Huascarán Circuit Day 1: to Carhuaz
Carhuaz Downtime

June 2017

After hopping on the bikes after a 5 month break we got our asses kicked by the Peruvian Andes Mountains. I was reminded of some research I did when we first considered this trip.

Amanda writes: Why am I writing this now after almost 3 years on the road? Well after taking 5 months rest off the bikes to visit family I was left considering preparing for cycling all over again. And then I returned to the question many of ask ourselves.

We have found that the psychological aspect of cycle touring is far more challenging than the physical aspect.

A very common question and one that we too asked ourselves before we began our cycling life is; how do you prepare? Well the simple answer is you buy a bike and a few things like a tent and some bags and start cycling. And anything you forget to buy you can usually get along the way. Certainly if you train physically for a long cycling trip your body may be better able to handle the exertion but our advice is different. Just ride your bike and when it starts to hurt; stop. As you cycle each day you will gain strength and it will become easier. Don’t get me wrong, training will make recovery easier and faster similar to marathon training. Andrew and I have both run a few marathons and we learned that anyone in relatively good shape can run 42.2km. The training recommended for a marathon certainly will improve your time and mostly your recovery but cycle touring isn’t a marathon. It’s not a race. One of the things we enjoy about cycle touring is that we can go at our own pace. And when it’s not a race if your body isn’t ready to push, then you listen to your body.

We have found success with our cycling simply by doing research on our routes as much as possible and understanding that plans change. Be prepared for the possibility that what you planned won’t turn out. Maybe the town you had pegged as a possible place to sleep and/or find food doesn’t exist, or its closed because of some holiday. We have found that the psychological aspect of cycle touring is far more challenging than the physical aspect. Just be prepared for shit to happen and then work as a team to solve these challenges. Working as a team if you’re traveling with a partner is key. Tensions rise when things don’t go as planned and rather than battling each other, come up with solutions together. Remember you both want the same outcome; happiness for all.

As you’re planning do some research online to read stories of other travellers and things they face. For those of you on Facebook there are loads of cycling groups with fabulous information about not only the day to day aspects but the routes out there. Things like what’s happening on routes in countries and how the roads are. There are even sites that list the less glamorous aspects of life such as robberies of travellers that includes maps of where the assaults take place. But more importantly you can see some amazing pictures and ask questions. Another fabulous resource is This is a website of thousands of journals of people cycling.

So my conclusion on this is don’t spend too much time trying to physically train your body. Once you get on your bike and start pedalling, you’ll be doing a lot of training. Just buy the bike, plan a route and spin the tires. It’s an amazing way to see the world and while you may think you need loads of time to plan, plan plan; just do it!

Training Photographs

More circuit training before our departure.

I did train somewhat before we started touring.

Yoga is now such a big part of my life.

More circuit training before we left.

Practicing yoga at home before leaving.

Huascarán Circuit Day 1: to Carhuaz
Carhuaz Downtime