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9 Best Bicycle Tours in the Winter & Spring

9 Best Bicycle Tours in the Winter & Spring

Winter blues got you down? Don’t feel as up to biking when the temperature is below freezing? Can’t even bike since there’s so much snow and ice on the street? There’s an answer to your problem—go where it’s warm!

Wouldn’t you love to follow the sun and get training again before a third of the year has gone by? So forget the snow, and consider these nine winter and spring tours to get you back on your bike:

 

1. Ride and snorkel your way around Hawaii’s Big Island for a Spring Break you won’t forget!

9 Best Bicycle Tours in the Winter & Spring

What’s better than taking a spring break vacation to Hawaii? And not only vacationing there, but getting to ride your bike around the Big Island, seeing all of its sublime sights.

Cruise down the Kohala Coast through lush vegetation to a lookout point over the Waipio Valley. This valley served as the home of many Hawaiian kings and is known for its nioi tree. Trees and other flora surround the ancient grassland on three sides, with the sapphire sea on the fourth, providing this valley with total protection. Cruising through banana and papaya plantations sweetens your final ride for the day.

Thrills are around every bend on the island. Hike your way through Thurston Lava Tube and across Kilauea Crater to get your heart pumping. Then hop back on your bike for a 25-mile downhill drive to Punalu’u black sand beach. You may just see a green sea turtle sunning on a rock!

Coffee-lovers rejoice—you can cycle through Kona Coffee country! And not only cycle, but sip the deliciously caffeinated beverage at a tasting. The volcanic soil of this region provides an ideal landscape for growing the coffee beans, which become the smooth, medium-bodied drink.

You can’t go to Hawaii and only stay on land. Jump into the Pacific Ocean for snorkeling, scuba diving, or simply swimming adventures. In March, there’s a good chance of spotting a humpback whale from your catamaran while sailing around the island.

 

2. Warm up from the winter cold with a ride through Death Valley National Park.

9 Best Bicycle Tours in the Winter & Spring

There’s no better place in the country to escape from the winter than Death Valley. Located in California’s desert, this national park is the largest of all the parks in the lower 48 and has the highest temperatures and lowest elevation in all of North America.

But don’t let those statistics fool you—Death Valley is temperate in the spring and has plenty of hills to ride up and down, such as Daylight Pass. Climb to 4,317 feet of elevation for fantastic views of the sun-bleached terrain. Your descent takes you into Furnace Creek Resort, a spring, oasis, and village you can choose to stay at should you be so inclined. Fun fact: Furnace Creek Resort sits on the location where the hottest temperature in North America was recorded—a whopping 134 degrees fahrenheit! Thankfully, it will not be that hot during the springtime.

You can’t miss Zabriskie Point while visiting Death Valley. Vibrant, colorful bands stretch out through the earth like waves in the ocean, only on land. It’s one of Death Valley’s most popular landmarks, for good reason. Another “must see” spot? Check out Badwater Basin, North America’s lowest point.

Looking for a little more adventure? Get off your bike and hike around the mile and a half perimeter of Ubehebe Crater. Or for those with an artistic side, head to Dante’s Point, a great place to capture with your camera all of the places you rode through in Death Valley.

 

3. Travel through trendy Palm Springs and find peace in tranquil Joshua Tree National Park.

9 Best Bicycle Tours in the Winter & Spring

Palm Springs—playground of Old Hollywood’s elite. Home to the Rat Pack. And now, making a huge return as the trendy place to be once again. And it’s great for cyclists, too.

Bike through the Whitewater Preserve, situated between the San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mountains. The conservancy protects abundant flora and fauna as well as the Whitewater River. Then head to the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm, one of the oldest and largest wind farms in the United States.

Cycle around the Salton Sea, California’s largest lake, which has more salinity than the Pacific Ocean. Nearby Salvation Mountain features a modern masterpiece of folk art at the top made of concrete and adobe.

Joshua Tree National Park’s namesakes are certainly worth a ride. The twisted and spiky trees (they look like they are straight out of The Lorax), and all the desert animals make for a fascinating journey.

 

4. There are so many wonders to see at Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

9 Best Bicycle Tours in the Winter & Spring

Ancient ruins, lush jungles, warm waters, and a colorful coral reef are just a few examples of the splendors of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Explore this remarkable paradise both off and on your bike.

Cycle around Isla Mujeres, sacred to the Mayan goddess, Ixchel. Dramatic cliffs turquoise waters, and coral-crushed beaches are your sights outside of the water. When you reach the ocean, grab some snorkeling gear for views of the tropical fish below.

On the mainland, Chichen Itza awaits. This Mayan ruin is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll be amazed at the detail and skill of their architecture.

Riding through the jungle opens up the possibility of unique animal sightings. Listen for the calls of the Yucatan Jay, singing in the tree tops. Be sure to check the ground for any iguanas scurrying by. And you may just see a gray fox dart across the path in front of you!

