Tours to "The Tour"

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by J.L. Franklin, Aug 10, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Does anyone have any good info and experience with travel companies that sponsor trips to France to
    see the Tour de France? I'm interested in going and want to hook up with a good company/group.
    Please advise.

    --
    J.L.
     
    Tags:


  2. > Does anyone have any good info and experience with travel companies that sponsor trips to France
    > to see the Tour de France? I'm interested in
    going
    > and want to hook up with a good company/group. Please advise.

    [This guy's looking for info I've been thinking about digging up for our website anyway, so here's
    what I've run down this afternoon. Also, if anybody has any experiences with any of these groups,
    please post in this thread or via email to me ([email protected]) so I can put the info
    together for an informational page on our website.]

    As you're probably aware (and the reason you're posting now instead of later), France is going to be
    overrun by US folk in 2004, and tours are going to be fully booked before they're even announced
    (meaning that people are going to find ways to reserve spots on tours they don't even know the dates
    of, locations, etc).

    I just did a quick search and found a site that has some info, subject to change, on how they think
    things are going to run (and their available tours and costs) for '04-

    http://www.experienceplus.com/tour_de_france.html

    But I have no idea how good they are. I just got back from a 12-day Pyrenees to Paris tour with the
    Graham Baxter group (http://www.sportingtours.co.uk/letour/pyrenees2.html). Very reasonably priced,
    got to see a lot, but it's possibly not the best for someone who's never been to France before and
    might want a bit more hand-holding than they offer.

    TREKTravel got rave reviews from everyone I came across who was on a TDF tour with them (we're a
    very large TREK dealer and have a lot of customers interested in what they have to offer, so it made
    since to find out everything I could), but they're basically oversold for '04 already, and have told
    dealers to work on getting people interested in their other trips.

    Backroads generally gets high marks from our customers; info on their TDF packages may be found at
    http://www.backroads.com/cgi-bin/tripLister.py

    Breaking Away is another popular, high-quality organization, with info on their '03 offerings (which
    will give some insight for '04) found at http://www.breakingaway.com/flash/home.htm

    Butterfield & Robinson defines the high-end of cycle touring... $6k for their July 20-28th trip for
    the '03 TDF, to give you an idea. More info at
    http://www.butterfieldandrobinson.com/index.asp?navid=16&layid=236&csid=135& csid1=1998&fid1=16

    Bicycle Outfitters, a shop not too far from our own in the SF Bay Area, runs tours in France, with
    info on their past '03 offering at http://bicycleoutfitter.com/site/page.cfm?PageID=209. Reasonably
    priced and good people.

    VeloVacations (also known as VeloSport Vacations) is a group I've come across frequently in my
    travels in France, and I found people generally pretty happy with them. Their past '03 offerings may
    be found at http://www.velovacations.com/tdf_res.html

    Steve Bauer, former TDF racer, has another high-end touring company, with info on their past '03
    offerings at http://www.stevebauer.com/performance_trips/tourdefrance3/

    Velo Echappe looks interesting (they emphasize having big-name cycling greats helping out, including
    Sean Kelly... wonder if his English is easier to understand in person than on TV?), but I don't know
    anyone personally who's been on one of their tours; info on their past '03 offerings is at
    http://www.veloechappe.com/tdf_pyrs_itin.asp

    Former USPS rider Marty Jemison has his own tour company, and briefly touches on their 2004 plans at
    http://www.martyjemison.com/tdf.html

    Inside Track Tours is another one that I'm not familiar with, but there's info on their 2004 TDF
    plans at http://www.insidetracktours.com/tdf_2004.htm. They do have an added bonus of having Tyler
    Hamilton, 4th place in this year's TDF and found in the dictionary when you look up "Tough as
    nails", as a general partner. For many this may be an added plus, as there could be an assumed
    benefit of being able to at least get an autograph from a real TDF contender!

    Cycling Ahead runs trips during the TDF, but I know nothing about them and am a little put off by a
    website that doesn't list prices; you have to fill out a form on their website and they'll get back
    to you. Info at http://www.cycling-ahead.com/TheTourdeFrance.htm

    VeloVista is a general-purpose cycle touring site, with a great deal of useful information,
    including info on the '03 TDF at this page- http://www.velovista.net/tour_trip_03.htm

    Bikestyle Tours, an Australian touring company, has info on their '04 TDF plans here-
    http://www.bikestyletours.com/index.php/39 (this is another one I have no references on)

    Adventure Travel is another Australian touring company, this one with Phil Anderson, former TDF
    great, riding along. Their info on TDF trips is at http://www.tourdefrance.com.au/default.asp. I
    don't know of anyone who's done one of their tours, but Phil's wife, Christine, speaks glowingly of
    her husbands ability to entertain and take care of their guests (I met her in Lourdes at the '03
    TDF; details on my diary page at www.ChainReaction.com/diaryfrance2003.htm#christine)

    ====================================================================

    If anybody know of other tours not listed, please reply to this thread or directly to me via email
    ([email protected]).

