My Stoker and I are going to be celebrating 25 years of marriage next year and she has informed me that it would be OK to look into a bicycle tour type of thing. We would be riding our tandem.
I am looking for inputs on rides that you have done or heard of that might fit my needs.
Here is a list of my/our requirements:
1. No Camping. Hotels or cabins are required for lodging each night.
2. Fully SAGed. (something organized so that I don't have to make all the plans)
3. a week long maximum.
4. Somewhere with nice scenic views.
5. Moderately hilly rides. (We are flatlanders and I am not sure we have the legs to ride the mountains just yet)
6. Moderate daily distances (~60-80 miles per day)
7. Somewhere on the East coast or the middle states. (so we can drive the tandem instead of shipping it from Florida.)
Bruce Gordon BLT, Cannondale parts bike, Ecodyne recumbent trike, Counterpoint Opus 2, miyata 1000
www.carolinatailwinds.com Their ad says tours in your area of interest and that their sag vans can carry up tp two tandems. they have 4 and 6 day tours in the Chesapeake Bay area and the outer banks of N. Carolina that look non-hilly. I only know what I saw on their site. Give their site a look.
We used them about 3 years ago. If you want to tour central Vermont, this is a great way to go. However, they are not "fully SAGed". The way they work is that you call them & tell them when you want to go & how far each day. They figure out a route, book the inns & carry your gear. During the day, you are on your own. However, the small towns in central Vermont are quite close together so you're never very far from food. The inns include dinner & breakfast. For lunch you are on your own. The guy that runs it is a cyclist & chooses bike friendly routes.
It is a family run buisines & we got the feeling that if you got into a pinch & had a cell phone, they would come to your assistance.
The scenery is beautiful. The terrain is mostly rolling hills. You ride at your pace and for distances you choose. The inns are quaint & each owner is very proud of their place. I highly recommend them. I wish this type of tour was available other places in the US.
For the creme de la creme in US domestic tandem tours, Santana is probably your best bet. They're expensive no matter how you run the numbers; however, they are always exceptional in terms of the accommodations and whatnot. We did the Asheville Tour back in '98 and it was spectacular. http://www.santanatandem.com/Vacations07.html
For future reference, and if you should decide to head overseas, for one of the 'best value' tours, let me suggest Pennywise Cycle Tours. A good friend who is thrifty to a fault runs these exceptional tours and only does one or two per year. He has a very loyal following of regulars so they tend to sell out quickly. However, they are probably the best value in tours that you'll find, i.e., exceptional accommodations for significantly less than what other boutique or large-scale operators offer. http://www.pennywisecycle.com/
2011 Co-Motion Nor'Wester, 2007 Co-Mo Speedster copilot tandem
We did a tour a few years ago on our singles with Bike Vermont http://www.bikevt.com/tours/. It was great time. Super tour leaders, good SAG support, small groups, and nice inns to stay at. Bike VT takes care of everything. You get to the next inn in the afternoon and your bags are already in your room and snacks waiting for you on the porch. They have your bike ready for you each morning with the tires inflated. Kind of pricy though. We took the more challenging Stow/NE Kingdom tour which might be tougher on a tandem team used to flat land. The scenery was awesome and worth the effort! They do have many other less strenuous tours. We will probably do it again someday with our tandem. We might have to walk the tandem over Smugglers Notch but the descent would be fun!
I did an 8 day Bike Vermont tour through Western Ireland, and the BV tour was outstanding, everything CGinOhio says and more. The terain was a bit challenging for flat-landers. It might be "easier" based on Vermont territory...
Some local bike clubs do cross state multi-day/week-long sagged tours. Less expen$ive than the organized touring outfits. But hey, for your 25th wedding anniversary . . . go all out!
Even tandem rallies in the southern/eastern states will give you a 3 day weekend of riding/socializing with a bunch of other tandemistas without having to haul all your gear.
The Bicycling Touring and Vacation Guide is a new publication scheduled to be published soon by Tandem & Recumbent Rider Magazine. Check out www.rtrmag.com for details/subscription.
And, congratulations on your upcoming Silver Wedding Anniversary!
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem