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I daily cycle 20~30 km in (high) traffic going between home, faculty and other places. However I have never been outside of city or in any kind of competition.

Now I have to go to another city and I was wondering if it is a good idea to attempt this journey with my bike.

The route:

  • 180 km, Bucharest to Focșani, Romania.
  • total ascent 900m (mostly final part)
  • total descent 750m
  • national road (100 kph), well maintained, 1 or 2 lane(s) per direction, no median barrier
  • 100% asphalt
  • passes villages and 2 major cities.

My bike I think it is a hybrid bike (or MTB maybe), but nothing high-end.

The weather is nice and at return, if that won't be the case, I have to option to take the train (it hopefully should allow for carying the bike).

My main concern is traffic (I am used to traffic, but in the city) and the bike breaking down.

I don't think there will be physical problems from me and I expect to make it in less than 12 hours, but again I never attempted anything like this so...

The prospect of this road trip with my bike really excites me, but I don't want to do something foolish. So should I go for it, or just take the damn bus? If the bike breaks down and I cannot fix it what are my options? Anything else I should be worry about?

  • 1
    If it's high speed traffic (80 kph+), then I would be seeking alternate routes. – andy256 Sep 13 '15 at 10:30
  • Where from and to? – andy256 Sep 13 '15 at 10:31
  • 100 km/h. Bucharest - Focșani (near) – bolov Sep 13 '15 at 10:33
  • 2
    I gather you're intending to do this in one day. It's probably doable, but would be very stressful for someone not conditioned for such a distance. You need to have a rescue plan of some sort (in case of breakdown of either bike or body), even if it's only to hitch a ride to the next town and take the bus. And pay attention to nutrition and hydration -- it's easy to neglect those as you get tired. Otherwise, what Andy said. – Daniel R Hicks Sep 13 '15 at 12:28
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180 km is a long way for someone who only normally does 20-30km (to quote @PeterH in chat).

To my way of thinking, you could do it, with some pre-conditions

  • Do some longer rides, where you ride 30km to somewhere, have lunch, and ride back.

  • Ride on some of the potential routes, to understand the traffic situation.

  • Plan ahead, so that you do it over two or more days.

I would check out where other people ride. For example

And use Google Street View for reconnaissance.

A few related questions and answers

8

The short answer is yes, you will be very tired but do it anyway.


The long answer.

I took my first long trip after commuting 30~40 km daily and never doing anything more than 60 km at once before. The bike was very low end flat bar road bike. The trip consisted of 150~180 km per day for three continuous days. There were few not major, but noticeable mountains on the first day and plenty of traffic. 150 km of the first day did not take much effort. I felt like running more would not be an issue at all.

180 on the second day were very hard, mostly because of the sores caused by the inappropriate clothing and flat bars and a major city I have had to cross at that day. Crossing large cities is a thing to avoid.

The third day was hell because of rain, but that's completely different story.


Preparation

Take some basic tools with you, such as tools necessary to replace and/or patch a tube and a chain breaker. Taking some basic medicine to fix sores is also a good idea.


Drink plenty of water, eat well, take care of the traffic, and you will be fine. There's nothing much else to recommend, 180 kms is not extremely long distance and no need to stress out about it too much.

P.S.: forgot to write at first, a very important tip about touring. Keep attention on your cadence! If you run 30 km with cadence too low you won't notice much difference. If you run 150 with too low cadence, you will be unable to walk for a while. Avoid starting from lights too quickly and applying too much force onto pedals, conserve your power.

  • 1
    +1 For you will be very tired but do it anyway! – andy256 Sep 13 '15 at 12:55

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