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Author Topic: Average daily distance  (Read 2213 times)

Crystal

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Average daily distance
« on: April 07, 2010, 06:14:31 PM »
Hello,

I am new to the biking world and am planning my first bicycle-touring trip for this coming summer along the west coast of the US.  I plan on biking on paved roads and have about two months planned for my trip.  I am finding it difficult to plan for my trip because I don't know how many miles per day is a realistic goal or expectation for me.  I have very little biking experience, but am in moderate physical condition.  For planning purposes, could anyone tell me how many miles per day I can expect to ride if I want to ride for a good part of the day but want to have enough time and energy left to see the sights along the way?  Thank you for your input.

spdaly

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Re: Average daily distance
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2010, 10:24:53 PM »
Miles really depend on lots of things. fitness weather terrain how you feel that day etc etc. in the last few tours I have done I usually will ride between 40 to 60 miles in a day but have ridden as many as 80. I think more than 60 for most mere mortals is quite difficult day after day. But I guess that depends. any less than 40 miles in a day and your not really going anywhere. In my experience on a loaded bike I average about 12 mph. and I dont like being in the saddle for more than 8 hrs.

Hope this helps,

Shane

On Two Wheels

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Re: Average daily distance
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2010, 01:27:30 AM »
Miles really depend on lots of things. fitness weather terrain how you feel that day etc etc. in the last few tours I have done I usually will ride between 40 to 60 miles in a day but have ridden as many as 80. I think more than 60 for most mere mortals is quite difficult day after day. But I guess that depends. any less than 40 miles in a day and your not really going anywhere. In my experience on a loaded bike I average about 12 mph. and I dont like being in the saddle for more than 8 hrs.

Hope this helps,

Shane

Sorry to be so pedantic, but if you average about 12 mph, and you don't like being in the saddle for more than 8 hours a day then you are going to do more than 80 miles.


I aim for doing between 40 - 50 miles a day, with an average speed of 10 miles an hour, thats giving me 5 hours in the saddle. With wild camping 5 hrs a day in the saddle is very achievable. Wake up at 6, breakfast, strike camp and leave for 7.30, then you have until 1 hour before sunset (to find next camping place) to get in your 5 hours or 50 miles. Again this depends on the terrain. Down hill / 50 miles easier/quicker than up hill ect. Thats like at least 12 hours to get your mileage/hours cycling done. Plenty of time really. 2 hours cycling - 2 hours rest / other stuff, 1 hour cycling - 1 off, 1 hour cycling - 2 off, 1 hour cycling - rest of day to do whatever or just keep on going.

Then again, if you have no set plan (which I rarely have) and you don't need to set limits you can cycle as far as you want, when you want. It really does depend on so many variables that it is actually hard to quantify on a daily basis.
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Crystal

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Re: Average daily distance
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2010, 11:56:53 AM »
Thank you for your responses.  This will definitely help me in planning my trip.  You mentioned wild camping.  Do you know if wild camping is feasible in most areas of the west coast?  I would prefer to camp in the wild because it is cheaper and nicer than motels and campgrounds, but I'm not familiar with this part of the country.  Also, do you know if it is safe for single women to camp alone in the wild, as long I exercise reasonable caution?  This will be my first time traveling alone.  Thank you for your input. (I'll post this same question in the section titled "Safety while on the Road.").

spdaly

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Re: Average daily distance
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2010, 12:05:30 PM »
if you are riding the west coast USA there are whats called hiker biker campsites all along the coast in Oregon and California These are government run sites offering really cheap camping for backpackers and bicycle tourists for as little as 4 dollars to camp or as much as 10 dollars depending on where you are. They require no reservations and they wont turn you away but you may have to share your site with other hiker/bikers. I might suggest getting a hold of the book "Bicycling the Pacific Coast" as this can give exact locations and mileage between sights.

Shane

petervanglabbeek

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Re: Average daily distance
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2010, 05:02:08 AM »
My daily distances have been between 5 and 300 miles, it is all possible when you get fit during the tour. But you can count on 50 per day average, not including rest days. Or 1000miles per month. I suggest to take it easy in the beginning. I have met many people that developed knee problems when first riding with luggage. Also very fit people who where used to road racing competitions. The muscles will get stronger quickly, but the tendons need more time to adjust. Do a lot of stretching. When you feel a little pain stop for the day. Cycle in a light gear.

As for wild camping: this is possible almost everywhere. Even in the very densely populated countries in western Europe I always find a free campspot, always. As for safety, this is something you will get used to. You will feel a little insecure the first nights, maybe wake up a few times from a noise, but slowly confidence will come. I camped wild almost every day in the past 5 years and never had a single problem. And from the outside of the tent nobody knew if i was a man or woman.

Check the www.warmshowers.org list to meet great people and find a place with a shower once or twice a week.

Peter
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woollypigs

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Re: Average daily distance
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2010, 12:02:55 AM »
Some good advice there, thanks.

Remember that wind, rain, heat, cold and them there hills will be taking it out of you too.

Last weekend we did our first mini tour this year since September last year. And it totally knackered us both for the whole week after. And it was only 110 miles over three days.

Ten miles into the cold wind on a lompy ride will feel like a much longer ride.

We found that we are up and ready to ride around 9:30-10:00, then we ride untill lunch at 13'ish where we normally rest for an hour. Before we do the last bit of our ride which takes us to around 16:00. That give us around the 35miles and plenty of time to stop and look at things, have an ice cream and plain simple faffing around. But that all depends on weather, hills etc. 

We have done the 50+ miles in a day but that knackers us too much and don't leave us much time to stop and enjoy the ride. And then take some rest days, cycling every day will just kill you have a rest day every five or so days too eat, wash, check equipment, call home and just chill for a day.

Remember - It's for fun and not a race.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2010, 12:17:28 AM by woollypigs »

Crystal

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Re: Average daily distance
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2010, 09:38:11 AM »
Great idea about the hiker-biker campsites. I never heard about these before.  I will check into it.  I like the idea, especially since I'm a bit inexperienced, and it sounds like an inexpensive and great way to meet other bikers.

onrbikes

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Re: Average daily distance
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2010, 05:32:34 AM »
We're pretty experienced and my wife says I'm a bit of a slave driver. We're almost 50 yrs "old"
I like to work on a weekly average of about 400-500 km.

In the week we'll do 2 days of 100km or more. Always work on a rest day per week and 2 slow days, especially if there is stuff to see or you got issues ( visas, bike problems, health etc) Usually the biggest day will be after the rest day. Our biggest has been 175 km in a flat area of Laos. The next days 60 km seemed to be a lot harder, so really big days do take it out of you.

 Terrain is also a big thing. Dirt roads or hills kill you. Tire inflation and quality is important. The higher pressure you can out into the tires lets you roll so much easier.
 We try to leave very early so we can finish earlier than later. We hate getting somewhere late in the day and then having to take the worst hotel.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2010, 05:34:14 AM by onrbikes »