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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    759

    Touring with a Women's Group

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    Have any of you ever payed to go on an all women bicycle tour? I know there are groups like Backroads, but I was wondering if any of you have any suggestions?

    And if you were to pick some place to cycle in the States, where would you go?

    I know I would love to cycle someplace like Banff, Canada, where I would e surrounded by mountains, or perhaps in West Virginia, a state that impressed me when we drove cross country when we moved.

    Would love to hear about your experiences!
    Lisa

    Bacchetta Ti Aero
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,981
    Quote Originally Posted by itself View Post
    Have any of you ever payed to go on an all women bicycle tour? I know there are groups like Backroads, but I was wondering if any of you have any suggestions?

    And if you were to pick some place to cycle in the States, where would you go?

    I know I would love to cycle someplace like Banff, Canada, where I would e surrounded by mountains, or perhaps in West Virginia, a state that impressed me when we drove cross country when we moved.

    Would love to hear about your experiences!
    I think there's the rare all-women's tour cycling trips firm somewhere based in the U.S. But maybe others know better than I do.

    Yes, the Canadian Rockies would be fabulous in summer or early September. I live in Calgary.

    There is the Bow Valley Parkway, parallel to the TransCanada highway which is more quiet but stilll with terrific views. At this time of year, spring there are the odd elk, deer or bear wandering around.

    Between Canmore and Banff is a flat 20 km. paved bike path.

    The ride between Banff and Lake Louise is lovely and Lake Louise area is great also.

    Perhaps CrazyCanuck could comment she is from the area..before living in Aussieland now.

    Vancouver and Vancouver Island combined with a (Canadian Gulf Island) Saltspring Island or Galiano Island would be gorgeous Of course, I'm biased I lived there for awhile. You could also the Washington state ferry from vancouver island (Sidney) over to one of the American San Juan Islands.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 06-02-2011 at 07:32 PM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,389
    Hmmmmmm...... I think that if I was going to tour in the US I'd want to do Vermont in the fall - covered bridges, leaf peeping mmmmmmmmmmm.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

    visit my flickr stream http://flic.kr/ps/MMu5N

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Virginia's Blue Ridge
    Posts
    500
    I rode part of the Natchez Trace with a group from WomanTours three years ago. Had a blast. Terrific tour leaders; nice accommodations; good routes; wonderful group of high-enthusiasm fellow riders, but no "hammers." Not inexpensive but I was celebrating my 50th birthday and wanted to do something special.

    I'm going to Bhutan with WomanTours next spring on a nine-day tour that will mix in a bit of hiking with biking. Saving my pennies now!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,132
    I've had WomanTours bookmarked for ages but have never taken one. The price of those organized tours always scare me away. The only weeklong tour I've been on is the Bicycle Ride Across Tennessee, which is put on by the state's parks department. It's WAY cheaper than something like Backroads. DH and I are also getting ready to do a supported tour along the Katy Trail.

    Anyway, it would be hard to decide where to go. I'd love to tour part of Europe, e.g., France and Italy. Stateside, I'd love to do Montana, Utah, Oregon, Maine, and Vermont. California wine country and parts of Canada would be great, too. But, heck, I'd be happy going just about anywhere, so long as the roads were good and the scenery pretty.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,952
    Quote Originally Posted by indysteel View Post
    .....
    Anyway, it would be hard to decide where to go. I'd love to tour part of Europe, e.g., France and Italy. Stateside, I'd love to do Montana, Utah, Oregon, Maine, and Vermont. California wine country and parts of Canada would be great, too. But, heck, I'd be happy going just about anywhere, so long as the roads were good and the scenery pretty.
    This would be my main problem, outside of the money to pay for such a tour. I am happy riding anywhere there are good roads and nice scenery! I had a friend look at me sideways the other day after she spent some time telling me of all of her European adventures and asked me where I would like to ride - and that was my basic response. I spent much of my youth traveling and I don't have to go to the other side of the world to find pretty places to ride That being said, would love to go to Vermont someday, as well as North Carolina and other places.

