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Trek Travel

Old 02-11-06, 10:50 AM
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Trek Travel

I have never heard of this before today. Is it new this year? I wanna go on one but there so darn expensive. Has anybody ever gone on one of them or is planning on goin.
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Old 02-11-06, 01:35 PM
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Its been around for a while. At least 3 years...maybe more. Never planned on doing a trip with them since, as you noticed, they charge an arm and a leg!!! Id say at least 30% of the cost is inflated because of the Trek name.
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Old 02-11-06, 01:40 PM
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I am on the mailing list for a couple of cycling tour companies, Trek Travel being one of them and I find that they are both expensive. Just like everything else when you put "cycling" in the name or business description. The other one I get brochures from is VBT Tours. They are not as expensive but at least Trek lets you ride a Madone . VBT tours has their own bikes made for them...they don't excite me much.

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Old 02-11-06, 01:47 PM
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We are going this to Italy this Fall for our 10th anniversary. Not cheap, but you will be well taken care of. We are going with a group from one of the LBS, and they offered a discount on the trip as well as discount on bikes, accessories, fitting, etc... So we'll save a bit this year with the discounts, but the trip is not cheap. Airfare also is looking a little high this year, but I figure one trip every ten years, we can paid a little more to make it nice Trek Travel really has their act together so far.

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Old 02-11-06, 02:11 PM
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My good buddy works for them and I also know the guy who started it up (they're both ex-backroads guys). Their trips are awesome, they definetly take care of you, but as some of you pointed out, you definetly pay for that. The bikes they provide (if you don't bring your own) are madones so that gives you an idea of the level of service. The only thing I would say is, unless you're really well off, why do a guided tour? You can get just as much out of a trip by planning all your routes yourself and instead of a support van, just bring extra cash to chow down at every restaurant you see .
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Old 02-11-06, 05:05 PM
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I looked at the Trek trips and thought they seemed great. The problem being that they are out of my price range and a little too intense for my wife who has just started riding.

As an alternative, I read a post on this board from someone who had stayed at a bike hotel in Italy. The web site for the chain of bike hotels can be found HERE

Specifically they recommended the Belvedere. A much more affordable option and one that looks like it should be great.
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Old 02-11-06, 06:47 PM
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The high end touring companies like Trek or Backroads or Butterfield are very expensive mostly because they use 4-5 star hotels and restaurants. Trek also loans you a carbon fiber bike for the week (included in the tour price). If this is the style of your typical vacations, then these luxury tours may compare well in price to arranging everything by yourself.

If you're the type who likes to camp out and eat deli or supermarket food all the time, then the packaged tours will be very expensive.

There are cheaper tour companies whose service is just as good as the high end companies, but the hotels may be less fancy or away from the downtown tourist districts. Prices on these will compete well with people who like to use 3-4 star hotels and restaurants. For example, VBT tours start at around $2300 for 10 days in Italy or France including air fare from the USA and loaner bike.
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Old 02-11-06, 06:59 PM
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Caution: A shameless self promotion follows the useful information below.

For obvious professional reasons, I keep a watch on what the other touring companies charge on a per nightly basis. My standard benchmark is the California Wine Country trips, since just about everyone does them. Here are some comparisons of the nightly prices:

Touring Company.....................cost/night
-------------------------------------------------
Backroads "Premium" 5-night ..... $480
Backroads "Casual" 5-night ........ $400
REI Adventures 2-night .............. $363
Trek Travel 5-night ................... $499
Trek Travel 2-night ................... $598
Bicycle Adventures 3-night ......... $546
Bicycle Adventures 5-night ......... $453
Timberline 6-night .................... $383
VBT Tours 5-night .................... $379
Undiscovered Country 2-night .... $210 *

(*) That's my business, Undiscovered Country Tours. We're able to keep the costs down because our overhead is low, and we specialize in California only, so our research travel budget is minimal. And we also expect you to bring your own bike. We do bike trips for bike riders. Sure, we stay in decent lodges and dine well, but our trips mostly are about the bike.
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Old 02-11-06, 07:11 PM
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While we're on the subject of bike travel companies, Pezcycling did a writeup about Destination Cycling. They rode the full route of the 2005 tour de france:

https://www.pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=3766

It's definitely not for those on a small budget:

The logistics and planning are underway for the 2006 Tour de France Challenge. Destination Cycling is offering an exclusive event catering to the dreams of nine riders, just like a pro team. The price for this trip is $30,000 per rider and covers everything a pro rider would wish for and more over the 26-day trip: hotels, meals, transportation, full team kit (biking and casual apparel), bike, accessories, plus all mechanical, massage, and medical support.

