Sunday, 13 November 2011

A Few Calculations

When I am cycling I tend to carry out little calculations regarding distance, speed etc to keep my mind occupied. Sad, I know. I also sometimes sing out loud which can be embarrassing at traffic lights. You can get away with it in your car but not on a bike. Here are a few calculations I thought out the other day while riding.

I intend to do about 50 miles a day. I can ride now quite comfortably at an average of 12.5 mph which would take 4 hrs a day riding. I will however be carrying about 20 kgs of equipment on "the ride" so it is logical to conclude that I need to ride faster on training runs to equate to the main ride. I could always carry extra weight on training rides but I haven't got panniers yet and I don't like the idea of a rucksack. 

An extra 20 kgs of kit represents 44lbs and somehow I don't think I can lose that much so, with my current weight of 213lbs plus bike at 23lbs the total training weight is 236lbs. With 44lbs added makes a total of 280 lbs which is nearly 20% extra so I need to go 20% faster on training runs to be able to achieve 12.5 mph on the proper ride. 

I think I'll settle for 10 mph on the ride and take 5 hrs a day.

I have had the green light from my old pals in Yorkshire so the first night's stop is sorted. The second night is on the Hull-Rotterdam ferry so only another 40 odd nights to organise.    


  1. Hi, by coincidence, 2 different people shared your blog with us yesterday. I've started from the beginning and am up-to-date with all of your posts now. A great thing you're doing. We're from Wigan and live in Fethiye so we're hooked on your progress already. Good luck with it all! :)

  2. There's a great article in the NY Times about long distance cycling, one thing the writer wrote hit close to home: ultra-long distance cycling is not something you can really train for. You can work on general conditioning, but there's really nothing like riding 80km+/day for days at a time. So don't stress the exact numbers. I went from being completely wiped out after 140km in a day on my first day on the Berlin-CPH route, to doing 170km 5 days later, then going to ride around Copenhagen for a bit afterward my ride had ended.

  3. Ha! I do the same, I call it 'playing numbers games'. Sometimes I can become a bit obsessive so I have to tell myself to stop for a bit.

    And I sometimes sing, too :-)

    I would avoid carrying a backpack - you're likely to overwork your back, you definitely don't want to do that and in any case it isn't a good simulation of riding with panniers.

    On that note, Ortlieb panniers are my recommendation. They aren't the cheapest but they're waterproof and durable. On my last trip I had a small pair on front racks to spread the load between front and rear wheels (as I'm sure you're aware the rear wheel is under a lot more stress than the front, what with the drive from the pedals, more of your weight being supported by it, and its spokes are under unequal tension due to the dishing).

  4. One more comment: you mentioned knee issues in another posting. Whilst I'm mercifully free of arthritis, I do suffer from ITB soreness. I worked out a set of stretches to ease the ITB which I did at the end of every day. I recommend you do something similar at the end of each day - long days on the bike can cause a reduction in suppleness and thus lead to injury. Hold each stretch for a minimum of 30s, otherwise they don't do much good (and hold the stretch in a static position, don't bounce).

  5. First of all thanks to Julia for her good wishes. I look forward to seeing you in Fethiye.

    To jedrek, Thanks for your advice. I understand what you say. I intend to keep my targets flexible. Some days it's there, some days it isn't.

    To anonymous, thanks for your advice on loading etc. I have a programme of stretches from my chiropractor which I do every day. I know I also need a self-massage programme too.

    Thanks again to all.