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Paid bike tour vacation recommendations?

Old 08-26-22, 05:46 PM
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sean.hwy
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Paid bike tour vacation recommendations?

I am following a strava friend ( have not met IRL ). She is doing Yellowstone over six days. It looks amazing.

She is happy with this tour group
https://lizardheadcyclingguides.com/...in-bike-tours/

Looking for peoples first hand experience and recommendations.

Anyone plan their own? I would imagine it would be difficult to line up all the hotels/motels for 5+ days and you have to carry everything with you.
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Old 08-26-22, 05:52 PM
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Old 08-26-22, 06:53 PM
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Are you limiting your options to tours with indoor accommodations?
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Old 08-26-22, 09:12 PM
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indoor/outdoor is fine with me but I would like to only have to bring on the bike tools, spare tube, water, small amount of food. I am not ready ( bringing everything on the bike ) tent/sleeping bag/"all the food" bag on my bike.

Tour truck brings water, food, tent, sleeping bag, spare clothes.
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Old 08-26-22, 09:16 PM
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Adventure Cycling: https://www.adventurecycling.org/gui...pported-tours/
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Old 08-26-22, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post

have any photo/stories to share?
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Old 08-26-22, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by sean.hwy View Post
have any photo/stories to share?
None. I've toured with a guy who toured with them a few times several thousand years ago when they were called Bikecentenial.

I've never done a supported tour, and have never gone with more than one other person, so probably almost everyone has better and more current information than I do, but if I was going to do an organized tour, they are THE organization.
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Old 08-26-22, 10:41 PM
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In 1995 we took one supported tour with Backroads. They are a great company. But following that tour, we knew we could easily do the same thing with a little less comfort (they picked up the wine we purchased along the way and made dinner/breakfast, etc.) for a lot, lot less.

We stuck with credit car tours, sometimes just traveling with a handlebar bag, 7 to 10 days, in many different places in the USA and Canada for our annual bike tour until I retired. Upon retirement, we included longer fully loaded tours that included camping. They all worked out well.

We just got back from the Canadian Rockies where we came across some Backroad tourists. We did not stay in the same hotels but even if we did, it would have been nearly as nice but a lot less expensive. You do get nice comradery from the group, however. You just need to put a value on that.

If you have some minor maintenance capabilities, don't mind hitchhiking if you have a major problem (I had to do that 2 or 3 times in the last 30 years), it is no problem to organize your own tour. You will save thousands of dollars. And for the most part, have as much fun.

Just take a look at their brochures and other sources to provide the guidance you need for the tours.
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Old 08-27-22, 03:52 AM
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Originally Posted by sean.hwy View Post
I would imagine it would be difficult to line up all the hotels/motels for 5+ days and you have to carry everything with you.
Depending on where you are going, some areas are SPREAD OUT, with a connected cell phone it is amazingly simple to plan such a trip. Google maps alone will allow you to do a lot of the planning. And this is before we talk about all the mapping/navigation software available to determine elevation gains and availability of bike paths and quiet, scenic roads, etc.
And don't be afraid to do short rides each day; 10 or 20 miles (or more) a day is totally fine to do. Don't be seduced/shamed by these epic Herculean tales of 70 and 100 mile days done by folks at the peak of their youth and/or strength and vigor (though they have their place).
There will be immense satisfaction rolling 20 miles down the road, having a casual lunch, checking into the motel or campground, getting situated, and then regrouping at a communal area and having a nice cocktail. And then striking up a conversation with whoever happens to be there.
This is called Type 1 fun. The idea is to keep it light and fun; low stress. Sometimes this is underrated.
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Old 08-27-22, 04:17 AM
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Originally Posted by sean.hwy View Post
have any photo/stories to share?
I did their Cycle Vermont tour (No longer offered.) back in 2010. It was nice and well organized. And Iíve crossed paths with their Cycle Montana tour twice while touring on my own. One of those nights we camped at the same location. Again, it looked well organized. I got invited to join them for breakfast the next morning. Food was good. Being familiar with some of the area, I knew they picked some nice roads.
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Old 08-27-22, 04:26 AM
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Know some people who went with these folks and enjoyed it:

https://timberline-adventures.com/to...xoC2_QQAvD_BwE

These people have a very good reputation:

https://www.vbt.com/?utm_source=goog...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

The important thing is that you pick a tour that suits your ability. Days that are too long or too short or too hilly or too flat can make for a bad experience.
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Old 08-27-22, 09:24 AM
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Forgot to mention Cycle Oregon, which is a fully-supported camping trip. If youíre lucky, you can purchase their tent and porter service, where they supply the tent and set it up for you each day then pack it up in the morning, but that has its drawbacks.

