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How much is too much for a beginner?

FSITRFSITR Posts: 18
edited June 2016 in Tour & expedition
Hi everyone,

I want to do a tour from Prague to somewhere....I am undecided. I've seen some incredible locations that I would love to ride to but as a beginner I am not confident choosing a route based on my ability. I have been road cycling for only a short period of time, several months, however I am relatively young (26) and fit.

An example would be cycling to the Dolomites, or further across to Istanbul. I appreciate that terrain is the deciding factor here, but I would really love to hear your opinions on what you think might be 'too much too soon'.

P.S. I don't have a time limit so I wouldn't necessarily be rushing, if this impacts your opinion...


Thanks, I look forward to reading your comments!

Posts

  • WinNTWinNT Posts: 21
    FSITR wrote:
    Hi everyone,

    I want to do a tour from Prague to somewhere....I am undecided. I've seen some incredible locations that I would love to ride to but as a beginner I am not confident choosing a route based on my ability. I have been road cycling for only a short period of time, several months, however I am relatively young (26) and fit.

    An example would be cycling to the Dolomites, or further across to Istanbul. I appreciate that terrain is the deciding factor here, but I would really love to hear your opinions on what you think might be 'too much too soon'.

    P.S. I don't have a time limit so I wouldn't necessarily be rushing, if this impacts your opinion...


    Thanks, I look forward to reading your comments!
    I know several people who made long tours without having much expirience in cycling. So it looks like you can do it if you plan it properly and talk to espirienced people.

    But it is always better to have relevant expirience before doing something serious. So maybe you should make something like a tour for a week not so far.

    Good luck!
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    You could go round the world if you want to.

    A lot depends on you.

    What's the furthest ride you've done ? Why haven't you gone further ?

    If you want something badly enough - you'll be able to do it.

    As WinNT says - have a little practice first. Go for a long weekend and see how you get on.
  • whoofwhoof Posts: 756
    As above do a few weekend touring rides from home and see how you get on. Touring isn't necessarily about how fit (in the racing sense) you are it's about riding slow but quite often for a long time and on a number of consecutive days. It can take a while for all your 'contact points' to get used to this. However, quite a few people have started out with limited fitness, there was a lady who cycled UK to India who couldn't do more than 20 miles when she set off but got 'fit' on the way.

    Practice rides will show you what to carry and how and even if you actually like cycle touring or not. But at the age of 26 the only limiting factors are time and money.

    The Czech Republic is reasonably good value in term of eating and camping. Most campsites also have communal kitchens. Same for the Slovak Republic, less than a Euro for a nice ice-cream! I did a tour a few years ago from Prague to Krakow. The only things that was a bit of a pain was three countries with three different currencies.
  • FSITRFSITR Posts: 18
    Thanks for the replies, very informative.

    Unfortunately I won't get a chance to do a practice run before hand, I'll bite the bullet and hope that I enjoy!

    I would love to hear if anyone has any recommendations for a route from Prague to.....somewhere. I am looking to travel up to 4 weeks if anyone has any suggestions. Most important thing for me is the views and exposure, such as mountain routes etc.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Camping? Hotels? Youth hostels?
    I was reading the other day about a round the world cyclist and her worst part was packs of wild dogs chasing her in Turkey until a car ran one down and the others lost heart....

    I'd prob not go to Turkey. Never liked being chased by dogs.

    Go North? The fjords of Norway?
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 21,128
    At least try and spend a full day on the bike you'll ride to check that it's still comfortable after a day. Hopefully then it will be comfortable after a month too.

    I think that's the only serious issue you might have.

    The rest is practicing to see if you REALLY need that bit of kit that is weighing you down (I cannot believe how much censored I took on my first tour) and how you like to break up your day and such, but you'll learn all that quickly. Perhaps make sure you have some extra cash and a place to send excess kit after a week or so. Other than that start slow and short and as you get used to it your days will naturally get faster and longer.
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • culverwoodculverwood Posts: 256
    Head South. Do not worry about the mountains. The climbs in the Alps etc are long but usually not steep, I find much steeper climbs in less mountainous countries where the road goes straight up the hill.

    Vienna, Trieste, Venice sounds good to me or you could always turn left and go down the coast of Croatia.
  • Hi!
    I saw your post about going on a bike tour through Europe, and it sounds like quite an adventure! I'm also planning to bike through Europe, mostly Eastern Europe that is, this summer and wonder if you want some company for a while?

    Me, I'm a 23 year old swedish guy who studies earth science, and only quite recently gotten into biking. I'm a smoke-free vegetarian (if that counts for something :) ).This summer tour is also my first big bikeride abroad, and it would be fun with company for some length of the road.

    I have yet to decide on a specific travelpath, but I'm probably going to take a ferry from Stockholm to Gdansk, Poland and start going south. I've thought about taking the ferry from Odessa across the Black Sea to Georgia. Or maybe I'll go further south to the Balkans and Istanbul. Planned departure is in 1-2 weeks.

    If you are in any way interested, feel free to reply!
  • FSITRFSITR Posts: 18
    Good suggestions!
    I also know a friend that was cycling the world and was attacked by dogs in Azerbaijan but the dog ran in front of the bike and he went straight over it and a guy slit its throat at the side of the road due to its injuries! Rough day.

    skogshovet that's a great suggestion and I would have been happy to join you however my whole plans have changed, I will be doing a short tour throughout Tyrol, cycling some of the Dolomites and ending in Venice (starting in Bolzano or Innsbruck). The reason for the short trip (8 days) is due to other commitments back home, but I think a trip of this duration is a good starting point
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