I want to cycle 620 miles home.

AshHallett
AshHallett Posts: 3
edited February 2011 in Road beginners
Cycling fanatics of the world! I need your guidance!

Im a complete novice rider. Obviously i can ride a bike, but thats about as far as it goes! I have however had a rather mad plan and need some help and advice to prepare me for it!

Essentially i want to raise money so that i can travel to NZ and fulfill my dream of playing for a rugby club out there! I already have offers for various clubs! I just need to get there now!

The idea is as follows......

Currently i am living and working in Meribel, France on a ski season. My season will end roughly at the beggining of May. My plan is to then complete a sponsored cycle home from here to Dover. Its 620 Miles.

Firstly, how long does it take to train for such a distance? How long do you think it would take? Do i HAVE to buy a certain type of rather expensive bike or can i wing it with a standard cheap on (im trying to raise money not spend it bare in mind!)

Any tips on cycling long distances?

Any advice is HUGELY welcomed. Im a complete new comer to this!

The only thing i dont want to hear is that i cannot do it. Because i can, and i will.

I look forward to your advice!

Comments

  • bianchimoon
    bianchimoon Posts: 3,942
    Riding to dover won't be a problem, might take you 12 days though, getting sponsored to do it?.. i fear that's where the dream will end, good luck
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
  • 16mm
    16mm Posts: 545
    Just make sure you break it up into chunks maybe 60 miles a day? Unless you're planning to do it non-stop!

    As long as you are comfortable on the bike, you'll be fine. How much do you need to carry?
  • rozzer32
    rozzer32 Posts: 3,892
    So you want people to "sponsor" you to fund your plane ticket? Yea good luck with that.

    If you were going to do it for charity then fair enough but not for your plane ticket.
    ***** Pro Tour Pundit Champion 2020, 2018, 2017 & 2011 *****
  • furrag
    furrag Posts: 481
    You want to raise money - not for a charity - but to fund what is a glorified cycling trip across France, with enough money to head to New Zealand to fulfil a dream of being an egg-chaser? I think you're being naive there. I worked 3 jobs and 65+ hours per week to earn my 16 months in Australia.

    Our clubs outstanding achievement award went to a guy who rode 1000 miles in 5 days on 5 hours sleep. Madness.

    It all depends on how far can you ride at the moment, and how long it takes you to recover. You've then got to factor in accommodation costs and securing your bike overnight, as well as appropriate nutrition and hydration.
  • Hi
    That's certainly an undertaking!
    But I reckon if you're already fit you could do it.
    First off, I would say a good road bike is essential. They are faster, more efficient and just as comfortable as any other bike. These days you can get many comfort orientated bikes, rather than out and out racing machines.
    Road bikes can be quite expensive; here is a relatively cheaper comfort-built road bike.

    http://www.specialized.com/gb/en/bc/SBC ... cname=Road

    This would probably set you back £600-£700. If this is out of your budget then it's a bit difficult. Perhaps borrowing one off a friend would be a good idea.

    In terms of distance, you really need to appreciate just how far this is. The thing about cycling is it seems to get exponentially harder. So the more you increase the mileage, the harder it gets (obviously) but I don't think it increases proportionally as such. For your average new cyclist it can take lots of training just to build up even to say 40 miles.

    Even for someone with a lot of experience, this will take several days. You need to plan accommodation etc. as you won't be able to do this in just one or two days.

    With enough grit and determination I think you could wing it, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's the hardest thing you ever do in your life. My tactic, other than try and get some training done, would be to just put it in an easy gear and gently grind those miles out especially to start with.

    The only other thing I would say is find someone else to do it with. Cycling can be very lonely and it will help get you through it.
    Good luck and keep us updated!

    Edit to say: Kind of agree with the above posts, who will sponsor you? Wouldn't it be easier to get a job?
    "That's it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college! " - Homer
  • danowat
    danowat Posts: 2,877
    rozzer32 wrote:
    So you want people to "sponsor" you to fund your plane ticket? Yea good luck with that.

    If you were going to do it for charity then fair enough but not for your plane ticket.

    This ^

    As for the ride itself, you'd easily do it in 10 days, even a novice cyclist could managed 62miles a day fairly comfortably
  • amaferanga
    amaferanga Posts: 6,789
    Do it in a day and I'll chip in 3 pence towards your holiday.
    More problems but still living....
  • ShutUpLegs
    ShutUpLegs Posts: 3,522
    amaferanga wrote:
    Do it in a day and I'll chip in 3 pence towards your holiday.