Iíve done 4 COs. Oregon has a lot of great riding. The route changes every year. When I first did it in 2002 we rode from the eastern border with Idaho at Nyssa to Florence on the coast. Epic journey that they have never repeated. Too many hard days. On Day 4 everyone had to do a century to Sisters. I had done the long route on Day 3. It was 117 miles. At least Day 5 was a rest day.

Pretty much too late for this year. Maybe next year.

https://cycleoregon.com/ride/classic/
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Old 08-27-22, 09:28 AM
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Tell me how much you will pay me and I will tell you all about my vacation when I get back.
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Old 08-27-22, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Forgot to mention Cycle Oregon, which is a fully-supported camping trip.
I think there are a couple of tours like Cycle Oregon.

RAGBRAI?

There is also the STP (Seattle to Portland) ride that is just 2 days.

If the OP is coming up from California, there is also "Ride the Rim". Just a single day event riding around Crater Lake, with half the lake closed off. And, it should still be open as I don't think they're restricting riders. Camp at Diamond Lake, then spend a day or two playing around Crater Lake, then another day playing around Diamond Lake.
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Old 08-27-22, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by sean.hwy View Post
Looking for peoples first hand experience and recommendations.
Anyone plan their own? I would imagine it would be difficult to line up all the hotels/motels for 5+ days and you have to carry everything with you.
Some outfitters I have heard of: wilderness voyageurs and Noble Invention bike touring I do not have a first hand experience with any outfitter as I carry everything with me.
Cycle the Erie Canal organized ride takes place once a year.

I think it is generally possible to credit card tour GAP/C&O or Ohio to Erie trail reserving the motels as you go.
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Old 08-27-22, 09:23 PM
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If you are looking for outside the US I would suggest SpiceRoads Cycling - bicycle tours throughout Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe and Africa
They are based out of Bangkok but tour all over Asia, Europe, and parts of Africa and Latin America.
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Old 08-28-22, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by csport View Post
Some outfitters I have heard of: wilderness voyageurs and Noble Invention bike touring I do not have a first hand experience with any outfitter as I carry everything with me.
Cycle the Erie Canal organized ride takes place once a year.

I think it is generally possible to credit card tour GAP/C&O or Ohio to Erie trail reserving the motels as you go.
Biked the Gap/C&O twice. Credit card touring is easy as is camping since the sites are close are right off the path. I did it both ways,
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Old 08-28-22, 07:17 PM
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I believe you are on the west coast, so this is a long way.....
cycling the erie canal is an easy well organized supported tour in mid July.
riding from Buffalo NY to Albany along the canal route, approx 400 miles.
camping, Camptel or B&B/motels are available.
Have done this tour a few times with our teenage kids [now adults],
when i mentioned my partner and I were thinking about it for next year,
the oldest suggested he and fiance might be interested.
There is also the great waterway tour in Ontario - also an easy and organized tour
in southern Ontario - routes changing slightly each year.
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Old 08-30-22, 06:56 AM
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I've done the TransAm/Northern Tier (on the west end) self-supported, and about half a dozen supported trips, ranging from we'll truck your tent and bag (AC Blue Ridge) through we'll set up your tent (Cycle Greater Yellowstone, now Montana Cycling Project) to motel to motel (x3). One nice thing I appreciate more as I get older is having a shower at the end of each day's ride to wash off dirt and sunscreen; all of those except the self-supported had that.

I had to chuckle at the young whipper-snappers riding long distances every day. IME, the average age of the cyclists was probably two decades older on the supported tours than on the TransAm.

It's a bit of luxury to have not only the routes laid out, but also SAG (with water) stops every 1-2 hours. Same with sleeping in beds! And there's a wide variety of price ranges available; for instance, the motel PacTour ride was less expensive than the CGY with tent sherpas.

I tend to be relaxed about food, IME it's always good as long as there's enough to eat on tour. Beware of local business catered meals in small towns; they don't always appreciate the quantity of food a horde of cyclists can eat. OTOH, a church had a dessert bake sale the afternoon we rode into one small town. Heavenly cherry cobbler with ice cream! The spread the ride put out that night was good, but I didn't appreciate it after snacking on two and a half desserts that afternoon.

