Preparation for the Tour Divide
If you can do the sdw every day for about 3 weeks you’ll be ready for the Tour Divide 😉
I think you need to start looking at riding 100 miles on a Friday night, sleeping in a bivvy for 3 or 4 hours and then doing the same again Saturday and Sunday type weekends.
Jenn of this parish might be able to help re: preparations that she did? She rode 700 miles to San Fransisco from the finish, though so not sure she’ll help with immediate return home plans.
If you’re not planning to race then maybe look at doing the route with more kit/rest etc?Posted 4 years agoMSPSubscriber
I think I remember something Aiden Harding said on another similar thread, it was along the lines of “just commit to it, get signed up book the time off, then make it happen. Don’t over think it first or it just becomes a distant aim rather than a reality”.
Those may not be even close to the words he used, but it is what I took from his comments. So make the commitment now, and fill in the details over the next 12 months.
ps. I didn’t follow that advice and it is still a distant dream.Posted 4 years agonedrapierSubscriber
Good work Flange! And good luck!
It looks like you’re over the first hurdle, but I thought of this before I read your last. It’s a good ‘un:
If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is a compromise.
-Robert FritzPosted 4 years ago
How do folks
In light of the current on goings with a certain Mr Hall, I’m going to plan to ride the divide next year. I’ve been contemplating it for a while but recently short course racing has become a bit dull for me and I’ve lost my enthusiasm for it. Needing a new challenge (and having wanted to do this for about 3 years) I’ve finally decided that the next year is going to be preparation for the TD.
My question to you’s lot is for those that have ridden it before what sort of prep did you do? I’ve got a few big rides planned in the next few months but obviously winter training is going to be key. I’d planned on doing the South Downs way in a day but I’m now wondering if I should stay over in Eastbourne and ride back the following day.
I’m under no illusions about doing a decent time, but my aim is to get round it as quick as possible (and I can only blag a month off work anyway!).
Logistics wise, how did people arrange flights, specifically the one back? Not knowing when I’m going to finish is quite hard for flight planning. Additionally how did you get your bike back? Did you courier the box to the finish and box it up there, or just visit a local shop and blag a box?
Any help appreciatedPosted 4 years agoChrisEMember
I too keep looking at it longingly although in my case I am not only slow and fat but old too. Last week I hit a milestone birthday at which you can only weep.
I would love for the TD to make me fit, slim and even young again as well as giving me a rounded experiance getting there. For a couple of years I’ve been trawling the WWW for infomation to see if there is a way I can do the ‘event’ not to win of course, or even to come in the top half-field but to do it and to finish it.
I see TD people riding 200+ miles a day and need to know more as they are just super-human or the tracks are different or I am missing something. I once did the C2C in a day, 160 miles, and that was not really repeatable the day after. That was also all on roads, with a bed at each end.
What am I missing and is there a group of guys doing it in the spirit of a group, not really a race?
CPosted 4 years agoscudMember
Just as a bit of motivation after reading your blog, I was 17 stone just 4 months ago and had never ridden more than 70 miles, after buying a road bike and training pretty much every day with a 66 mile commute and 100 mile sportives at weekends, i’m down to 15 stone and managed to cycle from Manchester to London (250 miles) in 21 hours for charity (but I could never go out again and keep doing it day in day out!)
Nothing like the Tour Divide and i’ll never be that Superhuman like those guys, but it is amazing what you can achieve when you have a big event to aim for and to focus your training.
Good luck mate (we did meet briefly in Tesco car park Guidlford when i bought your wheels)Posted 4 years ago
Cool! Cheers for the bookmark chaps!
ChrisE – I’m thinking to be fair unless your ‘milestone’ birthday was 70 you’ll be fine. There’s even a thread on one of the bikepacking sites for the over 60’s and there’s plenty of them. What you lack in youth you make up for in time to train!
Also, there are two different ways you can do the TD (forgive me if I’m teaching you to suck eggs here). Either the Grand Depart (as per Mr Hall et al) or as an Individual time trial where you set off when you want. If you look at the live tracker you can see those doing an ITT, shown by their yellow dot as oppose to blue.