From the coast, to the jungles, to the incredible Mayan sites, the Yucatan offers an exciting cycling experience.

 

5. The spring cactus blooms in Arizona and Sonora are here today and gone tomorrow, so get there fast!

9 Best Bicycle Tours in the Winter & Spring

What symbolizes America’s Southwest better than the cactus? And the biggest and best of all the cacti is the famous saguaro, which can grow to be as tall as 50 feet! These desert giants are only found in the Sonoran Desert, which ranges from Arizona into Mexico. Enjoy a ride through Saguaro National Park’s impressive cacti forest.

Springtime is special for the colossal cactus. The saguaro’s flowers bloom in April and only live for a little while, so it’s important to take advantage of the season. The nectar from the milky white blossom feeds many different species of bats, who in turn spread seeds across the desert. The bloom is so lovely, Arizona chose it as the state flower.

Did you know vineyards thrive in a part of Arizona? Elgin, a small wine town, has rich soil, similar to Burgundy, France. Make a point to stop at the vineyards for a wine tasting to cool off from the road. To add some more romance to your day, continue on to Casa de San Pedro, known for its wildlife. Over 350 species of birds reside there as well as hundreds of butterflies. Escape to this idyllic estate for a relaxing ride.

 

6. Pedal past the glistening glass-like pools in Chile’s lake district.

9 Best Bicycle Tours in the Winter & Spring

Just a couple countries south of Colombia is Chile, the skinny country covering much of South America’s western coast. But within the thin borders of Chile lies the lovely Lake District in the Andes Mountains. Biking through rolling hills, green meadows, and many national parks makes for an amazing spring tour.

While the Andes are magnificent to look at, they are challenging to climb. Ride over 14 miles and up serious grades to the top at an elevation of 6,181 feet. But that difficult ascent was worth the breathtaking views at the top of the Andes and surrounding landscapes.

Chile’s Seven Lake Route may be the most beautiful ride in the entire country. The road takes you by several mirror-like lakes as well as a handful of volcanos. Hullo-Hullo Biological Reserve provides an array of activities to excite the adventurer in you. Zipline through the rainforest canopy, hike one of four scenic trails, or learn something new on a nature walk.

But for the most challenging adventure of all, look no further than Osorno Volcano, one of the steepest rides in the world. And if a challenging climb doesn’t sound like a good time to you, don’t sweat it! There are vans and chairlifts to take you to the top for amazing hiking or simply to see the views.

 

7. Cycle through Colombia’s exotic rainforests and discover the “City of Eternal Spring.”

9 Best Bicycle Tours in the Winter & Spring

Looking for some international travel this spring? Look no further than Colombia, South America. This equatorial country’s climate means there is good cycling weather year round.

Trek the Alto de Letras, also known as “the longest climb in the world.” Your ride takes you from the sea-level Mariquita to the Páramo at over 12,000 feet. During the ascent, bike through many different ecosystems, concluding in the unique cloud-high environment of the summit.

What better place to be in Columbia’s spring than Medellin, the “City of Eternal Spring.” Medellin is the country’s second largest city and is known for its temperate climate all year long. The culinary scene is booming here—try a superbly-seasoned roasted pork shank or plantain-crusted “fish of the day” for a delicious dinner. And forget french fries: yuca chips are where it’s at!

 

8. Bike past baby bison in South Dakota’s national parks.

9 Best Bicycle Tours in the Winter & Spring

Are you a history buff? You will love riding through the national parks of South Dakota. Begin in the Badlands, 244,000 acres of prairie dotted with spires, buttes, and pinnacles. This area was once home to the saber-toothed tiger as well as the rhinoceros—so cool, right? These days, you’ll come across less ferocious beasts like the bighorn sheep, prairie dog, and black-footed ferret.

It’s Custer State Park, though, that has the most exciting animals to see. In the spring, baby bison and their parents roam the hills at the southern end of the park. These majestic mammals once covered all of North America, and while their numbers greatly decreased in the 1800s, they have made a comeback thanks to land preservation and the National Bison Legacy Act.

As you ride through South Dakota’s “wild west,” you may come across some familiar faces. Mount Rushmore lies within Black Hills National Forest. The four presidential faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln were carved seamlessly into the southeastern face of the mountain. Seeing this iconic American landmark adds a little something extra to your day’s ride.

Nearby, another mountain monument is in progress. The impressive carving of Crazy Horse, though not yet finished, is absolutely worth a glance. At this time, it is the largest sculpture in progress in the world.

Sci-fi fans will instantly recognize Devils Tower National Monument, which was featured in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. This dramatic butte was the first landmark to be declared a national monument in 1906 by Theodore Roosevelt. Take a short ride over the border, into Wyoming, for an out-of-this-world experience.

