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Join the Bicycle Touring Pro in June, 2019 for the week-long BIKE VIRGINIA cycling tour across the scenic Shenandoah Valley. Click here for details on how you can join this 3 or 6-day cycling event! 

The 32nd annual BIKE VIRGINIA tour is taking place between the 21st and 26th of June, 2019… and I think you should seriously consider joining the tour!

What is Bike Virginia?

In case you don’t know, BIKE VIRGINIA is a massive, week-long cycling event that takes place every year in the US state of Virginia. During the course of this one week, more than 1,500 people from all around the world gather together to conduct a series of memorable bike rides across the state. Click here to learn more about the tour…

Each year, the BIKE VIRGINIA tour moves to a different part of the state and hosts a series of bike rides in that particular area. Last year the tour focused of several epic river rides that cross the state of Virginia. But this year (2019), the tour will be based out of the Shenandoah Valley – a 140 mile stretch of land that is famous for its charming towns , historic Civil War battlefields, spectacular mountain vistas , and exceptional cycling opportunities.

You Can Cycle Across Virginia!

This is a bike tour that almost anyone can participate in:

  • Each day of the tour there will be several different bike rides to choose from. Shorter bike rides for beginners; longer 90+ mile bike rides for those wanting to push themselves and see everything there is to see in the Shenandoah Valley; and medium-length bike rides for those who want to enjoy every moment of their Virginia bicycle touring experience.
  • In addition to that, you can choose to join the bike tour for 1 day, 3 days, or the entire 6-day event. This means that you can work the BIKE VIRGINIA tour into your personal calendar. If you can only make it out for a single day of the bike ride, that’s okay; If you want to come out for the weekend, that’s great too!; And if you have the time, I’d encourage you to sign up for the entire 6-day bike tour. (PS – That’s what I’ll be doing. I’m going to be there for all six days of the 2019 BIKE VIRGINIA tour.)
  • This is a bike tour you can do alone… or with someone you love. If you have a friend, family member, co-worker or loved one who would enjoy participating in a cycling event such as this, you should bring them along! This is going to be a large, social cycling experience… and the more people in attendance, the more fun it will be. Even if you want to attend the event yourself, but your husband or wife doesn’t want to join in the cycling experience, it is possible to participate in the BIKE VIRGINIA tour without actually doing any cycling at all. Deep discounts are available for non-riders!
  • Finally, because this is a camping-based bicycle tour (where all 1,500 people will be camping in a big field on each night of the tour), the cost for the BIKE VIRGINIA tour is extremely low. In fact, this is one of the most affordable bike tours I have ever participated in .
High-Value & Low Price

When you sign up for the BIKE VIRGINIA tour, you get a whole lot more than just a few days of incredible cycling in the state of Virginia. You also get:

  • Marked cycling routes using up to 200 eye level, brightly colored directional signs per day. No cue sheets or GPS needed (although GPS route files are available for download if you want to bring your own GPS).
  • Up to 10 comfort station “rest stops” (every 20–25 miles) found in interesting places on the way. Comfort station “rest stops” serve tasty treats, electrolyte drinks and fresh fruit.
  • Support and gear (SAG) trucks offering assistance for emergencies during riding hours.
  • 150–200 staff and volunteers to support you. The rider-to-volunteer ratio is typically 8-to-1… so you’ll be well taken care of.
  • Mobile phone app which contains event schedule, social connection opportunities, and route information.
  • Tent camping at the park-setting headquarters is included with registration. However, you may choose to stay in one of the official tour hotels.
  • Family-friendly activities are included – such as family camping area, family yoga, kids’ course, family-friendly routes and more!
  • Showers and rest rooms available at the camping area (including some indoors).
  • On-site vendors, massage therapists and bike repair (additional costs apply).
  • Charging stations for all your electronics.
  • You can bring your car to and park at headquarters! (Access anytime day or night.)
  • On-site beer and wine sales featuring local selections.
  • Daily and nightly activities will take place at Headquarters or nearby locations. Look for shopping, outdoor recreation, concerts, live music, movies, and other similar activities.
  • FREE Ride in style! Commemorative Tour T-Shirt included with 3-DAY and 6-DAY WEEKEND if you register on or before March 31st, 2019 (that’s a $30 value!)

I think you can see, this is going to be an incredible week of bicycle touring in Virginia… and I can’t wait for the adventure to begin!

Just a Little Backstory…

In 2003 I spent the summer cycling from North Carolina to Maine – up the east coast of the United States. It was a fantastic bicycle touring experience, and of all the different states I crossed through on that bike tour that year, Virginia was the state that stood out the most in my mind. The people, the places and the general vibe I got from Virginia has stuck with me for more than a decade now… and I can’t wait to return to the state in June of 2019 for the BIKE VIRGINIA cycling tour.

