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Best Supported tours

Old 11-12-13, 10:04 PM
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Best Supported tours

Trying to plan what I will do next year. Odds are I will have at least two weeks I could spend on the bicycle, but it could be as long as a month.

If it makes a difference, I would...
Like to ride my own bike.
I like riding around trees, cascades, lakes.. I am not as inclined to ride the roads if I can avoid it.
I am OK camping or hotel.

One additional, note, I am single and would be taking this trip solo. I really hate the idea of paying and extra fee because I am solo.
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Old 11-12-13, 10:42 PM
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Your heading seems to contradict what your post says. Supported tours tend to be groups of cyclists riding the same routes, often hundreds of them.

However, based on your actual post, you might want to check out the C&O Canal - GAP trails that run from Washington DC to Pittsburgh. It is close to civilization, hotels, campgrounds and food, but you are riding on a trail and can camp out if you want. That would only take 5-8 days, depending on how far you ride each day. Some longer options might include the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive in NC and VA, but those can have lots of cars on weekends and holidays. Natchez Trace in Mississippi and TN is similar. Or you could go to Wisconsin for a few weeks and patch together a tour riding rails-to-trails and rural roads.
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Old 11-13-13, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by tarwheel
Your heading seems to contradict what your post says. Supported tours tend to be groups of cyclists riding the same routes, often hundreds of them.
Maybe I have my terms wrong, but what I am considering supported is anything from "they carry my bags and I have to worry about everything else" to "they arrange for everything, I just have to ride or sit in a sag wagon".
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Old 11-13-13, 07:17 AM
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Western Spirit - I did a tour with them a long, long time ago, it was very good. They do MTB tours, is that what you are looking for?

These are road tour companies, but very nice
Cycling Escapes - this company is geared towards fantastic vacations on the bike, with tours in places with great scenery and a little bit of off-bike interest. It is high-end accommodations, and you pay accordingly, but the support is great.

PacTour - you can choose a single-supplement or they will pair you with a room mate. This company is geared towards longer miles and faster riding, riding is the focus, the support is excellent, the accommodations are good but not always luxurious.

You will be shocked at how expensive supported tours are. If you want to spend less you can do the big ones, which have fewer dates but are cheaper, and have camping options.
Bicycle Tour of Colorado
Ride the Rockies
Rocky Mountain Bike Tour
RAGRRAI
Tour of Wyoming
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Old 11-13-13, 09:14 AM
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Now I understand you better. You might also check out Adventure Cycling (www.adventurecycling.org) as well as Vermont Bicycle Tours (www.vbt.com).

Adventure Cycling offers a range of tour options all over the country, from fully supported to just providing maps. VBT has tours in the US as well as overseas.
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Old 11-13-13, 10:38 AM
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Four come to mind. They are road tours but usually not on two many busy highways.

1. Cycle Oregon. I have done four. Extremely well supported, camping event (although sometimes there are hotel options for extra $). The route is announced in mid-February and registration opens then. Sometimes it sells out in an hour or two. It all depends on the route. If you don't like large crowds, it's not the event for you. There are usually about 2,000 people.

2. Adventure Cycling's Cycle Montana uses a very nice route in 2014. I have done portions of it during solo, unsupported tours. The day through the Grasshopper Valley and the Pioneer Mountains (Day 4) is very, very nice. So is Day 3 and the way out of Butte via Pipestone Pass (Day 7). Butte is an interesting place to walk around. I did an ACA tour a few years ago. It was well supported with a manageable group.

3. ACA's Cycle Washington. You want Cascades. It crosses the North Cascade Mountains. Stunning ride.

4. Timberline Adventures does a trip through Crater Lake N.P. Crater Lake. 'Nuff said. Another stunning ride. I have several friends who have done that trip and really liked it and the company. It's a hotel trip, so it's more expensive, but a relative bargain.
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Old 11-13-13, 10:42 AM
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BTW...If you do a hotel tour, I highly doubt you will be charged a single supplement in less you ask for a single room. Instead, you will likely be paired with another single rider, which can be good or bad. Bring ear plugs if snoring bothers you. In fact, bring them for any group camping tour. On Cycle Oregon the tents are often side by side.
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Old 11-13-13, 01:58 PM
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Not sure of the time of year for your tour....... but it doesn't get any better than the Natchez Trace! Nashville, TN to Natchez, MS. I just did 200 miles and carried all my own gear (camped). It was the middle of October and it was just about as nice as it gets. The website below has all the details of what can be or not be provided. I plan to do all 442 miles next year.

