Thursday, October 23, 2014

Drawing Winner Revealed

We gave away $1000 to one lucky cyclist who could tell us the correct number of countries we toured in during 2015. We videotaped the random drawing. Be sure to watch our short video to the end.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Article about us in Adventure Cyclist

There is a wonderful article about WomanTours in Adventure Cyclist magazine this month. Thank you Ellee Thalheimer for some great reporting! Great photo of Jean too! (Click on the photo to see the whole thing.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

2015 Guide Schedule Set

Here is our 2015 guide schedule. Follow your favorite tour leader or get to know someone new. We hope to see you in 2015!

Patty Jackson (on right on our NW Loop tour)
Southern Tier - March
Atlantic Coast - April
Cascades to Glacier - June
Glacier National Park - Aug.
Idaho Greenways - August
Yellowstone National Park - Sept.
Moab Arches and Canyonlands - Oct.
California Wine Country - Oct.
Death Valley National Park - Nov.
New Zealand - March 2016

Denise Purdue (on left on our NW Loop tour)
Arizona Spring Training - Feb.
Atlantic Coast - April
France: Castles and Wine - May
France: Loire Valley - May
France: Burgundy - May
Yellowstone National Park - Sept.
New Mexico: Land of Enchantment - Sept.
St George Red Rock Canyons - Oct.
Death Valley National Park - Feb. and Nov.

Laurie Collins (left at WT hdq)
Natchez Trace Parkway - April
Cape May - May
Washington, DC - May
Maryland Eastern Shore - May
Yellowstone National Park - June
Teton Valley - July
Sun Valley - July
Acadia National Park - Aug.
St George Red Rock Canyons - Oct.
Moab Arches and Canyonlands - Oct.
Outer Banks of NC - Oct.
Florida Gulf Coast -Nov.

Jack the dog - has to stay home

Jackie Marchand (next to Laurie)
California Wine Country -May
Finger Lakes Wine Country - Aug.
Prince Edward Island - Sept.

Michelle Slusher (far right at WT hdq)
Florida Gulf Coast - Feb. and Nov.
Atlantic Coast - May
California Wine Country - May and Oct.
Ireland: Connemara - July
Niagara Falls Pathways  - July
Glacier National Park - Aug.
Idaho Greenways - Aug.

Cy Pugh (in back on our Maine tour)
Hawaii (beginner) - Jan.
Hawaii (advanced) - Feb.
Island Hopper: Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard - June
Niagara Falls Pathways - June
Finger Lakes - June
Around Lake Erie - July
Prince Edward Island - Sept.
Pennsylvania Dutch - Oct.
Kentucky Bluegrass - Oct.
Bermuda Blues - Nov.

Jen Thompson (in front on our Maine tour)
Bermuda Blues - March

Kelly Attridge (in white on our Island Hopper tour)
Florida Gulf Coast - Feb.
Bermuda Blues - March
Niagara Falls Pathways - July
Finger Lakes - Aug.
Acadia National Park - Aug.
Cape May - Sept.
Island Hopper: Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard - Sept.
Maryland Eastern Shore - Sept.

Sid Moffat (left in Death Valley)
Hawaii (beginner) - Jan.
Hawaii (advanced) - Feb.
Natchez Trace Parkway - April
Washington DC Bikeways - May
Cape May - May and Sept.
Maryland Eastern Shore - May and Sept.
Teton Valley - July
Sun Valley - July 
Idaho Greenways - July
Island Hopper: Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard - Sept.
Pennsylvania Dutch - Oct.
Kentucky Bluegrass - Oct.
Outer Banks of NC - Oct.

Kimberly Masters (right in Death Valley)
Death Valley National Park - Feb.
Arizona Spring Training - Feb.
Island Hopper - June
Niagara Falls Pathways - June
Finger Lakes  - June
Italy Bike and Barge - July and Aug.
Bermuda Blues - Nov.

Linda Gryczan (left with Michelle)
Prince Edward Island - Sept.
New Mexico: Land of Enchantment - Sept.

Sue Lincoln (left in Belize)
Yellowstone National Park - June

Around Lake Erie (with Cy)
Southern Tier (with Patty)
Atlantic Coast (with Patty and Michelle)

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Win a $1000 Credit for a Bicycle Tour

Our 2015 tour catalog is in the mail. If you're not on our mailing list, send us your address and we'd be happy to mail you one.