    Get the train
  • obviously i dont expect a huge amount of sponsorship, more of a friends and family effort rather than mass sponsorship.

    and of course i already have several job in mind when i reach the uk, and am currently working silly hours in france!

    the main reason for the journey is the fitness goal and that its much more interesting than saying i spent 3 hours in check in and ate a ready meal in the window seat.

    thanks for the support and advice!
  • bianchimoon
    bianchimoon Posts: 3,942
    in that case go for it, it'll be an experience you'll never forget - good luck
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
  • dodgy
    dodgy Posts: 2,890
    Read crazy guy on a bike (Google it) site to understand that what you're thinking about is not really that much of a big deal. But whatever, just do it, sounds like you're up for it.
  • Hoopdriver
    Hoopdriver Posts: 2,023
    You shouldn't have any trouble doing 620 miles. Figure 10-12 days. A comfortable bike is important - for enjoyment's sake but it needn't cost the earth. To some degree you can get fit on the road, although your three months riding beforehand will help with all that. Truly, it will not be a problem.

    Why do you need sponsorship? Two weeks on the road, tops, is not going to be that big a cost and if you re working silly hours in France you should have no trouble with funds. Cycle touring is really pretty cheap.

    I think you will find a great deal of reluctance - other than from perhaps your family - to gain anything in the way of sponsorship. And rightfully so in my opinion. Sponsored rides have been done to death. Everybody who sets off for anywhere on their bike these days seems to feel their ride should be, or ought to be sponsored, or else done for charity or some such.

    Far better to do it on your own - truly. I have cycled many thousands of miles all over the world, and every inch of the way at my own cost, and feel far better for having done it that way. Cycling is about independence and freedom - enjoy it for what it is.

    You'll have a great trip whatever though - so good luck.
  • bianchimoon
    bianchimoon Posts: 3,942
    get a bivvi bag, save on accom costs, bread and cheese and a bottle of rouge every night.. ahh sounds like a dream trip
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
  • bianchimoon
    bianchimoon Posts: 3,942
    get a bivvi bag, save on accom costs, bread and cheese and a bottle of rouge every night.. ahh sounds like a dream trip
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    You should be able to do it in a week or so with basic fitness - but you'll spend on a bike and kit and 6 nights accommodation so you could well end up spending a lot to raise not so much.
  • CiB
    CiB Posts: 6,098
    Pers experience is that the more miles you do, the more miles you can do. So the first couple of days or so will feel tough, but then it'll become apparent that 80 miles or so over a 10 hour day in the saddle is easy really. You just need to get over the initial mental (and physical too to some extent) barrier.

    50 - 60 miles per day for the first couple of days, increasing to 80+ after, should be doable.

    Your main issue is fuel intake. It'll need plenty of fluids,carbs & proteins regular & often through the day. This has been covered numerous times here - try searching for food on long rides.

    620 over a few days though? Eminently doable. That's the sort of thing I'd love to have a pop at. Good luck with it.
  • vorsprung
    vorsprung Posts: 1,953
    This distance is pretty similar to the Lands End to John O'Groats

    I'll give you the advice I always give LEJoGers

    Getting fit to ride the bike isn't difficult. Just ride (at least) a couple of times a week and try and do a "fast" ride and a "long" ride

    The main problem people seem to have is with their contact points to the bike. The saddle, the handlebars and the pedals

    If you try to have a comfortable bike and "do the miles" so your body is somewhat used to it, that will help. Strangely, this is one of those problems where equipment really helps too. Usually cyclists just tell you to train, train, train. But in this case having the right stuff is key.

    Get some cycling shoes that fit you. Get at least 3 pairs of good sports socks. I find coolmax is nice. Wash the socks as you go.

    On the bike, do not use a "Gel" saddle. For some reason these seem to cause problems with extended use, although they are great for shorter journeys. Padded shorts seem to work well. Again, get at least 2 pairs. Wash them as you go so that you are always wearing clean shorts. Take some backside ointment with you (sudocreme, salavon etc). If you find you are sweating a lot, put this on in the morning. If you have any sore bits, put the creme on it.

    On the handlebars, try and fit some padding. A bit of pipe lagging in the middle is the cheap skate solution. There are lots of bar-tape-with-built-in-gel products as well. Get a couple of pairs of gloves. "Mitts" or fingerless ones are good. Ensure that they have some padding on the ulnar nerve. Try and wash them as you go too.