Adventure Cycling Tours travel on a wide variety of surface types. Each of our tours, whether it is less than 100 miles or more than 4,000 miles will have a variety of surface types on it. When we describe the surface type of a tour with the labels below, we're giving a snapshot of the most common surface type on your tour. A tour may list multiple surface types if each is a featured part of the tour.
Paved tours ride on typical paved roads, our most common travel surface. These range from smooth pavement to rougher secondary roads and some with chipseal. Paved Bike Trails may be part of these tours as well.
Dirt tours are our mountain bike tours, and utilize mountain bike trails, forest service roads, and other dirt surfaces. These tours can see a range of single track, double track, and dirt and gravel roads. Most Dirt tours also have sections of paved roads which allow the tour to connect seamlessly. A mountain bike tire with aggressive tread is suitable for this type of ride.
Gravel tours are those for which a mountain bike is not necessary, but you'll travel on gravel roads and trails. These roads vary from hard packed dirt to loose rocks and pebbles. The difference between Gravel and Dirt for some can be subtle, and one major factor we consider is the recommended bike type for each surface type. For tours that have lots of gravel riding, you'll want a tire size that is at least 42c.
Many of our tours utilize fantastic Bike Trails throughout the country, including the C&O Canal, Great Allegheny Passage, Mickelson Trail, Katy Trail, Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes and the American River Trail. Many of the trails we find ourselves on are part of fantastic rail trail networks, and range from paved to gravel surfaces. These car-free sections of the tour are true highlights!
Van Supported. Some of the best spring and fall gravel riding in the U.S. can be found outside southern Arizona's small, eclectic town of Patagonia, and we'll hit the dirt on this long-weekend gravel adventure.
Fully Supported. If you’ve been led to believe the Lone Star State is pancake flat, this weeklong bike tour through the rolling Texas Hill Country will prove otherwise. Plus, you’ll love the dazzling displays of spring wildflowers and Texas barbecue.
Van Supported. Pedal past sand dunes, hot springs, canyons, rock formations, and an incredible variety of plant and animal life as we explore the maze of wildly eroded and colorful badlands that are Death Valley.