    Indy - I am really looking forward to hearing about your Katy Trail adventure!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,132
    No, I don't have to go to the other side of the world for a pretty place to ride, but it sure would be nice. There's a guy on RBR who races/rides in Europe and some of the photos he shares are sublime.

    My problem is that Indiana is about my least favorite place to ride. The roads are awful, the scenery is largely boring and the hills--when there are hills--are awful. I gotta move.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,952
    Quote Originally Posted by indysteel View Post
    No, I don't have to go to the other side of the world for a pretty place to ride, but it sure would be nice. There's a guy on RBR who races/rides in Europe and some of the photos he shares are sublime.

    My problem is that Indiana is about my least favorite place to ride. The roads are awful, the scenery is largely boring and the hills--when there are hills--are awful. I gotta move.
    Wouldn't it be great to ride in the Scottish Highlands
    I don't have any real experience riding outside of Indiana, but would sure love to change that. I don't have any traveling money this year, but am going to start a savings account just for this. I don't HAVE to travel, but would love to broaden my horizons.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    494
    I've gone on three WomanTours trips: Outerbanks, NC; Natchez Trace, Miss.; and Death Valley. I loved all of them, and wish I could afford to do one every year. Everyone on my last tour was raving about the Yellowstone tour they had done, but I think I would like to try the Moab one next.

    Many of the women on the tours travel alone and get paired up with a different roomie every night, or you can pay extra for a single room. You can ship your own bike or rent one of their Terry bikes.

    Anywhere you choose, they are going to have chosen the best, most scenic route, so I wouldn't worry too much about which one. Just pick someplace you haven't been before!


    Grits

    2010 Trek 5.2 Madone WSD, SI Diva Gel Flow
    2002 Terry Classic, Terry Liberator

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,102
    I've been on several supported tours, with 3 different companies, in the last 6 years. They all allowed me to see things I never would have seen on my own, on routes that were splendid for cycling. Some were better than others, but mostly it's the other people on the tour who make it. So far, I've seen the Czech Republic, Austria, Quebec, southern Spain, and Vermont. We did the Vermont tour to test out the "idea" of touring, in a place where we could drive to for the weekend tour. It was around the 15th of October and it was freezing cold (30's in the AM), so I would recommend going in late September. I was prepared with appropriate clothing, but some midwesterners on the tour, who were mostly tri-athletes, had no idea of what they were getting into. They had shorts, no wool socks, and little flimsy jackets. The week after we rode, there was snow on Smuggler's Notch.
    DH and I are not much for planning routes in places that we are not familiar with. It's not that we couldn't, with GPS, etc., but it's time consuming. We do go to the Berkshires almost every summer on our own, (took the last 2 years off) and our friend plans the routes; almost every year I am ready to kill him because of the climbs!
    I also did a little riding in Italy (outside of Siena) on crappy rented mountain bikes. We got lost and climbed a mountain that was part of the Giro, despite instructions from the guy at the LBS. While it was pretty, I was not a happy camper being lost in temperatures that were plummeting 20 degrees from our start.
    I've also done a supported "camping" type tour, that I did not like. I actually like camping, but the food sucked and there was an expectation that you help unload gear if you got to the site early. The riding was every bit as challenging as the European tours I've done and what I wanted was a luxury hotel and a massage at the end of those days!
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,981
    I've only done 1 multi-day group ride and it was self-organized. No tour company. 350 kms. ride with 8 family members and friends.

    Then others are group rides for a full day.

    But never with a touring company.

    I gone on self-organized touring rides riding with our own belongings with dearie over several days/weeks in:

    Europe (Germany, france, Czech Republic and tiny amount of Denmark)
    Vermont (500 kms.)
    southern Ontario (multiple day trips ranging from 300 - 800 kms. each. Some included camping)
    Canadian Maritime provinces (1,100 kms.- Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island)
    Vancouver Island and some of the Gulf Islands --several trips ..which some were combined with

    San Juan Islands and Seattle (several trips)

    In New Mexico, I only rode around in specific areas for per day, not a real tour.

