First tour- tips

rivers

How far can I go?
Location
Bristol
Some friends and I will be bikepacking along the West Country Way at the end of next month- Bristol to Bude and back over a long weekend (90 miles/day). The plan is to stay in airbnbs/hotels that provide towels in order to help keep the packing light. We will be on road bikes, most likely with saddle and bar bags. It's my first tour (as it is for a few of the others), so what should we be looking at for packing? Obviously spare kit, a change of clothes, and essentials.
Most of us are used to multiple long distance days in the saddle. Anything we should be mindful of?
Thanks
 

alicat

Legendary Member
Location
Staffs
There's a sticky thread two above yours that will give you most of the answers that you need.
 
OP
rivers

rivers

How far can I go?
Location
Bristol
There's a sticky thread two above yours that will give you most of the answers that you need.
Yeah, I really don't have time to weed through 28 pages of a thread. One of the busiest times of the year at work and I've just gotten back from my holiday
 

mudsticks

Obviously an Aubergine
Yeah, I really don't have time to weed through 28 pages of a thread. One of the busiest times of the year at work and I've just gotten back from my holiday
You say you're used to long days in succession in the saddle, you're staying at overnight accomodation.

So camping set up not an issue?

Curious to know what specifically more you need to know.

I'd probs say some wafty nonsense like don't be over ambitious in your daily targets, enjoy the ride, enjoy the company.

Don't be overly goal focused, it's supposed to be enjoyable, yes??

Pay attention to undercarriage maintenance.
And have plenty of snacks, hydration, and tea and cake stops.
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
Test your bike, with all the luggage, before departure day. My second biggest first tour mistake was knowing thatthe intended luggage all ffitted, but not that it didn't fit all together, prompting a last minute repack.

The biggest was failing to jump up a kerb in Manningtree due to the extra weight and knocking my headset loose, which I didn't get right again for two days.
 

Ian H

I am an ancient randonneur, & I stop often for tea
Location
East Devon
Take a spare set of socks/shorts/base-layer: Wear one/wash one. Adverse weather gear, especially if you're heading over Exmoor. MInimal off-the-bike clothing according to how much time you're planning to spend not riding. Back-up routesheet or maps.
 

Brains

Legendary Member
Location
Greenwich
300 miles in 3 days ?
I'd suggest if you want to enjoy it that you go one way by bike and come back by train or car

3 centuries, back to back, on loaded bikes (even if it's credit card touring) is on the outer edges of maximum possibility of most folk.
Even if you do it over 4 full riding days, you are not going to be seeing anything or looking at anything or even stopping for very long.
A more typical daily distance for Touring is 40-60 miles a day.

Whist the first half of your route to Bude will be nice and flat, the second half will take in some Alpine standard climbs
 

Brains

Legendary Member
Location
Greenwich
As a suggestion, why not aim for Lands End ? Slightly less distance, but has the advantage of if you don't make it you are never more than 10 miles from a station home.
 

Ian H

I am an ancient randonneur, & I stop often for tea
Location
East Devon
300 miles in 3 days ?
I'd suggest if you want to enjoy it that you go one way by bike and come back by train or car

3 centuries, back to back, on loaded bikes (even if it's credit card touring) is on the outer edges of maximum possibility of most folk.
Even if you do it over 4 full riding days, you are not going to be seeing anything or looking at anything or even stopping for very long.
A more typical daily distance for Touring is 40-60 miles a day.

Whist the first half of your route to Bude will be nice and flat, the second half will take in some Alpine standard climbs
That sounds unnecessarily pessimistic. 60 miles a day is very gentle pootling for an experienced cyclist (which the OP says he is).
 
OP
rivers

rivers

How far can I go?
Location
Bristol
300 miles in 3 days ?
I'd suggest if you want to enjoy it that you go one way by bike and come back by train or car

3 centuries, back to back, on loaded bikes (even if it's credit card touring) is on the outer edges of maximum possibility of most folk.
Even if you do it over 4 full riding days, you are not going to be seeing anything or looking at anything or even stopping for very long.
A more typical daily distance for Touring is 40-60 miles a day.

Whist the first half of your route to Bude will be nice and flat, the second half will take in some Alpine standard climbs
We're not worried about the distance or the climbing. It's not a huge amount of climbing. As I said, most of us are used to multiple long days in the saddle, and my longest day in the saddle to date is 208 miles (with 30-50 mile rides a couple of days either side). Our plan isn't to go fast. While we normally might ride 90-100 miles/day in about 7 or so hours, that isn't the plan for this trip. And we have a get out clause, train back from barnstaple.
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
That sounds unnecessarily pessimistic. 60 miles a day is very gentle pootling for an experienced cyclist (which the OP says he is).
It ain't about experience and IMO that's borderline insulting to suggest. I've been riding decades and think 40 miles a day is a much better tour plan because it lets you stop to look at or visit things or deal with the stuff that goes wrong without trying to check in at accommodation at midnight... but each to their own and if someone thinks a tour of imperial centuries is a fun thing to try, good luck to them!
 

Ian H

I am an ancient randonneur, & I stop often for tea
Location
East Devon
It ain't about experience and IMO that's borderline insulting to suggest.
Not at all. I've done several enjoyable pootling tours. I was responding to the idea that the OP would necessarily find find longer distances difficult (which could possibly be regarded as borderline insulting, if you're that way inclined)..
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
Not at all. I've done several enjoyable pootling tours. I was responding to the idea that the OP would necessarily find find longer distances difficult (which could possibly be regarded as borderline insulting, if you're that way inclined)..
@Brains can correct me if I'm wrong, but it read to me more like a suggestion that it would be less enjoyable, not necessarily difficult for the OP.
 

PeteXXX

Cake or ice cream? The choice is endless ...
Location
Hamtun
If there's several of you, at least you can share a toolkit and tubes. That'll be slightly less weight and stuff for each to carry.
 
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