I’ve only been to Virginia once, but from what I have seen and experienced there, it’s an incredible place to go bicycle touring… and I hope you’ll consider joining me in June of 2019 for the BIKE VIRGINIA tour.

To learn more about BIKE VIRGINIA, register for the tour and secure your spot on this memorable cycling excursion, simply visit the website at: www.bikevirginia.org

IMPORTANT NOTE: I am not leading the BIKE VIRGINIA tour… but I will be participating in the tour this year (2019). If you want to meet me (Darren Alff – the Bicycle Touring Pro), cycle with me, or connect with other Bicycle Touring Pro readers, this would be a great opportunity for you to do those things!

BIKE VIRGINIA has, however, invited me to be there at the event to take photos and shoot video (like I always do) for the Bicycle Touring Pro website and YouTube channel. In addition to the photo and video work that I’ll be doing, I will also be writing a detailed review of the bike tour after it is over and I look forward to sharing my honest thoughts and opinion on this unique cycling experience with you at some point in the near future.

Stay tuned… and I look forward to cycling with you in Virginia this coming June!

The post Bike Virginia: An Epic 3 or 6-Day Bike Tour In The Shenandoah Valley appeared first on Bicycle Touring Pro.

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Oil Change on Pinion Gearbox P1.18 Co-Motion Siskiyou - YouTube

The Pinion gearbox is an internal gearing system for your bicycle, which eliminates the need for the front and rear derailleurs you are used to seeing on so many traditional bicycles.

The Pinion gearbox is basically a small metal box that is built into the bottom bracket of a bicycle… and inside that metal box is all of the gearing for your bike.

Because the gears are internal, like the gearing on a vehicle engine, the Pinion gearbox requires no regular cleaning or maintenance – other than simply wiping down the outside of the box whenever these parts becomes dirty.

The Pinion gearbox itself, like the engine in your car, however, does require a regular oil change – approximately once per year.

If you watch the video above you will learn how to perform this quick and easy Pinion gearbox oil change for yourself. All you need are a few basic tools, a catch basin (or a plastic bowl/cup), a towel or rag to wipe down any excess oil, and some replacement gearbox oil, which can be purchased directly from Pinion or from the Co-Motion Cycles website.

While there are different size Pinion gearboxes available, the oil change process is pretty much the same on all of the gearbox models.

Watch the video above to learn how to perform the Pinion gearbox oil change for yourself… then watch the videos below for even more info on how to change the oil inside your bicycle’s Pinion gearbox.

PINION GEARBOX OIL CHANGE | How to change P1.12 oil - EASY - YouTube

Pinion P1.18 -- Ölwechsel - YouTube

The post How To Change The Oil In Your Bicycle’s Pinion Gearbox appeared first on Bicycle Touring Pro.

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Make your way to the world-famous cathedral in Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain on this cycling pilgrimage of a lifetime – “The Way of St. James” bike tour with Fold N’ Visit Cycling Holidays!

Click here to watch video from the tour

The Camino de Santiago is known in English as the Way of Saint James and is a network of hiking and biking paths leading to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the saint are buried.

People from all around the world travel to Portugal and Spain in order to hike or bike one or more of the various routes to Santiago de Compostela as a form of religious pilgrimage or spiritual retreat. Others, however, chose to travel the Way of St. James purely for entertainment, sightseeing and enjoyment purposes.

While it’s possible to cycle the Way of St. James on your own, many pilgrims opt to participate in guided or self-guided cycling tours, as this mode of travel offers one of the easiest and most enjoyable methods for successfully reaching the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.

For those wishing to cycle the Camino, one of the best ways to do it is to start in the city of Porto, Portugal and then cycle from there, to the north, along the coast, approximately 278 kilometers (173 miles) to the city of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. Then, after reaching the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela and completing the pilgrimage, simply travel back to Porto, Portugal and return home from there.

This epic European adventure can be completed in a single week… and one of the best ways to participate this memorable cycling holiday is to take part in a guided or self-guided cycling tour with Fold N’ Visit Cycling Holidays – a small tour company based out of Porto, Portugal that specializes in this leading customers from all around the world along this particular route in northern Portugal and Spain.

