ride in on Sunday. I would take at least one rest day, sometimes the rainy one. If my long weekend ride was only 65 miles I would struggle on the end of the centuries. If I rode 80 miles the extra 20 miles (or more) were not a problem.

I always trained riding hills since in New England that is mostly what you get. Ironically my best time is always in the hills. Grinding away for hours on the flats actually gives me slower times.

Remember during training to take recover days. If you want to use a heart rate monitor find your resting heart rate, laying in bed in the morning. After you run through your training schedule take a rest period until you return to your resting heart rate in the morning.

Max heart rate is calculated by 220 - your age.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline HobbesOnTour

Re: Vancouver, BC to Astoria - first long bike tour
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2021, 10:29:06 pm »
Tara, forgive me if this comes across as patronising but there's a whole lot more to cycle touring than distance.

Working from the assumption that you haven't ridden seriously in 20 years, 100 mile days in a row is a big ask!
At an average of 12mph that's 8 hours straight on the bike. Start at 8 am and cycle continously until 4pm. Stop for lunch? Then it'll be 5 pm. Take a few breaks then arrival is back to 6 pm. Running behind schedule? That just adds to the pressure. I don't like touring under pressure.
(For the sake of comparison, I rearely clock up more than 5 hours moving in a day).

Assuming you have a bike, my advice would be to use it as much as possible. Get to know how your body reacts. What does 50 miles feel like? And the next day?

When you have an idea what speed/distance you're comfortable covering, repeatedly,  then you'll be in a better position to plan.

I've seen it said before that for a regular cyclist if they add up their weekly mileage then that is roughly the distance they can expect to cover in one day. From my experince it seems to hold up - I commuted 200km a week and would be confident of being able to cover 200km in a day. Of course, touring, with baggage and presumably an emphasis on enjoyment, will be a bit different.

For me, touring is all about tbe experience, being in the moment. There's a wonderful sense of freedom, there's no work, no appointments. Being able to stop and appreciate wherever I am and interact with the people I meet. Food, no matter how basic, can taste delicious! These are all difficult things to experience and appreciate if we're rushing, racing the clock and tired.

For what it's worth, I have never trained for a tour. I do practice, though. I go away for long weekends or little overnights. I prefer to camp. I'd often cycle a roundabout route to end up in a campsite 10km from my front door. In winter, I practiced cold weather camping on a friend's farm. I learned about navigation, eating, drinking, cooking, gear, weather, mechanics etc. by doing. I was getting fitter, sure, but I was also developing knowledge and skills that made a bigger tour far less daunting and more enjoyable.

Best of luck!

Offline tara.chklovski

Re: Vancouver, BC to Astoria - first long bike tour
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2021, 01:55:29 am »
Hello HikeBikeCook, HobbesOnTour and John!

thanks all for the super valuable advice to a newbie! HobbesOnTour, I think I have the same philosophy and appreciate the advice! Pressure doesn't sound right.

Thank you to each for sharing these valuable nuggets!

So appreciated :)


Offline msporty1

Re: Vancouver, BC to Astoria - first long bike tour
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2024, 01:51:15 pm »
Hi Tara,

I am a female bicycle traveller who often does solo trips.  I live in the Vancouver area and would be happy to meet and chat if that would be helpful to you.  Don’t overthink it.  You will be fine.


Offline davidbonn

Re: Vancouver, BC to Astoria - first long bike tour
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2024, 09:49:23 am »
It would be great if people circled back after their planned tours and reported to us on what they learned and discovered on their journey.