The best ways to get your body ready for the challenge of a 6-day bicycle tour is to ride, ride, and ride. Start riding in spring or early summer riding 1-2 times a week gradually increasing to 2-3 times a week and increasing your time and distance each week. Close to the ride, do back-to-back days of approximately 40 miles each day. An important thing is to get what we call seat time. Spend time on the bike to get your seat in condition for sitting long periods of time on a bicycle seat.
The following is a suggested training schedule. Depending on your condition and ability you may have to adjust to what works for you. Ride unpaved as well as paved surfaces to better simulate a tour like the Michigander.
A mountain bike or a hybrid (mountain/road) bike is generally recommended. The trails’ surfaces can be anywhere from unimproved, gravel or paved, and the road surface can be gravel or paved. Check with your tour director or local bike shop for recommendations on tires, they can recommend a tire width for the trails you’ll be riding on.
Week 1: Day 1 Ride 10 miles, Day 2 – Ride 12 miles
Week 2: Day 1 Ride 12 mi., Day 2 – Ride 15 miles
Week 3: Day 1 Ride 15 miles, Day 2 – Ride 18 miles
Week 4: Day 1 Ride 20 miles, Day 3 – Ride 30 miles
Day 1 Ride 15 miles
Day 2 Ride 15 miles
Day 3 Ride 15 miles
Day 4 Ride 40 miles (week 1)
Day 4 Ride 45 miles (week 2)
Day 4 Ride 50 miles (weeks 3 & 4
Repeat the method from June, but on the 3rd and 4th day to back to back 40-50 mile days.