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Fully Supported Bicycle Touring


Supported tours -

This kind of tour is great if you are on your first bicycle trip or new to cycling. The companies can offer one-day tours, weekend tours, week tours or multi-week adventures. They can be domestic or international. They can be camping tours or luxury catered tours, where you stay in quaint inns or B&B's.

After registering for a trip, most companies send out a tour kit with information on training, what to bring, how to pack, how to tune up your bike, and the trip itinerary.

If you are flying into a tour, most companies provide transportation to and from the airport. Transportation costs, like airfare, aren't part of the tour fee.

The SAG (support and gear) wagon will provide mechanical assistance, snacks, something to drink, a ride, or a place to take a break.

There will be a truck to carry your luggage. Most tours have a one to two-bag limit.

All you need to carry on your bike are water bottles, sunscreen, a spare tube, a tire patch kit, and rain gear.

On multiweek tours there will be days off to rest, catch up on laundry, and sightsee.

Supported tours can be expensive. The higher end, multiweek catered trips can cost $4,000.00 or more. There are less expensive tours where you do more yourself. You'll probably be camping or staying in lower end lodging, such as chain motels, instead of inns and B&B's. Also, you may have to provide some of your own meals.


Other supported rides -

Along with rides provided by touring companies there are other supported rides available.

1. Century Ride - An organized club ride where the cyclist rides a century (100 miles) or a metric century (62 miles). In some cases, you may have the option of riding a half-century. These are one-day rides (not races), where snacks, water stops, mechanical help, and route maps are provided.

2. Charity Ride - Well organized pledge rides run by charities like the American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society, and the Multiple Sclerosis Society, to name a few. Some charity rides require that you donate a set amount to participate; others ask that you collect pledges for each mile you pedal. These can be day, weekend, or weeklong rides. They are supported with a SAG, water stops, and mechanical support. The longer rides provide meals, group camping, or indoor accommodations.

3. Event Rides - Inexpensive weekend or week-long tours sponsored by clubs, newspapers, or state tourism departments.The tour package includes a SAG, route maps, water stops, and group camping. Some provide meals and indoor camping in school gyms etc. Many states have weeklong cross-state rides where you cycle on picturesque back roads through friendly small towns.

**You can find a list of supported bicycle touring companies on my Links page or on the Bicycle Tour Network web site.