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View Full Version : New England Fall tour recomendations.


colodale
11-28-2007, 09:18 PM
My wife, myself, and another couple are discussing doing a fall tour next year in New England.

Does anyone have any experience with tour operators there? We're interested in something around a week long, staying in hotels, with moderate mileage days (40-60 miles). Not looking for a lowball price experience (done that), but nothing ultra premium either.

Are we better off just planning our own tour and doing loops from a home base hotel? I don't know enough about the area right now to plan that.

Thanks,
Dale

CNY rider
11-28-2007, 09:22 PM
You could easily keep yourself entertained for a week if you set up home base somewhere around Burlington Vermont. Maybe make a couple of bigger rides involving the mountain passes (Smugglers Notch and Ap Gap are my favorites), and use a couple of off days to explore Burlington itself.

Ken Robb
11-28-2007, 11:47 PM
not really New England but Les and I have had two wonderful visits to the Finger Lakes area (Cannandaigua Lake). Terrific riding, lots of lakes and woods, friendly people (besides DBRK) and a super B+B for a base. I love New England but it does get over-run with leaf peepers in the Fall.

Ray
11-29-2007, 02:33 AM
I did a tour of theirs once with my daughter. Nice inns, good food, not cheap but not premium prices either. Most of their tours are pretty easy and shorter mileage, but their Northeast Kingdom tour is six or seven days and about 40-60 miles per day. Some pretty tough terrain up there though I think.

No connection - just a satisfied customer.

-Ray

sailorboy
11-29-2007, 03:05 AM
used to be a couple of tour companies:

VCC- Vermont Country Cyclers

VBT - Vermont Bicycle Touring

both offered varying packages back in the day, don't know if they are still operating. Try googling it.

Ti-Boy
11-29-2007, 04:33 AM
My wife and I did a tour with POMG that circumnavigated Vt. two years ago. We ride and different levels and each of us very satisfied with all aspects of the tour.

William
11-29-2007, 05:24 AM
Some good recommendations all ready. But if you really want the quintessential New England experience: Grab yourself some saugies, Dell's Lemonade, a couple of Awful Awful's, a grindah, some crab cakes & chowdah, and hole up in a HoJo's in Warwick watching nothing but NESN for a week. SteveP will even stop buy and stuff a used Sachs waterbottle under your door.


There you go!

;) :D


William

Pete Serotta
11-29-2007, 05:46 AM
Vermont Bicycle Tours does some good ones.


My wife, myself, and another couple are discussing doing


fall tour next year in New England.

Does anyone have any experience with tour operators there? We're interested in something around a week long, staying in hotels, with moderate mileage days (40-60 miles). Not looking for a lowball price experience (done that), but nothing ultra premium either.

Are we better off just planning our own tour and doing loops from a home base hotel? I don't know enough about the area right now to plan that.

Thanks,
Dale

Bruce K
11-29-2007, 06:20 AM
I had a great experience with POMG 2 summers ago. Nice folks.

If you want something with nicer amenities off the bike take a look at Ciclissimo Classico as well.

BK

Ti Designs
11-29-2007, 11:10 AM
If you're planning a tour of New England and you want a real taste of the whole area, you can't base it on just one starting point. Compared to the west, the whole New England area is small, so it's possible to pick up and start the next days ride in a whole new area. A few places to consider would be the Maine coast - it doesn't get much better than Acadia in early September. Burlington Vt is worth a day or two of riding and a stop at Al's Fry's (yeh, that's how they spell it). The white mountains of NH offer some great riding as well. Then when your legs start asking for fewer hills you can hit the North shore area in Mass. The Rockport loop is worth turning the pedals for, and if Bruce doesn't offer to be tour guide I'll be more than happy to ride out.

I have never found a tour company that can offer the same insight to an area as the locals. I'll bet you could find people from anywhere you wanted to explore right here on the forum who would be willing to show you around the back roads and show you the sights like no touring company could. Plus some of us get to ride with forum members from the other coast and you might even go home a Red Sox fan...

Steve D
11-29-2007, 12:29 PM
I like TiDesign's idea to move around on your own rather than go with a tour company that is centered in just one area (e.g., Vermont).

