Sunday, December 09, 2007

Yellowstone Tour

There was a treat in my email inbox last Tuesday. It was a copy of a letter written to someone interested in our Yellowstone tour. We couldn't have said it better ourselves.

Hi Jan-

I highly recommend this tour, and traveling with WomanTours
generally. Food was excellent: lots of great snack materials to take
along in the am, or make your own breakfast. Great lunches along the
way, made in the back of the van in the WT kitchen. Fabulous dinners!
We ate at a couple 2-3? of the best restaurants in the region, all
included in the price. All the food was fine with the exception of
one so-so breakfast at a motel. The accommodations in the park are
fabulous-some big lodges, some groups of cabins. You will not be
disappointed. There was just one motel, one night, noted above, that
was certainly adequate but not special. (Their pool was nice,

The only van shuttling required was going from Yellowstone to Grand
Teton Park; the park services don't allow group biking on that road
cause the shoulder's so bad. That was an hour or so. Otherwise, you
can ride in the van as much or as little as you like. If you're tired
or just having a bad day, or just don't feel like doing a particular
hill, you can grab a lift and still have a good time. No judgments.
It's your experience to have as you wish.

The roads are generally very good for biking, nice wide shoulders.
You get a florescent triangle (to keep) to put on the pack of your
bike (or body) so the sag wagon can easily pick you up as a member of
the group.

Being with all women is very empowering. There is not the kind of
one-upmanship, competitiveness, etc. that there sometimes is in
mixed athletic endeavors. There is a nice feeling in the group. There
are women of all ages and backgrounds. We had women in their late
60's who rode every mile and then some! There are women who bike a
great deal, have been on lots of centuries or tours or whatever, and
some who are just starting to bike. But you stop and go as you
please, stopping to look at mts or birds or rivers or bears or
whatever you feel like. Some start earlier than others; some arrive
at the day's destination later than others. There's lots of
flexibility and freedom, yet the knowledge that there's help or
companionship if you want or need it. They do keep some track of
where folks generally are, by watching, letting us know where they'd
next be stopping for a break or so we could refill water etc,

WomanTours does a great job with all aspects of producing the trip. I
recommend this trip or any they are doing. The leaders are
knowledgeable, friendly, know how to handle unexpected things without
panicing, etc. The scenery was great, they planned some special
places to lunch. There was one place we went after the day's riding
(Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone) that we had to leave our bikes and
all go in the van. Well worth it!

I am doing the Death Valley trip with them in February, so I guess
that speaks for the faith I have in them and what a good experience
it was for me. This time, I hope to have done a bit more training!

Let me know if you have other questions. See you on the road!


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

New Tour in Basilicata Italy

We're awfully busy in our off-season creating new tours. Our newest is in Basilicata, the instep of the boot, as they say. Basilicata is near the Tuscany region of Southern Italy, but it's not nearly as well-known. We'll have it to ourselves.

Basilicata by Bike.

We'll visit Sassi and its ancient maze of cave dwellings carved from the limestone. They film all the movies about Christ here. We'll bike through the country's largest natural wilderness -- Pollino National Park -- formed to preserve the Pale Bark Pine tree. Who knew?

So start saving now and join us next fall in Basilicata....

Friday, November 16, 2007

Our newest tour: Blue Ridge Rambler

As many women come back to tour with us year after year, we're always working on new tours. One of our favorite guides, Kimberly, just developed our newest tour: the Blue Ridge Rambler.

It starts and ends in her home town of Asheville, North Carolina. She says it's not as "out there" as our Alaska tour, but it's as close as we can come and still be in North Carolina. Lots of quiet, rural roads with incredibly beautiful views. It's one of our more challenging tours. I can't wait to bike it next summer!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Portland Oregon - a Cycling Culture

Read this terrific article from the NY Times about the cycling culture that has developed in Portland, Oregon. How perfect that we've designed our very own 4-week Northwest Loop for 2009 to start and end in Portland.

We'll be sure to include highlights of some of the bicycling sites around the town in our tour. One of our favorite guides, Ellee, who hales from Portland, is working on the tour right now. Email us if you'd like more information about it. It's so new -- it's not even on our website yet!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Shenandoah National Park Bike Tour

Just back from a wonderful Shenandoah tour. One of our favorite guides, Laurie, hails from Virginia and revised this tour last year. It had been a long time since I'd biked it, and it was my birthday, so I took the excuse to go.

Oh, what a wonderful week. As sweep, I spent a lot of time biking alone in the back, but I did get to see some gorgeous fall colors.

catch up with Mary as she exited the bathroom.....

and catch Lois as she descended Skyline Drive....

If you're looking for one of our more challenging tours, then consider Shenandoah. Lots of rolling terrain, with some climbs thrown in to bring you to some great views. I think I recall there was 1 mile of flat road as we biked along the Shenandoah River. It was a great way to celebrate 46.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Alaska Slide Show

Click above to watch the 3-minute slide show of our Alaska bike tours.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Bicycling Alaska

It’s been 4 weeks since I returned from our Alaska and the Yukon Tour and I already long to go back. I have never seen such unspoiled land and clean water, or experienced such solitude and beauty.

This tour has everything – good cycling on traffic-free, beautifully paved roads, 24-hour daylight, geological wonders like fjords and glaciers, Gold Rush history, and wildlife I’ve only ever seen in zoos – bears, moose, Dall sheep, beavers and eagles.