The map above shows the approximate route you will travel over the course of “The Way of St. James Bike Tour” with Fold N’ Visit Cycling Holidays – starting in Porto, Portugal and ending in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Basic Tour Information The Way of St. James Bike Tour

In May of 2018, I had the pleasure of participating in “The Way of St. James Bike Tour” with Fold N’ Visit Cycling Holidays. I flew into Porto, Portugal from the United States and was picked up at the airport by Sergio – the owner of Fold N’ Visit Cycling. The Porto airport is located approximately 15 kilometers from the city center, so it was nice to step off the airplane and instantly be greeted by someone from the tour company who was able to help me load my bags into the van and drive me to the center of beautiful Porto, Portugal – a stress free start to the tour!

Fold N’ Visit Cycling operates out of a very small and almost completely non-nondescript building on a narrow street near the Trindade metro station in the north-central part of Porto. Inside this small commercial space, dozens and dozens of bicycles are packed in and lined up next to one another… and in the back of the building is a small office that doubles as a repair bench and workstation for the company’s many bicycles.

After arriving at the Fold N’ Visit headquarters, I was instantly fitted with a bicycle that I would ride for the duration of the bike tour. This is one of the many nice things about participating in “The Way of St. James Bike Tour” (or any bike tour, really) with Fold N’ Visit Cycling Holidays – there’s no need to fly your own bicycle all the way to Portugal. Flying with a bicycle is a huge pain… and can be quite costly! Instead, simply travel to Porto on your own with a few changes of clothes and your toiletries, and the rest will be taken care of for you! There will be a bicycle waiting for you when you arrive, and all the rest of the tour details (such as nightly accommodations, the route you’ll cycle, etc) will have been arranged for you in advance. All you have to do is get on the bike you’re provided with, follow the recommended route, and check into your per-arranged hotels each night.

After I was fitted with a bicycle, I was shown to my hotel for the evening, the Porto Trindade Hotel, which is located just a short 210 meters away from the Fold N’ Visit office. This tall, modern, business hotel is located opposite the Trindade metro station, and is the perfect starting place for a trip to Porto, Portugal. The rooms are spacious and clean – contemporary, yet stylistically European.

After a short time in my hotel room, I returned to the Fold N’ Visit headquarters, where I met up with several other people who had flown in to participate in “The Way of St. James Bike Tour.” Mike (shown below on the left) had joined the tour after his wife read about it on the Internet and signed him up for the trip as a gift… and Jim (shown below on the right) had signed up for the bike tour after he read on my website that I was participating in the tour myself.

Then we met up with Alan and Rosemary, who had flown in from Arizona. Alan was another one of my www.bicycletouringpro.com readers who had joined the bike tour after I announced my intention to participate.

After our small group had gathered at the Fold N’ Visit office, we were introduced to Jose – one of the four tour leaders who would be guiding us each day on “The Way of St. James Bike Tour.” Jose introduced himself and then took us on a two-hour-long walking tour of Porto, Portugal – showing us the churches, the train stations, the architecture and the history of this beautiful European city.

One of the many things Jose pointed out to us were the mostly blue tiles that we saw scattered throughout the city. These tiles, while not always blue, were on the outside of buildings, houses and commercial enterprises. These blue tiles are called azulejos, and while they’re not always blue, they usually are of the blue (or azul) persuasion… and they can be found on walls, floors and ceilings all across Portugal.

Jose took us to the São Bento Railway Station in the center of Porto, where some of the best azulejos in all of Portugal can be seen in the atrium leading into the station. In this room there are approximately 20,000 azulejo tiles, dating from 1905–1916, that were composed by Jorge Colaço, an important painter of azulejos at the time.

The upper parts of the railway station frieze are lined with azulejos depicting a chronology of the various forms of transport used by man in Portugal. On the south wall of the atrium (pictured below) is a painting of the entrance to Porto of King John I and Philippa of Lancaster, on horseback, to celebrate their wedding.

From the São Bento Railway Station we continued our tour through the city and eventually made our way to the waterfront – one of the most picturesque parts of Porto.

Once there, we walked across the Luís I Bridge and entered the Burmester Wine Cellars, where we were given a short tour of the winery and learned why Port wines (and other wines made in the Douro region of Portugal) are so special.

Eventually, we were taken to a large tasting hall where we were given the opportunity to taste several of the wines we had just learned about. Some individuals on the tour even bought a bottle of wine or two to take home with them as a souvenir of their trip to Porto.

After our walking tour of Porto was complete, our small group of travelers returned to the Porto Trindade Hotel and promptly fell asleep. It had been a long day. We were tied… and we knew that we had a big day ahead of us. The following morning we’d begin the cycling portion of our pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela!

In the morning, we woke up early and had breakfast in the hotel. There was a big buffet breakfast on offer and we scarfed down the delicious presentation as quickly as we could before returning to our rooms, grabbing our things, and walking them down to the hotel lobby, where they were then loaded into the Fold N’ Visit van, which would follow us along our route; carry our belongings (so we didn’t have to carry them on our bicycles); and provide us with food, water and medical assistance along the route, if necessary.

