It’s just 10 days after our spontaneous purchase of outgoing flights to Canada to cycle who-knows-how-many-miles with our toddler in tow. And really, we’ve not accomplished much else as yet.
Actually… we’ve accomplished, well, nothing. It’s time for preparations to begin.
Although 15 weeks sounds like a lot, in the grand scheme of things? We still have a lot to try and fit in. The compulsive organiser in me starts to twitch when I remember that we don’t even have a return date or flight yet, let alone a route, half the required equipment or any idea of how much this could all eventually cost…!
Must remain calm. Must remain calm.
Any concrete plans are currently on hold until we can determine how long we will definitely be going for. Considering work and finances are the foundation of our current state of stasis, but with any luck, we’ll have definite answers within the next 2 weeks and can then move forward. Until then, the point of focus is getting ourselves ready physically and undertaking all the research we can to ensure we’re as clued-up as possible before making any firm decisions. Knowledge is power- or so they say.
Yesterday we undertook our first family cycle ride since the cold weather set in. Our total distance was modest and the route fairly tame, as a gentle introduction back into the world of cycling. A few climbs and some patches of ice presented some challenges, but thankfully with a fairly strong foundation of physical fitness we were able to overcome these without collapsing in exhaustion (although I can’t deny I felt strongly tempted to jump off my saddle and walk on more than one occasion!) Matt bore the worst of it, as he’s responsible for towing Theo in our Burley Bee trailer- and despite its light weight, the same can’t be said for our ever-growing toddler. We managed 11.91 miles in total.
We’ll be aiming to undertake a few weekend rides with some overnight camping in order to accustom ourselves to the extra weight of our panniers and the trailer- but figured that starting light was probably the safest bet! We’ll be looking to gradually increase our weekly mileage as part of the training, and perhaps combine this with spin classes to improve aerobic fitness alongside.
After a quick browse on the web, there doesn’t actually seem to be a lot of guidance on how much you should be aiming to do in order to train for something of this scale. Scott Williams has some advice on training for long distance bicycle touring, but really it seems that training has to be tailored to your own abilities and level of fitness- so although it feels as though we’re stumbling in the dark a bit, we’re probably just going to have to see how we go. Matt has the aim of cycling between 30-60miles a day as a rough guide- but we’ll have a better idea of what we’re actually capable of after a bit of practice…!
Alongside the cycling training, I’m continuing to run with the hope and aim of entering a half marathon before our trip- on one hand, I’m hoping it will continue to improve my overall aerobic fitness and contribute towards my training, but on the other, I wonder if perhaps I’m pushing my body too far! As yet I haven’t committed to anything specific, so will see how I cope after a few weeks of training. If nothing else, I think all this work will push my body to its absolute physical peak…!
We can only do what we can…