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Old 01-20-10, 09:26 PM   #1
becky811
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Comfortable touring

Hi, My mom is turning 65 this year and we'd like to go on a bike tour together. She's in good shape but only rides around the city, so we're looking for a guided trip that's supported and comfortable, maybe 30-40 miles a day. Has anyone here been on any tours you'd recommend? We're open to going anywhere (especially if they'll provide the bike)...we just don't want to rough it too much. It is a birthday, after all.

I'd really appreciate any tips you all have on this--thanks!
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Old 01-20-10, 10:18 PM   #2
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Not sure where you are, but google Vermont Bicycle tours. They have some easy paced low milage fully supported tours. Heard many good things about them. I've done a Backroads tour in Italy, it was great, but mountanous
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Old 01-20-10, 10:40 PM   #3
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Several tour companies offer trips in Washington's San Juan Islands. Low traffic, low to moderate mileage. A couple of big climbs (like Mt. Constitution) are typically optional.

Here's the link to the one by Backroads:

http://www.backroads.com/trips/BPSI/...ds-biking-tour

Another similar outfit is Bicycle Adventures.

Here are there San Juan Island tour options (they have many others):
http://www.bicycleadventures.com/where/washington/
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Old 01-21-10, 07:14 AM   #4
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I have taken several VBT tours and enjoyed them all. Most are easy and she is always welcome to hop in the support van if she gets tired. They are on the high end side so the tours are not cheap but they are quite a bit less than other high end tour companies I looked at. I have photos of VBT trips to Italy and Spain here if you want to see what they are like.

Last edited by donheff; 01-21-10 at 07:16 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 01-21-10, 08:43 AM   #5
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Check out Adventure Cycling Association's guided tours. http://www.adventurecycling.org/tour...menu=ev&t=ev10

Those tours that are styled "Relaxed" are generally lower mileage and on bike paths with catered meals. Check the Details section for, well, the details.
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Old 01-22-10, 09:23 AM   #6
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How does she feel about hills? If she doesn't like them that may limit your choices somewhat. The west coast of the U. S. has constant ups and downs. The San Juans all have major climbs up from the ferry dock - maybe not too long but plenty steep.

If hills are an issue, how about rail-trails? The ones in Northern Idaho around Lake Couer d' Alene (sp?) look very promising. There are others. The Katy Trail is something I'd like to try, but I've heard there are issues with mud or loose dirt. Comments anyone?
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Old 01-22-10, 10:09 AM   #7
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Definitely check out Vermont Bicycle Tours. They offer many tours in different locations, supported with mileage in the range you are talking about. Also check out Adventure Cycling. They offer supported and non-supported tours.

www.adventurecycling.org
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Old 01-22-10, 11:55 AM   #8
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I have did a number of Vermont Bicycle Tours years ago and those were the most challenging. They have tours that are pretty easy. Plus the van support is good, so if one gets tired, one can hop on the van.

I have heard that Backroads is similar to VBT but a bit more upscale.

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Old 01-22-10, 05:07 PM   #9
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My wife and I have taken Pedal Across Wisconsin (PAW) tours every summer for several years. "Dr J's" week long tours tend to be 60 mile days so that might be a little much. His week end tours, however, tend to be shorter and have several mileage options. We're doing Door County this year.
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Old 01-22-10, 05:59 PM   #10
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Here is a tour that I'm dying to try, every year family obligations seem to arise instead. It's relatively flat, well marked, well organized and sleeping can be indoors or out. It's 400 miles in eight days....may or may not be too rigorous, you decide.

I've been told that the Erie Canal tour is the better of the two.

http://www.ptny.org/biketourintro/index.shtml
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Old 01-22-10, 08:11 PM   #11
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"She's in good shape but only rides around the city"

She needs to be in far better shape if she's going to enjoy this kind of ride.
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Old 01-23-10, 07:24 PM   #12
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Check out Carolina Tailwinds (http://www.carolinatailwinds.com/thetours.htm); i've done 2 tours with them and recommend them without hesitation for you & your mom but it is important to toughen the butt with regular, longish rides.
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Old 01-23-10, 08:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icyclist View Post
"She's in good shape but only rides around the city"

