This is perhaps the most common concern of new bicycle tourists: what distance should they be travelling everyday on their bikes? Well, the right answer to it is that the ideal distance is one which the person travelling is comfortable with and which meets his personal goals for the tour. But this answer will probably not really help you a lot if you are a first- timer. So I decided to write this piece with a view to give you all an idea about how you should calculate the average daily distance, instead of giving you a vague answer.
If you are doing a cross-country bicycle tour, you should know that most people doing that clock an average between 120 and 140 km on most days. A lot of them also have the occasional shorter days (when they want to do a little sightseeing) and a few much- longer days. For someone who is new to biking tours, the prospect of travelling 130- 140 km everyday may seem boring. But I will let you on a secret: it is actually not! In fact, if you drive a car for that distance you are bound to feel bored, but when you cycle, the beauty of the scenery keeps you refreshed and happy.
When you research, you will find that many experienced bicycle tourists go for a lot of longer days as well. But usually you will discover that they are people who are on a tight schedule and have to complete a set distance within a set period of time. But if you want to enjoy the scenery, meet people and go into museums, keeping your average daily distance low is a good idea. In fact if you are just starting out, I would advise you to aim for not more than 50 km a day. This distance will let you enjoy the sights, rest, laze around a bit and even enjoy a sense of accomplishment at having reached the target. Your priority should be to enjoy the tour.
Another thing you need to remember is that each tour is different and for that reason, each tour’s average daily distance is also different. If you are going on a longer tour, you could set the limit at 120 km. If you are planning a weekend tour, an average daily distance of 80 to 100 km is a good idea as it will give you a lot of time to do the things you want to do. Also, this applies for that time of the year when the long summer days get over, giving way to shorter days.
Hmm … there’s another thing you need to remember while calculation your average daily distance. You have to take into account that you will need rest days as well. They are very important if you want to keep your body refreshed and active. Also remember that you may encounter some really bad weather or strong headwinds which may mar your biking time. Keep all these things in your mind when you chalk out an average daily distance.