I added you as a friend because my best friend is my bike. Weird I guess but it gets me out. I am always looking for ways to encourage myself to keep fit and enjoy life. It looks like you have been doing some awesome biking. Way to go.
1855 days ago
I averaged about 45-47 miles a day, in Canada - but two of the five days, I did 10,000+ feet of hill and mountain climbing per day. I was on the bike for about 5-6 hours per day - I'm not sure you want to do much more than that. I think it would spoil the fun. Most bike tours go at an average of 10 miles an hour, some faster, some slower. But it all depends on the riding ability of the group as a whole, and specificially, the ability of the slowest rider in the group.
Riding with saddle bags is not as hard as it might appear, but it DOES make hill climbing harder. I carried everything I needed for five days - minus the tent and sleeping bag. I didn't need them as every day on my route ended at a Bed and Breakfast in one of my destination point towns during the tour.
Which is actually a great idea, if you can plan for it. It does add to the cost of the trip (my total cost for five days was about 650 dollars - I averaged 125 dollars a night at the B&Bs, but it was WELL worth the price of having a nice bed, a shower, and breakfast prepared every day. The company I booked my tour through (CycleTreks) offered a 'camping' option, but they are going to discontinue it after this season as no one has opted for camping - everyone for the last two years has paid extra for the B&B option. If you are planning to go out on your own as a small group, and the B&B option appeals to you, just call and make reservations for the B&Bs in the towns on your route - that's what I will do next time I plan a trip in North America.
Before I went out, I was offered a one-hour class on emergency bike maintenance - which was very helpful. I learned how to repair a flat, use chinchers to quickly change out tubes, and even how to repair a broken chain. Then I was sent out with all the proper repair tools as well. Fortunately, the only problem I had was a slipped chain on the last day (which took about a minute to put back on), but it was nice to know I had the skills to fix the basic emergencies.
I also had a 'sag van' plan. Even though I went out on my own, I worked a deal out with the touring company for plans to retreive me if I ran into serious trouble on the road, which would prevent me from continuing. I had a daily phone-check in time with the tour company, and if they did not hear from me within an hour of the designated time, they were going to 'come looking' for me. I'm not sure how to work that out when you are cycling independently, but I think a plan of some sort where some one could retreive you or someone in your group if need be would be an essential part of the trip planning.
One final tip - my most essential piece of bike clothing turned out to be rain gear. Even if the weather is mild, it is essential to be protected from the rain. I had good rain gear for both myself and my saddle bags, and even in rainy Vancouver Island (where it rained for two of the five days), I was able to keep myself and my gear relatively dry (again, that's where the B&Bs were life savers as well - I was able to dry all my clothes out in their drying machines).
Good luck on your trip - I hope my experiences have helped.
1965 days ago
Thank You for the support, this marathon thing is taking some planning. It's not a simple under taking. The key thing for me is not to hurt myself training. (I'm not that young ;-)
The best to your daughter!!!
1967 days ago
Thanks for commenting on my blog. As a fellow passionate bike, I added you as a Spark Friend.
What a great idea - to plan future bike trips. I am planning on doing RAGBRAI in 2012, but don't have any big trips planned for next year (not yet anyway). I have been thinking about trying to organize a Cherry Blossom trip in the spring, but that will require some planning to pull off.
Still, planning trips sounds like great fun and great motivation.
1972 days ago
your truly an inspiration. Good luck on your journey. keep up the good work! ~Jen
3296 days ago