Enter our drawing to win a $1000 credit toward our bicycle tours. Just tell us the number of countries we visit next year. Email us at info at with the correct number and your name by October 15, 2014.

One entry per person please. The reward has no cash value and must be used for one of our 2014 or 2015 tours. We'll announce the randomly drawn lucky winner the following week.

To view our new 2015 tour catalog online, click here.

Good luck!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Women Only Fun Rides

Join Jackie and Michelle on a bike ride this summer!
We're hosting bicycle fun rides for women only from our WomanTours headquarters in Rochester, NY.

Join us Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at 5:45pm for a beginner ride of about 10 miles. We'll be on the Erie Canal Trail. If you'd like to go longer, you can. Afterwards, we invite you to stay for a drink or a bite to eat at a nearby pub. One of us will ride last, so no one will get dropped or lost. If you need to borrow a bike for the ride, let us know as we may have one available.

Then join us Friday, September 12, 2014 at 5:45pm for a 12-mile ride along our bike paths. Again, stay to join us for drinks or food afterwards if you can.

All ages and abilities are welcome. Both rides will have a sweep cyclist riding last who will help fix any flat tires. The ride will start at our office at 3495 Winton Place, Building E, Rochester, NY 14618.

Let us know if you can join us by emailing or calling. We'll hope to see you!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Seven Simple Tips to Make your Bike More Comfortable

The key to becoming a better bicyclist is to be comfortable on the bicycle. If your bike causes you pain or discomfort, there are many minor adjustments you can make or ask your bike shop to make for you. Always try one small adjustment at a time and remember that half an inch can make a big difference. Ride your bike after each adjustment to see if it helps before trying the next change.

TIP 1: If your knees hurt, adjust your seat higher, lower, forward or back. If you’ve recently bought new cycling shoes or installed new cleats on your old shoes, then the placement of the cleats may be the cause of your knee pain. Adjust their angle.

TIP 2: If your neck or shoulders hurt, raise your handlebars or shorten the reach of your stem. Putting yourself in a more upright position will often help alleviate neck and shoulder pain. If you use straight handlebars, consider getting narrower bars or cutting down the ones you have. Narrower bars are also more aerodynamic.

TIP 3: If your hands hurt or fall asleep, turn the angle of your handlebars so your hands are in a more relaxed position when you ride. On straight handlebars, consider using bar ends to give you the opportunity to change hand positions.

TIP 4: If your wrists or hands hurt when you shift, install compact shift levers on drop handlebars so you don’t have to reach as far with your fingers. If that doesn’t help, you may need to ask your bike shop to change your STI levers to the older style bar-end type. On straight handlebars, try adjusting the angle of the shifters on the handlebars. If that doesn’t work, ask your bike shop to install different shift levers altogether. There are several different brands, models and types available. A different lever may make all the difference.

TIP 5: If your butt hurts, it may be because you haven’t cycled much. Try a gel seat cover for the first couple bike rides. If your butt still hurts after riding 2-3 times a week for 2-3 weeks, tip the seat down ever so slightly. If that doesn’t help, try a different seat. Seats are very personal, so it may just be a matter of finding the right one for you.

TIP 6: If your crotch hurts, tip the seat up ever so slightly and don't use a gel cover. If that doesn’t help, raise your handlebars so you’re not leaning over as far. Then try a saddle with a cut-out.

TIP 7: If your feet get numb or develop hot spots and you ride with cycling cleats, move the position of your cleats on the bottom of your shoes. They may be compressing a nerve. If you ride in sneakers, your soles may be too soft. Buy a pair of cycling shoes with firmer soles.

The more comfortable you are on your bicycle, the more you’ll ride your bike. And the more you ride, the more comfortable you’ll become. So get out there and feel like a kid again!

Thursday, May 01, 2014

How to Pack for a Bike Tour With Only a Carry-On

I pack with only carry-on luggage whenever I fly. More important than saving me money, it saves me lost luggage. If I miss my connection and find myself unexpectedly in a hotel room for the night in Chicago, I have everything I need with me. I was able to walk down Lake Shore Drive and enjoy watching the marathon one year, rather than fret over when I’d see my luggage again.

