Stopping for lunch at a Danube village
Client profile: Terry Herron
Terry and Mary Jo Herron are regular riders who have been going on European bike tours for about 10 years—most of those with BikeToursDirect. For the past couple of years, Terry has been recruiting friends, neighbors and local bike club members near his home in Hilton Head, SC, as well as in Beaufort, SC, Atlanta, and Savannah, GA.
When Terry takes a group of riders on a bike tour, he wants one thing—for the trip to be a compelling experience. We sat down with this seasoned cycling tourist to learn more about what he considers a great trip—and a treasured memory.
BikeToursDirect: Why cycling and not cruising, or traveling by train or bus?
BikeToursDirect: How long have you been taking cycling tours?
BikeToursDirect: What’s your best advice to someone going on a first tour?
For example, on the Danube Bike Path, you simply follow the river downstream—it’s hard to get lost. You can take it easy: the ride is visually stunning and there are lots of stops along the way. You’re going for the ride—taking your time along the way is the essence, like the stops during the day—not just getting to your next destination or hotel. We typically stop for coffee or pastry mid-morning. Then we have lunch at noon, paired with a glass of wine or a good beer. Along the way, we can see castles, chalets and small towns. At the end of the day, we come together around 4 in our next overnight town and enjoy each other’s company.
The Mosel Bike Path in Germany is my favorite tour. I’ve seen all of Europe throughout my 35-year traveling career, but not like this region. Every day is breathtaking in the Mosel Wine Valley.
BikeToursDirect: What do you look for when you decide on a tour for friends?
We always take self-guided bike tours. The maps are great, and we work as a team to avoid wrong turns or getting lost—it’s part of the fun.
BikeToursDirect: What advice would you give a cyclist who’s accustomed to logging a lot of miles and is eager to get from point A to point B?
Ask yourself why you want to take a bike tour. If anyone wants to ride something like Tour de France stages, climb mountains or average 22 miles per hour, I suggest they go by themselves and go with like-minded people. With this approach, you’ll miss the whole point of biking in Europe. It’s a social event, it’s healthy biking, some exercise, good food, history, and a cultural change. You don’t want to spend all this money and effort, then miss the history, the food, the visual appeal. These bike tours are for the friendship, history and new experiences.
BikeToursDirect: Why do you like to work with BikeToursDirect?
Finally, their prices are generally about 30-40% less than the big U.S. tour operators for non-guided tours. We have used Bike Tours Direct for many years and have never had anything less than satisfaction and loads of fun.
Interview by Laura Jane Walker
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