Andrew Bain's Training Tips For Cycling Trips

Childers Cove (Great Ocean Road) | Andrew Bain
Childers Cove (Great Ocean Road) | Andrew Bain

Andrew Bain's Training Tips For Cycling Trips

In this excerpt from 'Ultimate Cycling Trips – World', by Tasmanian-based adventure cyclist and travel writer, Andrew Bain, you’ll learn some valuable tips about training for a cycle tour. 

Andrew has spent more than 3 years of his life pedalling his pushbike along some of the most beautiful cycle trails in the world.  He’s written four books about his various cycling adventures and his newest book, 'Ultimate Cycling Trips – World', provides detailed descriptions of some 35 of his favourite rides, as well as sharing loads of expert advice. Read our interview with Andrew Bain here.
Munda Biddi Trail |  <i>Andrew Bain</i>

When Andrew first set out on his first cycle tour in the late 1990s, he decided that he’d do all his physical preparation on the trip itself.  He planned to start with short daily distances and build towards longer days as he went.  As you can probably guess, he learned a lot from this experience!  So, if you’re thinking of trying this approach, read on to find what’s ahead for you.

In a way, my approach worked because the trip was so long - 14 months! And, in those first weeks, I experienced a whole lot of knee pain, numbness in my hands, fatigue and a butt that felt so raw it might have done a baboon proud.  It was a lesson learned the hard way: Preparation is key if you’re to enjoy - rather than endure - a cycle trip.
Southern Highlands |  <i>Andrew Bain</i>

It’s worth beginning a dedicated training program a couple of months out from the start of your trip. Start at whatever distance and time is comfortable and build up from there. There are no hard and fast rules about what you must achieve in training, but I always try to complete at least two or three rides that are a bit longer than my predicted longest day on a trip. 
As well as helping physically, it helps mentally by creating the confidence and knowledge that the distances you’ll be riding are achievable. It really is just about getting hours up on the bike for endurance and comfort. 

Saddle soreness is common until your body and your bike seat have come to some sort of hard-fought armistice, so wage that well before you begin your bike trip, getting your butt accustomed to a particular saddle - and then take that saddle with you.  Knee soreness is another common physical complaint when you first begin to spend time on a bike. If you do experience pain in the knee joints, try adjusting your saddle height and riding in lower gears, so you’re spinning faster but with less force……
Childers Cove (Great Ocean Road) |  <i>Andrew Bain</i>

Andrew goes on to share his knowledge about choosing the right bike, carrying gear, packing, and about the travel experience itself.  And that’s just the introduction – before you get to the detailed notes on some of the best rides on the planet!   

Here’s the link to his book, where it's currently 23% off:

About the Author

Andrew isn’t your average cyclist.  For starters, he started his bike touring with a 20,000km cycle around Australia.  Since then, he’s spent more than three years in the saddle, cycling through deserts, over mountain ranges and across notoriously tedious - as well as magnificently beautiful - stretches of road.
When he is not cycling, Andrew is an award-winning travel writer, specialising in outdoor adventure. His previous books include Headwinds, the story of his 20,000-kilometre bike ride around Australia, Where to Ride: Tasmania and Lonely Planet's Cycling Australia guidebook. 

Cycling the magical paths of Rowrah along the Coast to Coast in England |  <i>Andrew Bain</i>

About the Book

Andrew would have to be one of the best-qualified people on the planet to author the Ultimate Cycling Trips – World, which was published by Hardie Grant in 2021.  Drawing on his more than 20 years of cycle touring adventures all around the world – and his professional travel writing skills – the book provides detailed descriptions of some 35 of his favourite rides. If that’s not enough to whet your appetite, there’s also a wealth of information about choosing the right bike, carrying gear, packing, training and travel tips.  
Ultimate Cycling Trips - World |  <i>Andrew Bain</i>
>> Find your copy of Ultimate Cycle Trips - World at Booktopia, where it's currently on sale at 23% off.

>> Follow Andrew Bain on social media for more tantalising cycling photos:   



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