Perth to Sydney: How to prepare.

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Perth to Sydney: How to prepare.

Postby justD » Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:18 pm

Hey ppl,

I want to cycle from Perth to Sydney. Probably not soon, but one day when I'm fit enough and I've accumulated enough leave:(

I'd like to hear if there are some pointers on how to prepare for such a trip. As per my Legs failing (linking not allowed) post, I only started cycling in October, done a total of 644kms since November and I'm still very unfit, but I'm making progress. In October I struggled with 5kms and on Monday I was able to "travel" (cycling, but walking up most hills) 67Kms.

I'd like to know what to expect and what the best way would be to prepare for a tour.
Is there some kind of a breakpoint where your legs are strong/fit enough that they will (mostly) just keep going? I seem to remember 20 years or so ago getting on my bike and just cycling - only stopping as a result of boredom or lack of light, not my legs saying "you WILL stop now!!".

I only decided to work towards the Perth-Sydney trip last Wednesday. For now my plan is to push myself as hard as I can on either a Saturday or Sunday and try to improve on that 67Kms. However, it's basically taken until today (Thursday) to recover from Monday's cycle.
Is it better to push hard like that one day per week and then take a day or two off? Or better to cycle +/- 20Kms to work every day and increase that distance over time.

Very rough estimate for someone who has to walk up most hills on a 67km trip, how long before I could be ready for a Perth/Sydney trip?

If all the above are silly/impossible questions to answer, any suggestions of a good book aimed at preparing for a long tour?

Many thanks,

D
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by BNA » Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:15 pm

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Postby Kalgrm » Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:15 pm

G'day D,

This one is probably too difficult to give you the sort of answer you want, but within 6 weeks from now, you'll be climbing those hills which now stop you. Then there will be a other hill or two that stop you. Eventually though, maybe in 6 months, nothing will stop you and it will only be a matter of how fast you climb a given hill.

As for preparing for touring, I'd say get your gear together as you can and start taking weekender trips. That will let you know what stuff you need (as opposed to the stuff you'd like) and where your weaknesses are. You just build those weekend tours up until one day, you feel ready.

Then you go.

Remember though, once you actually start a long tour, you toughen up on the ride itself. Each day trains you for the ones to follow - on the job training, as it were.

I'd hazard a guess that if you start working towards it now, you'll be ready to ride the distance by Christmas time this year (although that's a terrible time to do the trip - winter is much better ....)

Cheers,
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Postby Tale » Fri Jan 30, 2009 6:34 am

Crossing the Nullarbor Plain is the big obstacle.

Here's an interesting older thread following the planning of a uni student and her eventual crossing of the Nullarbor: http://www.bicycles.net.au/forums/viewt ... sc&start=0

Also found this WA govt brochure: http://www.dpi.wa.gov.au/mediafiles/cyc ... ochure.pdf

There will be heaps of advice here: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/

Lots of links on Google of course: http://www.google.com.au/search?q=nullarbor+bicycle
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Postby justD » Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:20 am

Thank you both.

Yes, I can't see myself doing anything else over weekends for a long time. I woke up this morning quite excited about my cycle and realized that it was Friday, not Saturday. That 67kms I did on Monday is part of a route that's probably around 120Kms. I'll keep going until I can do that full trip on a Saturday, then repeat it on both a Saturday and Sunday (while still sleeping at home) and thereafter I'll start trips. Aiming to cycle to Sydney on a Saturday (160kms) and back the Sunday.

December sounds fine. Ambitiously I was thinking of September and in Tale's links I see that the winds will be west to east then. But maybe I'll wait till autumn next year. I'll decide once I can do a Newcastle-Sydney-Newcastle weekend quite easily.

Thanks for the links Tale! I've started reading, but I think they'll keep me busy for a while.
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Postby il padrone » Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:16 pm

justD wrote:December sounds fine. Ambitiously I was thinking of September and in Tale's links I see that the winds will be west to east then. But maybe I'll wait till autumn next year. I'll decide once I can do a Newcastle-Sydney-Newcastle weekend quite easily.