https://www.natcheztracetravel.com/na...kway-maps.html
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Old 11-14-13, 05:15 PM
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You may want to consider the NY Parkways Erie Canal ride. It is 400 miles, but you never do more than 63 miles in one day and it is quite flat. It has a SAG wagon to carry your stuff and food (plus 2 snacks a day!). It is a camping tour so you will need a tent. Best of all there are over 500 people doing this so you are sure to find a group of like-minded friends. Best of all is was quite cheap about $ 700 bucks for the whole week. I took this as my first fully supported tour and have not gone on another tour since this one was run so well. I expect to be dissapointed by another tour group.
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Old 11-14-13, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by john426
You may want to consider the NY Parkways Erie Canal ride. It is 400 miles, but you never do more than 63 miles in one day and it is quite flat. It has a SAG wagon to carry your stuff and food (plus 2 snacks a day!). It is a camping tour so you will need a tent. Best of all there are over 500 people doing this so you are sure to find a group of like-minded friends. Best of all is was quite cheap about $ 700 bucks for the whole week. I took this as my first fully supported tour and have not gone on another tour since this one was run so well. I expect to be dissapointed by another tour group.
This has some potential.
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Old 11-15-13, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by john426
I took this as my first fully supported tour and have not gone on another tour since this one was run so well. I expect to be dissapointed by another tour group.
Try a Cycle Oregon. Beer and wine garden. Entertainment every night on a professional sound stage. Bike rodeo the last night. Massages. Acupuncture. Gourmet coffee vendor. Smoothie vendor. Pizza vendor. Locals selling local fare. Awesome team of mechanics who provide free service. Good food. Shower trucks that never run out of hot water. Tent & Porter service. Local kids who act as sherpas and help you with your bags to your camping location to raise money for things like ahtletic equipment and class trips. Shuttles into nearby towns (if there are any nearby towns). And did I mention that the riding is usually phenominal?
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Old 11-15-13, 09:39 AM
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Here's one that starts near St. Louis and does the rails-to-trails Katy Trail. I plan on doing this tour again next year. Very well supported. Options include camping; camping where someone sets up a tent for you; and hotels. I usually spend one of the middle nights in a hotel but camp the rest. Bags dragged for you. Shuttle service back to the start.

Best done on a bike with 700x28 tires or a little larger. Perfect for hybrids. Only about 5% of the tour is on roads with the rest being on mostly flat crushed limestone.

In interested make sure to sign up on March 1, 2014. It sold out in 4 days last year.

https://mostateparks.com/2013-katy-trail-ride
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Old 11-17-13, 12:45 PM
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I also forgot to mention the best part of the tour. NY Parks made sure we understood the historical importance of the canal. There where lectures by 19th century experts, visits to significant places along the canal and once while we were setting up our tents they hired a folk singer to seranade us with work songs from the canal era. We were allowed free entry to any canal related museum.

I can not expect another bike touring company to go to such lenths for a tour. When I was on the tour I met several people who take this same tour every year.
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Old 12-08-13, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by jgscisum
Not sure of the time of year for your tour....... but it doesn't get any better than the Natchez Trace! Nashville, TN to Natchez, MS. I just did 200 miles and carried all my own gear (camped). It was the middle of October and it was just about as nice as it gets. The website below has all the details of what can be or not be provided. I plan to do all 442 miles next year.