 

9. Raft the Rio Grande in New Mexico’s Wild West.

9 Best Bicycle Tours in the Winter & Spring

New Mexico is an adventurer’s paradise. From the mountains to the canyons to the rivers, the state boasts natural wonders just waiting to be explored. Start your cycling out in Santa Fe, which has amazing art and culinary scenes. Dive into a delicious dish for dinner or peruse the halls of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.

Ride through New Mexico’s mesas and red hills to Chimayo, famous for its weavings and church, El Santuario de Chimayo. The church is said to have a healing power—like France’s Lourdes, many Catholics make a pilgrimage to the western church.

The scenic High Road encapsulates the beauty of New Mexico. On this route, your ride overlooks endless panoramas of pine forests, the snowy white tops of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and valleys filled with cottonwoods.

Arguably the most exciting event during your New Mexico vacation is a ride down the rip-roaring rapids of the Rio Grande, known for its class II and III rapids.

 

Ready to Ride?!

Looking forward to getting out of winter’s cold and cycling into spring? Get in touch to join us for an adventure! Or if you’re interested in getting more information, sign up for our free email course today.

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Cycling in Oregon: 10 Spectacular Rides

oregon-rides

Love spectacular scenery and challenging rides? Unbelievable views and unforgettable natural wonders? If that’s your idea of a perfect ride, you’ll love Oregon. From the coastal areas to the incredible Willamette Valley wine country—and, of course, Crater Lake, the crown jewel of it all—Oregon is heaven on a bike.

Thinking of your next bicycle vacation? Think Oregon! Check out these one-of-a-kind rides in the beautiful Beaver State.

 

1. Ride through the eerie 2,000-year-old lava flow moonscape surrounding McKenzie Pass—don’t miss spectacular views of Mount Washington.

Cycling in Oregon: 10 Spectacular Rides

How many times have you ever heard “you’ve never seen anything like it” and written it off as hype? Well, in the case of the lava rock fields that surround McKenzie Pass, it’s actually true. Barren…stark…eerily beautiful. And definitely a ride to remember, with blood-pumping climbs and pine-scented breezes and majestic Mount Washington rising in the distance.

This isn’t a ride for beginners—it’s an epic adventure for passionate cyclists. If McKenzie Pass is calling your name this year, check out our fitness tips to help you prepare for the climb.

 

2. Fall in love with the Willamette Valley wine country.

Cycling in Oregon: 10 Spectacular Rides

The Willamette Valley Scenic Byway is 134 miles of tranquil scenery and winding routes that follow the curves of the Willamette River. The Cascades stand sentry to the east and the Coast Range to the west; it’s a lovely ride to invigorate your soul.

That it also passes through some of the finest wine country in America is an irresistible bonus—what could be better than an Oregon wine tour to sample the renowned Pinot Noirs (and maybe a little gourmet chocolate, too)?

 

3. Follow the path of the pioneers on the Grande Tour Scenic Byway—keep your eyes peeled for bald eagles.

Cycling in Oregon: 10 Spectacular Rides

Pass through Oregon’s Big Sky country and enjoy expansive views and amazing wildlife sightings as you pedal along the Oregon Trail. The Grande Tour Scenic Byway is perfect for riders of any level, wide roads with few cars give you plenty of freedom to enjoy the pastoral farmlands and mountain views.

Don’t be surprised if you encounter a bit of native wildlife—antelope, elk, even a soaring bald eagle or two—along with fields full of grazing cows and horses.

 

4. Peer into America’s deepest gorge cycling the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway.

Cycling in Oregon: 10 Spectacular Rides

The Snake River carved an impressive gorge through the snow-capped Wallowa Mountains in eastern Oregon. Hells Canyon is the deepest river gorge in North America and the views along the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway are simply staggering. Even better, you can ride to the canyon floor and dip your toes in the Snake River.

The area around nearby Joseph is a mecca for adventure enthusiasts. Try your hand at paragliding, hiking, or even canoeing. And if your tastes are more epicurean, visit Arrowhead Chocolates for a handmade treat featuring locally sourced ingredients.

 

5. The snow-capped Cascades will blow your mind as you cycle the Three Sisters Scenic Byway.

Cycling in Oregon: 10 Spectacular Rides

There’s no such thing as a bad view of the Cascades, but the Three Sisters volcanoes have an appeal all their own. A subgroup of the Cascade volcanoes, these 10,000-foot peaks form a dramatic silhouette across the lava fields leading to the Three Sisters Scenic Byway near Bend.

Like a little mythology with your mountains? It’s said that the sisters, North Sister (aka “Gnarly Northy,” “Faith,” and “the Black Beast of the Cascades,”), Middle Sister (aka “Hope,”), and South Sister (aka “Charity,” or “Big Sister,”) all developed an infatuation with nearby Mount Bachelor. Their raging squabbles for the Bachelor’s affections caused fire to rise up inside them, spewing over and destroying the area around them with their molten lava flows.