Packing with one roller bag and a small daypack makes travel so much easier. It’s simple to pull the luggage behind me when transferring planes, I can pick it up to climb up or down the stairs at the train station, and I can manage to load it in the WomanTours trailer without assistance.

I pack the same clothes whether my trip is one week or one month long.  I have a cadre of clothes that work well for travel – quick dry, wrinkle free, and dark colors that won’t show the dirt. I make slight variations for anticipated weather, such as substituting Capri pants for jeans when I go to Hawaii. But I still tend to pack the same things whether I’m going to Belgium or Bermuda.

The keys are packing clothes that all go together and being willing to wash my clothes during the trip. I’ve never been a fashion queen and I think washing in the hotel bathroom’s sink is a small price to pay considering the disadvantages.

Many years ago, my bag was delayed five days when I went on a bike tour in France. By the time it arrived, I wondered why I’d cared. I’d easily learned to get along with my one travel outfit and clothes borrowed from other guests. I realized I actually needed very little of what I’d packed, and now I had to worry about getting the huge bag back home.

My traveling closet.
I use an Eagle Creek wheeled duffel because it’s sporty, fits within airline regulations, and has held up admirably after five years of monthly travel.

Here’s what I pack:

3 pairs of black bike shorts – I tried packing only two pairs but have found I need a variety of brands and padding to help prevent saddle sores.
3 jerseys – because I get bored with only 2 cycling outfits. Make sure they’re all highly visible.
arm warmers – They turn any short-sleeve jersey into a long-sleeve jersey and take up no more space than a pair of socks.
3 pairs of cycling socks – I’ve tried two, but if it’s rainy or humid, they may not dry every night and I can’t stand putting on wet socks.
3 sports bras  Like the socks, I can’t risk having to wear a damp bra in the morning.
long sleeve jacket - to wear over my jersey if it’s cold.
tights - to wear over my shorts if it’s cold.
rain jacket and pants – to also use as a windbreaker on dry but cold days. Must be waterproof, bright and highly visible. I recommend Showers Pass.
bike shoes - and pedals if I’m renting a bicycle
bike gloves – with padding
long finger gloves without padding – to wear over my regular gloves if it’s cold.
helmet - because nothing fits like your own helmet.

All my clothes go with black or blue. I can wear any top with any bottom. Except as noted, everything is easy to hand wash and hang dry. Nothing needs an iron.
2 short sleeve shirts
2 long sleeve shirts
jeans – these aren’t quick dry so I need to get them laundered after a week.
quick-dry pants or skirt
bathing suit – it doesn’t take up much room and you never know when you will have an opportunity to swim.
shirt and pants - to wear around the hotel room and for sleep
2 socks
2 sets of underwear
bag of toiletries – only travel sizes and no scissors. 

I pack my socks inside my shoes in the bottom of the bag. Then I pack my helmet, upside down, stuffing it full of small bike clothes such as gloves, arm warmers and sport bras. Then I cushion it by encircling it with my bike shorts, jerseys and tights. These clothes don’t wrinkle so they can be scrunched up inside the bag. Then I lay my folded, off-the-bike clothes in a neat pile beside and on top of the helmet. If there are more things still to pack, I roll or stuff them into the sides of the luggage. I try to leave a little extra room for bringing something back with me.

yoga pants – If I have two nights at the same location, I’ll hand wash these to be ready for the trip home or I’ll get them laundered.
long sleeve shirt – with sleeves I can pull up if I get warm.
slip-on shoes - to take off easily through security.
socks – no one wants to walk barefoot through security.
light jacket or sweater - with pockets to hold my ID and cell phone.
scarf – to jazz up any of my packed outfits and to keep warm on drafty planes.
jewelry – I wear all I’m bringing with me.
light down jacket – if I am coming from or going to a cold climate. It can be packed into its own pocket when I don’t need it. 

ID/passport - when it's not in my pocket going through security
cell phone – serves as my camera too
iPad with loaded books to read or listen to.
chargers and adapter
important papers and pen
water bottle – I fill it after I’m past security.
knitting project – knitting needles are allowed on the plane.
snacks – because airline food just doesn't cut it.
WomanTours catalog - because I never know who I may sit next to!