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  1. #16
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    NY, NY
    Posts
    397

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    Another satisfied WomanTours customer. I've done their DC/VA/MD tour, Penn Amish Country, Death Valley, Texas Hill Country. Good value for the money.
    2003 Trek 7500FX/standard saddle
    2006 Trek Pilot 2.1/Serfas cutout saddle

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    Itself, we did 2 tours with Trek Travel, Vermont and Czech Republic/Austria. They were the most expensive, and almost all of the meals were included. The side trips after riding were really good, too. What I didn't like was the fact that there were 20 people on the trips and each trip about 10 of the people came as a group and were clique-y. There was a lot of competitiveness in the riding, too. On the Czech Republic tour, there was a group of drinkers that were obnoxious. I also didn't like their coyness about some of the climbs. Some we were warned about, but then, more would come, and I mean extended climbs with 10-15% grades. I like to know. We chose them because at the time I had a Trek 5200 and I knew it fit me. I am small and cannot ride most bikes. This was a plus. I had the same bike I had at home. And the guides were awesome.
    We did our Quebec tour with a group called Classic Adventures. We used them because they were a bit more low key. Three and four star hotels instead of five. And, we could drive there and use our own bikes. Mostly, I liked everything about this tour. There were only 2 leaders instead of three, and we were on our own a lot more. We are using them this year, to do a tour of the Finger Lakes. Again, we can drive there and use our own bikes.
    Our tour of Andalusia was the best. The company we used is called Cycling Country. They are small, owned by a young couple from the UK, who ditched the corporate life and moved to Spain. They do Spain, Portugal, and UK tours. The group was small (10) and the whole thing was awesome. There was one huge downside for me, in that the bikes they had just did not fit me in some aspects. They were entry level Orbeas, and I had a 48 cm men's bike, which is what I have at home, but unfortunately, the Orbea did not have the short reach brakes I have! Consequently, I could not reach the brakes from the drops and even using them on the hoods just hurt the hell out of my hands. This is why we are seriously considering buying custom steel/titanium road bikes with S and S couplers, that we can take on these trips. It's not a big deal for DH, but it is for me.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    757
    Here is a great suitcase that is legal for the airlines:

    http://sandsmachine.com/ac_hard.htm

    As far as coupling your bike, Bilenky Cycles will do this for you at a cost of course.

    Crankin, thanks for the reviews of the tour companies. Other reviews are so welcome!
    Lisa

    Bacchetta Ti Aero
    ICE B1
    Bacchetta Cafe Mountain Bent

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    45

    Woman tours

    I did the Woman Tours Kona trip this year. It was my first trip with them and they are a great group. I liked it so much I am on the Moab trip in October. All the women on the trip were fun and we had a great time riding.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,057
    We've done many organized trips. Since I bike with DH, they were not woman-only tours. That said, on every trip we've been on there have always been solo travellers with us -- 50/50 split male/female although some trips have only women; others only men.

    As stated earlier, it is the group that you travel with that really makes a difference. We've had aggressive, over organized leaders to laid back, let's all play-it-by-ear leaders. If you take the attitude that every trip is different and that to make the best of whatever Mother Nature or the fates of group organization throw at you, you'll have a great time.

    We've done some Europe, but the last couple of years (when salaries dropped) decided to spend more time exploring US/Canada. We've had great trips in Kentucky, Glacier National Park, Burlington Vt to Quebec, etc. Each was different; each was great.

    My suggestion....figure out when you want to go. Call and talk to the tour operators that are running trips at that time -- get references and talk to them, too. Figure out what you're looking for in a trip (e.g., riding distance, terrain, food, lodging, side trips, etc) and make sure you ask about those things to the company and the references. We've been on trips that we thought were awesome, but, trust me, some of the people we ride with would not have tolerated the terrain, or the lodging (hey, give me clean sheets and a shower and I'm happy, but other aren't).

    That said, our two favarote domestic groups are Timberline (basic accomodation, it is about the riding, food is nourishing, but not 4-star. They do, however, attract low-key, fun people and since every week is some place new, the leaders are not bored with the route -- although they may be exploring it right along with you)

    ...and Go Sojourn (fancier, lighter mileage, it is about the experience, not the riding, more upscale, good food, nice lodging, planned side trips, etc, yet still not as pricey as some. We went from Vermont to Quebec with them and it was one of the best vacations we've had in many years. Some guests may get....uh...demanding, but the guides are amazingly good about reining them in--heck, watching the guides in action was almost worth the cost of the trip ).
    2009 Waterford RS-14 S&S Couplers - Brooks B68-Anatomica - Traveller
    2008 Waterford RS-33 - Brooks B68-Anatomica - Go Fast
    2012 Waterford Commuter - Brooks B68-Anatomica - 3.5-Season/Commuter
    2011 Surly Troll - Brooks B68 Imperial - Snow Beast

