Planning Daily Bike Touring Distances
If you’re new to bike touring, you might wonder how far you can cycle in one day on tour.
It’s impossible to come up with a number that will suit everyone. Much depends on your style of touring and the terrain. Some luck is involved too, especially when it comes to weather.
Take your time and admire the views along the way. Don’t rush your tour, unless you really have to.
Over the course of our 3-year world tour, our longest day was 162km (fuelled by emotion, the day we completed our global loop) and our shortest was just 3km, when we crossed the border into Iran, on a bitterly cold winter day, and headed straight for a hotel.
On average, we found 75-80km to be a good daily distance to aim for. It was big enough to give us the feeling of real progress, yet small enough that there was always time for a leisurely lunch or a bit of sightseeing.
Every day is different though. If we had a big mountain climb ahead, we might only expect to cover 50km. If a good tailwind appeared, we’d plan on 100km or more.
No matter what our plans, we always stayed flexible. If you get too hung up on distance, you miss out on opportunities like the chance to meet friends along the way or see local sights.
What does this mean as you plan your next tour? Here’s our advice.
1. A starting distance of 60km per day is a good goal if you haven’t bike toured before. You may well go further but aiming low means you’ll have time to get used to the new routines of bike touring, without feeling pressured to cover a big distance.
2. Whatever distance you decide on, leave 1-2 days per week of touring as rest days. On a shorter tour of 10-15 days, you might be able to cycle every day, but the longer your planned trip, the more important it is to give your body a regular rest.
3. Stay open to changes in your plans. You might expect to go a certain distance on any given day but if bad weather, fatigue or a chance encounter means ending a day early is the better option, that’s okay too. You can always make it up the next day or take public transport to make up the difference.
Have you been on a few bike tours? Why not leave a comment and tell us how far you normally go in an average day on tour?