She needs to be in far better shape if she's going to enjoy this kind of ride.
This seems pessimistic to me. If she's regularly riding several days a week, and has done some 30 to 40 mile rides (the distance you say she wants to do on a supported tour), then she should be able to enjoy the ride.
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Old 01-25-10, 09:39 AM   #14
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Vermont Bike tour is for her. They are very easy and they will put her in a van anytime she doesn't feel like
riding for whatever reason.
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Old 01-25-10, 09:41 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cranky old dude View Post
Here is a tour that I'm dying to try, every year family obligations seem to arise instead. It's relatively flat, well marked, well organized and sleeping can be indoors or out. It's 400 miles in eight days....may or may not be too rigorous, you decide.

I've been told that the Erie Canal tour is the better of the two.

http://www.ptny.org/biketourintro/index.shtml
My son and I did the Erie in 2008. We are going to do it again as the second half of our tour.
We are driving to Albany, taking a train to Montreal.
Ride to Toronto, then Buffalo via Niagra Falls ending by riding to Albany on the canal.
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Old 01-25-10, 12:50 PM   #16
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There's always BubbaFest.

http://www.bubbafestbiketours.com/
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Old 01-25-10, 11:27 PM   #17
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Many bicycle clubs put on multi-day tours and they are less pricey than the all inclusive commercial ones.
Why does she need to rent a bike? Bring the one she is used.

Do multi-day rides locally . . .
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Old 01-26-10, 06:42 AM   #18
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The Natchez Trace is a good tour. Flat except the first 20 miles or so on the north end. Low traffic.
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Old 01-26-10, 10:25 AM   #19
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We've had excellent outfitted bike touring holidays with Explore Worldwide, Headwater and Cycle Skeddaddle.

We chose France with each of them, but they all cater for other countries.

I'd heartily recommend each of them, and wish you a happy hour's googling their options!

(Headwater tends to be nice and easy. Explore and Cycle Skedaddle go from 'indolent' to 'insane'!)

They all carry your luggage and select well-chosen food and lodging. Enjoy!
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Old 01-27-10, 09:05 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icyclist View Post
"She's in good shape but only rides around the city"

She needs to be in far better shape if she's going to enjoy this kind of ride.
I'm always in reasonable shape, but not always in top cycling shape when I start a tour. Even when I'm in really good shape, the first three days are usually hard. By the fourth day I get in the groove and can do some miles.

I suggest you plan a route with easy days at first. I like 25-30 the first day, and 30-40 the next two days.
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Old 01-27-10, 09:40 AM   #21
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If your going to credit card tour and stay at a hotel every night, you might consider an electric powered bike. These provide assist and the battery is normally good for 20 to 40 miles. Just recharge overnight.

Michael
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Old 01-28-10, 08:01 AM   #22
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There are lots of great tours in Europe, and I hope I live long enough to do them all, but here's one I can recommend first hand.
http://www.activejourneys.com/tours.cfm?aid=31&tid=10
My wife and I did this one on our honeymoon, and it was fantastic.
It's very doable for almost anyone of any ability level.
I'd recommend doing it in late spring or early fall, as the pathway gets exremely busy in sumer, not to mention the heat.
The accommodations were first rate, lots of points of interest, and great food.
We went self guided, and were very pleased with our decision. That way, we were free to choose our own lunch stops, and our own pace. We watched the guided tours rushing to get the ride over with every day, and that just isn't what we were there for.
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Old 01-28-10, 11:10 AM   #23
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There are some relatively easy bike tours through the california wine country - the focus is more on wine tasting and scenery than on actually riding. This may be the ticket.

Google Napa Bicycle Tour
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Old 01-28-10, 02:24 PM   #24
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California wine country tours. I haven't done one but they look good. Upscale, with van transport.
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Old 01-28-10, 03:07 PM   #25
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I am not one for organised tours but I go to France quite often. Don't know if you have anything like it in the US but we hire a Tent that is set up on a permanent camp site. Use that as a base and I just ride out from that site and also get a bit of sightseeing in with the wife and family on the odd day here and there.

The holiday is self catering- which is how we like it- but everything is provided. Getting a bit older now so might try a Caravan this year. Bit more comfort and I have the grand daughter to think of.
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