Afterward, their father (Three-Fingered Jack) offered them each a finger from his hand to stop their fighting. They agreed, and he christened them Faith, Hope, and Charity, and from then on, they vowed to subside their fiery passions and protect the surrounding land. They’ve been quiet ever since (or so the story goes).

 

6. Chase the meandering McKenzie River on the Aufderheide Scenic Byway.

Cycling in Oregon: 10 Spectacular Rides

The Aufderheide Scenic Byway is one of the most serene and naturally beautiful sections on the West Cascades Scenic Byway. Moss-covered stones, gurgling streams, and in the autumn, impossibly colorful maples in glowing oranges, reds, and golds—it’s hard to fight the temptation to stop to snap a picture or two.

It’s the sort of road every type of cyclist loves to ride, a definite bucket-list adventure for the nature-lover in you. And if you’re wondering how you really feel about putting in the mileage, there’s always an e-bike to give you an extra boost.

 

7. Rushing rivers, pine forests, hot springs, even fossil beds—the Old West Scenic Byway has it all.

Cycling in Oregon: 10 Spectacular Rides

You don’t have to be a cowboy to love life in the saddle—you can see the best of Oregon’s Old West from the saddle of your bike. Giant ponderosa pines line your route through a virtual cornucopia of terrain with more than a few heart-racing climbs. You can even check for fossils at the John Day Fossil Beds, one of the top paleontology sites in the world.

If you’re craving an epic adventure through the best of Oregon’s amazing scenery, this is the ride for you.

 

8. Revel in the vast ocean views on the Wild Rivers Coast Scenic Byway.

Cycling in Oregon: 10 Spectacular Rides

Bracing ocean breezes blowing on your face turn a “nice” ride into an exhilarating adventure, complete with cranberry bogs, coastal lighthouses, lonely dunes, and sandy beaches along Oregon’s South Coast. The Wild Rivers Coast Scenic Byway is the ultimate ride for the water-lover in you.

Rejuvenate in Paradise Lodge, perched atop Mount Rainier, for a relaxing retreat in the mountains before exploring where Mount St Helens famously erupted in 1980.

 

9. Marvel at the magnificent views on the Madras Mountain Scenic Byway.

Cycling in Oregon: 10 Spectacular Rides

This rolling 29-mile ride through Oregon’s sunny Central Basin is packed with breathtaking scenery and stunning views of Mount Hood, the Three Sisters, Broken Top, and Mount Bachelor as the Cascades rise up in the distance. The stretch along the canyon rim of Lake Billy Chinook is equally astounding. If you’re riding the Madras Mountain Scenic Byway, you’ll definitely want to take a few photo breaks, it really is that amazing.

Looking for a ride you can enjoy with your entire family or group? The Madras Mountain Scenic Byway is definitely one of the best.

 

10. Don’t miss the ride of your life around the rim of Crater Lake, Oregon’s crown jewel.

Cycling in Oregon: 10 Spectacular Rides

If you’re going to ride Oregon, you can’t miss Crater Lake, a route that definitely deserves its accolades—”One of the most spectacular one-day rides in the country,” by Bicycling magazine, and “one of the most Zen places on the planet,” by PureWow. It’s no wonder this ride tops Bicycling’s “Dream Rides” list. One look at this gorgeous sapphire-blue lake caused by an eruption of Mount Mazama 7,000 years ago is an experience you’ll never forget.

 

Ready to Ride?

Are these fabulous Oregon rides calling your name? Are you itching to cruise the Cascades, peer into canyons, and soar along the coast? Is Crater Lake on your bicycling bucket list?

Get in touch today and let’s start planning your next big adventure. Or if you’d like to learn more about bicycle tour vacations, sign up for our free email course for answers to all your questions.

8 Excellent Reasons to Plan a Custom Bicycle Adventure with Your Family or Group This Year

custom-bicycle-tour

Looking for an exciting way to spend some real quality time with your extended family or group of friends? Something above and beyond that “reunion” thing at a hotel or park? Something that makes memories you’ll be talking about and laughing over for years?

If you haven’t considered a custom bike adventure, you’re missing out on an unforgettable experience. And it’s surprisingly easy to be the hero of the day and put it all together with the team at Bicycle Adventures. Check out these great reasons to plan a custom group tour today.

 

1. Now more than ever, we need family bonding.

8 Excellent Reasons to Plan a Custom Bicycle Adventure with Your Family or Group This Year

School is back in session—and that means more sports activities and after-school practices, homework and projects, meetings and conferences, things that keep us running here and there with very little time to just spend time enjoying each other as a family.

Nothing beats quality time with family and friends. And nothing will bring you closer together than doing something both challenging and enjoyable at the same time. You’ll work together, encourage each other whilst covering the most miles you ever have individually or as a family, possibly learn new skills like rock climbing, paddle boarding and canoeing, and see some amazing historical sites and natural wonders on a custom bicycle tour.

