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Riding styles and routes

Point-to-point riding vs. home-base tours

Most bicycle tourists enjoy traveling each day — cycling from Point A to Point B and sleeping in a new location each night. The scenery changes and the experiences are gratifying. Point-to-point tours make up the bulk of the tours we offer.

Still, there's something to be said for staying overnight in one town and doing day trips – you don't have to pack each morning, you can settle in, and you can really get to know a location. These "home-base" (sometimes called "hub-and-spoke") tours are a good option for couples or groups who have varying cycling ability levels or interest, as it allows each individual in the group to go on rides or other excursions based on their preferences.

Rest days are a consideration for many bike travelers. Many point-to-point tours build in possible rest days with double overnights in towns along the way, giving you the choice to ride or take the day off on the second day. Home-base tours are built for flexible rest days. If you don’t feel like riding, you can rest or pursue another activity (such as exploring the town, relaxing by the pool, or taking a hike).

A unique kind of home-base tour that can incorporate rest days into your trip is a bike and boat tour, which combines bike touring with river or coastal cruises. Your lodging each night is, essentially, a floating hotel that stays in a central location, follows you along your route, or meets you at the end of the day. If you want to take a rest day, you can choose to stay on the boat or participate in excursions or side trips. Bike and boat tours are particularly popular for couples and families who enjoy having rest days and experiencing the ambiance of the boat—or simply don’t want to pack and unpack every day!

And if none of these options are exactly what you want, we can often create a custom program for you.

Routes

Before selecting a tour, it’s important that you consider the route type and your comfort level riding in light to moderate road traffic. Routes on overseas bike tours are selected for their charm and beauty, as well as for their cultural and historical importance. Most tours travel along paved bicycle paths or lightly traveled back roads through the countryside or from village to village. During some stretches and entering and leaving cities, though, short distances on roads with traffic are often unavoidable. If you prefer to have limited riding on the road, then you should probably select a tour that primarily follows a bike path.

You should also consider the terrain and riding surfaces of a route. Do you mind the occasional route on packed dirt or gravel, or do you prefer asphalt all the way? Make sure you read tour descriptions or ask questions to ensure you will be comfortable with the characteristics of the day-to-day route type.


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