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Hey guys, I'm biking to my parents house in a month, a 450 mile trek. I work and go to school, both full time, so finding time for training is tough. Right now I'm getting about 15 miles a day, sometimes more depending if I have time for a free ride. What do people suggest for training for this kind of a journey? (I know it's not that long, but I'm starting to doubt myself) And how much time would you plan for the whole trip?
 

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There are a lot of things you haven't told us.

asoids said:
Hey guys, I'm biking to my parents house in a month, a 450 mile trek. I work and go to school, both full time, so finding time for training is tough. Right now I'm getting about 15 miles a day, sometimes more depending if I have time for a free ride. What do people suggest for training for this kind of a journey? (I know it's not that long, but I'm starting to doubt myself) And how much time would you plan for the whole trip?
How many days do you plan to take to ride 450 miles?
10 days and it will be really easy, a week won't be as easy, 2 days might be a problem.

How much stuff do you plan to carry.
A tent, camping and cooking gear make things tough, credit cards and motels are easier.

Where is this.
Florida is a lot easier place to ride than Pennsylvania or Colorado.

Don't forget to pay attention to the weather.
If it is the wet or windy or cold or warm season you had better be prepared for that.

How long have you been riding.
If you just started riding this spring-ouch. If you have been riding hard since 1969-ok then.


I am sure you have already figured out that the more you ride now the less it will hurt then. Also the more you are prepared to make minor repairs and the better shape your bike is in the less trouble you will have on the road. Finally it will really help you to load up your bike with everything you plan to carry on your tour and ride somewhere Saturday, spend the night and ride back.

BTW folks have done a lot dumber things on bicycles than a 450 mile tour without enough preparation and been fine, you should be fine too.
 

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Hoping for no ouch!

I started riding last year, which started out as triatholon training. My main concern is hills at this point. I'll be riding from Minneapolis to Chicago and the first 200 miles are rolling hills.

I'd basically bring a summer bag (with hotels being just for rainy nights), a propone stove, and water purifyer (maybe iodine tabs?). With a backpack, my whole load is around 12-15 lbs, depending on food. But is a back pack the best way of carrying this stuff?

All of my equipment is lightweight backpacking stuff, as that's what I do most. This will be my first over-night ride, although I have some planned before the trip. Are there any specific tips for this kind of trip?
 

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asoids said:
I started riding last year, which started out as triatholon training. My main concern is hills at this point. I'll be riding from Minneapolis to Chicago and the first 200 miles are rolling hills.

I'd basically bring a summer bag (with hotels being just for rainy nights), a propone stove, and water purifyer (maybe iodine tabs?). With a backpack, my whole load is around 12-15 lbs, depending on food. But is a back pack the best way of carrying this stuff?

All of my equipment is lightweight backpacking stuff, as that's what I do most. This will be my first over-night ride, although I have some planned before the trip. Are there any specific tips for this kind of trip?
Just think about that hot sweaty backpack full of dead weight jamming your poor sore @ss down into the saddle every time you hit a bump.

Get a rack and panniers.

Also ditch the stove, buy a prepared dinner (or at least stuff you can eat without cooking) just before you stop every night so you only have to carry food for the last few miles.
 

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asoids said:
I started riding last year, which started out as triatholon training. My main concern is hills at this point. I'll be riding from Minneapolis to Chicago and the first 200 miles are rolling hills.

I'd basically bring a summer bag (with hotels being just for rainy nights), a propone stove, and water purifyer (maybe iodine tabs?). With a backpack, my whole load is around 12-15 lbs, depending on food. But is a back pack the best way of carrying this stuff?

All of my equipment is lightweight backpacking stuff, as that's what I do most. This will be my first over-night ride, although I have some planned before the trip. Are there any specific tips for this kind of trip?
Sounds like you plan to be self supported? Carry all your own food, camping equipment, clothing for the duration. etc. Is that correct? If that's correct I doudt you can get away with just 15 lbs of gear. Even if you can, 15 pounds on your shoulders over 400+ miles will lead to an ouch. If you think you can truely limit yourself to 15 lbs of gear, a couple of cheap small rear panniers are probably best. A big Carradice is another option. Sounds like your loads going to be too small to justify a BOB or similiar trailer.

Visit Adventure Cycling: http://www.adv-cycling.org/
They've got lots of good advice and checklist for self supported touring.

Have you got your route worked out. I could probably help with the first 1/3. Andy MS or Mel can help with the middle 1/3, and Alex or Rollo the last 1/3. It certainly possible to build a hill adverse route through western Wisconsin if that's your goal.

Reply back with more details and we'll see what develops.

Scot
 

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the dnr website

So far I have a sketchy route planned. The only reliable resource I've found is the Wisconsin dnr website, which has the whole state mapped out with good and poor ride conditioned roads.

Any help in finding a non-hill route is welcomed. I havn't had too much training on hills and want a fairly smooth ride.

That site is great, thanks!
 

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asoids said:
So far I have a sketchy route planned. The only reliable resource I've found is the Wisconsin dnr website, which has the whole state mapped out with good and poor ride conditioned roads.

Any help in finding a non-hill route is welcomed. I havn't had too much training on hills and want a fairly smooth ride.

That site is great, thanks!
I think with a little help from Physasst I can get you relatively hill free for a river crossing at Winona. Be warned this means taking the boring and not particularly scenic roads that run along the same lines as Hwy 52 toward Rochester, flat open farmland. If you're willing to ride some hills Wisconsin hwy 35 along the river is a very pleasant route but there's a couple of climbs in the mix if you go that way.

How do you feel about riding crushed limestone trails. There's probably no avoiding a climb out of the Mississippi valley regardless of where you cross. Once you're over the river you can pick up the crushed limestone Wisconsin rail to trails (aka flat) that will take you from the border to Reedsburg Wisconsin about 50 miles NW of Madison. Using the old rail beds gets you through the hilly part of Wisconsin. You'll likley be wishing for hill after 70 miles of rail to trail.

So if you're OK with crushed limestone and think this would be a good, safe, and flat choice for you.

Reply back with your thoughts.

Scot
 
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