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Bicycle Tours
Old 09-17-2006, 10:09 AM   #1
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Bicycle Tours

DW and I are planning a trip a year from now with another couple. We are tempted by a bicycle tour of the Tuscan sea shore. DW and I normally do it ourseves and stay away from organized activities. But we went to the Galapagos on an organized trip last year and enjoyed it as much or more than any trip we have taken. There is something to be said for not having to plan anything. We are both fit but don't bike very much, nor do the couple we are traveling with. A friend who took the Tuscan trip recommended it as a good one for beginners.

Has anyone here has tried any of these bike tours? In a similar vein, how about a barge tour or a barge/bike tour?
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Re: Bicycle Tours
Old 09-17-2006, 10:20 AM   #2
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Re: Bicycle Tours

We've done similar things.* Here's the big advantage over a barge or other non-self-propelled tour:

* * Because you're exercising a lot each day you can eat a lot!

DW and I rode our bikes from the Stockholm area of Sweden up north to Sveg.* Since it was midsummer, we could ride until 10 PM (still light), and in Sweden, you're allowed to camp anywhere except private yards.

Also, I rode in a group from Ann Arbor, MI up to the Upper Penninsula.* This was the type of trip where the organizers carry your stuff, and you camp in football fields.

Both were less civilized than the trip you're considering, but the idea is the same.* You'll probably experience more camaraderie with your fellow riders than on a barge trip, and it will be healthier.
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Re: Bicycle Tours
Old 09-17-2006, 10:26 AM   #3
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Re: Bicycle Tours

I've done trips like this in China, Virgina and Mississippi. Ther is usually a "sag" wagon following the riders, giving out water/snacks and picking up riders who don't want to bike for awhile. It is more fun not having to carry anything on you bike while you ride.
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Re: Bicycle Tours
Old 09-17-2006, 10:43 AM   #4
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Re: Bicycle Tours

Quote:
Originally Posted by dex
I've done trips like this in China, Virgina and Mississippi.* Ther is usually a "sag" wagon following the riders, giving out water/snacks and picking up riders who don't want to bike for awhile.* It is more fun not having to carry anything on you bike while you ride.
I've done this in France. It was wonderful.
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Re: Bicycle Tours
Old 09-17-2006, 11:19 AM   #5
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Re: Bicycle Tours

We've made a few bike trips, but we are avid cyclists. My spouse even did a Vermont trip while 6 months pregnant.

While we have not gone with VBT, we have done organized tours including one part of our honeymoon in Colorado. I highly recommend it. Our guides had done the trip many times before and knew what to expect. We had people of all abilities with us and everyone could ride at their own pace with short, medium and long routes to choose from. We had superb accommodations and group dinners in pre-booked restaurants. So you are with the same folks for dinner every night (you've paid for it!), but I guess you can bail for dinner and also forego bike riding as well.

One of the best vacations I had was an impromptu fly into Portland OR with a bike, ride away from the airport for a week with just a credit card and AAA TourGuide book and a vague idea of where we wanted to go as long as we ended up at the Seattle airport. We just made hotel reservations a day ahead of where we were going to end up each afternoon.

As for Tuscany, I don't know about the shore, but in Florence one can rent a nice tour bike from a bike shop and with a map take a 40 km to 120 km bike trip into the countryside around there.

Nevertheless, I would say that if you aren't really into bike riding, then I would hesitate wholeheartedly recommending a bike tour to you.
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