While “The Way of St. James Bike Tour” can be completed as either a guided or self-guided bicycle touring experience, the tour that I chose to participate in was a large, guided group bicycle tour with approximately 25 total tour participants from all around the world. This made the experience of cycling from Porto, Portugal to Santiago de Compostela, Spain even more exciting, because there were so many different people to share the experience with. But it also made it a challenge for the four tour guides who were leading us along the route, as they needed to get our large group out of the city safely.

I was worried about the traffic leading out of Porto and with such a big group, I didn’t know how the Fold N’ Visit tour leaders (Sergio, Jose, Tiago and Pedro) would get us all out of the city without any of us getting lost or separated from the group. But to my amazement, the bike ride out of Porto was a whole lot easier than I had originally thought. We wound our way through the cobblestone streets, down to the river’s edge, and then eventually found our way onto a separated bike path along the western side of the city.

Once on the beach, the stress of city cycling escaped me and I could relax. We had made it to the scenic side of Portugal and the bike ride from here on out was exactly what I expected of Portugal when I signed up for this particular bike tour.

While there was a nice bike path along the beach during our exit from the city of Porto, that bike path eventually disappeared and we found ourselves cycling on a mix of paved roads, dirt paths and wooden boardwalks.

The boardwalk sections were my favorite part of the ride. From the boardwalks, we could see the Atlantic Ocean to our left – with seagulls flying in the air..

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Are you ready to participate in the cycling holiday of a lifetime in Provence, France?

In April of 2019, I will be participating in the Provence Prestige en Vélo bike tour with Belle France… and you’re invited to join me on the trip!

This is your opportunity to travel with me, Darren Alff (the Bicycle Touring Pro), on an incredible bicycle touring holiday in beautiful Provence, France.

Dates: April 14 – 20, 2019

Along the way we’ll stay in high-end hotels, eat delicious French cuisine, interact with the local people and experience to joy of traveling with like-minded people from all around the world.

Contact Belle France today or contact me directly to reserve your spot on the tour! Space is limited, so don’t delay!

Why Should You Go Cycling in France?

France is seriously one of the best countries in the world for bicycle touring. There’s so much to see, taste, experience and explore in France! The country has castles, coastlines, mountains, vineyards, an exhilarating history and some of the best food and drink in the entire world! Plus, it’s an incredible bicycle touring destination.

I’ve gone bicycle touring in France on five previous occasions, but the country is large and I realize I’ve really only seen a small portion of this incredible European cycling destination.

That’s why I’ve decided to return to France in April of 2019 and participate in another amazing bicycle touring holiday there.

You Helped Me Plan My Bike Tour in France

Two weeks ago I asked you, my Bicycle Touring Pro readers, to help me decide between two very different bike tours in France.

Of the two bike tours I was trying to decide between, one trip was a food-focused cycling holiday through the vineyards of Burgundy, while the other was a well-rounded cycling holiday in Provence featuring a combination of scenic cycling routes, sleepy villages and classic French cuisine.

Hundreds of Bicycle Touring Pro readers from all around the world completed my survey or contacted me via , Facebook or Instagram to tell me which of these two bike tours they most preferred…

In the end, the clear winner was the Provence Prestige en Vélo bike tour – a 7 day / 6 night medium-difficulty cycling holiday through sleepy French villages, sun-soaked vineyards, Roman ruins and the magnificent Pont du Gard aqueduct.

The Provence Prestige en Vélo Bike Tour

So, yes! In April of 2019 I will be participating in the Provence Prestige en Vélo bike tour with Belle France… and you’re invited to join me on the tour.

Contact Belle France today to reserve your spot on the tour!

This is a high-end self-guided bicycle touring holiday in France. We won’t be camping. Instead, we’ll be staying in high-end luxury hotels. And we won’t be eating oatmeal every day either. Instead, we’ll be eating delicious French foods and drinking the best French wines. And because it’s a self-guided bike tour, we’ll be free to cycle as fast or as slow as we like each day.

This is truly a bike tour that anyone with a moderate amount of bike riding experience can complete with ease.

This bike tour in France is going to be amazing… and I hope you’ll consider joining me on the trip!

Below are some of the details on the Provence Prestige en Vélo bike tour I’ll be participating in with Belle France in April of 2019. Further information (including a day-by-day itinerary of the tour) can be found on the Belle France website.

Tour Summary

Absorb the essence of Provence, France – sleepy villages, sun soaked vineyards, Roman ruins and the magnificent Pont du Gard. Easy cycling along quiet lanes and canal paths brings you to charming destinations where you are guaranteed a comfortable room and delicious food.

