Planning to go on a bikepacking trip or bicycle tour and aren’t sure you are fit enough? Blaze Adventure Tours is here to help!
Do I need to Train?
Bikepacking is (usually) not a race. In fact, we recommend planning your tour with reasonable and achievable mileage. Trust us, you’ll have more fun! That being said, it’s still a huge physical and mental challenge. Proper preparation will help you stay healthy, stay safe, and enjoy your adventure to the fullest.
Do the Distance.
Step 1 of training for a bikepacking trip is to do the distance. Before you head out on the trip, you should be comfortable riding the average day’s distance. For example, if you’re planning on riding about 40 miles a day, get comfortable doing 40 mile rides. We recommend doing the distance at least 3 times before your trip. Do this ride on similar terrain as the trip. Apart from the long rides, it is generally recommended to be on your bike at least 3 times a week, even if your shorter rides are only an hour long. This type of frequency will prepare your body for the longer miles.
Do the Time.
Step 2 of training for a bikepacking trip is to do the time. Bikepacking pace can often be slower than your normal training ride, especially if you will be carrying your gear. You need to train your legs, your brain, and most importantly your butt to handle the extra time in the saddle. We recommend at least 2 training rides of at least 75% of your longest expected day. If you aren’t sure how long your day will be, use 8mph as an estimate. That means you can expect a 40 mile day to take 5 hours. Practice riding about 4 hours and 15 minutes a few times; your butt will thank you later.
Grab your Gear.
Step 3 of training for a bikepacking trip is to practice with your gear. You should be using the gear you will take on your trip for your long training rides. This means the bike, tires, seat, helmet, panniers or bags, and any other bicycle touring equipment you expect to use on your bicycle tour. This especially applies to your clothing. Bike shorts, jerseys, and socks that are comfortable for an hour ride might chafe or rub on a 4 hour ride. Test out your gear and get used to what it feels like to have it on all day. If anything bothers you on a training ride, ditch it and find something more comfortable.
Train your Tummy
Step 4 of training for a bikepacking trip is the often overlooked aspect of training your tummy. Just like our legs and hearts, the stomach is a trainable muscle. Practice eating your lunch and going for a ride. Practice eating snacks all day long as you ride. A good place to start is about 200 calories an hour while you ride. You can use your long training rides to find out what foods sit best for you. Everyone is different, but carbs tend to be king, while heavy, fatty foods can sit like a rock in your stomach.
Step 5 is to have fun! You are going on a bicycle tour because you love to ride! Training is just an excuse to get out on that bike a few extra times before your adventure. Enjoy it.
Interested in a guided bicycle tour? Come ride with us and let us worry about the planning, bags, and details.