Forum home Road cycling forum Tours, routes, audaxes & organised rides Tour & expedition

Tour Planning Questions

sajetssajets Posts: 18
edited July 2012 in Tour & expedition
Hey All,

I would like to go on a 2/3 week tour around Christmas and New Year (work makes such long holidays difficult at other times) and I need a couple of starting points to start planning. To escape the winter I think it is best to do the tour in the southern hemisphere, maybe South America or Asia.

Does anyone have experience with guided tours in those regions? I found a few providers but they are quite expensive and it is difficult to verify their quality.
How could I search for others who might also be interested in going on a tour at that time?
How to I start to plan a route? What is the best list or database of cycling routes?

Thank for your help

Posts

  • deswellerdesweller Posts: 5,271
    Ha, well, I might be interested!

    The last time I tried anything like this I bought a big map, pored over it for days, picked some areas I wanted to visit, made sure there were some towns / villages along the route and then basically winged it. Bought more detailed maps when I got there. Important to ensure that your target mileage isn't so high that you're likely to be chasing it all the time; you want to be able to sightsee. The amount of mileage you want to do is obviously up to you, but a reasonable starting point is, say, 300 miles per week. That gives you 5 days of 60 miles per day, which is decent riding but not desperately strenuous.

    I don't really like the idea of guided tours; IME, when you're in a group of more than, say, two or three people you're much less likely to interact with the locals as the group sticks together more.

    Make sure you learn some basic phrases; it makes all the difference. If you're taking your own bike make sure your air ticket covers sporting equipment, I've fallen foul of that in the past.
    - - - - - - - - - -
    On Strava.{/url}
  • HoopdriverHoopdriver Posts: 2,023
    Have you considered Australia?

    It is a great country for touring and far simpler to organize your own tour. I have done much, much touring in Australia, literally wrote National Geographic's travel guide to the country, and could give you some (hopefully) useful ideas if you are interested in heading that way.
  • deswellerdesweller Posts: 5,271
    Hoopdriver wrote:
    Have you considered Australia?

    It is a great country for touring and far simpler to organize your own tour. I have done much, much touring in Australia, literally wrote National Geographic's travel guide to the country, and could give you some (hopefully) useful ideas if you are interested in heading that way.

    You reckon? It's English-speaking, which takes half the fun out doesn't it?
    - - - - - - - - - -
    On Strava.{/url}
  • cycladeliccycladelic Posts: 641
    I wouldn't want to fly around the world (Australia) justfor a few weeks' holiday. Why not tour southern Spain?... You can get cheap flights there and there are some wonderful roads to explore.
    It's an uphill climb to the bottom
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    Try Saddle Skedaddle www.skedaddle.co.uk.

    Unfortunately even southern Spain isn't a good bet in winter. I did meet a guy who spends winters on the southern side of the Atlas mountains.
  • Don't forget the Caribbean. It's a good time of year to cycle there. Cuba is a great one!
    I don't know about organised tours there though, but it's easy enough to pack your bike from home with rear panniers and plan your own route.
  • sajetssajets Posts: 18
    Thanks all for the responses.

    I think Spain in winter will be too cold and I am not sure northern Africa (Atlas mountains) is a good place to go at the moment. I like the sound of Cuba and will look into it. Unfortunately Skedaddle is above my budget.
  • cycladeliccycladelic Posts: 641
    Last Christmas I was in India - betwen Mumbia and Goa.... a great trip doable in a couple of weeks. You'll need a visa though.
    It's an uphill climb to the bottom
  • jalapenojalapeno Posts: 1,009
    the only S American country realistically rewarding for a 2-3 week tour is probably Ecuador.. it's small and a 'relatively' short flight. Most S american countries are vast with correspondingly vast cycling distances (have ridden them all). Having said that northern Argentina and SW Bolivia would be a great destination for a 2-3 week trip, you need to be pretty self sufficient.
    I rode across the Atlas a few christmases ago, passes around Marrakesh were fine apart from one snowfall. The high atlas gets wetter/snowier in winter as you go north so provided you were'nt much north of Marrakesh you'd be fine, and of course once over the atlas you're in rain shadow and it all gets quite dry. The Anti-Atlas and the coast of Morocco south of Tiznit is also pretty nice for cycling. No security issues to worry about.

