Advice for a first time tourer please.

Whrrr

Active Member
I was wondering if some of you could offer some advice for a first-time tourer. In July I'm going on holiday to Worcester and I live in Abingdon, near Oxford. I'd like to cycle there and (hopefully!) back again.

I cycle to work five days a week, this being a 14 mile round trip, so I'm used to two half-hour rides per day. I have a touring bike (Tifosi CK7) which I've had for a year.

Abingdon to Worcester is about 70 miles, so what preparations and training should I be making so I don't find it too much on the day?

Also, what should I do about navigating? I'd prefer to stick to less-busy roads but this might result in getting lost!

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Mark
 

Anthony

New Member
Location
Wokingham
Hi there. If you cycle 14 miles everyday I doubt you'll need much training for a one off ride of 70 miles. However, I would suggest you do a few training rides with a loaded weight equal to what you expect to carry on your tour. This way the weight on your bike when you tour won't come as a shock and your legs will be able to cope with it.
 

Arch

Married to Night Train
Location
Salford, UK
With that commute, you're already on the way. maybe, if you can spare the time, start to add a few miles on the way home to gradually increase stamina.

Maybe, at weekends, get in a few 30 mile rides, build up to being able to do 50. If you can do 50, you can do 70. On the day, take it easy, pace yourself, eat and drink well, take breaks to get out of the saddle and stretch a bit.

With regard to navigation, I use OS Landranger maps (with the pink covers). You might need to buy 2 to cover the distance, but you can always photocopy the 'corridor' you need, to cut down on luggage. I spread the map out, and look at the general direction I need, then work out the best way to do it on the minor roads. If you take copies, you can highlight the route in higlighter pen to make it easier to follow. Do you have a bar bag or anything? Mine has a clear pocket to put my map in, to follow on the way.
 

rich p

ridiculous old lush
Location
Brighton
I'd use a couple of pages out of a road atlas - they're cheap and as long as they show the minor roads, then plot a straightish route using them. You can always tweak it en route.
 

Lozatron

Well-Known Member
I have no sense of direction whatsoever and "invested" in a garmin for a three day trip I did from London to Stoke last year. Completely removed the stress I normally have with getting lost...

Not cheap though
 

snorri

Legendary Member
Even with a map it can sometimes be difficult to know which turn to take. A pocket compass can greatly assist with this, good ones are available for less than £10 from outdoor & camping shops.
Of course a Garmin would be even better, but there is a large price differential, and people have managed with compasses for hundreds of years.:rolleyes:
 

Lozatron

Well-Known Member
Ah yes snorri...but people like me stayed at home or made everyone around them's life miserable by being lost and stressed all the time...;-)
 

snorri

Legendary Member
Lozatron said:
Ah yes snorri...but people like me stayed at home or made everyone around them's life miserable by being lost and stressed all the time...;-)
There is quite a widely held view that tours often get more interesting when you are lost and start to ask the only people around for directions. I have ended up staying the night with them, more than once.:ohmy:
 

toekneep

Senior Member
Location
Lancashire
As for preparations, start with a kit list and start now. Two weeks before you are due to go you should have everything on your list and you should have packed it at least once to work out where everything will go and how much luggage you will need. As a general rule of thumb you will probably take twice as much as you need on a first tour.
 

Lozatron

Well-Known Member
snorri said:
There is quite a widely held view that tours often get more interesting when you are lost and start to ask the only people around for directions. I have ended up staying the night with them, more than once.:biggrin:
Brilliant! I am sure you're right...not feeling like I can give up my prosthetic sense of direction yet though...maybe when I am retired...
 
OP
W

Whrrr

Active Member
This is just what I needed to know - thanks for the replies.

If I end up staying with a stranger, then so much the better!
 
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