Holiday Highlights

  • Wonderful fortified city of Avignon
  • Magnificent Pont du Gard Aqueduct
  • Cycling through scented pines, vineyards and fields of sunflowers
  • Luxury accommodation and gourmet food
  • Dinner at a Michelin Star restaurant

What’s Included

  • 5 days cycling
  • 6 nights in luxury hotels, half board
  • Gourmet meals
  • Michelin-starred restaurant
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Comprehensive route notes
  • Bike hire

Difficulty: Medium

You’re Invited To Join Me On This Bike Tour

If you’re free on the week of April 14-20, 2019 and you’re interested in joining me on this incredible cycling holiday in France, please contact Belle France directly or send me a message through the contact form on this page and let me know that you are interested in participating in the Provence Prestige en Vélo bike tour in France with the Bicycle Touring Pro.

Please note that I am not in charge of this bike tour myself. Nor am I making any money if you sign up for the tour. I am simply a participant in this bike tour… so it’s best to contact Belle France directly, as they’ll be the best people to answer any questions you might have and get you signed up for the tour.

If you contact me, however, I’ll do my best to answer any questions you might have… and I’ll work to get you in touch with the people at Belle France to complete your booking (should you decide that this is a bike tour you are interested in joining).

5 Reasons You Should Join This Bike Tour

You should join the Provence Prestige en Vélo bike tour in France with the Bicycle Touring Pro in April of 2019…

If you’ve ever wanted to go to France. France is an incredible travel destination… and it’s a part of the world that is best explored on the back of a bicycle. This is your chance to see and experience France in a totally unique and memorable way.

If you’ve ever wanted to go bicycle touring with me (Darren Alff – the Bicycle Touring Pro). I get emails, comments and messages almost every day from people asking if they can go on a bike tour with me, but I’m not always able to make those requests a reality. This, however, is your opportunity to travel with me, the Bicycle Touring Pro, on a totally unique cycling adventure. We’ll have a lot of time throughout the tour to talk and learn more about one another, so this is your chance to really pick my brain and ask me anything you’ve ever wanted to ask about bicycle touring, world travel or whatever.

If you want to be featured in my Bicycle Touring Pro YouTube videos. When you chose to participate in this particular bike tour in April of 2019, you are also choosing to be an active participant in my video about the Provence Prestige en Vélo bike tour. You’ll be one of the stars of my videos… and at the end of the trip you’ll have an incredible holiday video to share with your friends, family members, co-workers and loved ones. Imagine yourself now as the star of a popular Bicycle Touring Pro YouTube video!

If you want to use this bike tour as a training tool for a longer or more difficult bike tours in the future. Participating in a self-guided bike tour like this one is a great way to gain experience as a long-distance bicycle tourist and to train for longer or more difficult bicycle touring adventures. If you’re new to bicycle touring, I highly recommend that you start with a bike tour like this one and then slowly work your way to more challenging bike trips in the future.

If you want to go bicycle touring, but don’t necessarily want to go bicycle touring on your own. Many people want to go bike touring, but they don’t necessarily want to go alone. If you’re one of those people, then consider joining me on this trip, as I will be on the bike tour with you, along with several other Bicycle Touring Pro readers from all around the world. This is a great way to travel with a group of like-minded individuals, make new friends, and experience France in the company of other people.

Important Bike Tour Details You Need To Know

Bike Tour Name: Provence Prestige en Vélo

Tour Company: Belle France

Dates: April 14-20, 2019

Group Size: Limited to a maximum of 10 people (only 9 spots left)

Length: 7 days / 6 Nights

Price: From £2,261 per person

My Participation In This Bike Tour

I (Darren Alff – the Bicycle Touring Pro) will be participating in this group bike tour with you, but I will NOT be leading it. This is an organized self-guided bike tour led by a tour company called Belle France. I have never done this bike tour before and I will simply be another tour participant on this week-long bicycle tour.

I will, however, be there on the bike tour with you – taking photos and shooting video for the website here at www.bicycletouringpro.com. So, if you want to meet me, get some professional photos of you cycling across France and be featured in some of my future Bicycle Touring Pro YouTube videos, this is your chance!

This would be a great bike tour to do alone, with a friend, a loved one, or a small group. Feel free to come on the bike tour by yourself, with another individual, or with a small group of friends.

How to Join Me On This Bike Tour in France

If this looks like a bike tour you might enjoy, please contact Belle France directly and tell them you want to participate in the Provence Prestige en Vélo bike tour with Bicycle Touring Pro in April of 2019.

