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Sure. We understand that your first question may be, “Why would I go on a hiking tour with a company named Bicycle Adventures?” The answer is simple.
Bicycle Adventures has run dozens of hiking tours in the past and our current series of tours is better than ever. They are hand-picked, planned and led by our staff naturalist and experienced guide, Chad Maurer (24 years at Bicycle Adventures).
Of course, each of our hiking tours offers fantastic scenery, but are you inclined to wonder: How did that mountain get there? What was this place like 25, 100, 1000, 10,000, a million years ago? Who lived here? How did they survive? What tree, plant, bird or animal is that? Why is it here? What is its role? How does it survive? Is it edible, medicinal, useful, poisonous, or dangerous? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then Bicycle Adventures’ Hiking Tours are for you! Explore these fascinating mysteries while admiring the spectacular beauty for which the Pacific Northwest is famous. We guarantee you will come away feeling connected to the area in a way that no mere “walk in the woods” can deliver.
OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK HIKING TOUR
The Olympic Peninsula is the home of the largest of the four North American species of elk, the Roosevelt elk, named after Teddy Roosevelt. So revered were these elk that the park was almost given the name “Elk National Park.” It is also the home of the Blue Glacier, the lowest glacier in the contiguous United States. This tour encompasses the most variety of any of our hiking tours: temperate rainforests – inland and coastal – wild beaches, lowland lakes, alpine lakes and snow-capped mountains. Each of the lodgings has accessible walks and trails nearby, providing opportunities for self-exploration.
Since its establishment in 1938, the Olympic National Park has become the 6th most-visited of our National Parks and continues to attract travelers from all over the world. In 1976 it was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and later a World Heritage Site as well – recognizing that it is older than any nation and thereby in a sense belongs to the entire world. True to that spirit, it remains virtually undeveloped by comparison to our other National Parks and truly wild at its heart. This is evidenced by the fact that to this day not one single road, paved or unpaved, crosses this 1500 square mile wilderness.
Concerned about the weather? It is a rainforest after all. The good news is that, while up to fourteen feet of precipitation falls here every year, the area averages less than four inches per month during the summer. July is a good time to visit, and there’s no better way to do it than staying at two of the National Parks Lodges along the way!
MT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK HIKING TOUR
Mt Rainier was the 5th National Park to be established in the United States. To the Pacific Northwest native tribes, the mountain was Tahoma, “the mountain that was God.” To the current residents of Puget Sound she is reverently acknowledged as simply “The Mountain.”
The August tour is scheduled to be after most of the snowmelt to improve trail accessibility and still catch the tail end of the wildflower season. In September you should enjoy spectacular fall color! We operate this tour during midweek-only to avoid the weekend crowds from the city.
COLUMBIA GORGE HIKING TOURTruly one of the world’s mighty rivers, the Columbia is the largest in western North America. The New York Times describes the Columbia Gorge as being “like Europe, only better.” Hailed as one of Oregon’s Seven Wonders, the region’s fleece-capped mountain peaks, primeval forests, abundant wildflowers and waterfall streaked highlands whisper of the Swiss Alps.
Learn about the rich natural history of the region as we visit each of these diverse environments up close, including a whitewater rafting trip down a spectacular gorge. From Multnomah Falls to Hood River to Mount Hood, easy to reach trails abound, making this the ideal location for a hiking tour!
Bicycle Adventures is back with our second-annual #BikeBlackFriday event! Paying homage to REI’s #OptOutside, we are claiming a space for cycling on the day after Thanksgiving. We hope you’ll go for a ride, or better yet, go for a group ride with friends or the family that you see only once ayear at the holidays.
The act of cycling is uniquely suited to building community. Hailed as “the new golf” in business, riding in a group fosters communication, facilitates sharing and helps us see how dependent on each other we really are. I’m not sure if it’s the fresh air, the departure from our office desks into wide-open spaces, increased circulation or the shared experience of cycling through a beautiful spot – riding bikes with someone is uniquely special. Whether you are truly teaming with other cyclists in a full-on peloton, out for a casual ride to the coffee shop, or playing Bike Bingo – you are actively creating community.
And this is a great time to do just that, on the week that we give thanks for what we have, our friends, our families, our health…and the gift of time with each other, breaking bread, and having fun on bikes.
– Jennifer Schofield, Manager, Tours & Guest Services
Jessica Lah is a California native who loves to cook, paint, and explore new places on her bike. A few years back, she bicycled across the US, spending three and a half months—and over 4,000 miles—biking from Washington state to New York.
Where are you from?
From Southern California (Orange County, but I’ve lived all over California) – then China, and now Seattle.
How did you get into guiding?
I had just finished riding my bike across the country on a self-supported, solo trip when I moved to Seattle. In the first weeks of moving, I met someone who was a tour guide for Bicycle Adventures. Until then, the only kind of bike touring I knew of was carrying my own tent and peanut butter, I had no idea that luxury bicycle tour even existed. The concept that a company would take care everything—the riders, their luggage, hotels, and meals—took me by surprise. I was instantly intrigued.