 

2. There’s no better way to experience a destination than from the seat of a bike.

8 Excellent Reasons to Plan a Custom Bicycle Adventure with Your Family or Group This Year

Imagine cycling through the rice paddies of Taiwan, with herbaceous aromas and the warmth against your skin. Or soak up the atmosphere of Crater Lake Oregon, named as one of the most zen places on the planet! Here you can zone into the sounds of the birds and smell the fresh pine whilst admiring the beauty of the deepest lake in the United States.

Engage all your senses, as the sounds and smells of your surrounds are not something you could experience from the seat of a car. The destination possibilities are virtually endless, there’s something to thrill everyone in your group.

 

3. Take the Goldilocks approach—it’s the best of both worlds!

8 Excellent Reasons to Plan a Custom Bicycle Adventure with Your Family or Group This Year

See a tour that catches your fancy, but it’s a little too long or a little too short? When you plan a custom tour, we can tweak it until it’s “just right” for your family or group.

Wonder how it works? We just had a bike club from Sydney that liked three different Pacific Northwest tours, but none really fit the bill. So we took bits from each of them to create a 10-day custom adventure from the Cascade Mountains to the Oregon coast.

 

4. Break out of your boring meeting mode and take an active adventure.

8 Excellent Reasons to Plan a Custom Bicycle Adventure with Your Family or Group This Year

Does your book club usually meet over coffee at Starbucks? Does your wine club usually do tastings at a local restaurant or over dinner in somebody’s home? Maybe your bike club is tired of the same old trails and ready for a bit more adventure.

A custom bike tour is the perfect way to get out of your rut—and you can build it around the activities you already enjoy with your group. Wine tastings on the California coast, vintage book stores in Bend – you can create a tour itinerary that indulges your interests and expands your horizons. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish as a group.

 

5. Get that little boost of confidence to try something completely exotic and out of your comfort zone.

8 Excellent Reasons to Plan a Custom Bicycle Adventure with Your Family or Group This Year

Have you ever wanted to go somewhere completely different and out-of-the-box? The Soca Valley in Slovenia, maybe, or the gorgeous Istrian Peninsula in Croatia… even sipping whisky on Scotland’s breezy Isle of Arran.

Sure, you could do it on your own, but imagine how much better it would be with your own tribe of friends and family. And there’s no worries about bridging the cultural gap—our expert guides make sure everyone has an exciting, comfortable, and utterly memorable adventure. Where have you always dreamed of going? Make it happen with a custom bike tour!

 

6. How about a practical reason? You can save (a lot of) money when you bring your kids.

8 Excellent Reasons to Plan a Custom Bicycle Adventure with Your Family or Group This Year

Did you know we offer discounts for your children 17 and under on a family tour? How many family adventure providers can say that? Sure, you might get a few bucks off a day pass at Disney for your kids, but our kids discounts range from 10% to 30%, putting an unforgettable family trip within reach, even for large extended-family groups. Give us a call and find out how affordable the vacation of a lifetime can be.

 

7. Mix it up with a spa-and-bicycle adventure—or any other activity that makes you happy.

8 Excellent Reasons to Plan a Custom Bicycle Adventure with Your Family or Group This Year

Do you love the idea of bicycling the San Juan Islands, but wish you had more time to pamper yourself with a few spa days, or a round of golf, or even a horseback riding adventure? The beauty of a custom tour is that you really can have it your way with an itinerary that’s totally your own.

We’re happy to work with you to modify any of our existing tour itineraries (or create something entirely new) so your vacation is as relaxing or exciting or adventurous as you want it to be. It’s a whole new world of possibilities.

 

8. Let’s be honest, do you really need a reason to take a custom bicycle tour with your family or group?

8 Excellent Reasons to Plan a Custom Bicycle Adventure with Your Family or Group This Year

If you love riding your bike, being outdoors, having interesting adventures and accomplishing amazing things—isn’t that reason enough to book a custom tour for your family or group? You’ll see new places in ways you never imagined and create incredible memories that will last a lifetime. This is the type of adventure everyone can agree on (and don’t be surprised if it becomes an annual event, eagerly anticipated year after year).

 

Ready to Ride?

Are you ready to shake it up and treat your family or group to the ultimate experience together? Get in touch and find out how easy it is to plan an adventure everyone will love. And if you’re not quite ready to chat with our team, sign up for our free email course to learn more about bicycle vacations.

11 Incredible Road Rides You Really Have to Try This Fall

road-rides-fall

Just because summer’s drawing to a close, there are still some awe-inspiring travels and trips you can enjoy in the cooler autumn weather—especially if you love riding a bike. In fact, fall is the perfect time to explore the fantastic scenery this country has to offer from the saddle of a bike.

