||01-04-14 10:41 AM
I have experience with several touring companies and they all seem price competitive. I found that the company guides are 24/7. First of all, the trip is a no brainer for you. You don’t need to pick lodging or restaurants or plan your routes. Just kick back and enjoy the ride. They pick the best routes for safety and for those special Kodak moments. The support vehicle can help you with any repairs, take you in should you bonk, and take your luggage from one location to another to keep your ride light and fast. When you’re not riding, the guides have local knowledge and will often provide a casual tour of a town after an evening meal or of a local attraction during the day.
These trips are expensive but you can learn a lot from them. What did they provide that you would need to do if you did it yourself? If there was a rest day, did you bike that day or enjoy the alternative (kayaking, hiking, whitewater rafting, visit to whatever). Did you enjoy riding with others or would you rather go solo? The risk to any tour is that there may be person(s) that irritate you and others. Perhaps they’re always complaining, always demanding support or attention but I’ve been fortunate because the experience and camaraderie of others has by far outweighed any bad experiences.
Because the trips are expensive, you might find that some companies cater to mostly professional couples above middle age. I haven’t ridden with Trek but have seen them on the road. The tour members and guides appeared younger and in better shape than some of the others. So you may want to ask about the other people that have signed up—couples vs. singles, and average age. The difficulty of the ride will also dictate the kind of people that sign up for the ride as you can well imagine. I highly recommend a touring experience with a good company like Trek and many others. After that you can be your own judge. Good luck and have fun.