When deciding how far to ride in the time you have available, you'll want to take into account your overall fitness, your personal goals, the style of touring you choose, and the terrain.
If you’ll be riding loaded and never have before, go conservative on your planned daily mileage. Plan for maybe one-half to two-thirds of what you already know you can ride comfortably. If you’ll be riding minimally loaded, as in a supported or inn-to-inn ride, you can perhaps go farther. But then again, why? Fewer miles per day means more time to explore.
With a bit of bicycle-specific training, an average physically fit adult carrying less than 20 pounds of additional gear on the bike — typical for a Supported Touring style — can expect to travel at an average pace of 60 miles per day on paved roads and still have time to stop for ice cream.
With 35 to 50 pounds, a load more typical of the self-contained traveler, that average might drop to 50 miles per day. And if the terrain is particularly flat or mountainous, the average will increase or decrease accordingly.
While these are simply guidelines — not hard and fast rules — exceeding these averages has a tendency to decrease enjoyment.
If you're riding for multiple weeks to months, we recommend you plan a rest day for every 10 days of riding. For a loaded traveler, we recommend you carry no more than 45 pounds of gear, or a lot less if you can.
Plan for unexpected challenges and fortuitous side trips, keeping your itinerary flexible, your body happy, and the adventure alive.
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