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    Yep, the guides have a lot to put up with; being a lowly ride leader has given me an inkling of they deal with. The leaders of our trip to Spain last year told us that we were the most "together" group they had on a tour. We stayed together for the most part when riding... although spread out and everyone got along. I got a little miffed at the 87 year old guy (yes, he was 87) who told me to "get out of his line" when riding. But, he was a gruff old survivor of Communism, who I took with a grain of salt. I know I don't ride all over the road, so I guess he was having a bad day.
    I don't want to sound anti- American, but the difference in this trip is that since it was a company based out of Europe, it attracted riders from all over. There were 2 other Americans, from California, but everyone else was from Australia, Canada, or the Netherlands. It made a real difference.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Sf Bay Area
    Posts
    455
    I've done a number of tours in the US and Europe but with a women's group I've ridden two tours in the US: the Big Island and Death Valley, both of which were with WomanTours, whom I highly recommend.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Puget Sound
    Posts
    139
    Thanks for the great tour company suggestions. Does anyone know if there are any organized tours where you haul your own gear?
    We do not take a trip; a trip takes us - John Steinbeck

  9. #24
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    NY, NY
    Posts
    397
    Adventure Cycling could be a great resource for that. Here's the link to the page for self-contained tours on their site. I've never done a tour with them but perhaps someone else can chime in re experience. They are well-established and do lots in the cycling realm other than tours as you will see from their website.

    http://http://www.adventurecycling.o...menu=SC&t=sc11
    2003 Trek 7500FX/standard saddle
    2006 Trek Pilot 2.1/Serfas cutout saddle

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,203
    I do at least one organized tour a year; sometimes two. They are my vacations. I don't do woman-only tours because that would exclude my SO, and we are riding partners. I've gone on tours in Vermont, Arizona, France (not organized tour but on our own), Texas (same as in France-on our own), Louisiana, New Mexico (on my own), and Virginia (lots). Upcoming are New York and Europe.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    West of Toledo, OH
    Posts
    95
    Another satisfied WomansTour customer. I did my first tour with them. It was in Idaho, and we stayed the week at a condominium and did day trips in the Tetons. This was nice because I didn't have to pack every morning. The trip featured a daily, two hour bike maintenance class which helped me learn what I needed to be a confident rider. There was also a daily yoga class at a local studio. The guides were excellent and I still have fond memories of the other riders.

    I also took a trip to Italy with Women's Quest. Colleen Cannon, the owner, does a fantastic job with her tours. Again, great guides and fellow guests. Several years later I rode LiveStrong Austin with one of the women I'd met on that trip.

    I've also done tours with Backroads (Tour de France), Bicycle Adventures (San Juan islands camping and Napa/Sonoma), Experience Plus (Costa Rica), and Iron Donkey (Ireland).

    The last few years I've had the confidence and time to put together my own tours. My husband and I have toured Oregon coast, Tucson spring training, Natchez Trace and are doing a France tour in August.

    There are advantages and disadvantages to organized versus self supported tours but I suggest starting with an organized tour. There are hundreds of tour operators - most specialize on a region and have a clear vision of what they offer. Almost all the reports I've ever read have been of satisfied customers who've had a great experience.

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Marysville, Michigan
    Posts
    24
    This is an older thread but I'm thinking of this Alaska/Yukon tour WomanTours trip for 2013. I've already signed up for their Around Lake Onario tour for next summer. It'll be my first with them.

    Patty

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Bristol, TN
    Posts
    360
    I have done three long trips with WomanTours and loved every one of them. (Southern Tier, Underground RR, and Northwest Loop) They are worth the money for the food and the housing every night, great maps, cue sheets, and wonderful women! The comaraderie is unmatched on an all women's trip!

    Patty, you will love the Lake Ontario trip. I just got back from a self-supported trip around the lake and it was just wonderful. WT knows how to do it right. You won't be sorry. I know several people going on the Moab trip. I am very envious! Not sure which one they are on, though.

    I agree that after several tours, it would be much easier to try to do one on your own. That is why my husband and I did the Lake trip with two friends last month. My DH has done several self-supported trips after doing two organized trips and several supported cross state rides. We used Experience Plus for two of our trips (Ireland and Italy)....a bit pricey, but bikes are included (we took our seats and pedals)...but one was our anniversary!

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    This is slightly off topic, but I don't think I would like an all women's group tour. I don't know, maybe it's me, but I find groups of women often have all kinds of weird dynamics going on. I have plenty of women friends, but I notice in group social situations, I always seem to be chatting with the guys, and I mean in a peer to peer way, not a flirting way. If I ride in a group, I like it to be mixed.
    And I would not want to share my room with a stranger. I am not modest, but I am not in college anymore; no roommates except my DH.
    There are all kinds of permutations of tours. DH and I are thinking of doing a semi-supported tour with our new bikes when we get them. Someone to carry our bags, but riding on our own.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

 

 

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