I've never done a long tour. Basically everything I've read about doing these trips makes the same point, the best way to train is to do it.
So...this weekend we went on a bike camping trip to Chain-o-Lakes state park in northern Illinois. It was a long ride out of Chicago, 80 miles there, and 90 back. We rode with our full pack to get a sense of what the tour would be like. Which meant about 40 pounds of gear each. The trip was highly instructive.
Our tour this summer will be different. Last year we did a couple of bike camping trips, but they were always in-and-out, one weekend affairs. This summer we will be doing seven weeks of nearly daily rides, 2000+ miles. This past weekend we loaded our bikes up with everything that we will be bringing on the tour and we could feel the drag of the extra gear. I will be posting out packing list in the coming week to give you all a sense of what we are bringing along.
188.53 total miles in three days.
Friday: 80.00 miles, 1,234 ft of elevation gain
Saturday 17.5 miles, 470 ft of elevation gain (this was just biking around the campgrounds and neighboring towns)
Sunday 90.96 miles, 659 ft elevation gain