    One other thing I should add... if you really want to get into the TDF action itself, it may not be
    practical to be cycling every single day. Conversely, if you want to really get into cycling in
    France, it may not be practical to see that much of the TDF! You'll most likely run yourself into
    the ground, and possibly disappoint yourself because things didn't work out quite as planned. The
    best way to have a really enjoyable experience is to be flexible and recognize that your original
    plans might need to be altered a bit, and try to decide ahead of time if you want to do everything,
    in which case you'll probably need a vacation from your vacation when you get back (personal
    experience talking here!).

    Thanks!

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
     
  3. Karen M.

    Karen M. Guest

    Mike wrote:
    > > Does anyone have any good info and experience with travel companies that sponsor trips to France
    > > to see the Tour de France? I'm interested in going and want to hook up with a good
    > > company/group. Please advise.

    > [This guy's looking for info I've been thinking about digging up for our website anyway, so here's
    > what I've run down this afternoon. Also, if anybody has any experiences with any of these groups,
    > please post in this thread or via email to me ([email protected]) so I can put the info
    > together for an informational page on our website.]

    Mike, you da man! I wonder if any local entrepreneurs (like a bike club or hostelling group) puts
    something together for members and friends, kindof like joining an Iowa bike club for a week in
    July. I might look for such. What to wear to the TdF (found while checking spelling on a certain
    major street in Paris): http://www.4-fragrances.com/women/champs-elysees-w.htm

    --Karen M. who had loads of good apres conversations at a tour tour this weekend...everyone in
    celeste knew the name Jan Ullrich
     
  4. Karen: I've cleaned things up a bit and put the TDF Tour operators up on a page on our website. You
    can see it at www.ChainReaction.com/france04tdftourcompanies.htm

    Regarding the best "deals" for France, if you wanted to piece together something of your own, you
    can check out the offerings on www.gotoday.com. My wife and I used them for our trip to Paris last
    September, and it worked out great... very inexpensive, not bad place to stay.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles www.ChainReaction.com

    "Karen M." <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Mike wrote:
    > > > Does anyone have any good info and experience with travel companies
    that
    > > > sponsor trips to France to see the Tour de France? I'm interested in going and want to hook up
    > > > with a good company/group. Please advise.
    >
    > > [This guy's looking for info I've been thinking about digging up for our website anyway, so
    > > here's what I've run down this afternoon. Also, if anybody has any experiences with any of these
    > > groups, please post in
    this
    > > thread or via email to me ([email protected]) so I can put the
    info
    > > together for an informational page on our website.]
    >
    > Mike, you da man! I wonder if any local entrepreneurs (like a bike club or hostelling group)
    > puts something together for members and friends, kindof like joining an Iowa bike club for a
    > week in July. I might look for such. What to wear to the TdF (found while checking spelling on
    > a certain major street in Paris): http://www.4-fragrances.com/women/champs-elysees-w.htm
    >
    > --Karen M. who had loads of good apres conversations at a tour tour this weekend...everyone in
    > celeste knew the name Jan Ullrich
     
  5. Stansd

    Stansd Guest

    Mike,

    Your the best! Thanks for the info! If anyone out there ever needs a Trek, go see Mike...I bought
    one from him, parked it under a Semi, and then bought another.

    Stan (Not my real name, Mike, but you probably remember me...living in San Diego now!)

