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Old 04-07-06, 07:00 PM   #1
Chuck5.2_in_CA
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thinking about taking a biking vacation...suggestions?

After 30 years in the Defense industry I am reasonably comfortably retired. Biking has become my passion. I's like to take a bike vacation this year with minimum of hassle and maximum of fun and biking. Price is not much of an issue but I am a stckler for value for a buck. I'd like it to be guided, all inclusive and within a days driving of Southern California which pretty much limits the trip to California or maybe Nevada or Utah. I can easily do 200 miles in a week as long as I'm not doing a huge amount of climbimg. I have a zillion frequent flyer miles but shipping or checking my bike doesn't seem like much fun. I dont think I want to ride a rental either. Have any of the forum members been on such a trip ? Can you recommend any? Google has no shortage of choices but I would hate to go blind on this. I might add that my wife doesnt bike and although she has given me her blessing, pictures of 40 something single ladies in the brochure or web site might be a deal killer !!!
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Old 04-07-06, 08:09 PM   #2
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I'd like to do something like that "after" the college tuitions are over. Please keep us posted on what you come up with. BTW, we have several similar types of rides on the East Coast. They are Cycle NC, Cycle Va, Cycle SC, etc. Generally, you can ride the entire week or select days out of the week you'd like to ride. The one in NC this year will be in late Sept/early Oct and starts in the mountains and goes to the coast-probably 400-500 miles in 6 days. You can camp or stay in hotels.

I did it one year and had a blast-slept in a tent and met some great folks. Average age of the riders was 50+ and there were 1200 or so.
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Old 04-07-06, 08:16 PM   #3
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One Nevada ride does "The Lonliest Highway in America" US 50, west to east across Nevada. OK if you do not need a lot of trees. Another Nevada ride goes out to Area 41. Several charity rides go from San Francisco to LA down the coast; very scenic but not true 5 Star service. There are several luxury tours up here in wine country. Or find a nice area like Santa Barbara or Santa Rosa and take a series of local club routes while the wife does touristy things.
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Old 04-07-06, 08:18 PM   #4
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+1 with jppe. I have another few years of college tuitions, but would very much like to do an organized tour (not quite mentally "up" for the rigors of self-contained touring). Sounds like a lot of fun, spinning along with like minded, equally enthused FiftyPlus type people and seeing something new over some days time. Like to do something here on the West Coast, someday maybe Europe. Local sights, smells, sounds are more intense on the bike. Yet one more reason to roll out of bed and stay fit.

Please keep up posted on what you uncover and end up doing.
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Old 04-07-06, 09:18 PM   #5
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I understand this is a great tour: http://www.bbtc.net/Calendar/index.htm It's limited to 50 riders, so if you want to do it, it might be a good idea to register soon. OHB
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Old 04-07-06, 09:20 PM   #6
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P.S. go to ride calendar, then to major tours, then to BBTC Southern Utah National Parks tour.
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Old 04-08-06, 12:54 AM   #7
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Thanks...that tour sounds amazing but I wonder about the altitude and the climbs. Not to mention camping...Last did that in the Boy Scouts circa 1962 ! How can they possibly do it for the price? Its got to be the best deal I have seen since I have started to look into it. Thanks for the info !
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Old 04-08-06, 05:03 AM   #8
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Old 04-08-06, 06:47 AM   #9
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BTW-I really like the color scheme on your Madone 5.2 (pic in Rogue gallery). I have the exact same frame and color. I've outfitted mine with red pedals, red cages, blue tires and blue & white bar tape.

As replacements for the worn tires, I had already purchased red tires (waiting another 1000-2000 miles to replace), just replaced the cages to blue (red ones wore out) and will be changing the bar tape probably to red. You've offered me some excellent ideas!! I hope you enjoy the Madone as much as I do!

