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Old 04-21-07, 07:29 AM   #1
Dewbert
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Review: Adventure Cycling Association--Texas Hill Country

Hi folks--
As I write I'm sitting in a hotel lobby on the day following my first experience with the Adventure Cycling Association. I had a great time on their newly revived "Texas Hill Country" tour.

Trip Summary
Trip Dates: Apr 14 - Apr 20
Start - End Locations: Austin, TX - Austin, TX
Days: 7 Rest Days: 0 Level of Support: Fully
Surface: Road
Riders: 50
Type: Supported Meals: Catered meals Accommodations: Camping
Physical Difficulty: Intermediate Airport: Austin, TX
Cost: $849


This tour was supported which in this case means that each day, we packed up our tents and gear, loaded them onto a van and didn't need to bother with our gear until the end of each day's ride.

Although the tour was a seven day tour, there were only 5 riding days. Day one of the tour began around 3pm with registration, followed by meetings, instructions and a wonderful dinner.
Days 2, 3 & 4 were riding days ranging between 50-66 miles per day in a pretty hilly area.
Day 5 was a rest/layover day in Fredricksburg (shopping/touristy area)
Days 6&7 were riding days 60+ miles and we ended up at our original starting point around 2-4pm.

The tour was extremely well organized. Our leader (Tammy Schurr) was top notch and the perfect blend of friendly but still clear in her communication and frank in talking about the realities of the tour and safety issues. The other staff members were all very helpful and congenial. They included a seasoned staff mechanic and a sort of mechanic understudy who is already a wrench in Austin but learning the ins-and-outs of touring-specific mechinical issues. We also had some other folks helping to mark routes and man the water and lunch stops. One of the staff member's wives was a massage therapist and set up her shop in a motor home each night and offered much-needed massages to the participants (extra fee).

I can't say enough about the food. "Kathy", our caterer, was the most popular person in the tour. The three meals each day would rival some of the best 5-star restaurants in the area. Examples of dinners included Grilled salmon, Seafood Fajitas, Scallops and Prawns, strip steak in mushroom sauce. We were all constantly surprised at how good the food was and how resourceful she was as using left-overs in tasty and creative ways (ever had mushroom and steak scrambled eggs?).

The routes were well marked and were carefully designed by a local person, the current president of the Austin Cycling Association. We were made aware of many local points of interest both on the route and nearby (should we choose to make little side trips).

The SAG support was good and although few people were driven more than a few miles, you always felt like a friendly staff member was within a few miles and eager to provide whatever support you needed.

We camped every night on the tour, but at least one gentleman took advantage of the hotel options nearby each night. He was shuttled to his hotel after dinner and back before breakfast--nobody wanted to miss even one of those meals!

At 36, I was the youngest on the tour. Most seemed to be in their 50s and 60s, with the oldest in their 70s. There were 3 or 4 couples and the rest were married singles (presumably with spouses like mine who like the fact this I cycle, but don't want to do it themselves).

I can't say enough about how well the group got along. Both the participants and staff were outgoing, warm and open. At the end of the tour, there were a few warm handshakes, but even more hugs spread among the staff and participants.

This was my first tour and if future tours are anything like this one, I'll be hooked as a cycling tourist for life!

I have another scheduled in June. I'll be cycling the Columbia River Gorge, also with Adventure Cycling and will post a quick review of that one too. (Here's the link to the Gorge tour: http://www.adventurecycling.org/tour...lethegorge.cfm)

Here is a link to a few of the 400+ pix I took while on the trip:
http://s167.photobucket.com/albums/u...ill%20Country/


Here is a link to the tour info:
http://www.adventurecycling.org/tour...illcountry.cfm
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2005 Fuji MTB (for the snowy and muddy days)
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Old 04-21-07, 08:48 AM   #2
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Thanks for the report Dewbert--- I'm glad you enjoyed yourself. Here's to a great season of riding!
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Old 04-21-07, 11:04 AM   #3
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That was a excellent report, and got me to thinking, I may want to do that tour next year. Thanks George
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Old 04-21-07, 08:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewbert
At 36, I was the youngest on the tour. Most seemed to be in their 50s and 60s, with the oldest in their 70s.
That's funning about these organized outdoor club activities because I am the same age (well just turned 37) and I checked out some ski club meetings this winter in the Chicago area and was rather surprised to find out that I was the youngest one there.

I just joined Adventure Cycling and may do one their trips someday too.
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Old 04-22-07, 05:27 PM   #5
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Did everyone ride as a group or string out and ride at their own pace? What were the average speeds for the fastest and slowest riders?
I have been interested in doing something like this but have held back due to concerns that I could not keep up with the group. Since I am in my 60's, your description caught my attention. I average about 12-13 mph over this type of distance as long as I am not loaded with too much stuff and the wind and hills don't beat me up.
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Old 04-22-07, 07:03 PM   #6
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I forgot to check my computer before I packed it up, but I'm guessing I probably averaged around 13mph myself on this tour.

In general, folks rode at their own pace and visited with one another at the rest stops. A few folks (mostly couples) stuck together in groups of 2 or 3, but the vast majority just took their own sweet time. Fast riders tended to finish up around 2 in the afternoon (after having left around 8 or 9) and the slower folks didn't get in until 5 or so. It was never a problem and I don't think too many folks were SAGged in, although a few folks chose to do so.
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2008 Giant FCR3 (kitted up for touring)
2006 Giant OCRc2 full-Carbon (for the sheer pleasure of riding)
2005 Fuji MTB (for the snowy and muddy days)
2007 Schwinn 7 Speed Alloy Cruiser (For getting to the Dairy Queen in style!)

http://www.HowILost100Pounds.com
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