    "Mike Jacoubowsky" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > > Does anyone have any good info and experience with travel companies that sponsor trips to France
    > > to see the Tour de France? I'm interested in
    > going
    > > and want to hook up with a good company/group. Please advise.
    >
    > [This guy's looking for info I've been thinking about digging up for our website anyway, so here's
    > what I've run down this afternoon. Also, if anybody has any experiences with any of these groups,
    > please post in this thread or via email to me ([email protected]) so I can put the info
    > together for an informational page on our website.]
    >
    > As you're probably aware (and the reason you're posting now instead of later), France is going to
    > be overrun by US folk in 2004, and tours are going to be fully booked before they're even
    > announced (meaning that
    people
    > are going to find ways to reserve spots on tours they don't even know the dates of,
    > locations, etc).
    >
    > I just did a quick search and found a site that has some info, subject to change, on how they
    > think things are going to run (and their available
    tours
    > and costs) for '04-
    >
    > http://www.experienceplus.com/tour_de_france.html
    >
    > But I have no idea how good they are. I just got back from a 12-day Pyrenees to Paris tour with
    > the Graham Baxter group (http://www.sportingtours.co.uk/letour/pyrenees2.html). Very reasonably
    > priced, got to see a lot, but it's possibly not the best for someone who's never been to France
    > before and might want a bit more hand-holding than
    they
    > offer.
    >
    > TREKTravel got rave reviews from everyone I came across who was on a TDF tour with them (we're a
    > very large TREK dealer and have a lot of customers interested in what they have to offer, so it
    > made since to find out everything I could), but they're basically oversold for '04 already, and
    > have told dealers to work on getting people interested in their other
    trips.
    >
    > Backroads generally gets high marks from our customers; info on their TDF packages may be found at
    > http://www.backroads.com/cgi-bin/tripLister.py
    >
    > Breaking Away is another popular, high-quality organization, with info on their '03 offerings
    > (which will give some insight for '04) found at http://www.breakingaway.com/flash/home.htm
    >
    > Butterfield & Robinson defines the high-end of cycle touring... $6k for their July 20-28th trip
    > for the '03 TDF, to give you an idea. More info
    at
    >
    http://www.butterfieldandrobinson.com/index.asp?navid=16&layid=236&csid=135&
    > csid1=1998&fid1=16
    >
    > Bicycle Outfitters, a shop not too far from our own in the SF Bay Area,
    runs
    > tours in France, with info on their past '03 offering at
    > http://bicycleoutfitter.com/site/page.cfm?PageID=209. Reasonably priced
    and
    > good people.
    >
    > VeloVacations (also known as VeloSport Vacations) is a group I've come across frequently in my
    > travels in France, and I found people generally pretty happy with them. Their past '03 offerings
    > may be found at http://www.velovacations.com/tdf_res.html
    >
    > Steve Bauer, former TDF racer, has another high-end touring company, with info on their past '03
    > offerings at http://www.stevebauer.com/performance_trips/tourdefrance3/
    >
    > Velo Echappe looks interesting (they emphasize having big-name cycling greats helping out,
    > including Sean Kelly... wonder if his English is
    easier
    > to understand in person than on TV?), but I don't know anyone personally who's been on one of
    > their tours; info on their past '03 offerings is at http://www.veloechappe.com/tdf_pyrs_itin.asp
    >
    > Former USPS rider Marty Jemison has his own tour company, and briefly touches on their 2004 plans
    > at http://www.martyjemison.com/tdf.html
    >
    > Inside Track Tours is another one that I'm not familiar with, but there's info on their 2004 TDF
    > plans at http://www.insidetracktours.com/tdf_2004.htm. They do have an added bonus of having Tyler
    > Hamilton, 4th place in this year's TDF and found in the dictionary when you look up "Tough as
    > nails", as a general partner. For many this may be an added plus, as there could be an assumed
    > benefit of being able to at least get an autograph from a real TDF contender!
    >
    > Cycling Ahead runs trips during the TDF, but I know nothing about them and am a little put off by
    > a website that doesn't list prices; you have to
    fill
    > out a form on their website and they'll get back to you. Info at
    > http://www.cycling-ahead.com/TheTourdeFrance.htm
    >
    > VeloVista is a general-purpose cycle touring site, with a great deal of useful information,
    > including info on the '03 TDF at this page- http://www.velovista.net/tour_trip_03.htm
    >
    > Bikestyle Tours, an Australian touring company, has info on their '04 TDF plans here-
    > http://www.bikestyletours.com/index.php/39 (this is another
    one
    > I have no references on)
    >
    > Adventure Travel is another Australian touring company, this one with Phil Anderson, former TDF
    > great, riding along. Their info on TDF trips is at http://www.tourdefrance.com.au/default.asp.
    > I don't know of anyone who's done one of their tours, but Phil's wife, Christine, speaks
    > glowingly of
    her
    > husbands ability to entertain and take care of their guests (I met her in Lourdes at the '03 TDF;
    > details on my diary page at www.ChainReaction.com/diaryfrance2003.htm#christine)
    >
    > ====================================================================
    >
    > If anybody know of other tours not listed, please reply to this thread or directly to me via email
    > ([email protected]).
    >
    > One other thing I should add... if you really want to get into the TDF action itself, it may not
    > be practical to be cycling every single day. Conversely, if you want to really get into cycling in
    > France, it may not
    be
    > practical to see that much of the TDF! You'll most likely run yourself
    into
    > the ground, and possibly disappoint yourself because things didn't work
    out
    > quite as planned. The best way to have a really enjoyable experience is
    to
    > be flexible and recognize that your original plans might need to be
    altered
    > a bit, and try to decide ahead of time if you want to do everything, in which case you'll probably
    > need a vacation from your vacation when you get back (personal experience talking here!).
    >
    > Thanks!
    >
    > --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Loading...