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  1. #1
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    Credit Card Tandem Tour

    This may not be the appropriate group, but we are a tandem team. My wife and I have been traveling to Spain and Italy the last several years to credit card tour. This year, we are looking for someplace to go in the united states for 10 days to 2 weeks to do the same. We travel light and stay at hotels every night. During the day, we eat breakfast and dinner out and buy items for lunch from a grocery store or market. Are there any suggestions out there for premium places to tour? We shy away from big cities and really like to ride on back-country
    routes. We enjoy riding through small towns and villages but want to make sure there is appropriate lodging at the end of the day with nice restaurants. What would you recommend? What has been your best 10 day to two week credit card tour on the tandem? We live in the mountains, so climbing is not an issue. Thanks in advance for any and all recommendations.
    Cheers!
    Dave and Colleen

  2. #2
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    I'd vote for Colorado. Beautiful scenery, challenging climbs. Lots of tourisim, so good options to ride from ski resort to ski resort, or small ski towns.

    Another option is the Blueridge Parkway, Skyline Drive in the eastern part of the country.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  3. #3
    Rod & Judy gracehowler's Avatar
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    We will second Merlin's idea, we are looking into Idaho ourselves for this season, also can recommend Black hills area in South Dakota, just don't go Sturgis week!
    R&J

  4. #4
    Santana Couple
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    Take a look at the Natchez Trace.

  5. #5
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    It's interesting you mention Idaho, I live in the Sun Valley area of Idaho. If you end up touring here, give me a call and if your okay with it, we would join you for a day or two.
    Dave and Colleen

  6. #6
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    The Northwest corner of Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana (Greater Yellowstone) are great tours. The distances between towns do require a bit of pre planning, so you just can't wing it. There are some organized tours that will give you an idea of some routes.

    http://www.cyclegreateryellowstone.c..._overview.html

  7. #7
    I'd rather be riding DKMcK's Avatar
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    We will be touring the Finger Lakes are of New York this summer. Here is a link to get started:
    http://bikenewengland.com/finger_lakes.html

    From the planning and research I've done, it looks very promising.

    We live in North Carolina, so I can endorse the Blue Ridge Parkway. Speed limits are 45 and commercial traffic is not allowed. You are riding on the ridges most of the time so the scenery is awesome.

  8. #8
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Here's a tour of Northern California to Solvang I've drawn up. It is 500 miles.

    Edit:
    If interested in Northern California, you could look into the ACTC's venerable Sierra to the Sea Tour, which is supported. It involves camping, but you can stay in nearby hotels to make it a credit card tour. If not interested in the tour, you could as well use the well-honed route.
    Last edited by Ritterview; 01-28-14 at 01:15 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ritterview View Post
    Here's a tour of Northern California to Solvang I've drawn up. It is 500 miles.

    Edit:
    If interested in Northern California, you could look into the ACTC's venerable Sierra to the Sea Tour, which is supported. It involves camping, but you can stay in nearby hotels to make it a credit card tour. If not interested in the tour, you could as well use the well-honed route.
    My wife and I have done several short tours from San Luis Obispo to Ventura. A longer version could just start further north like Monterey or San Francisco and could include the spectacular ride through Big Sur.
    Instead of just sticking to the coast route there are some really scenic roads inland through the central coast wine country.
    Riding south of Ventura isn't really worthwhile IMHO.

  10. #10
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnbrown View Post
    My wife and I have done several short tours from San Luis Obispo to Ventura. A longer version could just start further north like Monterey or San Francisco and could include the spectacular ride through Big Sur.
    Instead of just sticking to the coast route there are some really scenic roads inland through the central coast wine country.
    Do you have an upload of your route that you can provide a link for? It is quite valuable, I think, to see how someone with local or regional information conducts their tour. I could provide a fabulous route from San Francisco to Santa Cruz, but I get fuzzy to the North and South.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Team Fab's Avatar
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    Perhaps we need a new thread for routes.

  12. #12
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    My wife and I rode around Lake Michigan in '06. We did the entire trip but there are ferries that can be taken to eliminate the cities on the south end of Lake Michigan. http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?...c_id=1875&v=Cv

    We have also toured the Finger Lakes and ridden parts of the Natchez Trace and they are good suggestions.

    Enjoy your trip.
    Sheldon and Martha Hall

  13. #13
    Senior Member WNY tandem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DKMcK View Post
    We will be touring the Finger Lakes are of New York this summer. Here is a link to get started:
    http://bikenewengland.com/finger_lakes.html

    From the planning and research I've done, it looks very promising.

    We live in North Carolina, so I can endorse the Blue Ridge Parkway. Speed limits are 45 and commercial traffic is not allowed. You are riding on the ridges most of the time so the scenery is awesome.
    We live in the Finger Lake Region and it is our favorite place to ride, but it doesn't work well for credit card touring unless you don't mind staying in the same hotel/motel for more than one night. Being a tourist area, most places (including B&bs) require a minimum two night stay.

    DKMcK, when are you planning your trip here?

  14. #14
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    Got to put in a plug for the Pacific Northwest - the Seattle/Victoria/Vancouver/Seattle loop is virtually flat and a lot of fun as a credit card tour. The Adventure Cycling Washington National Parks tour is very doable without camping. Eastern Oregon (Pendleton/Wallowa/Baker/Sumpter/John day/Pendleton) is back-country but never too far from a B&B. Oregon Coast? Cascade Lakes? Wine Country? (Now I can't wait for the rainy season to be over...)

  15. #15
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    What time of year are you planning to tour in the US?