If you have any questions or concerns about participating in this bike tour, feel free to send me a message through the form on this page or get in touch with me through any of Bicycle Touring Pro’s various social media accounts; Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc.

Thanks so much for your interest in the Provence Prestige en Vélo bike tour… and I look forward to traveling with you in beautiful Provence, France!

* Please note that the photos shown on this page are from one of my previous bike tours in France*. The photos are not from the Provence Prestige en Vélo bike tour with Belle France. The images used here are only meant to give you a sense of what it might be like to go bicycle touring in France.

The post Join The Bicycle Touring Pro on a Cycling Holiday in France! appeared first on Bicycle Touring Pro.

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I’m currently in the process of planning my bike tours for 2019… and I’ve decided that I’m going to return to France for another epic bicycle touring adventure! Click here to help me plan my bike tour.

I’ve been to France on several previous bike tours, but France is one of the best destinations in the world for anyone who enjoys cycling (and delicious food & drinks)… and that’s why I’ve decided to return to France in 2019 for another memorable cycling holiday.

I Need Your Help Planning My French Bike Tour

I’ve decided that rather than go to France on my own, I’m going to do the trip with a French tour company called Belle France.

Belle France is a tour company that assists you in exploring the most beautiful areas of France by bike on a wide variety of self-guided cycling holidays. Each Belle France cycling tour gives you time to take things at your own pace, admire your surroundings and enjoy leisurely lunches. Then, at the end of each day, you’ll find yourself at a comfortable hotel where you can relax, tuck into a delicious meal and sleep soundly.

Belle France has nearly two dozen bike tours on offer, but I’ve narrowed my choice of tours down to just two of the company’s most popular routes.

  • Burgundy Prestige en Vélo – an easy 6 day / 7 night bike tour focused on wine, vineyards and gourmet food featuring classic French cuisine.
  • Provence Prestige en Vélo – a 6 day / 7 night medium-difficulty bike tour through sleepy villages, sun soaked vineyards, Roman ruins and the magnificent Pont du Gard aqueduct.

Which Of These Two Bike Tours Should I Participate In?

Please take a moment to read the information on each of the following two bike tours and then fill out this short survey to let me know which of these two French cycling holidays looks the best.

Burgundy Prestige en Vélo

Tour Summary

This easy cycle through prestigious vineyards offers sublime wine tasting opportunities with such names as Pommard, Volnay, Meursault and Puligny Montrachet. Stay at elegant hotels offering gourmet menus – an opportunity for some classic French cuisine.

Holiday Highlights
  • Famous vineyards such as Pommard, Meursault and Puligny Montrachet
  • Sublime wine tasting opportunities
  • Luxury hotels with gourmet meals
  • Amazing wine list choices
  • Dinner in Chagny at Michelin Star restaurant

What’s Included

  • 5 days cycling
  • 6 nights in luxury hotels, half board
  • Gourmet meals
  • Michelin-starred restaurant
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Comprehensive route notes
  • Bike hire
Difficulty: Easy

Price:
From £1,935 per person
Provence Prestige en Vélo

Tour Summary

Absorb the essence of Provence, France – sleepy villages, sun soaked vineyards, Roman ruins and the magnificent Pont du Gard. Easy cycling along quiet lanes and canal paths brings you to charming destinations where you are guaranteed a comfortable room and delicious food.

Holiday Highlights
  • Wonderful fortified city of Avignon
  • Magnificent Pont du Gard Aqueduct
  • Cycling through scented pines, vineyards and fields of sunflowers
  • Luxury accommodation and gourmet food
  • Dinner at a Michelin Star restaurant

What’s Included

  • 5 days cycling
  • 6 nights in luxury hotels, half board
  • Gourmet meals
  • Michelin-starred restaurant
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Comprehensive route notes
  • Bike hire
Difficulty: Medium

Price
: From £2,261 per person
Which Belle France Bike Tour Looks Best?

Now that you’ve seen the two bike tours I’m considering, I need your help deciding which of these two self-guided cycling holidays I should participate in.

Click Here To Cast Your Vote

Take a moment right now to fill out this short survey and let me know which of these two bike tours you would choose if you were planning a cycling holiday in France.

In about a week or two I’ll make an announcement and let you know which of these two bike tours I’ve decided upon. Be sure to subscribe to the Bicycle Touring Pro email newsletter so you don’t miss out on this announcement once I make it.

Want To Join Me On A Bike Tour In France?

Good news! You can join me on one of these two bike tours!!!

When I announce in the next week or two which Belle France bike tour I’ve decided upon, I’ll also let you know how you can join me on this specific bike tour in April or May of 2019. The exact dates, the specific bike tour and all the details will be announced soon!

