Crossing a country in a day
Other countries are big places, but huge distances can often be covered in short spaces of time should the need arise. If your destination is the Alps, the Riviera, the Pyrenees or beyond, then it may suit you to get big miles out of the way early to reach your favoured riding roads.
Covering five, six, even seven hundred miles in a day may sound like a big ask but it is possible. Even 1000 miles is within reach – we’ve managed it but wouldn’t recommend it. However, long distances require some planning, thought and discipline, especially if you’re not experienced in big mileage days.
First, know where you’re going and plan a route. GPS can do the work for you but many prefer a good old map. Techno-phobes would do well to write out a route plan and stick it on the tank or in a tankbag. Calais to Cannes is easy – get off the ferry and follow the signs for the A26 and Reims, then Lyon, Marseilles and Cannes – but other routes may be more complex. Hardcore mile-eaters can print out detailed routes akin to rally car pace notes, but the rest of us would probably be better off with something in between.
Second, manage fuel consumption. You’ll cover more distance by going slower, using less fuel and stopping less often. With a tank range of, say, 120 miles, a 700-mile day requires at least six stops. Each takes time and knocks your average speed, so don’t hang about when you fill up. The more people in your group the longer each fuel stop takes,