Author Topic: Recommend USA Tour company for Senior Citizen  (Read 1510 times)

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Offline kt22mike

Recommend USA Tour company for Senior Citizen
« on: July 10, 2012, 06:27:17 am »
I am looking for a bike touring company that I can use next summer (2013) to ride across the USA.  I am 63 years old (crap next year I will be 64) and average about a 13mph pace on moderately hilly terrain.

Looking for recommendations for a bike tour company that has - if not similarly aged riders - can deal with a slow ride pace like this.   Hate to end up riding 3000 miles by myself chasing a bunch of fit kids.

Want a fully supported ride - with credit card lodging (hotels and luggage support).  My camping days are well over!!!

Any recommendations?
 How about some websites of similarly aged riders?

thanks

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Recommend USA Tour company for Senior Citizen
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2012, 10:28:17 am »
That's a tough list of requirements, but you've left out one factor.  How many hours can you cycle at 13 mph?  Ron Wallenfang, for instance, rode slowly from dawn to dusk (search for him on crazyguy), and rode a century or more per day.  You may be able to do some of the commercial tours if you can manage that kind of daily distance.  Most tourists seem to average 40-70 miles per day.

You might want to start your search with either the Cyclists' Yellow Pages, found off the main AC page, or the classifieds in a February or March issue of Adventure Cycling magazine.

If nothing else seems to work for you, you'll have two choices.
1.  Carry your own gear and credit card tour.  As long as you're hitting a motel and restaurant every day, your load will consist of clothes, water, and minimal supplies, tools, and parts.
2.  Relax the absolute prohibition on camping, and look at a van-supported Adventure Cycling TransAm.  One of the guys we met told me he almost never camped on that trip -- there was almost always a motel, B&B, or KOA cabin that he could rent.  The van can carry a 3" thick Thermarest, which is pretty comfortable when you have to camp, as well as a sleeping bag and tent.  Average age of the AC groups I've seen was probably late 50s / early 60s, and their daily mileages are reasonable.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Recommend USA Tour company for Senior Citizen
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2012, 11:38:30 am »
From what I have seen you really only need to worry about the daily mileage and not the pace.  Most of the groups I have seen seemed to start at various times and straggle in at the end of the day, so no need to keep up.

That said I have never actually been on a supported tour myself.  My comments are based on the supported groups I have met on the road.

Also I have not seen any tight correlation between pace and age.  Lots of fast old riders and plenty of slow young ones.  That said most of the groups I have seen had folks your age.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Recommend USA Tour company for Senior Citizen
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2012, 02:38:16 pm »
While by no means was it exhaustive, I did some poking around and didn't find any senior-oriented cross country trips. I did find a company or two that caters to seniors, but they didn't offer cross country trips. I guess there isn't enough of a market for it.

I think the motel requirement is the real limiting factor when it comes to finding a supported cross country tour. Even if you were to do it fast, it would be pretty pricey. America By Bike does a fully-supported 33 day indoor lodging tour. 115+ miles/day. The price this year for triple lodging is $5,150. Imagine what a 60 day trip like that would cost.

As noted, you might have to make some compromises, like camping or doing your own credit card trip. And FWIW, the oldest person on my self-contained cross country trip turned 77 during the adventure.

Offline yumadons

Re: Recommend USA Tour company for Senior Citizen
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2012, 07:09:02 pm »
At 13mph, you'll be able to keep up with a group. As Indy said, the limiting factor will be finding a group who motels it the whole way without doing wildly long days, most do at least some camping.

If you end up organizing your own group, I have 2 resources for you. Stephanie Kirz wrote "Bicycling The TransAm," (available @ Amazon), where she rode E2W with her husband, moteling it with no extreme distances tho they brought camping gear. I emailed her to ask if they ever had to use it and got no reply.

Or for W2E, my husband and I rode the western half of the TransAm to Pueblo, CO, last year - 43 miles per day average, no camping gear, all motels. We're doing the rest this year, but we're not staying on the TransAm. Starting in Pueblo, cutting over to the Katy, then down the Mississippi River Trail, then Chief Ladiga / Silver Comet to end at Hilton Head, SC. If you wanted to motel the eastern half of the TransAm, I don't think you'd have any trouble, towns are closer together in the east than
 the west. We're just wimps who don't want to do the Ozarks or Appalachians  8-) 

http://bicyclelife.topicwise.com/doc/yumadons1

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: Recommend USA Tour company for Senior Citizen
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2012, 07:11:24 pm »
Yeah, lots of people in your age bracket have done it, either camping or motelling. The only senior-oriented tours seem to be 7 - 14 days for the obvious reasons.

Don't toss aside the thought of a solo credit-card tour. I've done it and liked the flexibility of going off route or staying an extra day for an interesting event, illness, or bad weather. (One of those events was a bike rodeo with a bunch of preschool kids on an Indian reservation. Great fun for all.) Also, the local folks are much happier to meet and greet a solo visitor than a group.

Speaking of groups, you never know what you will find and be stuck with on an organized tour. Fifty days with certain types of people can be a grind. Not a problem when solo, assuming you are comfortable with yourself.

Fred

Offline danacf

Re: Recommend USA Tour company for Senior Citizen
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2012, 10:11:57 pm »
Classic Adventures is doing a trip this year, but I'm not sure they will be offering it next yearhttp://www.classicadventures.com/our-bike-tours/usa/coast-to-coast-usa-bike-tour.php.  It's a family run business that has been around for a long time.  Timberline Adventures did a trip in 2010.  The average and median age was 64 and the age range was 57-72.  http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=4V&doc_id=5019&v=1ue.  From my experience, it's usually the 57-72 crowd that has the time and money to do trips like these.