I’ll send out a special announcement via email and post all the details on the Bicycle Touring Pro event calendar as soon as I’ve made a decision and gotten all the details sorted.

* * * * *

Click here to learn more about Belle France and the self-guided walking and cycling tours they offer.

The post I’m Going To France & I Need Your Help Selecting The Best Bike Tour appeared first on Bicycle Touring Pro.

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Here’s a detailed look at my Northern California bike tour packing list: the bicycle, camping equipment, clothing and electronics I was carrying with me on my recent cycling adventure through the Redwood trees in Northern California.

As I’ve said with my previous bike tour packing lists, I encourage you to use this packing list as a rough guideline for your own bicycle touring adventures… or (better yet) see my book, “The Bicycle Touring Blueprint for more information on what to pack, how heavy your bicycle should be, what type of bicycle and gear you should be using, how to get yourself and your bicycle/gear to the start of your bike tour, what to expect once you hit the road, how to find free and cheap places to stay each night, and a whole lot more.

My Northern California Bike Tour Packing List

Co-Motion Cycles Siskiyou

This is my second major bike tour that I’ve done with my Co-Motion Cycles Sisikyou touring bicycle. This bike is made for road riding, but can handle dirt roads and gravel surfaces quite wonderfully. It was perfectly suited for my bike tour in Northern California.

Shimano SPD Clipless Bike Pedals

SPD pedals allow you to now only apply pressure when you are pushing down on the pedals, and in an upward direction direction as well. Not only that, but they lock your feet to the pedals, providing you with more stability when pedaling on fast descents. In other-words, you’re feet aren’t going to slip off the pedals as you ride. 

Axiom DLX Streamliner Disc Cycle Rack

The Axiom DLX Streamliner is an inexpensive rear bicycle rack with a narrower profile than many other rear bike racks. I’ve used this rack on several of my previous bike tours and it has held together just fine, so I used it again for this bike tour in Northern California. 

Arkel AC Lowrider Front Rack

The Arkel AC Lowrider is the same front bicycle rack I’ve been using on my bicycle touring expeditions all around the world for the last 14+ years. The Arkel AC Lowrider rack is a very good front bike rack that I would highly recommend. However, it was not designed to go with the Co-Motion Cycles Siskyou touring bicycle, as it doesn’t fit well on the front fork. I would opt for a Tubus front rack in the future.

Planet Bike Front & Rear Fenders

I used a set of inexpensive 26 inch fenders produced by Planet Bike for this particular bike tour. These fenders are inexpensive and they work extremely well. I would recommend them!

Pletscher Zoom Esge Kickstand

In 18+ years of bicycle touring, I’ve never used a kickstand on any of my long-distance bike tours. This bike tour in Northern California was far from “long-distance,” but I decided to try out the Pletscher Esge kickstand on this particular trip. It certainly was nice to have in some situations and I’ll probably use a kickstand like this again in the future. 

Water Bottle Cages

I’ve got two of these water bottle cages mounted to the frame of my touring bicycle. I wish there were room for three water bottle cages on my bike, but because of the Pinion gearbox and S&S couplers I have built into the frame of my bicycle, there simply isn’t room for a third water bottle. 

Water Bottles

Inside the two water bottle cages on my bicycle, I’ve got two standard-sized bicycle water bottles.

Ortlieb Bike-Packer Plus Rear Panniers

The Ortlieb Bike-Packer Plus panniers I used on this trip are my absolute  favorite bicycle touring bags. They’re large enough to carry all my gear, completely waterproof, and good looking. The pannier is shown here with a shoulder strap, but I don’t pack or carry that strap with me when I’m touring. This is the same pannier I’ve been traveling with for many, many years.

Ortlieb Sport-Packer Plus Front Panniers

Ortlieb Sport-Packer Plus panniers are high-quality, waterproof bicycle touring panniers for the front of your bicycle. Once again, the product is shown here with the included shoulder strap, but I do not pack or carry this strap while I am on the road.

Ortlieb Ultimate 6 Handlebar Bag

The Ortlieb Ultimate6 Handlebar Bag is one of my most-commonly used pieces of gear. I use this large handlebar bag to carry my wallet, cameras, and various bicycle tools. When I go into a supermarket or leave my bicycle for any length of time, my handlebar bag comes with me.

Blackburn Central 50 Rear Light

The Blackburn Central 50 rear bicycle light has worked well for me on previous bike tours, so I opted to bring it with me on this bike tour as well. The battery lasts quite a while and the light doubles as my nightlight when I am inside my tent.

