Planning your own Bicycle Tour – Part 2 – Trip Concept
I am going to use my own planning for this summer as an example. Since I haven’t work out all the details yet, I am not quite sure where this will take me but I expect it to be fun and a clarifying process.
Lets start by determining what we want from this bike tour:
If this is your first tour start with all points on tour within a 1/2 day drive of support.
I want on my tour:
1. Quiet roads
2. To explore somewhere interesting
3. Challenging days at about 60 miles per day and no day more than 80 miles
4. Great views and good climbs, some good descents – I prefer a few long climbs over many short climbs
5. Clean inexpensive campgrounds without RVs running all night or folks partying. This use to be a big deal for me but now I bring along ear plugs and an iPod with sound isolating ear buds.
6. A six to seven day loop that will start and end at my home or some place I can safely leave my car.
My wife wants:
1. A route with cute shops and nice places for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
2. A flat route with no climbs
3. Short riding days of 30 to 40 miles
4. A nice B&B or cute cabin for the night, tenting is acceptable if it is not going to rain
So what is a compromise solution? Well if you have been married long you know the answer, “Do it her way”, remember “If she’s not happy, your not happy”.
I think I have solution:
There are a series of bicycle routes that run from Lake Champlain to Montreal. The route follows the barge paths and roads along the River Richelieu to Chambly and then to Montreal. It is flat and they have bicycling motels along the way plus in Quebec finding good food should not be a problem. My wife should love exploring the towns along the way and I already know she likes Chambly and Montreal. Unibrew, one of the best beer brewers in North America, has a fun restaurant in Chanbly plus that is Moules and Frits country, one of my wife’s favorites. Montreal is just a great bicycling city, we both love it. So that will be a great place for a mid tour break. I don’t usually advise mid-tour breaks for me they destroy the rhythm of the tour but my wife will want one.
It is about 160 miles from Lake Champlain to Montreal so a round trip is about 320 miles or about 8 wife bicycling days with a day in Montreal and a spare day for rain that is 10 days. She can only take 7 days so we have a problem.
I like this trip concept because it takes me to a place I have never been that sounds interesting and meets my wife’s expectations except for distance. Distance is usually a solvable problem so I am going to proceed with this trip concept and start gathering Trip Information in Part 3 of this series.