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.)
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 womantours.com 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
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!
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!
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
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
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
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 sets of underwear
bag of toiletries – only travel sizes and no scissors.
HOW IT FITS
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.
WHAT TO WEAR ON THE PLANE
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
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
WHAT TO PACK IN DAYPACK
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
snacks – because airline food just doesn't cut it.
WomanTours catalog - because I never know who I may sit next to!
Since joining WomanTours 10 years ago, I feel as if I've finally come home. I get to work in an office with Sandra, my sisters Jen and Michelle, and my cousin Kelly. And in the field with our guides – who continually remind me what it means to love cycling and the outdoors. It is so fun to share that with other women. I love what I do and I do what I love. You can’t beat that.