Blackburn Atom SL 4.0 Bicycle Computer

The Blackburn Atom SL 4.0 bicycle computer is a very basic wireless bicycle computer which will tell you your speed, distance for the day, maximum speed, average speed and overall total distance. It doesn’t do much more than that, but I’ve found that that’s all I really want or need in a bicycle computer.

20 Inch Bungee Cord

I use this short bungee cord to carry my tripod on the top of my rear bicycle rack.

Lezyne Sport Drive HV Hand Pump

The Lezyne Sport Drive HV hand pump is an inexpensive bicycle pump, but it has worked flawlessly for me on several different bike tours over the last two years, so I decided to bring it with me to Northern California as well. It’s compact, lightweight and easy to use.

Origin 8 Multi-Tool

The Origin 8 wooden multi-tool is a little on the heavy side, but it has all the Allen wrenches, screwdrivers, and such that I need for a short bicycle touring holiday of any length.

Spare Rack Screws

Rack, fender and water bottle screws are notorious for wiggling loose during the long days of cycling on a bicycle tour. That’s why I always carry at least two or three extra rack screws with me – just in case.

Patch Kit & Tire Levers

If I get a flat tire, I can usually repair the flat with a basic repair kit and two additional plastic tire levers.

Spare Tube

In the event of a flat tire, I always have at least one spare bike tube on me at all times. I wasn’t actually able to find a 650 tube for my new touring bicycle, so for this particular bike tour I carried a 26″ tube with me – just in case (for emergencies only).

Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 1-Man Tent

The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 1-Man Tent is a small, lightweight tent that feels pretty big inside once you set it up and crawl inside. I bought this tent several years ago because of how small and light it is and it has turned out to be my favorite bicycle touring tent ever. Highly recommended!

REI Flash Sleeping Pad

This was my first multi-day bike tour using the REI Flash sleeping pad. I bought this sleeping pad to use on my lightweight bikepacking trips, but wanted to test it here to see how durable it was on a longer cycling adventure. So far, so good!

Marmot Sawtooth Sleeping Bag

The Marmot Sawtooth sleeping bag is a medium-grade wintertime sleeping bag that is perfect for cold-weather bike tours. I knew that it was going to be really cold on this particular bike tour (and I did run into some snow in the mountains), so I opted for this larger and heavier sleeping bag instead of some of the lighter and smaller sleeping bags I could have chosen.

MSR PocketRocket Camp Stove

The MSR PocketRocket is a small, lightweight camp stove that is perfect for those who have the option and ability to travel with a propane/butane fuel canister. The stove is compact, lightweight, easy to use and allows you to control the temperature of your food with a simple twist of the nozzle.

Primus Fuel Canister

If you opt to carry a camp stove like the MSR PocketRocket (listed above) then you’ve got to pick up one or more of these fuel canisters for your travels. I only used a small portion of the fuel inside this canister during my 5-day bike tour through the Redwoods in Northern California.

Titanium Cook Pot & Pan

In addition to the camp stove and fuel canister, I carry a small titanium cook pot and pan from Toaks. This pot and pan works well for any meal you might want to prepare for yourself after a long day on the road.

Folding Knife

This small folding knife is carried in my handlebar bag and can be accessed quickly if need be. Would I use it to defend myself from a bear attack? Hell, yes! But realistically, the main purpose of this knife is for food preparation.

Titanium Spork

A lightweight titanium spork is the only kitchen utensil I carry with me on my bike tours these days (unless you count my folding knife, of course).

Bike Helmet

The Giro Revel isn’t a high-end bike helmet, but it fit my head well and is relatively comfortable. I wish the visor were a little bigger (to help shield me from the sun), but otherwise it’s a nice, inexpensive bike helmet.

Long-Sleeve Cycling Jersey

I bought this long-sleeved cycling jersey from Fox, thinking that I would rarely, if ever, wear it, but it has turned out to be my favorite cycling jersey ever. The jersey is light enough that I can wear it even in hot weather, and because it’s long-sleeved, it’s perfect for wearing on cold-weather bike tours as well.

Short-Sleeve Cycling Jersey

In addition to the long-sleeved bike jersey I packed for my Northern California bike tour, I also brought along this short sleeved jersey made by Nike. For a 5-day bike tour like my trip through the Redwoods, two jerseys was more than enough for my time on the road.

Shorts

I don’t ride in a pair of special bicycle shorts. I just cycle in a pair of black Hurley shorts – like the kind you might find at your local surf/skate shop.

Rain Jacket

The REI Rhyolite rain jacket is lightweight, super compact, waterproof and great for blocking out the wind. It can be squeezed into any empty spaces you might have inside your panniers, but it isn’t very warm, so it needs to be used in conjunction with a warmer, insulating jacket.

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