So if you’re a dedicated road rider and you’re looking for something exciting and out-of-the-box to challenge and refresh you, take a look at these incredible road rides calling your name this year.

 

1. Do a “dream ride” around the rim of Crater Lake.

11 Incredible Road Rides You Really Have to Try This Fall

Oregon is a top destination for adventurous cyclists for good reason—its rugged coast, and of course, its crown jewel, Crater Lake. We think the 35-mile ride around the rim of Crater Lake is one of the most spectacular one-day road rides in the world, an opinion confirmed by Bicycling Magazine.

From an elevation of 6,500 feet, the views are simply breathtaking, and with plenty of climbs and descents, it’s an exhilarating challenge you’ll never forget. If you’re thinking of a bicycle trip in September, Crater Lake should be at the top of your list.

 

2. Watch the whales and smell the flowers on San Juan Island.

11 Incredible Road Rides You Really Have to Try This Fall

In just a single day, you can have two incredible lifetime experiences: Pedaling past (and touring, if you’d like) acres of sweetly scented lavender fields at Pelindaba Lavender Farm and hugging the coast on the Whale Trail at Lime Kiln State Park to see pods of killer whales. Did you know that Lime Kiln is one of the best whale-watching spots in the world?

 

3. Marvel at the Columbia River Gorge on the Mark Hatfield Trail.

11 Incredible Road Rides You Really Have to Try This Fall

With Multnomah Creek to the left and Mount Defiance to the right and the Columbia River below, the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail is eye candy for the nature enthusiast. The 60-mile trail is closed to vehicle traffic and packed with interesting details such as the elaborate Depression-era stonework that forms the trail’s guardrail. It’s another Bicycling magazine top pick for road-riders. You won’t want to miss the views of the Columbia Gorge from the seat of your bike.

 

4. See some splendid limestone palisades as you cycle through Spearfish Canyon.

11 Incredible Road Rides You Really Have to Try This Fall

South Dakota is known for its unusual and eerily beautiful Badlands landscapes (and Mount Rushmore, of course). But if you’re looking for a view with a truly spectacular “wow factor,” there’s nothing like the palisades in Spearfish Canyon. Did you love the waterfalls and canyons in the movie “Dances with Wolves?”

You’ll see it all—and lots more—in an amazingly up-close-and-personal way on a bicycle tour of South Dakota’s western frontier.

 

5. Cross the Continental Divide on the Going-to-the-Sun Road (Logan Pass) in Glacier National Park.

11 Incredible Road Rides You Really Have to Try This Fall

You can guess just by the name that riding Going-to-the-Sun Road is going to be awe-inspiring. This 50-mile stretch crosses the Continental Divide at Logan Pass and is flanked by towering glaciers, cascading waterfalls, explosions of blooms, and rugged wildlife like bighorn sheep and mountain goats.

It’s an epic adventure from the saddle of your bike—a bucket-list experience for the thrill-seeking cyclist inside you.

 

6. See the hidden side of Hawaii riding through Pahoa and Kalapana.

11 Incredible Road Rides You Really Have to Try This Fall

Imagine yourself cruising along a quiet network of roads through banyan trees with the heady fragrance of the eucalyptus forest surrounding you, your ride punctuated with alluring peeks of the sparkling blue ocean and pounding surf. That’s the Hawaii the locals love best and you can experience it yourself en route to Volcanoes National Park on a tour of Hawaii’s Big Island this fall.

 

7. Find your cycling heaven on the Hell’s Canyon Scenic Byway.

11 Incredible Road Rides You Really Have to Try This Fall

The views from the rim of Hell’s Canyon are simply staggering—it’s the deepest canyon in North America. And even if you can’t see the Snake River far below, you won’t really care. Carved by millions of years of erosion, the canyon plunges nearly 8,000 feet in places, easily dwarfing the 6,000-feet drop of the Grand Canyon. Of course, you’ll want to descend to the river level below for even more spectacular views (and maybe a little whitewater rafting if the spirit moves you).

 

8. Ride the High Road to Taos through the Sangre de Cristo mountains.

11 Incredible Road Rides You Really Have to Try This Fall

Want a taste of Old Spain right here in the United States? Love the jarring juxtaposition of snow-capped mountains against a jewel-toned desert landscape? The High Road to Taos is all that and more, a dream ride for fans of Ansel Adams and Georgia O’Keefe. You’ll love meeting the artisans practicing their ancient crafts in the remote hilltop villages—and a few nights in Casa Benavides, an inviting adobe inn, will refresh your soul. Can you think of a better way to spend a week in September? (Honestly, we can’t).

 

9. Cycle in the shadow of the spectacular saguaros on the Starr Pass.

11 Incredible Road Rides You Really Have to Try This Fall

Is there a more iconic symbol of the desert southwest than the Saguaro cactus? Imagine cycling the serene roads through Saguaro National Park with these prickly giants, some soaring 50 feet into the sky, towering over you, casting their shadows across the road. There are actually very few places to see these rare cacti up close—and Arizona’s Sonoran Desert just outside Tucson is the only place to see them clustered in dense Saguaro “forests.”