It's a question of what you want to do, and how much you're willing to pay for it. One week and you want to ride a place (Blue Ridge Parkway) or an environment (northern Wisconsin to get away from the heat of August)? Write a check, show up with bike and bag, and enjoy the ride. Every organization I've ridden with knew what they were doing, and knew that taking care of riders was the way to get more business. Want to go to someplace the rides don't go? Either figure out your route and make the reservations -- a good way to spend a cold, dark winter weekend -- or, if it's close to a place one of the "variable" groups ride, see if they'll go through there next year. Looking for rides in the wilderness? That's probably going to be you carrying all your gear, possibly with a few like-minded friends. (Although Beartooth Pass or Skyline Drive don't see many buildings!)
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Old 08-30-22, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by sean.hwy View Post
That almost reminds me of that scene from "Vacation." "Clark, this tent stinks!" "Aunt Edna! This is your tent!"
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Old 08-30-22, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
I tend to be relaxed about food, IME it's always good as long as there's enough to eat on tour. Beware of local business catered meals in small towns; they don't always appreciate the quantity of food a horde of cyclists can eat. OTOH, a church had a dessert bake sale the afternoon we rode into one small town. Heavenly cherry cobbler with ice cream! The spread the ride put out that night was good, but I didn't appreciate it after snacking on two and a half desserts that afternoon.
Heh. Reminds me of CANDISC 2006. Supported camping tour in North Dakota. The first rest stop on the first day was in a church basement. The ďchurch ladiesĒ were selling home baked goods and fresh lemonade.

One night there was a nice dinner spread with a yummy vegetable medley. We hadnít seen a lot of good veggies until then. I went back for seconds only to find all the veggies gone. (There was still plenty of the three other types of meat served as part of the meal.) A woman working the meal told me they didnít realize cyclist would go for the veggies like we did.

When it came to food, I liked the fact that you could buy the meal plan for breakfasts and dinners or do all your own meals on your own. (Lunch was always on you own.) Water and sports drinks were always free at the stops, but snacks were sold by community groups. Under that scheme, youíre not paying for things you donít want as part of the registration fee.
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Old 08-30-22, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
One night there was a nice dinner spread with a yummy vegetable medley. We hadnít seen a lot of good veggies until then. I went back for seconds only to find all the veggies gone. (There was still plenty of the three other types of meat served as part of the meal.) A woman working the meal told me they didnít realize cyclist would go for the veggies like we did.
Two thoughts. First, finding good veggies seems to be difficult on a bike tour, period. I told one couple we met on the Trans Am in Kansas about a good salad bar at the next town, to which the lady replied something like, "Oh, we haven't had any trouble finding vegetables." I refrained from telling her, "Yeah, remember that in three weeks."

Next, if you've got any kind of special diet, it can cause problems. At one town in Wisconsin, I had a nice sized salad and inadvertently ate about three peoples' worth -- the kitchen had no more. I don't remember if that was the same place that told vegetarians in the group, "There's plenty of rice left!" And though the caterer on CGY was great, if you hadn't ordered a vegetarian diet up front, they didn't have any extra meals. Left some real vegetarians disgruntled when they were at the end of the line.
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Old 08-30-22, 04:12 PM
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For self supported tour, I believe there are several Bed and Breakfasts along the Katy trail. 240 miles end to end. Make it a round trip for nearly 500 miles. Mostly flat, off road. Pulverized limestone surface.

There are a few organized Katy Trail Rides. It looks like Bubba's is coming up in mid September.
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Old 08-30-22, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Two thoughts. First, finding good veggies seems to be difficult on a bike tour, period. I told one couple we met on the Trans Am in Kansas about a good salad bar at the next town, to which the lady replied something like, "Oh, we haven't had any trouble finding vegetables." I refrained from telling her, "Yeah, remember that in three weeks."
I did ACAís unsupported Northern Tier tour. We ate out occasionally. In some places a salad bar was a few basic things like iceberg lettuce, cherry tomatoes and white onions plus things like macaroni salad and potato salad swimming in mayonnaise.

We had 3 vegetarians in the group of 13. That meant the base meal had to have no meat. That was cooked on the side and added by individuals who wanted it. The first night we stayed at Lake Itasca the only thing we could find for the vegetarians at the little store was a food service sized can of baked beans. We put it on a grill at the HI Hostel with the brats for the rest of us.
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Old 08-30-22, 05:09 PM
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I highly recommend Bubba's. I have toured with them and have friends who have as well. Top notch outfit.

https://www.bubbaspamperedpedalers.com/
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