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Inexpensive Maine/Vermont supported tours

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Inexpensive Maine/Vermont supported tours

Old 07-15-10, 07:51 PM
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Inexpensive Maine/Vermont supported tours

I've looked high and low and cannot seem to find a decent supported weeklong Maine and/or Vermont bike tour priced under $1,000. I don't need fancy inns, gourmet meals, wine and only 30 miles a day. What I want is either a camping or cheap hotel supported tour with 50+ miles per day. Does anyone know of outfits that offer tours such as this? I've seen the cycle America leg and that is a possibility (yes I know that's MASS not ME), but my preference is Maine or Vermont and a loop tour with decent mileage (it will be hard enough just to get to Maine from the midwest, let alone having the hassle and extra time of getting back to the starting point).
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Old 07-15-10, 08:26 PM
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Sagged tours are expensive.

I live in Maine and tour unsupported in New England every summer.

Let's look at some options. You could fly in one town and fly out of another.
For example, fly into Burlington Vt and fly out of Portland or Bangor.

You could also fly into Portland and out of Bangor.

Or ride up the coast, rent a van in Bangor and drive back.

As far as the route goes, there are tons of options, depend on what interests you.

If you want tough... fly into Portland, ride to North Conway NH (just under 70 miles) and then up the Kancamangus to the closest motel. And then
to Burlington. Alternatively, after North Conway you could ride the extremely steep road that goes by Mt Washington. You might want to say in
Gorham after that. There is a hiker's hostel on the road which is nice.

I like to have a day off to relax and enjoy. So the first thing I do when planning a trip is pick that. This year it's Bar Harbor. Camden,Brunswick,Middlebury, Burlington and North Conway are all good for that. Bar Harbor, Burlington, and Camden are prob
the best.
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Old 07-16-10, 07:54 AM
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These are good ideas. I only have the equipment and bike to do a credit card tour (which is fine with me), but I am decent, but slow on hill climbing. I love the Middlebury area but have never been there by bike. I have biked in Burlington before along the causeway. I just should just bravely give it a go! I think I could manage a loop tour from Burlington to Middlebury and back. Are the roads in the Killington area safe for riding? Here again I've been there, but only in a car and for hiking.
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Old 07-16-10, 09:00 AM
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I would review these sites for many good loops of the Champlain Valley here in Vermont.

lakechamplainbikeways.org

localmotion.org

The Champlain Islands north of Burlington are beautiful and flatter. You can do a loop up the island, ride the bridge across to NY, and head south and take a ferry back to Burlington from NY. Or you could ride north and cross into Quebec. They have great routes there in the Eastern Townships. Check out www.routeverte.com.

The Adventure Cycling Association has a loop route thru Vermont, but that is close to 350 miles and goes over the mountains.

Another idea, check out the GPS routing sites - mapmyride.com - and search for Burlington, Vergennes, or Middlebury. You'll find get routes and maps, and you don't have to download the GPS file, just look over the maps for the good roads that local cyclist are using.

In answer to your original question, I don't think there is a company doing low cost tours, I only see the expensive tour groups around here like VBT.
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Old 07-16-10, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by VT_Speed_TR
In answer to your original question, I don't think there is a company doing low cost tours, I only see the expensive tour groups around here like VBT.
I have been looking and agree if you are talking about in VT exclusively.

If you have to wait until next year, consider this:

https://www.inmotionevents.net/moosa/index.html

I know several people who have done it and like it. While most of your meals are not included, that can be a blessing. I did the Bon Ton Roulet (Finger Lakes region of NY) a few years ago. Breakfast and dinners were included. Most of the meals were not that good. A week later I did CANDISC (North Dakota). No meals were included, and that was reflected in the price. I had the freedom to buy what I wanted. While a comparrison is difficult due differences in the cost of living between NY and ND, I think I saved money on the ND trip. And most breakfasts and lunches in ND were prepared by locals, so you got home made food, not school cafeteria food.
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Old 07-16-10, 02:28 PM
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I just finished a www.shuttleguytours.com (Tri States) and that format works perfect for me. I don't need meals. I don't seem to eat as frequently as other tourers, and I am happy picking something up at a convenience store (Kwik Trip in this area has a good selection, and Sheetz in Pennsylvania), or grocery store deli (and did frequently for under $8), the occasional Mom & Pop restaurant, and bringing some snacks to get me on my way if the overnight is a remote area with limited food selections.