 

10. Glide through the Lost Coast in California’s redwood forests.

11 Incredible Road Rides You Really Have to Try This Fall

Dream of riding California’s gorgeous coast but hate the idea of masses of car traffic? You’ll love cycling the Lost Coast, the only piece of Cali’s coastline unmarred by a major highway. Picture yourself lost in redwood forests, coasting through tranquil valleys, and cruising past panoramic views of the turquoise ocean and milky beach.

And if you’re up for a challenge, tackle the “Endless Hill,” an 8-mile climb that forms part of the “Tour of the Unknown Coast,” one of California’s toughest century rides.

 

11. Cruise in technicolor through Utah’s Kodachrome Basin.

11 Incredible Road Rides You Really Have to Try This Fall

It took 180 million years to create the stunning spires and hues in the Kodachrome Basin (and yes, it really is named after Kodak’s color film). And the name is utterly appropriate, because it’s a location that begs to be photographed. Unimaginably blue skies, gold and crimson sandstone chimneys and “hoodoos” all punctuated by brilliant evergreen scrub. Is it any wonder Kodachrome and its neighbor Red Canyon are two of the most picturesque of Utah’s national parks?

Are you itching to climb on your bike this fall for one of these incredible road rides? Why not get in touch today and let us help you bring your dreams to life? And if you’re not quite ready to have a chat, sign up for our free email course to learn everything you ever wanted to know about planning a bicycle tour vacation.

5 Different Bike Adventures Right Here in the USA—What’s Right for You?

bicycle-adventures-usa

It’s vacation time and cycling enthusiasts are lining up their bike adventures for the summer.

Sure, it sounds exotic to visit another country and get another stamp in your passport, but we have some of the world’s most beautiful places – and bike rides – right here in the USA. National parks, scenic byways, and hidden gems off the beaten path offer some authentic natural experiences.

But how to choose the perfect adventure?

We’re betting you’ve got a tour type – and here’s a cheat sheet to help you figure it out.

 

If you can’t live without water, beaches and coast, you’ll love these tours.

5 Different Bike Adventures Right Here in the USA—What’s Right for You?

On Day 1 of our six-day San Juan Islands tour, you’ll get a taste of the magic in store for you: Gorgeous views of Mt. Constitution and the San Juan Islands, an afternoon browsing Friday Harbor’s eclectic museums and shops (Conde Nast Traveler named Friday Harbor—where you’ll spend a good bit of time—one of the Most Beautiful Towns in America), and a stay at idyllic Lakedale Resort at Three Lakes (did we mention the Fine Living Channel named Lakedale one of the 10 most romantic resorts in the world?)

And it only gets better from there…biking, hiking, kayaking, glorious mountain views, seal-watching, private gourmet feasts and a spectacular chartered floatplane ride over the islands and sound and back to Seattle. Is it any wonder Fodor’s Travel Guide gushes, “You won’t find a nicer place to ride than these islands in the Pacific Northwest’s Puget Sound.”

Of course, if you want more of the deep blue sea, why not spend six days in Hawaii riding the Kohala Coast and exploring Volcanoes National Park and the black sand beaches of Punalu’u? There’s also sailing, snorkeling and scuba diving, sea turtles and whale watching, a spa day if you like—and a chance to ride part of the IronMan course at Waikoloa Beach.

As Paul Theroux said, “Hawaii is not a state of mind, it’s a state of grace.”

 

Deserts more your style? Enjoy spectacular sunsets and breathtaking views on these tours of the desert southwest.

5 Different Bike Adventures Right Here in the USA—What’s Right for You?

If the colors of the desert stir your soul, ride the Sonora Desert in southern Arizona—land of saguaro cactus, fragrant mesquite, fluttering hummingbirds, and acres of flame-colored desert paintbrush blooms. Saguaro National Park is a magical place to ride.

You’ll also be tempted by the surprisingly excellent Elgin and Sonoita wines and the colorful birds and butterflies at Casa de San Pedro. A spa day, a ride up the fabled Mount Lemmon, and some of the best Mexican food you can imagine round out your Sonora adventure.

And if the mountains of the desert southwest set your pulses racing, why not travel the peaks of Taos and Santa Fe? It’s the land that inspired Ansel Adams’ stark photos and Georgia O’Keefe’s lush florals—awash in the most glorious jewel tones of nature. You’ll ride the Sangre de Cristo mountains and the mesas and hills of Chimayo and cap your adventure with the Enchanted Circle and the High Road to Taos.

There’s rafting the Rio Grande and three pampering nights at the Casa Benavides in Taos, ranked by Sunset Magazine as one of the best in the southwest.