If you don't mind me asking what type of tires do you like?
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Old 04-08-06, 10:45 AM   #10
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I would highly recommend this or something similar.

http://www.adventurecycling.org/tour...nstruction.cfm

Or for a first tour, this group is great.

http://www.vbt.com

Or this for California specifically.

http://www.vbt.com/TourDetails.aspx?...14&CountryID=1
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Old 04-08-06, 09:08 PM   #11
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I've been using the red vittoria Rubino Pro with Kevlar belt. Probably a little heavy for speed riders but work fine for my 18 mph and have been very flat resistant...and I love my Medone. My other two bikes sit there lonely day after day....
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Old 04-11-06, 03:31 AM   #12
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Personally, I'm kinda' partial to the Oregon Coast. Depending to where in SoCal you are, you can be here in 12, 14 hours. There are some pretty rides up in the Lost Coast (Humboldt Co.) that are worth checking out. Lots of climbing tho.

If you've never perused http://www.crazyguyonabike.com , I highly recommend it. It's a collection of bicycle tour journals, forums and resources from all over the world, listed geographically. I really enjoy it.

John in Oregon
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Old 04-13-06, 12:00 PM   #13
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Consider this, even though its a little further away.

Wife and I plan to either drive or Amtrak to St. Louis in June. My bike will be on board. After a ball game in St. Louis I will bike the Katy Trail while she drives, checks antiques, shops, etc. We hope to be at a B&B by early PM each day, sample the wineries, etc. Will end with a baseball game in KC if all goes well, then return home.

Not everyone's ideal vacation, but for us it is.
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Old 04-13-06, 12:33 PM   #14
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The VBT Wine Country tourshould be good. It's a very nice area, and it's one day's drive to get there.
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Old 04-13-06, 12:34 PM   #15
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Nothing beats riding your own bike- and there must be plenty of organised trips within 500 miles of where you live. In the Uk - that does cover the UK so no problem here. Only thing is- How exerting do you want the ride to be? How large a group do you want to ride with, and then theres the age group. End of May- in the UK there is the Wight Festival. 3 days of organised rides- or events. All geared towards Mountain biking, which is what I like, and should be a weekend with good weather - good riding and plenty to do. The riding will not be a problem- If the weather is not there I can cope and the hills will not be a problem. THE problem is that I do not fancy staying up till 3 0'clock in the morning with 500 Pi%% heads that are just out to follow in the Traditions of what mountain bikers should be like.

I think you will have to find an event that suits you. Go on recomendations from those that have been one them and choose wisely. One of the UK organisors is listed below and they have some good rides- Bit far for you to come but this is the sort of organisation you need on any organised ride.

http://www.trailbreak.co.uk/wdc/index.php
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Old 04-16-06, 03:40 PM   #16
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Check out a bike and cruise.

We, first wife and I, had a great time a few more years ago then I care to remember.

I never had any interest in the cruise ship thing but combining it with bike touring the islands at each port of call with 20 others cyclists made for a great time on shore and on board.

Check out: http://www.bikeandcruise.com/caribbean
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Old 04-17-06, 07:55 AM   #17
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Chuck

There are a number of companies that offer all inclusive bike tours. I did one offered by VBT that went from Sante Fe to Taos and around the enchanted circle. That was a very nice tour and not necessarily strenuous (they would SAG you up the biggest climbs). I don't think VBT offers this one any more but I bet someone does.

I see California wine country tours all the time up in Napa valley. My brother lives in California and tells me that that area is great for cycling. Also the wine country near Santa Barbara near Solvang is supposed to be great for cycling. I don't know of any company that does a tour there but you probably could down load routes on the internet and just go there and stay in a B&B. If you are willing to travel a bit, you really should consider the Canadian Rockies from Banff to Jasper. The scenery is tremendous and there is not a terrible amount of climbing. Again if you take a fully supported tour, you can always get sagged on the hard parts. There are also a number of companies that offer tours from the north rim of the Grand Canyon to Zion and/or Bryce Canyon.

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Old 04-17-06, 08:16 AM   #18
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Chuck....
Let us know what you decided to do.
I just noticed your comment about the 40 something ladies. On a supported tour, you are more likely to encounter 60 something ladies.
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