As a student with a series of upcoming finals this spring, I often find it hard to get the desired amount of training done each week, let alone spend much time on general planning and at the same time study. However, I am lucky enough to have my old man take care of most of the bike related preparations. He has placed a lot of effort in getting my bicycle set up and ready for touring, and without this help, the preparations would not at all have gone so smoothly.
The bike related preparations consist mainly of making sure that the components will endure two months on the road. Being on the road for an extended period of time means the bike will have to survive excessive use and poor maintenance and still be able to perform. That means that the key components such as frame, wheels, drivetrain, bearings etc. needs to be in good shape. We have changed both front and rear wheel to a set of lightly used touring wheels - hand built with DT Swiss spokes and Shimano rim and hub. Since my bike is not a touring bike and thus lack some touring-specific features, some alterations had to be made. I have now gotten a new drivetrain with "granny gears". This is a huge relief for me since I have been grinding on some smaller cogs on my previous trips. Although bike parts can be replaced at many bike shops along the route, it is obviously important to do what you can to minimize the chances of breaking down in the middle of nowhere.
When it comes to training I try to ride at least 3-4 times a week. With not too much time on my hand I ride between 50 and 70 km each ride at a steady to brisk pace on my road bike. Although this might seem a bit on the short side, I feel quite confident that I will do the required daily mileages even with a loaded bike. After all I will be traveling at a leisurely pace with nothing else planned for most days. Judging by my own experience, bike touring is the best and most effective workout for cycling.
|Testing the rain gear|