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Touring Base Recommendations

Old 07-22-19, 08:35 PM
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ksmetamaid
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Touring Base Recommendations

3 couples in their 60's are wanting ideas for a bike-centered vacation, either in the U.S. or in Europe. The idea would be to have a base and take day trips from it. We'd desire mostly easy terrain, maybe some with moderate difficulty (Some of us are more athletic than others!). For the US, we'd probably be looking at 3-4 nights. For Europe, it would probably be for a week. What recommendations would anyone have? Thanks!
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Old 07-22-19, 09:08 PM
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Do you have the bikes yet? If so, are they touring specific bikes? If not, what kind? How often and how far does your weakest group member ride?
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Old 07-22-19, 09:17 PM
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[QUOTE=ksmetamaid;21040201We'd desire mostly easy terrain, maybe some with moderate difficulty (Some of us are more athletic than others!). Thanks![/QUOTE]
I would suggest a large inland lake area with bike paths. Some places, paths go in either direction along the shore for 30-40 miles. Mostly flat.
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Old 07-22-19, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by boomhauer View Post
I would suggest a large inland lake area with bike paths. Some places, paths go in either direction along the shore for 30-40 miles. Mostly flat.
On a ride from Havre, MT to Duluth, MN I went on the Paul Bunyan Trail. I met a couple on the path, from SoCal, who'd come to that spot for just the reasons you say. It fits @boomhauer's suggested terrain as well. They were staying with a B&B host who would ferry them to a particular location and they'd ride back during the day. There are a lot paved bike path miles in that immediate area. https://www.leechlake.org/blog/2016/...leech-lake-mn/

Last edited by hilltowner; 07-22-19 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 07-22-19, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by hilltowner View Post
They were staying with a B&B host who would ferry them to a particular location and they'd ride back during the day.
This, or similar, might have been the host: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Re...Minnesota.html
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Old 07-22-19, 10:11 PM
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Tuscany is an incredible place. Many tour providers. Not to mention the food and the wine
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Old 07-22-19, 11:08 PM
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rent a ferienwohnung for a week in southern germany.

do short day-tours in the local area, riding from village to village, spaced 5-10km apart.

stop at each to sample the local beer and pastries.
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Old 07-23-19, 03:13 AM
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Originally Posted by ksmetamaid View Post
3 couples in their 60's are wanting ideas for a bike-centered vacation, either in the U.S. or in Europe. The idea would be to have a base and take day trips from it. We'd desire mostly easy terrain, maybe some with moderate difficulty (Some of us are more athletic than others!). For the US, we'd probably be looking at 3-4 nights. For Europe, it would probably be for a week. What recommendations would anyone have? Thanks!

We'd go with something along La Vélodyssée route. We loved the stretch between Bordeaux, Lacanau Ocean, and La Rochelle.

https://www.cycling-lavelodyssee.com/
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Old 07-23-19, 04:00 AM
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The Netherlands is pretty cool for a bike vacation. I like the area around the Veluwe which is a large forest in the middle of the country. The bike paths are excellent. If you want to explore an area a bit farther away, you can take a train.
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Old 07-23-19, 06:35 AM
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In France, I can think of several regions which would meet your criteria. June or September would generally be the best months from a weather, traffic, and crowds standpoint.

The Loire valley near, but not in, Tours, would work well. There is easy terrain, a good network of minor roads, and many sights to see.

Burgundy, based near the town of Chalon-sur-Saone. There are several bike paths which crisscross the area. Away from the trails, there are more moderate roads in the pretty countryside. https://www.burgundy-by-bike.com/

The Dordogne valley. I'd suggest somewhere such as Lalinde in the west or Bretenoux in the eastern part of the valley. They would be excellent. Flats roads in the valley, moderate terrain elsewhere, and a plethora of places to visit.

In Provence, a base between Avignon & Arles would put you in an area of easy terrain with pleasant rides in various directions. May and late September would be good times here.

In the U.S., for 3 or 4 days of riding, I can think of Martha's Vineyard/Nantucket islands, the Finger Lakes, & the Pennsylvania Dutch area of Lancaster County.
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Old 07-23-19, 07:16 AM
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Depends on time of year, but

I would second the idea of the Netherlands - and many places away from the more populated western parts, e.g. Friesland and islands in the north, parts of eastern middle or south near Eindhoven. Potentially also Estonia (flat terrain and my travels suggested potential network of routes).

In Australia, I would think of Freemantle, Rottnest Island and area south of Perth.

In the US, Fredericksburg, TX is a beautiful place in Spring, some hills but also less hilly routes.
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Old 07-23-19, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by mev View Post
In Australia, I would think of Freemantle, Rottnest Island and area south of Perth.
I like the Albany area of Western Australia.

But if Australia's in the mix, there are several places in Victoria I'd pick.
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Old 07-23-19, 07:54 AM
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I think you have received some good ideas here. My wife and I, in our 60s, have gone on self contained tours, in some of the places suggested. But we road from place to place. I might add Montreal, Russian River Valley, Halifax, perhaps a national park.

