Author Topic: TransAm guided tour  (Read 2760 times)

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Offline SaemiVald

TransAm guided tour
« on: June 01, 2017, 10:13:42 am »
My wife and I are planning on riding across the US in 2018 and I am wondering whether to go
1) self contained, armed with a tent, sleeping bag and a credit card for those nights when we feel like sleeping in a hotel/hostel/BB
2) buy into some sort of a guided tour.

In the case of a guided tour we would be interested in support in driving the camping gear between camping spots. In addition to AdventureCycling, what other companies do you know of that provide such a service?

Any thoughts on which way is better, more fun, etc?

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: TransAm guided tour
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2017, 10:45:40 am »
In reverse order:  It depends.  Check out the ads in the back of an Adventure Cyclist magazine for other tour operators. 

AC tours have self-supported (you get to carry all your gear) and van-supported (the van carries your gear).  Both depend on the tourists to select food and do the cooking.  From what I've heard, that typically means four days a week of canned spaghetti, two days a week of pizza, and your wife will be expected to cook something better.

Expense-wise, the AC tours cost the least of any operator I've seen.  Their tours cost, for two people, about 1/2 to 2/3 of what an every-night-in-a-motel route on the same route would cost, and a lot more than camping every night would cost.  How much your tour costs depends heavily on how often you pull out that credit card!

Downsides of AC tours are that you have to deal with all those people, and you have to maintain the pace the group rides at and stop when, and only when, the group stops.  Want to spend an extra day in that special location?  If you do, you'll have to ride twice as far the next day to catch up.  Upsides are that accommodations are provided (be they campsite or hostel), and you only have to worry about cooking every few meals.  Also, you'll be riding with other riders; some touring companies are (in)famous for everybody parking at the bottom of a long pass, and waiting for a ride to the top.

Which sounds better to you?

Offline SaemiVald

Re: TransAm guided tour
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2017, 10:56:21 am »
Great answer, thanks!
Based on the cost of the AC tours and that other tours are even more expensive then I guess that going self-supported but staying at hotels once in a while is the way to go.


  • Guest
Re: TransAm guided tour
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2017, 02:12:42 pm »
I would not let cost be the driving factor. You want to enjoy yourselves. If you don't think you will enjoy carrying your own gear, selecting places to sleep each night (and ones where you feel safe), possibly not having a shower and/or flush toilet some nights, figuring out where to eat each day and, if you cook most days, shopping for groceries (and possibly carrying them a ways to camp), then going self contained simply because it's less expensive might take much of the fun out of the trip.

I did a few supported tours before my first self contained tour. I have done a few supported tours since starting self contained touring. As noted, they both have their pluses and minuses. A supported tour takes much of the load off a participant (pun intended), but they also come with their own challenges, especially if they are large. (Spend a week with 2,200 other people on something like Cycle Oregon and you will know what I mean.) In the end, you need to decide what style your believe will be the best match for you.

Offline John Nelson

Re: TransAm guided tour
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2017, 05:01:06 pm »
One of the major reasons I tour is the unparalleled sense of freedom to do whatever I want. For that reason, I tour solo and self-supported. I start whenever I want, I eat whatever and wherever I want, I stop whenever I want and for as long as I want, I sleep wherever I want and for as long as I want. I spend zero time trying to figure out where someone else is or what they want.