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Has anyone gone on one of those TDF viewing bike tours?(9 posts)

Has anyone gone on one of those TDF viewing bike tours?Old_school_nik
Sep 26, 2002 10:38 AM
If yes, which outfit did you go with and what did you think of the vacation?


Bikestyle Tours (Aussie group), 17 days this past summer . . .Look381i
Sep 26, 2002 10:51 AM
an excellent trip. Lawrie and Natalie Cranely own and run the company. Price was about half a comparable American tour. Neil Stephens, Jono Hall and the other guides were all top notch.
less money that's sounds good...Old_school_nik
Sep 26, 2002 11:28 AM
I plan on doing this one next July..... . . .WCC
Sep 26, 2002 12:50 PM
..I am concerned about climbing some of those HC mountains.
HC climbsLook381i
Sep 26, 2002 1:49 PM

This past summer we rode Col du Soulor/Col d'Aubisque; Hautacam; La Mongie; Mont Ventoux; Alpe d'Huez; Les Deux Alpes; Le Madeleine; among others. Too early to say what'll be on tap for next summer.

Not all rode all climbs. It will be entirely up to you. On occasion, though, once you commit, you must finish in order to meet back up with the bus or get to the hotel. Usually you'll be able to ride he bus to and from the climbs if you want.

The toughest was by far Mont Ventoux - 14 miles of "official" climb plus a 40-mile approach and return. Parts of it hit 16%.

Alpe d'Huez was "easy" after that. It starts steep (over 10%) but then eases off a bit. Also, you can count switchbacks; they are all numbered and named after famous riders. Be sure to stop at the nice bike shop in the village at the bottom -- Bourg d'Oisans (?) to buy a jersey or more to commemorate your achievement. There are usually a couple of pro photographers in the climb that take your photo, which you can buy at the top and have mailed home. I got one, and it turned out great.

There is no reason why a reasonably fit recreational rider with the proper gearing cannot do all the climbs, especially if pride doesn't prevent a rest stop if you need it. I had to stop twice in the two hours up Mont Ventoux to buy more drinks. [My domestiques failed me . . .] I went though six water bottles worth that day just getting up.

I put on a 13-29 cassette with my 53/39 up front and was glad I had. I could have used a triple at the worst of Mont Ventoux. My recommendation is a triple, just so you have the option. I think Heras has made that respectable.

If you want more info, email me at

Chris Wells
No, but I would recommend one . . .ms
Sep 26, 2002 2:02 PM
Last summer, I spent 10 days with my family in the Alps (we stayed in Areches) to do the Etape du Tour, ride some Cols and see the Tour de France. My "domestiques" were not always happy campers when they were driving over winding mountain roads to meet me or having whole days of their vacation spent supporting me. Consequently, I did not ride as much has I had planned or see as much of the Tour as I had planned. As much as I love my family (and I think that they love me), if I were to do it again, I would go on one of the tours. I ran into several people on TdeF tours (unfortunatley I can't tell you which ones, other than the folks I saw in CTS gear) and all of them commented favorably on the arrangements and connections.
No, but I would recommend one . . .NJRoad
Sep 26, 2002 3:10 PM
The best part about the organized tour is that they will also schedule the day for your non-riding significant other. Would you believe that while I was watching LeTour this year my non-riding wife suggested we do a trip?
Same here.....WCC
Sep 26, 2002 6:25 PM
...and she's more fired up about it than I am. I just hope that next years route will go through some nice villages. I know its the Centenial Year, and the route will follow closely to the 1903 route. Bordeaux should be good.
I think all of France is great fro riding... I have done tours..Old_school_nik
Sep 27, 2002 5:40 AM
of many areas of France - but have never followed the tour. The Loire Valley is flat as a board - but there are more Chateaus per square mile than taxis in New York City!

The alps were unreal - although I did them on the Swiss side but all of france is small little traffic roads perfect for riding....

If I can only figure out the dough part of it.