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Learning to Deal with Cycling Fatigue

Learning to Deal with Cycling Fatigue
As the e-Bike Cycle Tourists have discovered over the past 10 weeks, it is one thing to say you are going to set a new world e-bike long distance record but it is a completely different thing to physically clock up the kilometres day after day, week after week.

Since setting out from London on April 23, we have averaged 70 to 100 kms of cycling 6 days per week, with the odometer on our sponsored Haibike Trekking xDuro e-bikes now showing 5268.1 kilometres.

Over the course of the past 10 weeks we have seen some amazing sights in the UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Holland and Belgium, have met many, many wonderful people, have cycled in all sorts of weather conditions from below freezing to above 40 degrees, have camped in a vast assortment of campgrounds that have ranged from fantastic to downright terrible and have generally loved every minute of the experience.

But as we have discovered there is a price to pay when you cycle four to eight hours per day - yes, even on an e-bike - and have to constantly deal with everything that is required to stay on the move on a daily basis – fatigue.

While we are both probably fitter than we have ever been, we now treasure our down time off the bike more than ever.

Where early in the trip we would walk into the nearest town after dinner to have a drink or to sightsee after a day of cycling; now we prefer to save our energy by staying in the campground with our feet up.

Stop at just about every historic village along the way as we did early on – forget it! Now we see what we can from the relative comfort of our e-bikes as we cycle through a village, but nearly always keep moving.
Quite simply you can’t see and do everything and as we have now realised our goal is to set a new world e-bike record, not count how many beautiful villages we have seen or restaurants we have dined in.

So that is what we are doing. We are loving every minute of the ride, but have scaled back our other ‘activities’ to ensure we get plenty of rest to stay fresh on a daily basis, are preparing our own meals in preference to eating out and are generally getting as much rest as possible.

The change in focus has resulted in a remarkable turnaround in our mental and physical condition after we both hit the wall – so to speak – a few weeks ago.

We are now both full of energy again and eagerly look forward to each day’s ride comfortable in the knowledge that we are already one quarter of the way towards our target of 20,000-plus kilometres.

It is hard to believe we have seen and done so much over the past 10 weeks, but in many ways it is just the start with another nine months of cycling still to go!

Gary Corbett is an award-winning Australian journalist who has written for a wide range of newspapers, periodicals and travel magazines for the past 30-plus years.

After years of writing about other people’s travel adventures, in the mid-2000s he  booked a personal holiday with a difference – a one week guided cycling tour in the Loire Valley in France – and was instantly hooked on those “how good is this” moments that only cycle touring can provide.

In ensuing years he has gone on to cycle well in excess of 30,000 kilometres completing guided, self-guided, bike and barge and solo long distance tours in Europe, Australia, Asia and South America.

Gary now writes exclusively about cycle touring and travelling in general and as such the attempt to set a new electric bike world long distance record along with his wife, Rachel, is his latest “fact finding” cycling adventure – however this time it will be on an e-bike.

His future goal is to see more of the world from the seat of his trusty Trek 520 touring bicycle, and now that he has discovered the world of e-biking, his new Haibike xDuro Trekking RX e-bike. There is, after all, always another country to be explored, new cultures to be experienced and more cycle tours to be completed.

Before this epic journey Gary (a.k.a. The Cycle Tourist) contributed many excellent cycle touring articles to the Cycle Tours Global blog - you can read them at find out even more about the expedition please visit


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By: Gary Corbett
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