    Self-organized does require someone to lead and who enjoys mapping the trip. also dealing with some unpredictability due to accommodations, etc. You have to be flexible and not always too fussy.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,102
    I admit I am not so flexible when it comes to traveling. I like to know what is ahead. While I have done quite a bit of roughing it type vacations, I feel like I am at the point in my life where I want comfort after a day of hard riding.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,981
    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    I admit I am not so flexible when it comes to traveling. I like to know what is ahead. While I have done quite a bit of roughing it type vacations, I feel like I am at the point in my life where I want comfort after a day of hard riding.
    We haven't camped at all in the past decade or so. I suppose we could if desperate..for 1-2 days. I find it demanding ride with loaded panniers and then after 100 kms. or so of cycling during the day, one has to put up the tent, etc.

    Forget it. Shower, nap and chill out. Enjoy the place that we arrived. Because the next day, we had decamp and start cycling by 8:00 am or earlier. But hey, I lived to tell the story especially when we cycled in the Canadian Maritimes for 3 wks. about 60% of days were camping.

    Or another trip cycling from Toronto near the St. Lawrence River to Cornwall, or so.

    I don't mind not knowing exactly the type of hotel/motel/b 'n b ahead of us at times..as long as the lead, dearie, knows where he's going. 95% he does know... He like me, doesn't mind basic hotels, but they must be clean.

    It makes a huge difference particularily in non-English speaking countries. I just cycle along, puppet-like behind him. It was rather hilarious though in centre of Prague since the streets are winding and old. He just couldn't guess the script nor even remember vaguely streets. We got mildly lost several times, just walking around!
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    759
    Quote Originally Posted by Eden View Post
    Hmmmmmm...... I think that if I was going to tour in the US I'd want to do Vermont in the fall - covered bridges, leaf peeping mmmmmmmmmmm.
    Eden,

    You must have read my mind...that is exactly the place I would go here in the States!
    Lisa

    Bacchetta Ti Aero
    ICE B1
    Bacchetta Cafe Mountain Bent

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    759
    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    I've been on several supported tours, with 3 different companies, in the last 6 years. They all allowed me to see things I never would have seen on my own, on routes that were splendid for cycling. Some were better than others, but mostly it's the other people on the tour who make it. So far, I've seen the Czech Republic, Austria, Quebec, southern Spain, and Vermont. We did the Vermont tour to test out the "idea" of touring, in a place where we could drive to for the weekend tour. It was around the 15th of October and it was freezing cold (30's in the AM), so I would recommend going in late September. I was prepared with appropriate clothing, but some midwesterners on the tour, who were mostly tri-athletes, had no idea of what they were getting into. They had shorts, no wool socks, and little flimsy jackets. The week after we rode, there was snow on Smuggler's Notch.
    DH and I are not much for planning routes in places that we are not familiar with. It's not that we couldn't, with GPS, etc., but it's time consuming. We do go to the Berkshires almost every summer on our own, (took the last 2 years off) and our friend plans the routes; almost every year I am ready to kill him because of the climbs!
    I also did a little riding in Italy (outside of Siena) on crappy rented mountain bikes. We got lost and climbed a mountain that was part of the Giro, despite instructions from the guy at the LBS. While it was pretty, I was not a happy camper being lost in temperatures that were plummeting 20 degrees from our start.
    I've also done a supported "camping" type tour, that I did not like. I actually like camping, but the food sucked and there was an expectation that you help unload gear if you got to the site early. The riding was every bit as challenging as the European tours I've done and what I wanted was a luxury hotel and a massage at the end of those days!
    What companies did you use, and which one did you like the best?
    Lisa

    Bacchetta Ti Aero
    ICE B1
    Bacchetta Cafe Mountain Bent

 

 

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