    Painted Roads.. colourful cycling adventures
    http://www.paintedroads.com
  • HoopdriverHoopdriver Posts: 2,023
    jalapeno wrote:
    the only S American country realistically rewarding for a 2-3 week tour is probably Ecuador.. it's small and a 'relatively' short flight. Most S american countries are vast with correspondingly vast cycling distances (have ridden them all). Having said that northern Argentina and SW Bolivia would be a great destination for a 2-3 week trip, you need to be pretty self sufficient.
    I rode across the Atlas a few christmases ago, passes around Marrakesh were fine apart from one snowfall. The high atlas gets wetter/snowier in winter as you go north so provided you were'nt much north of Marrakesh you'd be fine, and of course once over the atlas you're in rain shadow and it all gets quite dry. The Anti-Atlas and the coast of Morocco south of Tiznit is also pretty nice for cycling. No security issues to worry about.
    Ecuador is pretty cool in many ways, but Ecuadorian driving can be ... Well, the most colourful thing in the entire country.
  • jalapenojalapeno Posts: 1,009
    Hoopdriver wrote:
    jalapeno wrote:
    the only S American country realistically rewarding for a 2-3 week tour is probably Ecuador.. it's small and a 'relatively' short flight. Most S american countries are vast with correspondingly vast cycling distances (have ridden them all). Having said that northern Argentina and SW Bolivia would be a great destination for a 2-3 week trip, you need to be pretty self sufficient.
    I rode across the Atlas a few christmases ago, passes around Marrakesh were fine apart from one snowfall. The high atlas gets wetter/snowier in winter as you go north so provided you were'nt much north of Marrakesh you'd be fine, and of course once over the atlas you're in rain shadow and it all gets quite dry. The Anti-Atlas and the coast of Morocco south of Tiznit is also pretty nice for cycling. No security issues to worry about.
    Ecuador is pretty cool in many ways, but Ecuadorian driving can be ... Well, the most colourful thing in the entire country.
    I thought they were pretty good... once away from the cities, had no issues anyway. Riding in Quito any day other thn sunday was pretty hideous tho

    Painted Roads.. colourful cycling adventures
    http://www.paintedroads.com
  • HoopdriverHoopdriver Posts: 2,023
    jalapeno wrote:
    Hoopdriver wrote:
    jalapeno wrote:
    the only S American country realistically rewarding for a 2-3 week tour is probably Ecuador.. it's small and a 'relatively' short flight. Most S american countries are vast with correspondingly vast cycling distances (have ridden them all). Having said that northern Argentina and SW Bolivia would be a great destination for a 2-3 week trip, you need to be pretty self sufficient.
    I rode across the Atlas a few christmases ago, passes around Marrakesh were fine apart from one snowfall. The high atlas gets wetter/snowier in winter as you go north so provided you were'nt much north of Marrakesh you'd be fine, and of course once over the atlas you're in rain shadow and it all gets quite dry. The Anti-Atlas and the coast of Morocco south of Tiznit is also pretty nice for cycling. No security issues to worry about.
    Ecuador is pretty cool in many ways, but Ecuadorian driving can be ... Well, the most colourful thing in the entire country.
    I thought they were pretty good... once away from the cities, had no issues anyway. Riding in Quito any day other thn sunday was pretty hideous tho
    I was thinking more of Manta, a rather rough and tumble tuna port on the coast north of Guayquil. The road from there to Montecristi (of Panama hat fame) is a nightmare of crazy high speed chaotic driving.
  • jalapenojalapeno Posts: 1,009
    haha, fair enough.. I avoided the coastal strips, much prefer the cooler air and mellow towns up in the Andes

    Painted Roads.. colourful cycling adventures
    http://www.paintedroads.com
  • HoopdriverHoopdriver Posts: 2,023
    jalapeno wrote:
    haha, fair enough.. I avoided the coastal strips, much prefer the cooler air and mellow towns up in the Andes
    Definitely a better idea. You sound like you've done a fair bit of touring...
  • jalapenojalapeno Posts: 1,009
    Hoopdriver wrote:
    jalapeno wrote:
    haha, fair enough.. I avoided the coastal strips, much prefer the cooler air and mellow towns up in the Andes
    ..You sound like you've done a fair bit of touring...

    heh, you could say that :-)

    Painted Roads.. colourful cycling adventures
    http://www.paintedroads.com
Sign In or Register to comment.