When we started our bicycle tour company, we thought we’d mostly offer open enrollment bike tours – trips where we set the agenda and people sign up. But we quickly realized the value of custom tours and shifted our focus to specializing in working with cyclists to create their own version of the perfect bicycle vacation.
Cyclists of all types can go on a bicycle vacation. Creating custom bike tours with a small group of friends, or a larger club, can allow you to really create the type of vacation you want rather than go with a pre-set agenda. You’re in control of your experience, and it’s possible for cyclists of different abilities to vacation together.
For example, we once created a custom tour for a couple from England who wanted to include the Blue Ridge Parkway on their trip. One of them was concerned about being able to make climb up the mountain, yet the other one was a stronger cyclist and wanted the challenge of riding to the top. We arranged to transport one while the other cycled up the mountain, they reconnected at the entrance to the Parkway and continued on their way; both having a great time.
The Elements of a Custom Bike Tour
The things that make a tour are the route, the itinerary, the stops, the lodging, the size of the group and of course the food.
With custom tours, you can dial up or down on each of those, based on your desires. We want folks to have a great time, so we check in with the group and can make adjustments as the trip goes on. One year we had a group from the midwest who were used to cycling long miles, but weren’t used to the types of hills in the Shenandoah Valley. After what ended up being a grueling day, we met with them to adjust the rest of the trip so they could truly enjoy their time – which they did.
Crafting Your Perfect Bike Tour
Custom tours allow you to include specific sites or areas you want to see. They can be adjusted to your cycling abilities, and tailored to your likes.
We had one group of about 4 couples from the southwest who knew someone in Frederick, MD. They wanted some time to visit with their friend, so the tour we created for them included a couple nights in Frederick with loops through the surrounding country side, including a winery and some historic covered bridges.
In creating custom tours, we can do anything from setting up reservations and giving you a map, to transporting your luggage night to night, or fully supporting your trip with rest stops and SAG services. Whether you prefer B&Bs, five star hotels, or campgrounds, custom tours allow us to share our love of bicycling in the eastern United States in a way that allows you to get the most enjoyment from the experience.