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john Jun 30th, 2002 05:29 AM

Bike Tours -Self guided or not
We are considering a bike tour of Provence in September. Numerous tour companies, at various price ranges are available, although now we are considering the "self guided" tour where we are provided with a bikes, maps and hotels and sent on your way. Seems more reasonable in price, yet we while still stay at 4* properties reserved by the tour operator. <BR><BR>What am I missing...other than the guide? Has anyone had recent experience with guided or self guided tours that would sway my decision either way.<BR><BR>Thanks in advance

PB Jun 30th, 2002 06:18 AM

&lt;&lt;now we are considering the "self guided" tour where we are provided with a bikes, maps and hotels and sent on your way. Seems more reasonable in price &gt;&gt;<BR><BR>I'm not sure why you need to pay someone for this. You can find your own hotel, the Tourist Offices have maps (you can ride just about anywhere here)and you can rent bikes in many places at very reasonable rates.<BR><BR>I'd be happy to recommend hotels (as I'm sure others would) and give you the name of a bike rental place in St Remy if that would be an area you are interested in staying in.<BR>This area has different types of biking routes - from flat to climbing into the Alpilles.<BR><BR>PB (in Provence)<BR><BR>

john Jun 30th, 2002 07:13 AM

PB. Thanks for the reply and suggestion. I may want to get some ideas regarding suggested hotels and routes. <BR><BR>One last to we transport our luggage from inn to inn?

Beth Jun 30th, 2002 07:43 AM

I have taken several cycling trips in Euorpe with Backroads, all of which were guided. I think whether or not you use a guide depends on how self sufficient you would like to be on your vacation and how strong and experienced a cyclist you are. I was happy to have someone else worry about getting luggage from place to place and support along the route. On Backroads trips one guide drives the van along the route and the other cycles with the group. This is invaluable if you need repairs along the way or if you get tired on a hill and want a lift. I think its a great way to travel

charles Jun 30th, 2002 11:49 AM

van gogh bicycle tour is really a very small and serious company . you should contact them .

Sandra Jul 1st, 2002 10:46 AM

John,<BR>I've not done a bike tour in Provence but have done and also arranged a few in the US. One point to consider with all tours is the location of the hotel. It should be close (within walking distance) of restaurants and other sights unless you want to cycle at night or call a taxi.<BR><BR>I remember reading an article about someone taking a tour similar to the one you described but it was in SW Ireland. The inns and B&B's provided by the tour company were all a couple of miles out of town. The locations made it difficult to stay out and listen to music.<BR><BR>Otherwise these tours seem like the best of both worlds - someone has planned it for you - chosing good routes. The transporation of luggage is a big plus and then you will have a point of contact if something goes wrong with the bikes etc. <BR><BR>

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