What was your first “serious” bike?
My first bike was a Novara Carema Pro that I bought off a friend for $250 two days after I moved home from China. I had an unrealistic goal of riding my bike from Santa Barbara to San Francisco—the wrong direction to ride—but was I was determined. I reached the start at Santa Barbara and realized that I didn’t know how to change a tire, that my bike was all wrong for touring, and that carrying only a backpack was probably not a good idea. I decided to take time to learn about bike mechanics and touring. One year later, I had myself and a touring bike together and cycled the correct direction, San Francisco to Santa Barbara, successfully.
Where is your favorite place to cycle in the whole world and why?
Before my cross-country tour, I had dreams of an open road, a broad horizon and an endless sky. I met my dream in Wyoming. Wyoming is one of the last remaining states in the US where the urban sprawl hasn’t settled in, cattle ranchers ride on horses and are humbled by nature, and sitting on the back porch to watch the stars is a common pastime.
In addition to guiding, what else do you do for work or with your time?
I cook, paint, and sew. I just moved into a new home, so gardening has just be added to my hobbies. Mostly veggies, herbs and some hops for home-brewed beer I make with my partner.
Why do you like to bicycle? Why did you get into bicycling as a guide?
Because there’s always ice cream at the end of the ride? At least after all my rides.
So many of life’s nuances like eating, showers, and sleep are heightened after a good ride. The pace is perfect to see everything from the seat of a bicycle and the views are never taken for granted. Every moment to feel the road, the sun, and wind in your face feels so much better. I’m not a racer, I’m a joy rider. When I crest a hill on San Juan Island, sharing a perfect view with a guest is the greatest way to share that joy.
Where’s the one place in the world that you’d like to explore on bike but haven’t yet?
Slovenia. Part of my unknown ancestry is from there and I hear the country is stunning.
After a hard ride, what do you like to do to unwind?
Usually a good beer and some salty fries.
What’s your favorite cycling memory? OR Is there a cycling experience of yours that’s very vivid and stands out?
A memorable moment was at the end of cycling tour across the US. I finished my tour New York City the same weekend of Hurricane Sandy. The day the city mandated business, and road closures, I road the length of Manhattan to George Washington bridge with no cars on the street. Winds picked up and blew crisp fall leaves in my path unobstructed.
Do you have any tips or tricks on how to host a great cycling tour?
Something that I really like to do? Well, for me it’s in the touches. The little touches. I make my own cycling jerseys out of Hawaiian shirts, and I really like to do everything that I can to bring something special or unique to the tour. On one tour, I made my own pickles out of cucumbers from my garden as a snack – and once I brought fresh tomatoes from my garden. I made Hawaiian leis for the guests on a Big Sur tour. On almost every tour, though, I do watercolor paintings each day and by the end of the trip I am able to share our memories of the trip through paintings.
Browns Guides’ Fred Brown chatted recently with Bicycle Adventures’ Vice President and co-owner Brad Barnard. Who are your customers? What are your most popular trips? Is there a ‘biking season’? What’s your favorite tour?
Read on for his answers. http://brownsguides.com/the-ultimate-bicycle-ride-10-questions-with-bike-tour-outfitter-brad-barnard/
As most of you know, our Rails-to-Trails tours have been a huge success. We have sold out dates in in North Idaho utilizing the Centennial Trail, Hiawatha and Coeur d’Alene bike trails. In South Dakota we are on the Mickelson Trail. In Missouri, the Katy. In Western Washington, the John Wayne.
In Washington we have an opportunity for the longest continuous Rails-to-Trails in America. It will run from the lush green Puget Sound over the snowy Cascade range, through the longest tunnel in North America available by bike (bring a coat), past wind farms, over the mighty Columbia river, through the alien scab lands and finish in the rich farm lands near the Idaho border. It’s there and it’s available, but some access issues and land management hurdles are preventing us from offering amazing tours on the John Wayne Pioneer Trail.
We have a lot of momentum and the interest is huge. And when the gaps are filled in, we will be proud to show the world our most beautiful state from the seat of the bike.
Want to help? If you are interested in learning more, or writing to interested parties, here are some valuable resources.
- The John Wayne Pioneer Trail website – click here
- Connect with the Tekoa Trail and Trestle Association (has probably done more than any other group to get this rolling) on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/tekoatrailandtrestle/?fref=ts
- Email or call Randy Kline – WA Parks Planner (email@example.com and 360.902.8632)
I wrote to Randy Kline and he was very quick to respond and asked that I introduce myself at the next event. I can’t be at either of the two scheduled for this week, but I’m staying in touch. If you’re in Cheney, Washington tomorrow night – or Ellensburg, Washington on Wednesday March 9 – please feel free to show up and speak up. Details are on the John Wayne Pioneer Trail website.
See you on the bike – on the road, the trail or in the mountains –
Operations Director | Bicycle Adventures