September-October may be a good choice for such a tour, or Oct-Nov. The wildflowers in WA and the Nullarbor will be spectacular for you at this time, but the best thing would be to fly to Perth and ride back. That way the typical winds (spring gales) will be more likely to be tailwinds for you :D .

Anytime after November in WA is extremely hot unless you are right on the coast. Manyyears ago I did a tour of south-west WA and was staggered by the 38 degree days in mid November :shock: . Quite a climate change for us Victorians.
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Postby Caelum » Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:34 pm

just for your info... i'm planning on doing Perth > Brisbane, leaving perth around mid-march...


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Postby justD » Sat Jan 31, 2009 6:47 pm

il padrone wrote:September-October may be a good choice for such a tour, or Oct-Nov. The wildflowers in WA and the Nullarbor will be spectacular for you at this time, but the best thing would be to fly to Perth and ride back. That way the typical winds (spring gales) will be more likely to be tailwinds for you :D .

Quite a climate change for us Victorians.


Sounds like I'd better add anti-histamine (spell?) to my checklist. Yes, the plan is to ride from Perth to Sydney. Originally I didn't know why that was but I noticed that everyone else seem to go in that direction.

il padrone wrote:Quite a climate change for us Victorians.


Dude, the whole of Australia is quite a climate change for us South Africans. Back home ice cream is a luxury, not a survival tool.
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Re: Perth to Sydney: How to prepare.

Postby terry » Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:19 pm

Just wondering have you committed to a date to commence the ride. I'm doing it early in June next year. Terry
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Re: Perth to Sydney: How to prepare.

Postby hartleymartin » Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:43 pm

I did some calculations a while ago. I figured that if you could maintain an average of 50km every day, you could cycle Sydney - Canberra - Melbourne - Adelaide - Perth in 3 months. Of course if you are "credit card touring" You can probably do it in a lot less time.
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Re: Perth to Sydney: How to prepare.

Postby justD » Fri Jul 17, 2009 3:36 am

terry wrote:Just wondering have you committed to a date to commence the ride. I'm doing it early in June next year. Terry


Hi Terry, welcome to the forum.

I'm looking at around August next year, though I chose that date back when it all seemed a little impossible to me. Next month I'm cycling up to Brisbane (from Newcastle) as a training ride and that will give me a better idea of where I stand, I may actually want to move the Perth-Sydney trip a little earlier myself. For now though, I first want to get past next month's ride coz I don't think I'm really ready for it yet. I record my efforts here - http://www.actionsfororphans.org

Good luck!! Keep us posted on your preparations and progress! Are you doing any longer training rides before the time?

hartleymartin wrote:I did some calculations a while ago. I figured that if you could maintain an average of 50km every day, you could cycle Sydney - Canberra - Melbourne - Adelaide - Perth in 3 months. Of course if you are "credit card touring" You can probably do it in a lot less time.


I'll pretty much be trying to keep a straight line between Perth and Sydney (Great Eastern Highway, I think). Works out to around 4,000Kms and as annual leave is my biggest restraint, I'll probably aim for around 150Kms per day, though I've got a way to go before I can cycle 150kms on one day, nevermind consecutively for 27 days. I'll probably give myself 35 days in total.
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Re: Perth to Sydney: How to prepare.

Postby hartleymartin » Fri Jul 17, 2009 6:25 pm

My only advice would be to aim for towns. Even if you only find a town every 2nd or 3rd day, make a point of going through the towns. But that's probably an "oh dehr!" for any tourer.
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Re: Perth to Sydney: How to prepare.

Postby terry » Fri Jul 17, 2009 10:16 pm

I'm going to do the ride commencing 1st July 10, can't do it any earlier, and the winds will be more favorable, hopefully. I do a bit of riding everyday and my experience is riding from Johannesburg to Nairobi and back with my 17yr old son 5 years ago. I'm going to go down to 'Collie' for a free stopover at a mate's place and then due east to Norseman. Going with a mate and will have another joining the group either from Adelaide or Mildura then onto Wollongong. You can contact me [email protected] to discuss the ride. All the best
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