Beyond this forum, I would suggest you review bike tour literature. They do a lot of investigation and might provide other ideas.
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Old 07-23-19, 11:05 AM
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Finger Lakes region of NY.

Burlington, VT.
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Old 07-23-19, 09:34 PM
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Many of the European river cruises will carry bikes. Ride as far as you want and meet the boat. Sort of a moving base.
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Old 07-24-19, 02:45 AM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
Many of the European river cruises will carry bikes. Ride as far as you want and meet the boat. Sort of a moving base.
Rowan and I have talked about doing this.

One day ... maybe ... if we can travel again perhaps.
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Old 07-25-19, 07:50 PM
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All, thank you so much for your input. And if anyone else out there has more to add, please do! I'll pass these along to the others as we hash things out.
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Old 07-25-19, 07:58 PM
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Also, I'm new to this site and finding some things difficult to figure out. I received a private message in response to my post. I'm told not to respond by email, but when I click on the link provided in the email, I'm told that the administrator has restricted use of the private message system to members with less than 10 posts, and doesn't give me any options on what to do next. If anyone can shed any light on this, please do. I haven't found a place to ask this question yet.
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Old 07-26-19, 04:12 AM
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Unfortunately, the OP doesn't include enough information about himself or others in his group. What are they interested in? Culture, history, food, wine, scenery, What are their skills? Languages, ability to deal with foriegners, cycling, athletic ability? There are a lot of places that would be a good base for cyling; perhaps the OP hasn't explored his own area by bicycle.

Before I took long tours, I used my bike to discover my own neighborhood by bike.
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Old 07-26-19, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by ksmetamaid View Post
Also, I'm new to this site and finding some things difficult to figure out. I received a private message in response to my post. I'm told not to respond by email, but when I click on the link provided in the email, I'm told that the administrator has restricted use of the private message system to members with less than 10 posts, and doesn't give me any options on what to do next. If anyone can shed any light on this, please do. I haven't found a place to ask this question yet.
Make 10 posts.
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Old 07-26-19, 01:10 PM
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If you're looking for easy/moderate base camp cycling in the US, my personal recommendation is the Sonoma Wine Country.

Lots of diversity: vineyards (of course), rolling pastures, redwoods, the coastline. And if you want a challenge, there are a few tough climbs to be had.

Then there's the food — if you like that sort of thing.

Ideal base camp location is Healdsburg, although it can be rather pricey. Nearby Windsor has lower lodging prices.

Sonoma County: Popular Cycling Itineraries



Sonoma County cycling heat map (Strava)

EDIT: Another option for a base camp location is Guerneville, in the redwoods along the Russian River. Considerably more laid-back and "Bohemian" than Healdsburg (the famous Bohemian Grove is actually nearby), it's far less touristy—and it provides easier access to coastal rides.
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Last edited by terrymorse; 07-26-19 at 08:01 PM. Reason: added Guerneville info
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Old 07-26-19, 03:46 PM
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Basically low grade trail on old rail line through the Allegheny mountains of Pa and Md. Easy, beautiful riding with tons of scenic and historic stops along the way. I would suggest home basing in Frostburg, Md and taking day trips or bed and breakfast type stops along the trail. You can also explore scenic Maryland on the C&O canal path. Have fun wherever you choose.


The 150-mile Great Allegheny Passage soars over valleys, snakes around mountains, and skirts alongside three rivers (the Casselman, Youghiogheny, and Monongaleha) on its nearly level path. Cyclists pass through the Cumberland Narrows, cross the Mason-Dixon Line, top the Eastern Continental Divide at 2,392’, weave through the breathtaking Laurel Highlands, wind their way through 19,052-acre Ohiopyle State Park, journey through the region’s coke, coal, mining, and steel-making corridor, and end at Pittsburgh’s majestic Point State Park.


184.5 Miles of Adventure

Preserving America's early transportation history, the C&O Canal began as a dream of passage to Western wealth. Operating for nearly 100 years the canal was a lifeline for communities along the Potomac River as coal, lumber, and agricultural products floated down the waterway to market. Today it endures as a pathway for discovering historical, natural, and recreational treasures.

C&O Canal Trail
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Old 08-31-19, 03:23 PM
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For Europe, I would recommend the Moselle (Mosel, in German) River. Set up a home base in Trier or one of the smaller towns like Bernkastel or Cochem. You can ride the mostly level riverside bike paths along the river or if you want to challenge yourself a bit more, climb up into the Hunsrück ( to the south) or the Eifel (north). The elevations in either area are not really high but there's lots of steep up and down. The Mosel produces some of the best white wines anywhere, the food is delicious, and the scenery is breathtaking. If you look at the pictures at the link below and think that it can't possibly be that pretty, you will be wrong. Also, you can pick up cycling maps at bike shops or book shops that show all the roads keyed by their suitability for bikes. I don't remember the name of the company but I'm almost certain that they have maps that cover the entire country.

The Mosel Cycle Route
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