https://www.natcheztracetravel.com/na...kway-maps.html
This sounds very interesting. Can I get more information? I would like to drive to Nashville then do a self-supported out and back. Camp every night. Roughly 100 miles out then turn around. Plan on taking 5 days off work to do it. Then if it stretched into another day it would be no big deal. I'm 5 hours from Nashville. Where would be a good place to park in Nashville then catch the trail? I've done tours like this on the Katy and now I would like to try something different.
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Old 12-08-13, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
Try a Cycle Oregon. Beer and wine garden. Entertainment every night on a professional sound stage. Bike rodeo the last night. Massages. Acupuncture. Gourmet coffee vendor. Smoothie vendor. Pizza vendor. Locals selling local fare. Awesome team of mechanics who provide free service. Good food. Shower trucks that never run out of hot water. Tent & Porter service. Local kids who act as sherpas and help you with your bags to your camping location to raise money for things like ahtletic equipment and class trips. Shuttles into nearby towns (if there are any nearby towns). And did I mention that the riding is usually phenominal?
I came across a Cycle Oregon tour group one year. It was a straight line of wall-to-wall humanity for miles. The idea of being in a group of 2K people for a week must appeal to some. Not my cup of tea.

- Mark
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Old 12-08-13, 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by markjenn
I came across a Cycle Oregon tour group one year. It was a straight line of wall-to-wall humanity for miles. The idea of being in a group of 2K people for a week must appeal to some. Not my cup of tea.

- Mark
Cycle Oregon has been through my backyard a few times. While I have never been a part of it, I have ridden along and contra-flow to it a couple of times. People seem to start out at various times in the morning, so the 2000 riders are spread out quite a ways. It never seemed like a large mass of folks. I'm sure it's a different story at their camps, but not on the roads where I have seen/ridden with them.
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Old 12-09-13, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree
Cycle Oregon has been through my backyard a few times. While I have never been a part of it, I have ridden along and contra-flow to it a couple of times. People seem to start out at various times in the morning, so the 2000 riders are spread out quite a ways. It never seemed like a large mass of folks. I'm sure it's a different story at their camps, but not on the roads where I have seen/ridden with them.
Well, they set up some kind of rest stop south of Silver Lake in the Oregon Outback while I was trying to get through the opposite way. The handful of vehicles on this remote road trying to get through the other way were blocked for over 45 minutes. And it's not just 2K bicycles - it's 2K bicycles and all the support vehicles.

Believe me, I'm not anti-bicycle touring and if folks want to go on a ride with this large a group, more power to them. But it is a HUGE group, no matter how strung out. A previous poster gave the flavor of it pretty well - it appeals if you want to attend a festival like atmosphere for a week.

- Mark
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Old 12-09-13, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by markjenn
Well, they set up some kind of rest stop south of Silver Lake in the Oregon Outback while I was trying to get through the opposite way. The handful of vehicles on this remote road trying to get through the other way were blocked for over 45 minutes. And it's not just 2K bicycles - it's 2K bicycles and all the support vehicles.

Believe me, I'm not anti-bicycle touring and if folks want to go on a ride with this large a group, more power to them. But it is a HUGE group, no matter how strung out. A previous poster gave the flavor of it pretty well - it appeals if you want to attend a festival like atmosphere for a week.

- Mark
I was on that ride. That was probably Day 1 since we started in Bly, south of Silver Lake, and spent the night in Silver Lake before heading west to U.S. 97 and then Fort Klamath. Things can bunch up around rest stops and on the first day, when people tend to start more closely together, but you are not constantly riding with a lot of people around you. And even when you are, it ain't nothin' compared to RAGBRAI, which I would never do because of its size.
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Old 12-09-13, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by tarwheel
Or you could go to Wisconsin for a few weeks and patch together a tour riding rails-to-trails and rural roads.
I vote for this! The southwest part of the state is part of The Driftless area, just beautiful. Low traffic rural roads, small towns, several bike trails can be incorporated. Plenty of star parks, county parks, city parks, US Rec areas for camping. Now you got me started again....

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Old 12-09-13, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by sknhgy
This sounds very interesting. Can I get more information? I would like to drive to Nashville then do a self-supported out and back. Camp every night. Roughly 100 miles out then turn around. Plan on taking 5 days off work to do it. Then if it stretched into another day it would be no big deal. I'm 5 hours from Nashville. Where would be a good place to park in Nashville then catch the trail? I've done tours like this on the Katy and now I would like to try something different.
Hey! That's exactly what my wife, sister and I did. 100 miles out takes you to the Alabama line (really a little farther in Alabama than the state line). Send me your email address and I'll tell you about a trip you'll love. There are some things that the books and others don't tell you and and there are some real gems as far as camp sites and local hospitality. joe

Not enough posts to send you a private message, sorry
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