Educational Tours

Our Leadership Training and Intro to Road and Dirt Touring courses combine classroom learning taught by our experienced tour leaders with self-contained bike touring. Enjoy the opportunity to take what you learned and put it into practice while having a seasoned tour leader accompany you along the way. Whether your goal is to learn the basics of self-contained touring or learn the dynamics of being an Adventure Cycling tour leader, these courses are the perfect mix of education and practice.

Get all the details on meals, lodging, and mechanical support for our Educational Tours.

 

Introduction to Road Touring

Many cyclists dream of traveling on a self-supported bicycle tour but lack the experience and know-how to strike out on a bicycle adventure. If that sounds like you, then this is your course.

Instruction is structured to teach the beginning cycle tourist the basics of traveling by bicycle with two days of outdoor instruction, after which we’ll hit the road on a four-day, self-contained camping tour. You’ll learn the basics of bicycle travel including what to bring, how to pack a loaded bike, cooking techniques, and emergency communication. Then you get a chance to apply your newly acquired knowledge on a mini-tour through the countryside of a location you choose: Oregon, Virginia, Florida, Wisconsin. You’ll complete the course with an increased confidence in your traveling abilities and an enhanced knowledge of the benefits of traveling by bicycle.

“It was a very well-organized tour in a beautiful and historic location, and while the weather did not cooperate, I was amazed at the resilience and good nature of our group. The weather could not keep us from having a great time.” 

 

Introduction to Dirt Touring

Thought about getting back into the mountains or woods on two wheels? These tours will teach you how to mountain-bike tour self-supported. We’ll spend the first two days with hands-on instruction, dealing with equipment, packing, navigation, safety, and cooking in the wild. Then you’ll put these skills to the test on a four-day adventure on backcountry dirt roads in Maine or Montana.

On this mini-expedition, you learn and practice how to negotiate loose dirt, gravel, sticks, rocks, and dirt road passes. You’ll also learn how to travel lightly and responsibly through remote areas and apply all that you have learned to the practice of traveling on a loaded mountain bike. Come join the ranks of bikepackers. It will open up a whole new world of cycling adventures in some of North America’s most spectacular areas.

“Everything was phenomenal! The tour leaders were very knowledgeable and helped create awesome camaraderie among our group. They helped with not just biking but camping and cooking! Everything! They always made me feel taken care of BUT also gave me the freedom to create my own adventure. It was the best trip of my life. I feel so empowered because of this trip.” 

 

Leadership Training Course

Our tour leaders begin their Adventure Cycling experience with these four-day courses, although many people attend the course for their own reasons — to start leading tours on their own, to hone their leadership skills, or to get more background for helping out with local cycling events. Whatever the reason, the Leadership Training courses are open to all cyclists.


These four-day courses cover a lot of ground. There are demonstrations of group equipment, role-playing based upon actual tour situations, and technique rides. The most important elements of the course, however, are the lectures and discussions about the philosophies of leading self-supported bicycle tours. Topics include: managing group dynamics, facilitating conflict resolution, the many aspects of motivating participants, and demonstrating good public relations while on the road. Instructors and advisors for the courses are Adventure Cycling’s most accomplished leaders. They have learned the ins and outs of tour leadership firsthand and are ready to address any questions you might have. 

“The experience provided personal insight and growth on and off the bike. I can use the skills learned in all aspects of my life. I met wonderful people from all over the U.S. and feel enriched by my interactions with them.” 

September 2018
October 2018
January 2019
March 2019
April 2019
May 2019
June 2019
July 2019
August 2019

Photo by Chris Guibert

Tour Team Top Picks

2019 Great Divide Canada I
2019 Great Divide Canada I
Jul 06, 2019 - Jul 16, 2019

Self Contained. The world’s longest mountain bike route turned 20 last year — and you can join the party. Ride the Great Divide’s spectacular Canadian section and see why Outside magazine called it one of “The Best Backcountry Adventure Trips in America.”

2019 C&O Canal/GAP - Spring
2019 C&O Canal/GAP - Spring
May 19, 2019 - May 27, 2019

Self Contained. This spring, you won’t need to worry about traffic as you ride your hybrid or mountain bike some 330 miles on hard-packed, gently graded gravel and dirt trails from the heart of the nation’s capital north to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

2019 Cycle Montana - Missoula
2019 Cycle Montana - Missoula
Jun 15, 2019 - Jun 22, 2019

Fully Supported. Beginning in Adventure Cycling’s hometown of Missoula, we’ll cross the Continental Divide more than once as we ride along many of the rivers that run through Western Montana and visit small towns, soak in few hot springs, and take in massive views under the Big Sky!