The Seacost Century organized by the Granite State Wheelman is a great route that will take you from MA, up the coast of NH and Maine. Awesome route. It rides right along the ocean and offers great views of the ocean as well as historic lighthouses, etc.
http://www.granitestatewheelmen.org/SCC/SCC-Map.htm

Also, you might take Bruce's idea to ride around Arcadia. Beautiful.
http://web.mac.com/zorbathegeek/Cadillac/Info.html

The White Mountains in NH is one of my favorite places to ride. Consider staying at the Highland Center in Crawford Notch (run by the Appalachian Mountain Club) www.outdoors.org and riding the Kanc, Bear Notch Road, etc.

In RI, you might like to visit Westerly. There's nice riding down there, plus a lot of stuff for tourists too.
http://nbwclub.org/maps/nbw059-mysticmetric.pdf

Last summer I did some riding in Vermont and posted a report on roadbike review.
http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=101968&highlight=vermont

In MA, the Berkshire's are nice, but you could always consider doing the Pan Mass Challenge (in August) and requires substantial fundraising, but this route would take you accross most of the state and to the tip of cape cod.
www.crw.org offers a lot of MA ride routes

I've never done much riding in CT so can't help you there.

benb
11-29-2007, 01:30 PM
I'd agree.. if you're not down for monster mileage rent a car that can be dropped off at a different location and set up shop in Burlington, VT for part of the time. Ride the islands on Lake Champlain, etc.. for a flat start. Optionally go ride Smugglers Notch and/or Appalachian Gap. Then drive and stay in North Conway, NH for a couple days and ride the white mountains for some harder riding. The Mt. Washington Century route would be fun if you're feeling tough. Then drive out to Acadia and ride Mt. Desert Island for a couple days of easier riding. A cross bike might be the ticket as the carriage roads in Acadia are not to be missed.. they are easy trails for even a cross bike or hybrid but the views are fantastic. But they'd definitely be somewhat questionable on a road bike with slick 700x23 tires. There are also a few cool dirt roads in the white mountains that a cross bike would be handy on.

I can't imagine this costing anywhere near the $3000 or so that VBT would charge just to show you around the Burlington area.

Cape Cod and/or Martha's Vineyard might also be worth visiting.. but that's a lot of driving, it's a much busier (traffic) and more expensive area, and it's pretty darn flat.

The Seacoast century is a lot of fun, pancake flat, possibly windy, it's a very busy area but at the end of September a lot of the tourism is shutting down so there isn't much auto traffic.

GregL
11-29-2007, 02:13 PM
My wife and I did a circumnavigation of Lake Champlain a few years back. We extended the basic ride with excursions to the Lake Placid area to the west and Waterbury to the east. You can check out the Lake Champlain Bikeways site (http://www.champlainbikeways.org/) for lots of good information.

We did our tour without support from a touring company. We started and finished in the village of Ticonderoga. I called ahead and received permission from the village police department to park our car in their lot for the week (very secure and FREE). We rode 50-75 miles per day and stayed at B&Bs along the way. The hospitality was great and the prices were very reasonable. We enjoyed sleeping in comfy beds after our days in the saddle.

We chose lightly traveled rural roads. The trip was nearly perfect. We had a nice mix of rolling and hilly terrain, lots of time and places to stop and enjoy the vistas, and generally friendly motorists. We did the tour mid-summer, but I would imagine early fall would be beautiful. If you chose to do a tour in this area, please let us know how it went!

Regards,
Greg

Bruce K
11-29-2007, 07:03 PM
Arcadia is a little TOO North Shore for me. It is Maine after all.

I would be more than happy to play tour guide for the roads on the North Shore of Massachusetts. There are a few others from around here who would more than likely jump in as well.

Hardlyrob
93degrees

And Old School makes really good fried clams at The Village Restaurant in Essex, MA.

Don't forget Cape Cod. There is some very nice riding down there and the fall would be out of season so there would be a lot less traffic.

BK

colodale
11-29-2007, 07:37 PM
Wow, thanks for all the great responses! It will take me awhile to absorb all these recomendations.

We've done many organized week-long tours thru the years (all out west) and had mostly great experiences on them, but this does sound like it would be a managable (and rewarding) tour to arrange for ourselves. I like TiDesign's idea suggested too of being able to drive to a start point for the day from our base B&B to expand the range of scenery.

It's nice to not have to pack up and move everyday and be able to get to know an area a little better. If weather comes in, you can leave later in the day without having to meet someone else's schedule etc...

Thanks,
Dale

gdw
11-29-2007, 07:53 PM
If you plan on setting up the trip yourselves and would like to see the foliage turn, make sure to book your rooms as soon as possible. The nice BB's are booked by tour groups and repeat visitors well in advance. Rooms are scarce in rural New England and the rates go up dramitically in the fall.