  16. #16
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    We are flexible. We can take a vacation anytime between April 15 and Thanksgiving. We spend the rest of the time alpine skiing.
    Dave and Colleen

  17. #17
    Senior Member Paul J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tandem rider View Post
    My wife and I rode around Lake Michigan in '06. We did the entire trip but there are ferries that can be taken to eliminate the cities on the south end of Lake Michigan. http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?...c_id=1875&v=Cv

    We have also toured the Finger Lakes and ridden parts of the Natchez Trace and they are good suggestions.

    Enjoy your trip.
    Sheldon and Martha Hall
    Sheldon, I really enjoyed reading about your trip last fall, what a wonderful opportunity! We've been thinking of doing the northern part of the Lake Michigan ride with using the ferry from Mi to WI. You should post a journal on the other two rides those are two other possible trips for us. :-)

    Thanks for sharing your journey.

    Paul and Rachel Jaspers,
    1982 Merckx Campy Super Record, 1995 Merckx Campy Centaur 10, DiamondBack Axis TT, (set-up as city bike), Bushnell Tandem

  18. #18
    I'd rather be riding DKMcK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WNY tandem View Post
    We live in the Finger Lake Region and it is our favorite place to ride, but it doesn't work well for credit card touring unless you don't mind staying in the same hotel/motel for more than one night. Being a tourist area, most places (including B&bs) require a minimum two night stay.

    DKMcK, when are you planning your trip here?
    We will be riding July 27 - August 2. We do have two night stays and doing some loop rides. We're trying to minimize the packing and unpacking. We would love to have you join us. Can I send you our itinerary for warnings or suggestions? I did all the planning and route selection from what I could find on the internet. Being from the area, your review would be much appreciated!

  19. #19
    Senior Member WNY tandem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DKMcK View Post
    We will be riding July 27 - August 2. We do have two night stays and doing some loop rides. We're trying to minimize the packing and unpacking. We would love to have you join us. Can I send you our itinerary for warnings or suggestions? I did all the planning and route selection from what I could find on the internet. Being from the area, your review would be much appreciated!
    we would love to review your plans and possibly doing a loop with you!

    I'll PM you with my email address.

    Mike

  20. #20
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geronimo2000 View Post
    Got to put in a plug for the Pacific Northwest - the Seattle/Victoria/Vancouver/Seattle loop is virtually flat and a lot of fun as a credit card tour. The Adventure Cycling Washington National Parks tour is very doable without camping. Eastern Oregon (Pendleton/Wallowa/Baker/Sumpter/John day/Pendleton) is back-country but never too far from a B&B. Oregon Coast? Cascade Lakes? Wine Country? (Now I can't wait for the rainy season to be over...)
    Oregon and Washington are nice. The San Juan Islands are great place to ride. Beautiful scenery, little car traffic because you have to get there by Ferry (go in August to avoid the rain) Oregon Coast is spectacular. There's a loop in the Tilamahook area that goes from Lighthouse to Light house along the coast, with little car traffic because the main road turns inland.

    Willamette Valley, particularly around Dundee Hills, is very bucolic, and great wine tasting. ( Think Napa Valley before it was overrun with tourists)

    Bend Oregon, and its surroundings is a very cool small city, large town, with great riding, and a very outdoors ethos.

    Again, If you do Oregon or Washington, I'd reccomend, August- September to get the least chance of rain.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ritterview View Post
    Do you have an upload of your route that you can provide a link for? It is quite valuable, I think, to see how someone with local or regional information conducts their tour. I could provide a fabulous route from San Francisco to Santa Cruz, but I get fuzzy to the North and South.
    Here is something I came up.
    We didn't do this exact route on our tour but have done portions of it at some time.
    There are a lot of variations to this that could be done.
    I would say that the central coast is one of our favorite place to ride.
    Would like to try NorCal or even Washington / Oregon but we would have to do a long drive or put our bike in a big box since it doesn't have couplers.

    http://ridewithgps.com/users/23749/routes

  22. #22
    Member gsms's Avatar
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    St George Utah to Moab and back is an excellent tour.

  23. #23
    Junior Member dclout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geronimo2000 View Post
    Got to put in a plug for the Pacific Northwest - the Seattle/Victoria/Vancouver/Seattle loop is virtually flat and a lot of fun as a credit card tour. The Adventure Cycling Washington National Parks tour is very doable without camping. Eastern Oregon (Pendleton/Wallowa/Baker/Sumpter/John day/Pendleton) is back-country but never too far from a B&B. Oregon Coast? Cascade Lakes? Wine Country? (Now I can't wait for the rainy season to be over...)
    We're in Vancouver and this sounds like a great idea. Do you know where I can get some route details?

  24. #24
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    There's a book called "Biking the Great Northwest" by Jean Henderson that's a good starting place (it's from 1995 but the roads haven't changed appreciably.) I used the Puget Sound-Fraser Valley International tour in Woods' "Bicycling the Backroads of Northwest Washington" for a Seattle/Victoria/Vancouver tour. I expect that there are other routes for that one but it's a great ride however you do it. Adventure Cycling Association (www.adventurecycling.org) publishes their set of touring maps and I can recommend the Pacific Coast set and the Washington Parks set.

  25. #25
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    To get ideas for good locations and routes, look through the trips the various commercial outfitters offer. Backroads, VBT, Adventure Cycling, etc. They do the legwork of finding routes with nice stuff to see and good lodging options. Sometimes they will even note the lodging they stay at, making it easy to plan the trip yourself. The only problem is many outfitters now include a lot of van transfers and the like, so you have to take that into consideration.

    http://www.backroads.com/biking-trips#USA-header
    http://www.vbt.com/Categories/United-States
    http://www.adventurecycling.org/guided-tours/

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