Finally, the ultimate bucket-list adventure for every desert lover—the haunting landscapes and breathtaking panoramas of Bryce and Zion National Parks. Bicycling Magazine’s editor called it “the most awe-inspiring and unique landscape I’ve ever pedaled through.”

Hike the Fairyland Trail and get a glimpse of the famed hoodoos. Ride downhill beside Bryce Canyon and get an eyeful of them. The Zion Canyon Scenic Ride is a lifetime ride—no cars, just the quiet sounds and fabulous sights of massive red cliff canyons. You can spend some time hiking, or challenging yourself on some amazing rides. A quiet stroll to a stunning waterfall is also an option.

 

Love lakes and streams and emerald forests? Take a look at these delightful destinations.

5 Different Bike Adventures Right Here in the USA—What’s Right for You?

There’s no more magical lake destination that Oregon’s Crater Lake. No, really—just check out these accolades:

  • Bicycling Magazine calls it one of the most spectacular one-day rides in the country.
  • PureWow Travel Pages calls it one of the 11 Most Zen Places on the Planet.
  • And our guest Lynn P. of Florida says, “If I had one last day on Earth, I’d ride the rim at Crater Lake.”

Need we say more? There’s also the stunning McKenzie Pass Scenic Byway, the lodgepole pines of Willamette National Forest, stellar hiking and mountain biking, a little flyfishing if that’s your jam, and a brewpub crawl in quirky Bend.

If low-to-no traffic and one of the most beautiful lakes in the world is more your style, spend four days biking the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes in Idaho. Lake Coeur d’Alene is one of the five most beautiful lakes in the world according to National Geographic, and there’s 109 miles of shoreline to explore and gorgeous rail paths and bike trails—including the Route of the Hiawatha Trail. And you’ll love every minute of your stay at the historic five-star Roosevelt Inn, just a short walk from the lake.

 

If weird but wonderful is more your ethos? Your taste? these tours will tickle your fancy.

5 Different Bike Adventures Right Here in the USA—What’s Right for You?

Bend, Oregon, is a place where nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts love to get their adrenaline pumping. Cyclists, climbers, skiers, snowboarders—there’s something for everyone in Bend. Ride the smooth pavement of the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway and Deschutes National Forest.

Test your skills in the high desert forest and volcanic peaks near Sunriver and spend a day enjoying the resort’s swimming pools and water parks. Pedal the Three Sisters Scenic Bikeway to one of the Seven Wonders of Oregon: Smith Rock, a climber’s mecca with over a thousand bolted routes. End your adventure with a trip up to the incredible volcanic moonscape atop McKenzie Pass.

For something a little more “out there,” don’t miss the Death Valley Ranch Bike Tour, four days in one of the most weird and wondrous scenery in the world. Where else can you see sailing rocks, abandoned mines, and of course, jump off from wacky Las Vegas?

Dante’s View, Ubehebe Crater, the Badwater Basin (the lowest point on the continent!), hiking onto immense salt flats and a lovely stay at Furnace Creek Resort are just a few highlights—plus a day riding Death Valley’s sand dunes.

Taking your family on a weird and wonderful adventure? Spend six days on the Mount Rushmore Family Tour pedaling “Big Mick,” the Mickelson Trail (dubbed by Bicycling Magazine the number one bike trail in the country). What kid—or his parent, for that matter—can resist active mammoth digs, Wind Caves, Wall Drug, waterslides, Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane, Crazy Horse Monument, and the world’s largest indoor pool?

 

When only a challenge will do, get your adrenaline fix with these epic tours.

5 Different Bike Adventures Right Here in the USA—What’s Right for You?

Sometimes you just have to push yourself to the limit on a bicycle adventure—steep mountain climbs, 100-mile days, the sweet sense of accomplishment when you know you’ve done something truly awesome.

Our Empire Builder Epic, a National Geographic Adventures Top 50 Tours of a Lifetime, has everything you’d expect with a name like “epic.” Ten days, 700 miles, Glacier National Park the Cascades, 5,000-feet climbs, Lake Roosevelt and the Grand Coulee Dam,an 83-mile ride over the Continental Divide and an overnight ride on the Amtrak Empire Builder train back to Seattle. It’s definitely a once-in-a-lifetime adventure for the true cycling enthusiast.

If the word “glacier” caught your attention, take a look at our eight-day Glacier-Banff-Jasper tour through the Northern Rockies and some of the most amazing scenery of your entire life. Ride Going-to-the-Sun Road past waterfalls, snow-capped mountains, and sweeping glacial valleys. Canada’s Icefields Parkway is equally spectacular, winding past pristine mountain lakes and ancient glaciers; don’t miss the Weeping Wall, a 2,000-foot cliff decked with cascading waterfalls.

Have you figured out your type yet? Found your perfect match? Then let us help you arrange a date with your ideal tour and get your summer adventure underway – just fill in some details here!