What kind of cyclist are you?
Which category below best describes you?
- A beginner who rides local bike trails once or twice a week?
- An athlete or recreational cyclists who loves to go out and travel by bike?
- An avid and lifelong touring cyclist who thinks nothing of pedaling 80 or 90 miles in the mountains?
We have cycling vacations designed for cyclists at all levels of experience and fitness. All of our tours are also created with options for additional riding when you’re in the mood for a challenge – or if your partner is a stronger rider than you are and you just want a shortcut to a shower and a nap before dinner.
Our tour itinerary pages describe what to expect along the the routes but for a glimpse at our tour rating system visit our Tour Level Ratings
Another way to look at your choice:
Start by choosing a tour that roughly matches your level of fitness and the challenge you prefer. Beginner riders usually start with bicycle tours rated 101
. Keep in mind that most novice riders can actually handle a 201 bicycle tour
—though you might want to take advantage of a van ride uphill once in a while. Our tour leaders are great coaches – they are all accomplished cyclists and highly capable teachers. If you’d like to learn how to shift gears more efficiently and make the hills easier, they can show you how.
Remember, there is no pressure. Regardless of the tour you choose, our chalk arrows and pre-planning eliminate the need for you to keep up with the group. Ride at your pace. Enjoy the scenery. Here comes a bistro! How about another café au lait? It’s a cycling vacation, not a bike race!
If this phrase resonates with you, you are likely a rider who handles moderate distances regularly. About 65% of the people you’ll meet on our tours are active recreational cyclists. They don’t ride to beat their personal best, but enjoy getting out on weekends and after work. Many commute to work by bicycle. Most stay in shape through a variety of physical activities, not just bicycling. If this sounds like you, most of our tours, fit well within your capabilities.
For some riders, coming to the local weekly throwdown ride loaded for rhino and then pulverizing the field is their way of having fun on a bike. If that's you, then you're probably not looking at bike touring as a way to satisfy your competitive urges.
If you enjoy the challenge of defying gravity, our level 401bicycle tours
will give you all the vertical climbing pleasure you could want.
"If I go, I go big"
Or would you rather cover ground on a continental scale? Our ExpeditionPlus! level 501 bicycle tours
are longer and more challenging with average per day mileages of 70 to 75 miles.
Let us know what your athletic objectives are, and we'll do our best to help you select the right tour to meet them.
What are your interests?
When deciding on a tour, stay focused on what you really like and appreciate in life. For some people that’s hard to summon up - but persevere because it really increases the pleasure factor of the whole trip.
- A carpet of brilliant wildflowers with peaks in the distance?
- The wide open ruins of an ancient civilization?
- A savory dinner with new and old friends in a rough-hewn 200-year-old inn?
- Local musicians playing in a neighborhood pub?
Or anything else you can imagine.
Let us show you places close-up. . . they’ll come to life as landmarks in your happy memories.
Then there are families and kids
How old is old enough?
We find that athletic children over the age of ten do well on our tours, and less athletic children over 13 do well. We often have single parents who enjoy a tour as a quiet vacation with kids, and we often have three generations of family members join us –Grandma, Granddad, Mom, Dad and kids. No matter the family, cycling holidays make lifelong positive memories for everyone.
Easier tours are often best for families with young kids. For example, check out our 101 family-friendly cycling holidays