cycling trip info request

Dec 17, 2020
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hi everyone,
new to the forum so apologies if this has already been answered ( i looked but couldn't find anything).
i am planning a 600k, five day trip from my home in switzerland down to italy for next year and, as i have no real experience of this type of cycling trip, i have a few specific questions for those of you who have ...
  1. i am planning on around 120k per day (7-8h cycling). does this sound reasonable ? i regularly ride 3-4 times per week but only for around 1-2hrs at a time. do i need to start a different training routine ?
  2. given the fact that this is five days in a row cycling, will i need to plan a day break in there ? are there other issues i should look out for ?
  3. on the second day i'll be passing into italy via the simplon pass, a climb of 1350m. is this just head down and grind slowly to the top or is there something else i should consider when doing it ?
  4. to avoid muscle issues on the trip, should i do any additional exercices beyond usual warm up and warm down exercises ?
right, that's about it. hope you can help !
jon
 
Hi Jon, 120 per day sounds reasonable, but if you are only used to 1-2 hours per day, you should definitely do a few longer rides before that. I think it's not even so much about endurance, but you should get your body used to longer rides, especially your back (in case you have drop bars/ a sportive bike?) Make sure that you are physically prepared for such a trip, then you don't need to take a day off in between. I would recommend taking a few weeks, like two months, during which you do some 100-120 kilometers rides, maybe on the weekends, and also make sure your back is really fit (core strength and back exercises) and that you are totally okay with the saddle for such a long time. Well, that would be my advice as a hobby cyclist, no real knowledge here. Personally, I think that climb sounds pretty tough for a first try, but I don't know what your general fitness level is like. :)
 
Dec 17, 2020
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hi blueroads,
and many thanks for the feedback. definitely going to take your advice on the core/back strength exercises. i've noticed on the 2h+, 50-60k rides that i do that my back and shoulders do tend to start to ache towards the end so that should help. to combat this on the ride i was planning on breaking the cycling down to four 2h segments with decent breaks in between.
i will also be doing a few longer rides when the weather gets better and hope to put in a few 120k rides to see what the demands are on my body. i'm a relatively fit 50yr old but am aware that my body is not what it once was :)
many thanks again !
jon
 
Nov 21, 2022
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You've definitely come to the right place to get some advice on your upcoming trip. Six hundred kilometers is a pretty ambitious goal, especially if you're relatively new to long-distance cycling, but it's definitely doable with some proper planning and training. As far as your daily mileage goes, 120 kilometers is definitely achievable. If you're used to riding 3-4 times per week for 1-2 hours at a time, you may need to increase your mileage and/or duration gradually in the weeks leading up to your trip to get your body used to be in the saddle for longer periods of time. You may also want to consider doing some longer rides on the weekends to get in some extra training. As for taking a day off, it's definitely not a bad idea to plan for at least one day of rest during your trip. You can use https://www.freetour.com/ for planning the entire trip. This will help your body recover from all the cycling and prevent you from getting too fatigued. Good luck!
 
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