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!

Friday, March 07, 2014

Southern Tier tour takes off for Florida

Our 2014 Southern Tier cross-country bike tour left San Diego for the 3000-mile, 2-month trip to St. Augustine, Florida. Here they are this morning dipping their rear wheels in the Pacific Ocean. Wish the women luck!

You can follow their ride by following these blogs:

Cathy Allinder
Rona Altschuler
Karen Coffey
Lynn Kelly Avery
Janine LaBossiere
Karen Lankeshofer
Sheila Ruckley
Gail Vanderlee
Sharlene Washington

Monday, December 23, 2013

Holiday Cheers from WomanTours

My neighbor and avid bicyclist, Dave, erected this tribute to cycling Santa in his yard this year.

Whether or not you celebrate Christmas or believe in Santa Claus, you have to be struck by the amount of planning and work that went into creating this impressive lawn art.

It makes us think a lot about the work we put into our tours and why we do it. Like Dave, if we can get a few smiles, some cheers, or an arm pumping at the top of a hill, it makes our day.

It also makes me think about the planning and training many women undertake when they come on a tour with us, especially for their first time. It’s wonderful to be part of someone’s first 50-mile day, or first time breaking 35 mph down a hill, or first experience traveling on her own.

Thank you for another wonderful year at WomanTours. We hope that whatever your goals are for 2014, you’ll reach them with a lot of hard work and determination because those are the best goals worth achieving. We hope to be celebrating with you with both arms raised high.

Have a great holiday season and happy new year!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

2014 Guide Schedule Set

You ask us every year to publish our guide schedule, so here it is. You can follow your favorite tour leader or get to know someone new. Either way, I know you won't be disappointed. Hope to see you in 2014!

Patty Jackson (left in Death Valley)
Moab Arches and Canyonlands - May and October
Grand Canyon, Bryce & Capitol Reef - May
Northwest Loop - August
Santa Barbara & San Ynez Valley - September
Death Valley National Park - November

Denise Purdue (right in Death Valley)
Florida Gulf Coast - February
St George Red Rock Canyons - May and October
Grand Canyon, Bryce & Capitol Reef - May
Northwest Loop - August
New Mexico: Land of Enchantment - September
Death Valley National Park - November

Michelle Slusher
Florida Gulf Coast - February and November
Louisiana Biking the Bayou - April
Natchez Trace Parkway - April
Moab Arches and Canyonlands - May
St George Red Rock Canyons - May
Yellowstone & Grand Tetons - June
Around Lake Erie - July
Finger Lakes Wine Country - August
Niagara Falls Pathways - August
New Mexico: Land of Enchantment - September
Santa Barbara & San Ynez Valley - September

Carol Wilder
Southern Tier Cross-Country - March
Ireland: Connemara - July

Laurie Collins
Shenandoah National Park - June
Teton Tune-Up - July
Glacier National Park - July
Idaho Greenways - July
Finger Lakes Wine Country - August
Niagara Falls Pathways - August
Yellowstone and Grand Tetons -September
Cape May - September
Maryland Eastern Shore - September
Acadia National Park - October
Bermuda Blues - November
Florida Gulf Coast -November
Kimberly Masters 
Death Valley National Park - February
Bermuda Blues - March
White Mountains of New Hampshire - July
Alaska and Yukon: Golden Circle - August
Blue Ridge Rambler - September

Jen Thompson 
White Mountains of New Hampshire - July
Acadia National Park - July
Italy: Puglia - September

Sid Moffat (front and center in New Hampshire)
Death Valley National Park - February
Natchez Trace Parkway - April
Washington DC Bikeways - May
Cape May - May and September
Alaska: the Inside Passage - June
Glacier National Park - July
Idaho Greenways - July
Blue Ridge Rambler - September
Maryland Eastern Shore - September
Bhutan - October

Cy Pugh (right on Lake Ontario)
Washington DC Bikeways - May
Cape May - May
Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard - June
Niagara Falls Pathways - June
Around Lake Ontario - July
Acadia National Park - July
Vermont Champlain Valley - August
Island Hopper: Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard - September
Moab Arches and Canyonlands - October
St George Red Rock Canyons - October

Linda Gryczan (left in Yellowstone)
Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard - June
Yellowstone and Grand Tetons - June
Teton Tune-Up - July

Jackie Marchand (right in Yellowstone)
New Zealand: Southern Alps - January

Kelly Attridge 
Bermuda Blues - March and November
Shenandoah National Park - June
Niagara Falls Pathways - June
Vermont Champlain Valley - August
Island Hopper: Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard - September

Sue Lincoln
Around Lake Ontario - July
Yellowstone and Grand Tetons - June and September