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Tour de France tours.(10 posts)

Tour de France tours.EricBH
Jan 8, 2004 6:53 AM
Well, my wife and I are going to treat ourselves to our 1st no-kid vacation and go see the Tour this summer. We are just starting to look into it and need some help. We may try a package deal by a bike-Tour-tour company or may plan out the details ourselves to save money. Can anyone recommend some good Tour de France, bike tour companies? Any other resource recommendations to get started? Thanks, Eric.
re: Tour de France tours.litespeedchick
Jan 8, 2004 7:12 AM
Here's my list of tour companies. Now if I could just talk some of my friends into going with me. Guess I'll be watching on TV again.

sportingtours.co.uk
velovacations.com
trektravel.com
veloechappe.com
re: Tour de France tours.Chen2
Jan 8, 2004 7:13 AM
We're going with Backroads for the third week of Le Tour. I believe the tours for the third week are filling up fast. There is a long waiting list for the one we're on. There are several tour companies working the TdF competing for accommodations. I expect it will be hectic and crowded but lots of fun. We've been with Backroads on several tours in the U.S., Italy, and Spain. I don't expect the TdF tours to be typical of any other tours.
Hope to see you there (along with 2 million of our closest friends).
~Al
We opted to plan it ourselves.spluti
Jan 8, 2004 8:52 AM
Online resources have come of age. The tour companies were just too expensive. And, the TDF is not the only thing we want to experience in France. Don't wait another minute. We were able to book finish line accomodations in Paris, Chartres, and Villard De Lan (Alpe de Huez) all online.
We probably have 40 hours into planning, map studying and making reservations. Cheap compared to the $7,000.00 we would cough up to a tour co.
Hey splutiteoteoteo
Jan 9, 2004 6:14 AM
Did I mail you the little guide I did? Sounds like you've done most of the booking but I bet there may be a tip or two in there for you. If you're interested let me know...
re: Tour de France tours.manicoti
Jan 8, 2004 9:02 AM
My wife and I went with sportingtours.co.uk and it was very easy to deal with. They have variety of packages. We signed up the first day possible to avoid any dissapointment of possibly missing out. The only complaint is that they will not take us to see the uphill TT of AdH. They said it is too crowded. They will take us to the base and let us ride our own bikes up if we want. Maybe we'll just sit in a pub and watch it.
Did Sporting Tours last year...Gregory Taylor
Jan 8, 2004 9:53 AM
I did their Etape d' Tour package in 2003. They had some serious organizational issues with our Tour, and we wound up being given a 75% refund because of the trouble.

It is a good company.
I think I remember your post..............chopper
Jan 8, 2004 10:17 AM
Didn't your bus driver have to stop driving because he met his maximum allowable driving time for the day and you had to sleep on the bus?

I went through bikestyletours and it was pretty good for the price. Our bus drivers were a-holes though, we came close to getting caught by that law too. It seems they're pretty strict about it and wouldn't accept a couple extra bucks to keep driving.

One thing I would recommend for anyone doing one of these trips is bring some laxatives, all those sandwiches and croissants and cheese.........
Yup, that was us!Gregory Taylor
Jan 8, 2004 10:31 AM
The bus drivers can't dodge that limitation because there is a recording device on the bus that their company reviews after each trip. They can get canned if they exceed the allowed hours.

Yes, we slept on the bus. It was Bastille day, and at the allotted time we literally pulled over at a roadside layby (just a wide bit of shoulder next to the road) out in the middle of nowhere and sat for 8 hours. They couldn't get additional busses or drivers because everything was closed for the holiday. There was a tiny roadside cafe next to the layby that stayed open for us (bless them) which had beer, french fries, and frozen cheese sandwiches. The tour company picked up the bar tab, which was rather robust.
re: Tour de France tours.Elefantino
Jan 8, 2004 6:18 PM
Go with some of those other tours if you like lots of people. Lots and lots of people. And if you don't want the chance to ride the tour every day. And if you don't want a nice, luxurious bus.

If you want a small, well-run tour, go with Custom Getaways (www.customgetaways.com). Went with them last year. They're the best. It was the trip of two lifetimes. Tell Chris Tardy (the owner) I said hi.

Have fun!

FWIW,
Mike

PS: They don't allow bikes at the Arc de Triomphe. But ... !