As the experts on self-contained bicycle travel, we’d like to share our knowledge by way of our Introduction to Road Touring (IRT) course. Two days of classroom instruction will be followed by a fun 4-day tour in this women-only course. This will give you the opportunity to test ride what you’ve learned in the classroom sessions.
Note that you’ll need to come to this intro course with some cycling skills and experience under your belt. But after graduating, you’ll be ready to hit the road on a loaded tour, whether it’s a solo outing, a trip with friends, or an Adventure Cycling group tour!
|Start Date:||May 10, 2015||End Date:||May 15, 2015|
|Start Location:||Williamsburg, VA||End Location:||Williamsburg, VA|
|Total Days:||6||Riding Days:||4|
|Average Daily Mileage:||47.0||Surface:||Paved|
|Riders:||14||Airport:||Newport News International, VA|
|Tour Leader:||Ruth Miller||Meals:||Shared cooking|
|Physical Difficulty:||Beginner||Level of Support:||Education|
We’ll begin our class with an orientation. There will be a discussion of the course schedule and general housekeeping rules. Once we are all acquainted and have a general idea of the framework of the course, we’ll prepare dinner and begin learning how to live on the road in comfort and style. After sharing our first meal, we’ll cover the week’s schedule, cooking rotations, group gear, and budgeting, among other topics essential for bicycle touring. Once we know the basics, it will be time to hit the hay.
7 a.m. sharp, it's up and at it! Your advisors will cook up breakfast before we delve into discussion about bike-touring equipment and what a savvy bike traveler should pack. Then we'll address how one should best carry all this critical stuff (we'll attempt to settle the classic trailer vs. pannier debate.) After we sort out the gear issues, it will be time for a hearty lunch. Following the lunch break, we will discuss what it's like to live on the road, exploring topics of safety, attitude and etiquette, and general touring rules. Once we have all of this under our belts, we'll put some of this newly acquired knowledge to work on a shakedown ride for our multi-day adventure that begins tomorrow. We'll also stop at the market and buy food for the next day. Learning what food to purchase will be important; there's almost nothing worse than a hungry cyclist! Returning to camp, we'll enjoy an evening meal before settling in for discussions about map reading, trip preparation, as well as preparation for inclement weather and roadside repairs. After a full day, it's time to catch a few winks before we head out on our tour.
As we embark on four days and three nights of field work, we’ll not only have a chance to learn more about the theories and skills specific to bicycle travel, we’ll also apply all that we've learned in a practical way to give you a real bike touring experience. We will travel and live as a typical Adventure Cycling tour group, sharing meals, campsites, and friendship. The route will ease us into the experience, with healthy doses of scenery and adventure. After this four-day loop, you will arrive back at the starting point of this trip ready to set out on your next adventure.
"I love the challenges that self-contained touring presents - both physical and mental. With a triathlon, you train, compete in the race - it's over at the end of the day. But with touring you have to be fit and mentally tough enough to get up and do it over and over again day after day. And you have to listen to your body as you get deeper in to the tour - as it becomes stronger, it demands more nutrition and more care - it's amazing how the body adapts to the effort of day after day riding and how it keeps giving us power if we take care of it. Most significant though is the journey alongside my husband - the touring that we do just draws us closer and closer and we discover new things about each other with each trip and that's after 25 years of marriage! I always tell him that when a tour is over, we will not be the same people at the end - the journey will have changed us and it's always in a good way."
2008 Tour Participant
"Everyone had a great and positive attitude! It was a wonderful experience!"
2008 Tour Participant
"We started the ride as a group of strangers and ended the ride as a group of close friends."
2008 Tour Participant
"I enjoyed being able to tour on my own, while at the same time being part of a group."
2013 Tour Participant