I am glad to hear someone else can't find (particularly) an inexpensive supported camping tour in the New England area. I thought I simply was searching the internet hard enough.

I see some of those prices and think "I could do 10-12 supported tours here in the midwest and rockies for that price!" I guess tourers in New England don't like to camp!

However, I did look at the Adventure Cycling one noted above and seemed doable and at my upper limit price point, although I'd still like to see a lower price. I have to be mindful of the costs it will take just to get to the start of the tour.
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Old 07-16-10, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by VT_Speed_TR
In answer to your original question, I don't think there is a company doing low cost tours, I only see the expensive tour groups around here like VBT.
If we are talking about groups with small numbers of people, I don't think one can run a such a business as a livelihood unless the trips where "expensive". I doubt it would be worth the trouble for people running the tours to do it for "low cost".

The only way the cost could be made "not expensive" is if it was run by a non-profit organization (like a club).

Originally Posted by Wiswell
I just finished a www.shuttleguytours.com (Tri States) and that format works perfect for me.
I wonder what the total number of people on these trips is.

Last edited by njkayaker; 07-16-10 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 07-16-10, 05:16 PM
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"However, I did look at the Adventure Cycling one noted above and seemed doable and at my upper limit price point, although I'd still like to see a lower price. I have to be mindful of the costs it will take just to get to the start of the tour."

if you should come to Vermont either as a solo trip or part of a group, let me know and I'd be happy to help you out.
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Old 07-16-10, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker
If we are talking about groups with small numbers of people, I don't think one can run a such a business as a livelihood unless the trips where "expensive". I doubt it would be worth the trouble for people running the tours to do it for "low cost".

The only way the cost could be made "not expensive" is if it was run by a non-profit organization (like a club).

That may be so (the "livelihood") but most of the costs associated with those $2k tours is because they are booking $200/night inns and having wine and cheese and $25 meals. There seem to be plenty of tour groups this way making a go of it (admittedly not as a livelihood) using the camping, get your own meal model. I am just surprised there seem to be so few of those in New England. CycleCanada seems to have established a few reasonably priced dorm/camping tours. Don't they have high schools and dorms free in VT and ME (just kidding)?

VT, thanks for the offer. I hope I can pull something off in the next 12-18 months.
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Old 07-16-10, 08:19 PM
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Unless you desire the companionship of other tourers, you could easily string together 6 motels in Vermont and plan your own tour. We have great riding and if you come in Sept. Before the influx of leaf-peepers, rooms are not hard to find. You would then have the freedom to travel to the towns you want, not what the tour-company wants.
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Old 07-16-10, 10:14 PM
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Another trip could be to fly into Burlington and ride down to the fort.
You could hit Middlebury, you also might follow the smaller roads near the lake.
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Old 07-17-10, 02:02 PM
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I did the supported tours as a kid with my family. We went to Maine and Vermont. We loved it so much, we've been going back to Maine in the summers. I would recommend going up the coast of Maine. We used to tour the coast on motorcycles. Fly in to Portland. Once you get away from Portland, head up to Camden, go to Deer Isle, Stonington, Bar Harbor, etc. Be sure to hit Acadia National Park. My bucket list includes a trip like that. I think you can plan your trip pretty easily, travelling from inn to inn, or campground to campground. The towns are relatively close together. It's absolutely beautiful country. I get excited just writing about it. Contact me if you need help planning it out.
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