======================

How many Merckx AXM with full Record/Ksyrium ES + airline tickets + hotel rooms does $30,000 buy? I'd go do my own tour for that kind of $$$$$
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Old 02-11-06, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by jtm1631
As an alternative, I read a post on this board from someone who had stayed at a bike hotel in Italy. The web site for the chain of bike hotels can be found HERE
A buddy of mine runs a touring business in Italy, and his prices are quite reasonable for a full service tour:

https://www.agile-compass.com/dettagli.html
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Old 02-11-06, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by thewalrus
While we're on the subject of bike travel companies, Pezcycling did a writeup about Destination Cycling. They rode the full route of the 2005 tour de france:

https://www.pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=3766

It's definitely not for those on a small budget:

The logistics and planning are underway for the 2006 Tour de France Challenge. Destination Cycling is offering an exclusive event catering to the dreams of nine riders, just like a pro team. The price for this trip is $30,000 per rider and covers everything a pro rider would wish for and more over the 26-day trip: hotels, meals, transportation, full team kit (biking and casual apparel), bike, accessories, plus all mechanical, massage, and medical support.

======================

How many Merckx AXM with full Record/Ksyrium ES + airline tickets + hotel rooms does $30,000 buy? I'd go do my own tour for that kind of $$$$$
If I hit Powerball tonight, I'd probably spend the money to do that....
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Old 02-12-06, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by thewalrus
Destination Cycling is offering an exclusive event catering to the dreams of nine riders, just like a pro team. The price for this trip is $30,000 per rider and covers everything a pro rider would wish for and more over the 26-day trip
I hope they write a book about that trip and call it...



wait for it...




Europe on $1154 a Day
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Old 02-12-06, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
I hope they write a book about that trip and call it...
wait for it...
Europe on $1154 a Day
That's nuts, eh? I know a guy who was renting a fairly decent 1 bedroom apartment in Berlin, close to the city centre, 1 block from a U-Bahn station for 400 euros a month. I believe it included furniture and utilities. $1154 a day!!!!!!!
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Old 03-17-06, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
Touring Company.....................cost/night
-------------------------------------------------
Backroads "Premium" 5-night ..... $480
Backroads "Casual" 5-night ........ $400
REI Adventures 2-night .............. $363
Trek Travel 5-night ................... $499
Trek Travel 2-night ................... $598
Bicycle Adventures 3-night ......... $546
Bicycle Adventures 5-night ......... $453
Timberline 6-night .................... $383
VBT Tours 5-night .................... $379
Undiscovered Country 2-night .... $210 *

(*) That's my business, Undiscovered Country Tours.
Sorry, I made a mistake on our nightly Wine Country cost. It's not $210 per night, as I posted above. It's $192 per night.
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Old 03-17-06, 03:24 PM
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I did the wine country tour w/Trek Travel last May, and while it seemed a bit pricey at first, in the end, I came away thinking you totally get your money's worth, and wondering when I'd be able to go again.

4 and 5-star lodgings, food that is out of this world, incredible support, you name it. Every morning, we'd wake to have our Madone 5.2's fine-tuned, water bottles topped with whatever beverage you preferred, a table with a wide assortment of power bars, GUs, granola, you name it, to load up on for the day's ride, excellent maps & cue sheets, etc. If you ever had a mechanical, a guide or the van never seemed to be more than 5 mins away, if that. The guides were also very knowledgeable about the area, which wineries were better than others, where to shop, the history of the region, etc. You'd ride at your own pace for the most part, and everyone would meet up at lunch at a pre-determined spot, where the guides would have an incredible assortment of food laid out and waiting for you. Just wanted a Cliff Bar and to get back on the bike? You could do that. Wanted to stretch out some in the warm sun, and take your time with italian meats, french breads, some Napa wine, etc.? You could do that as well.

You could ride as little or as much as you wanted. We had people in our group that had not been on a bike in 20+ yrs, who only wanted to cruise around on a hybrid for about 10 miles a day (they would rather taste wine and shop), to a guy who was an ultramarathoner who would always ask about extra loops, alternate courses to get more mileage, etc. Our guides treated both exactly the same, with nothing but professionalism all the way.

Later, I wound up running into one of our guides at Ride for the Roses last year, and we hugged and talked about doing another trip with them. I'm a total TrekTravel fanboy now, I admit it. I just have to find a way to somehow work less, make more money, and take more trips with them...
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Old 03-17-06, 03:37 PM
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There's a definite market for those types of tours. While most of us could sleep in their car and survive on stale baguettes and warm Coke every day in order to catch the TdF, others can afford the luxury of a cushy bed and a hot meal.

It may not be your cup of tea, but I know people who wouldn't travel any other way. It's top shelf or nothing for them.

And just think: people still insist that the economy is bad.
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