Its worth keeping in mind that whilst there are some racing it (Hall, Aidan who posts on here and a few others have done it too), there are plenty of others doing a lesser distance each day and ‘enjoying’ it more. There’s no start line or crowd so you’re free to take as long as you want. Me personally I want to train and race it as fast as I can, but thats because a)I’ve got a massive ego that will only be silenced once I’m sat two days in staring at a large mountain in last place and b)I’ve got to get back for work.Posted 4 years ago
I did it 2 years ago. I was made redundant/retired 6 monts before and had a few bad months (long story) and only got about 10 weeks really good training in. But I did finish. I also recall Aidan saying 10 weeks training is enough. Might be for him but I needed more!
Route is not difficult on a technical level, just long days. SDW surface is similar, everything rideable (except for a few miles in NM).
The SDW has ~50% more climbing per mile than the TD, it is just a lot shorter of course. 3 weeks of SDW would be harder than TD!
The two key’s to a good finish are being able to get up early and ride long. Not necessarily quickly, just keep moving. And I would say to be strong mentally and ride your race. By this I mean you stop when you are ready, not the people you are with. If you ride for 1 hour extra per day that is 20+ hours for most riders. Or 1.5 to 2 days off your time.
And stretch from now until the moment you finish. Achilles are an issue again this year (do some heel raises)and general back issues. So make sure your core is in decent shape.
Get up in the morning, ride as far as you can, eat as much as you can and camp. Next day repeat. What’s so hard about that. Good luck will try and keep an eye on your blog.
PS Sort of mentioned to MrsB about doing it again at the weekend and she said I must be mad or stupid. Not sure if she is right or just to sensible as my mate Martin is looking for a bike to repeat the pain.Posted 4 years agomikehowMember
You can come up with the greatest ideas in the world, but until you commit to making them happen they are meaningless and essentially fanciful.
Lodge your entry, book your flights and put everything in place to make it happen.
Then comes the nice bit, researching and buying kit that you need. Test it to death, revise and refine and come up with a system that works for you.
Then get some long days in and build up progressive. PBW, West Highland Way, Cairngorms Loop, Highland Trail race.
In doing so you’ll refine kit, refine your eating and drinking strategy and perform a post mortem to work out positives and negatives.
Mental strength is 80% of a lot of these things, so you need to have been out in all sorts of weather and know how it feels to be cold wet and tired and still have miles to push out.
Best of luck with it. I’ll be riding the divide this year but hope to go back and race it in a few years time.Posted 4 years agoChrisEMember
The birthday was 50 and to be fair, on the day, after moping round the house for much of the day, I then ran out of the door and up Ingleborough and back, 20K and prob 2000′ in 2.5 hours. Slow, but did it. Have ridden 10ish Transalps (not races) so not quite as bad as I make out.
The ‘fun’ for me would be the challenge of doing it and the experience of being in groups of other people, all doing together and suffering together.
I can’t get it out of my mind
CPosted 4 years agomarvincooperMember
Really hope you keep up the blog and go for it! Definitely on my bucket list now, following the current TD daily and wishing I was there. Sometimes, I really do wish I could just bugger off for a month or so, good for you taking the opportunity while you have the freedom.Posted 4 years agoChewMember
The more practice you put in leading up to the event the easier things will become.
Yes get the miles in, but also get used to being in the saddle for long hours day after day after sleeping in your Bivi. A lot of people focus on the riding but forget about the camping aspect. Its little things like being able to find somewhere suitable when your tired and keeping yourself dry when the weathers foul which will allow you to get a good nights sleep so you can keep on going day after day.
Learn not to plan too much. As soon as you start any plan is going to go out of the window so you’re going to need to be able to think on your feet and also know how you’re going to cope when you’re tired.
Theres plenty of other events if you look on the other forum 😉Posted 4 years ago
including Blackhounds Bivi a Month challenge which will be a good place to startcaptain_bastardSubscriber
I read this thread with great interest, as i’m also going to do the TD next year
I’ve got as far as confirming the time off with work (taking a few months off so i can travel as well)
as for preperation, i will be tapping up as many people as poss for tips etc
For the kit side of things, trips to the wilds of Wales or similar, aiming for min of one overnighter a month
For the fitness, i’m going to gradually up the milage, i don’t want to burn myself out over the winter, so probably start really upping if post xmas. I’ll be building up a cx bike that i will start to use where possible instead of the car
seeing the coverage of this years event, i’m excited alreayPosted 4 years ago
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