How am I doing?

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New Member
..ok this is probably the wrong forum(?) but I just wondered how I compare to some of you chaps regarding speed/distance etc while loaded.

Today i rode 66km with four fully loaded panniers and a barbag, including a tent and sleep bag & cookset etc. It took me 5 hours and i had a head wind for most of the route & it was pretty warm.

I found I was shattered after about 35km (which included some hillier sections than I am used to) and had to rest for 30 minutes. I was getting to the point where I felt sick as I pulled up into the drive at home. I drank four full water bottles (re filled at a shop) & a bottle of lucasade energy which just seemed to tire me even further!.

I know touring isn't a race, but i just would like to know how I am doing on my quest to get fitter....I know it's slow but is it embarrasingly slow, or is it reasonable?

..I was so knackered that i have re packed everything and got serious about minimising everything...I'm going to try to ride with just the rear bags and see what difference it makes.


Legendary Member
why care what others are doing, as you say its not a race.

If you are enjoying it, then that is all that matters


New Member
True enuff...I was just wondering so I have some kind of idea for touring with a riding partner... it would helpme know what to aim for so that I'm not tail end charlie all the time


Legendary Member
As you said, touring isn't a race, and it's not a good idea to turn it into one by setting ambitious targets. Carrying the gear is always going to slow you down, so it's best to cultivate a patient attitude to progress and take more interest in the countryside etc that you are passing.

It's probably best to set your progress by time rather than distance. Set off not too late (if not fairly early), ride for a couple of hours at a steady to relaxed sort of pace, stop for 11s, ride another couple of hours, stop for lunch and don't rush it, ride another couple of hours and then start looking for a campsite.
The key is to keep the pace to what is comfortable, as far as the gradient and gears allow.
You will find that as you get fitter, you just cover more distance in the 2 hours between breaks.
Don't put yourself under pressure by setting off late, or by too much dawdling in the early part of the day. It's much better to arrive early than late. I generally aim to have about 2/3 of the distance covered by the time I stop for lunch.

Until you get more experience, it's best to plan your day's rides so that the route will allow short cuts if it starts to look like you are getting behind time.

As for me, my day's rides with camping gear could be anything between 50km and 150km, depending on terrain, inclination, companions etc. I suppose that 90-100 is about average if it's not mountainous ((ie Alps).
I'm generally at the faster end of the pace spectrum, apart from active racers. Personal par for the Brevet Cymru 400k is 18 hours (Chepstow to New Quay and back).


Senior Member
My tip is don't be embarrassed about getting off and pushing up the hills as soon as you start to struggle. It's not worth stubbornly grinding and gasping your way up just to save face. Doing that a couple of times can really effect your stamina for the rest of the day.
Also don't start off the day at too high a high pace, relax, take in the scenery, and stay comfortable in the saddle.
Your mileage will increase naturally the more you ride, the important thing is to enjoy it.


New Member
Worry not about how you compare to others. Heck, if I did that, I'd never get on a bike again! The key to successful touring is to enjoy it - just take it at your own pace and enjoy the scenery and the experiences along the way.
How much did you eat during the ride? As touring takes up a lot more energy because of the weights you are hauling, you prob need to put more in. The only time I felt physically sick when touring (and gave myself a hard time over it) was when I'd forgotten to eat enough.

Lucozade is basically sugar so it will give you a short sugar high and then you could feel worse after it. Try using energy bars (Torq are good), flap jacks or something like that - which contain complex carbohydrates and release energy more slowly.
pretty cool - I generaly average 10kmh overall inc stops and about 16kmh on the move

My policy is I am not going between a and b so stopping is Ok - for coffee, photos an call of nature last two are very useful if climbing big hill and need quick rest (it is also my policy not to walk up hills - I paid a lot of money for my cycling shoes and i dont want to wear them out walking)

remember the mantra/cliche - it not the destination but the journey that counts
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