What to Look for in a Bike Tour

A bike tour is a fantastic way to get some exercise while experiencing the local area in a whole new way. Instead of watching the scenery pass by out the window of a car, bus, or train you will be immersed in the sights, sounds, smells, and sensations. However not all bike tours are the same. Since you are doing the physical work of pedaling the bike it is very important that you choose the tour that is the best fit for you. Here’s what to look for.

Guide Experience

Your tour guide can make or break your ride. Look for a guide who is not only an experienced cyclist, but is an expert in the local area. A good guide knows the history and culture of the region, as well as the various routes and trails. He or she is skilled at putting together a mix of challenging and easy sections, knowing when and where to take breaks, and how to truly tailor a bike tour to the experience levels and interests of its participants.

Budget and Inclusions

Unless money is no object, the price tag will likely be a concern for you when looking for a bike tour. However, it is important to understand what is included in the cost. For example, one tour might be priced significantly lower than another, but the first tour requires you to bring your own bike, helmet, and snacks, while the second is all-inclusive.

Route, Destination, and Details

Cities with excellent bike infrastructure contain many more miles of paths than you could possibly cover. Therefore every tour must be narrowed down to a selected route. Some focus on winding paths through the countryside. Others go through the heart of a major city. Some include a specific destination where you will spend some time, such as a winery or an organic farm.

Distance, Time, and Terrain

Bike tours also vary widely by difficulty level. Some are geared toward experienced athletic riders, while others are for beginners. Make sure you understand the distance you will travel, the number of hours you will spend on a bike, the total length of the trip (including rest breaks and time spent at a destination), and the terrain you will cover. Remember, 10 miles on flat ground is much different than 10 miles on steep hills. Likewise, 2 hours on a road is far different than 2 hours on gravel or dirt.

Because tours vary so widely and tour operators typically offer more than one option, it is always smart to call ahead. Speaking with a knowledgeable tour operator is the best way to ensure that you choose a ride that is just challenging enough to remain engaging, not so difficult you can’t complete it and covers the terrain and destinations that most interest you.

Based in Boulder, CO, home of some of the world’s best mountain biking, Boulder Bike Tours offers unique trips that showcase the area’s natural beauty. Founder Herschel Goldberg and his hand-picked staff have years of biking experience and a true passion for cycling. Their certifications and experience include Wilderness First Aid and Wilderness First Responder, CPR, and National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). If you are interested in a tour, we invite you to call today at (303) 747-6191 for more information, or check out our website at boulderbiketours.com

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Herschel Goldberg