It’s truly wilderness as I’ve never experienced before. I didn’t let the camping scare me off. I admit that it’s weird to not have running water or a flush toilet -- or any toilet for that matter. But it’s so cool to hear no sounds of anyone else. No traffic, no radios, no voices other than our own. Just the sound of the wind through the trees and our crackling bonfire. Putting off showering for a night wasn’t so bad when I knew I’d get one the next night.

There’s a reason all the license plates read, “Alaska – the last frontier.” It really felt like it was. Everyone should go someplace that is so unspoiled. It’s made me think a lot more about saving the beauty that still exists here back home.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

WomanTours Featured in WSJ

WomanTours cross country cyclist, Holly Edwards, was featured in Saturday's issue (July 14, 2007) of the Wall Street Journal. In the retirement section of the daily paper, the article "Round and Round" discusses how the best way to see the world is often from atop a bicycle seat.

Holly has biked twice across the country with us -- in 1998 on our Southern Tier tour and this year on our Meandering Mississippi. Watch her short video with the Wall Street Journal here.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Eating on a Cross Country Tour

It may not look like the oven in your kitchen, but in those dutch ovens, Michelle is baking lasagna and homemade bread for our Mississippi cross country bike tour.

Along with Vicky's beautiful salad and freshly picked strawberries for dessert, we all had a wonderful meal!

Cross Country Mississippi Tour

Just back from the Meandering Mississippi tour. This 6-week cross country tour started in New Orleans and will end in a couple weeks in Minneapolis. I was lucky enough to join the group in Memphis and ride with them to St. Louis. It was wonderful to meet everyone - here are most of them in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, a town we will never forget for their hospitality. We even made the newspaper that day.

Team Estrogen Winner

Congratulations to Ann Mackey of Jacksonville, Florida. Her name was drawn in our sweepstakes with Team Estrogen for a free WomanTours trip. We'll be thrilled to host her on one of our bike tours.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Win a Free Bike Tour!

For the second time, we're running a contest with Team Estrogen where the winner wins a free bike tour with WomanTours. Last year, Kathleen from Albuquerque's name was drawn and she is going on our Teton TuneUp tour this summer. This year, the winner could be you!

No purchase necessary. Be sure to check out the Team Estrogen site while you're there. They have wonderful deals on fabulous bicycling clothes. The contest ends May 7, 2007. Just click here to enter the sweepstakes. Good luck!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Free Cross Country DVD

If you're thinking about how wonderful it would be to bicycle across the country with WomanTours, then this is the DVD for you. Take the 6-minute journey without every moving from your television or computer. Lisa Burd directed and produced this wonderful glimpse of life on the cycling road. It will give you a taste of the adventure and probably make you laugh out loud. Call or email us for your free copy. 800-247-1444 or

For information about her feature-length documentary, see Lisa's website.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Famous for a Day

WomanTours and I are famous for a day, or at least the morning. The local Rochester Democrat and Chronicle ran this article about me and the company today. My relatives, an old high school friend, and a fitness guru trying to get his mother interested in a tour have all contacted me. It's been fun!

Click here for the newspaper article.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Free Adventure Cycling Magazine

We use the routes and maps created by the Adventure Cycling Organization to plan our cross country bike tours. They plan their routes with camping in mind, so we at WomanTours modify them for our overnights in hotels.

For your free sample of their wonderful Adventure Cyclist magazine, click below and then click on Grab It at the right of the page. It will surely motivate you to get on your bike and ride! Free Magazine

Saturday, March 17, 2007

What's a SAG stop?

There is no better way to describe a SAG stop than to show our very first one on our cross country Southern Tier tour. Here is our trusty Subaru, about 20 miles into our first day's ride, expertly manned by Kaye Whitney. It's a place to fill up on water and snacks, apply more sunscreen, ice a sore muscle, get news of the terrain ahead, or just share in the joy of the ride.

To follow news of the tour from the women themselves, check out these blogs:
Anne's blog
Retta's blog
Nancy's blog
Maggie's blog
Rebecca's blog

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Southern Tier 2007

The 29 women of our 2007 Southern Tier tour began their odyssey across the US last week. What an honor to begin the journey with them. Record 105 degree temperatures and stiff headwinds couldn't deter them as they crossed California. They'll bike into Arizona today and celebrate their first state line crossing tonight with a margarita party. I miss them already - they're an incredible group of women.

To follow their journey, see Maggie's blog here.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Preparing for the Cross Country Tour

We use a Subaru wagon as a SAG vehicle for our cross country tour. Our Southern Tier tour begins in less than 2 weeks, so we had to get our trusty SAG vehicle to sunny San Diego from our office here in snowy Rochester, NY. I commandeered 2 friends, Annette and Beth - who many of our cyclists know as our on-tour photographers - to drive it across the country. They're documenting their trip as only 2 professional photojournalists can these days, via video on their own blog. Check out their cross country SAG trip here.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Bicycling Hawaii in February - Can't beat it!

Just got back from bicycling around the Big Island of Hawaii. Can't beat Hawaii in February. Gorgeous weather, whales migrating past the island, molten lava flowing into the ocean, papaya and avocado in season, and oh, yeah, some great biking.

Our new motto at WomanTours: We bike between meals!

Actually, it was our last evening together when we realized that we hadn't taken a group photo. So here we are, at sunset, about to order dinner, just feet from the beach. Can't beat it!