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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 01-13-05, 09:29 PM   #1
moxfyre
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Big organized multi-day tours

I just heard about the Bike Virginia Valley Byways tour this summer and got a pamphlet about it. It looks cool, a 4 day tour through Virginia in June, and I am thinking it would be a fun way to get into touring, since I don't know anybody else who's into cycling all that much.

Has anybody been on one of these type of tours before? It seems kind of expensive to me, since the price doesn't cover meals even. I'm wondering if people think it's worth it. Are there any other tours like this is the mid Atlantic region?
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Old 01-14-05, 12:32 AM   #2
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I have not, but I typically don't hate those guided tours. No disprect to anyone goes on one. Cycling with a few buddies can be a blast! But I agree, they're a rip-off. You can save a load of dough going self-containted. And if your the least bit outgoing, you can still meet alot of great people and have an awesome time going solo. Many would agree with me.
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Old 01-14-05, 12:34 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimboTrek
I have not, but I typically don't hate those guided tours.
Correction, I typically DON'T LIKE guided tours...
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Old 01-14-05, 03:00 AM   #4
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jimboŽs right, you can save a lot if you go by yourself. personally i donŽt fancy guided tours. and you will meet lots of other cyclists on the road. seems like iŽm just repreating what jimbo just said.

and youŽll have more and better experience if you do the trip yourself, then youŽll be free from the restrictions.
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Old 01-14-05, 07:56 PM   #5
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I've been on a number of tours, ones ranging from about 50 people up to 1000 on the Cycle North Carolina one. It's fun. I've enjoyed them all. Met some great people. Made lots of friends. It's a good way to start if you haven't done any touring at all. They usually have support vans. Once you become more proficient and competent as a rider, then soloing might be more appealing. I'll be doing more soloing next summer, but I don't regret doing the group trips. As far as expense goes, I guess that is in the eyes of the beholder.
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Old 01-14-05, 08:00 PM   #6
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I've done Bike Virginia four times. I've always had a great time. It's well-organized, good routes, great activities, decent enough food and a just good all-around vibe. You won't regret it. I'm planning to do the 2005 trip as well.
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Old 01-14-05, 09:28 PM   #7
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I wouldn't necessarily say that organized tours are ripoffs. Some tours certainly seem to be way overpriced, but others are very reasonable. The Bike Virginia tour isn't too bad. Remember that the organizers spend quite a bit of time researching the routes, arranging the accomodations, entertainment, making up and printing the materials, transporting everyone's stuff, etc.

I rode the Oklahoma Freewheel the last two years (www.okfreewheel.com). I think they charged $80 for the basic tour of 7 days across the state including routes, luggage transportation, accomodations, entertainment, and working with stopover towns so they are prepared for 2000 hungry cyclists to descend on their town like a swarm of locusts. Although meals were not included, $80 is a pretty good deal.

On the other hand, some tours, like the adventure cycling tours seem very pricey to me. I guess it pays to shop around.
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Old 01-14-05, 09:39 PM   #8
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Commercial bike tours can be pricey.
Bike tours put on by bike clubs tend to be much less costly; price of course depends on what is and what is not included.
Have done several multi day tours, the best one was the Grand Canyon to Mexico Tour put on by the Greater Arizona Bicycling Ass'n.
It is a great way to meet other cycling/touring enthusiasts and see the country!
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Old 01-14-05, 11:03 PM   #9
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Thanks everybody for the input, I am glad to hear that the Virginia tour is fun and will probably do it. I definitely oughta try harder to find more cyclists around here.
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Old 01-14-05, 11:15 PM   #10
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North Carolina beach and mountain action:

http://www.carolinatailwinds.com/
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Old 01-15-05, 04:43 AM   #11
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I do like 1 "guided" tour... Bike New York... 30,000 of my neighboring friends riding thru NYC - traffic free! You will never see so many spoke nipples in your life! Whatever u choose, have fun!
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Old 01-15-05, 06:24 AM   #12
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Speaking as one who has done thousands miles of unsupported touring and also gone on the big supported rides, both are fun. It's the difference between listening to the your favorite group on your walkman (oops, Ipod) and going to a concert. This year I plan on going on the Bon Ton Roulet Tour around the fingerlakes.
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Old 01-15-05, 10:01 AM   #13
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Check out the FANY Ride (Five hundred miles Across New York). I know it is Northeast, but it's worth the trip up. It was a great value, a challenge, had beautiful routes and the people I met were all wonderful. The website is slow to change, but that isn't why you sign on for a bike tour. A number of extremely experienced touring cyclists said it was one of the best rides they had ever been on.

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http://www.fanyride.com
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http://seanland.net/biking/rides/fan.../pictures.html
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Old 01-15-05, 12:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gordons9
Check out the FANY Ride (Five hundred miles Across New York). I know it is Northeast, but it's worth the trip up. It was a great value, a challenge, had beautiful routes and the people I met were all wonderful. The website is slow to change, but that isn't why you sign on for a bike tour. A number of extremely experienced touring cyclists said it was one of the best rides they had ever been on.

Website:
http://www.fanyride.com
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http://seanland.net/biking/rides/fan.../pictures.html
Cool, thanks. I used to live in Ithaca, and I love upstate New York!
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Old 01-15-05, 01:51 PM   #15
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Don't forget RAGBRAI in Iowa. As mentioned above, it's not self-contained touring, but no one on RAGBRAI really expects that sort of thing (I hope). Check out www.ragbrai.org for details. Come to think of it, this year's route should be announced in a couple weeks. Anyway, have fun.

Last edited by drcrash; 01-15-05 at 01:59 PM.
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