Bike Season Begins: Is a Group Tour for You?

Two professional male cyclists riding their racing bicycles in the morning together


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Two professional male cyclists riding their racing bicycles in the morning together

Are Your Wheels Turning?

Maybe you bought a Peloton and are suddenly in the best shape of your life. Or you were lucky enough to score a new ride in a booming bike market and are eager to explore. Whatever your motivation, if you’re dreaming of pushing yourself to pedal farther, a group tour is one good way to get moving. But is it right for you? Read on to find out and learn about a wide variety of bike tours across the United States and worldwide.

Prices and availability are subject to change.

Related: Where Your State Ranks for Bicycle Safety 


Solo Cycling Might Be a Good Fit

With the proper equipment and know-how, plenty of long-distance-biking novices set out on their own. You can research your route and build confidence, via resources like the Adventure Cycling Association. But if going it alone sounds too daunting, there are experts ready to make the road smoother for you.

Electric bike ride

Or a Group Tour Could Be the Way to Go

The biggest advantage to booking a guided tour is that you don’t have to sweat the details, like where you’ll ride, what you’ll eat, where you’ll sleep, or how to transport your stuff. “It’s very easy traveling,” says Gina Mikan, who took a group tour with her family in Italy. “Everything is planned and mapped out. They bus your luggage to the hotel.” And if you get a flat?  You don’t have to be handy enough to fix it. (Of course, specific tours offer varying levels of support, so it’s always best to read the fine print.) 

Related: From Boneshakers to the Wright Brothers: 25 Fun Facts About Bicycles

bicycle wheels, close-up

No Need to Bring Your Own Bike

And one of the best things about signing on with a bike tour company is that they usually provide the bike, so you’re not limited to riding in places where it seems feasible to BYOB (bring your own bike). Premiere bike tour companies in the U.S. often offer trips overseas. And the bikes are really nice.   


Related: Where to Buy Bicycles That Are Made in America

Lets start adventure.

You’ll Need to Get Your Body in Gear

“The more you get out on your bike before your trip, the more you will enjoy it,” says Dan Austin, owner of Montana-based Austin Adventures. Ask your bike tour company how best to prepare for your particular tour, or seek out expert advice about schedules to follow in advance of shorter or longer rides.


Related: 10 Fitness Challenges to Get You in Shape for Summer

Positive attractive african couple sitting on couch using computer

Where To?

If you have a particular destination in mind, an online cycling community, a respected bike shop, or the local visitors bureaus could help you find group tour companies that serve the area. Or, if you’re keeping your options open, browsing a comprehensive list might be a fun way to start dreaming and planning.

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Explore Your Exploring Options
Adventure Cycling
Vineyards in Napa Valley

Sip ‘n’ Cycle in Napa

If you want a super chill experience, a one-day guided ride might be a good fit.  A leisurely 12-mile group tour through Napa Valley, with stops at two wineries along the way is about as low-key as you can get. After winding through pleasant country backroads, you’ll enjoy a lovely picnic lunch at one of the wineries.


Tour Company: USA Bike Tours

Cost: $169 (per person)

Related: 15 Drinking Pilgrimages You Need to Make

Bow River, Castle Mountain, Banff National Park Canada, wildflowers, copyspace

Rocky Mountain Reverie

This five-day Summit County, Colorado tour is designed for active travelers aged 50+. This is a hub-style trip, where each night is spent at the same idyllic lakeside lodge, and the days are filled with two-wheel excursions that take you by mountain ranges and through glorious Aspen groves.


Tour Company: Senior Cycling

Cost: $1,050 (per person)


Heartland & History
Road Scholar

Heartland & History

Another great choice for seniors is this 8-day tour that takes you across the state of Missouri on America’s longest “rails-to-trails” path. The tour is run by Road Scholar, formerly Elderhostel, a not-for-profit that offers educational travel experiences for folks who have been out of the classroom for years. There’s even a recommended, pre-ride reading list.


Tour Company: Road Scholar

Cost: $1,499 (per person, starting price)


Related: 21 Adventures for Thrill-Seeking Senior Travelers 

Biking & More in Maine
Road Scholar

Biking & More in Maine

Road Scholar also offers an amazing, educational multi-sport experience in Maine’s wonderous Acadia National Park, perfect for retirees who love a good vacation but prefer to keep their bodies and brains active. Hiking and kayaking — as well as learning, of course — are all on the agenda. 


Tour Company: Road Scholar

Cost: $1,299 (per person, starting price)

Related: Explore the Best National Parks in Every State

Rushmore mountain on a clear day

South Dakota Dream

A visit to Mount Rushmore, hiking, and a beginner’s rock climbing lesson are part of the package on this unforgettable trip. It’s a family-friendly adventure that also includes splashing around in a local swimming hole and checking out the enchanting Wind Cave National park.

Tour Company: Austin Adventures

Cost: $2,798 (per adult)

Cycling through Grand Canyon park
Ziga Plahutar/istockphoto

Bike the Grand Canyon

Spend five days mountain biking 145 miles along the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, and you’ll leave with a unique appreciation for one of the country’s most treasured national parks. All nights are spent camping, and you’ll have to bring along your own gear (tent, sleeping back, etc.) or rent gear from the tour company for an extra cost. 


Tour Company: USA Bike Tours

Cost: $1,406 (per person)

Related: 31 Bucket-List Experiences in America's National Parks

A Big Ride Around a Big City
Five Boro Bike Tour

A Big Ride Around a Big City

If you like riding in a crowd, an organized and exceptionally large group ride might be a festive introduction to long-distance cycling. Annual events include the Five Boro Bike Tour in New York, which attracts more than 32,000 cyclists for a 40-mile ride on roadways closed to cars, and the daytime and nighttime tours around Montreal for the city’s Go Bike Montreal Festival.  (Both city’s events were canceled in 2020, due to the pandemic, and are pending potential rescheduling for 2021.)


Cost: Five Boro Bike Tour, $112-$350; Go Bike Montreal Festival tours, $24-$55 CAD


steep vineyard at Mosel Valley in Germany

Castles & Wine in Germany

“European destinations are typically super bike-friendly,” says Austin. His personal favorite bike tour, by far, follows an enchanting route through Germany’s Mosel Valley over six days. You’ll feel like you’re pedaling through a fairytale, as you feast your eyes on gorgeous gardens and majestic castles. And the first-class accommodations will make you feel like royalty.  


Tour Company: Austin Adventures
Cost: $2,698 (per person)

Related: Budget European Vacations for Avoiding the Crowds

Bike excursion on country road in Val d'Orcia with electric Mountain bike - Tuscany, Italy
Daniele Mazierli/istockphoto

Timeless Tuscany

This challenging 6-day trip takes you through a quintessentially picturesque part of Italy. Gliding over the rolling hills of Tuscany is serene and surreal. Food, wine, shopping, and history are other big draws. And tacking on a stay in Florence before or after the bike tour is a must. 


Tour Company: Austin Adventures

Cost: $3,298 (per person)


Beautiful farmland, old house and sea in Southern Jutland, Denmark

Danish Isles

Exploring Denmark on two wheels makes for a splendid, relatively leisurely week-long adventure. Salty fresh air, charming towns, and some of the world’s happiest and friendliest people await you. The price of the tour reflects the luxury accommodations.


Tour Company: Austin Adventures

Cost: $3,598 (per person)

Cycling past windmills at Kinderdijk in Holland

Windmills & Charm in Holland

This is a family-friendly, 7-day tour. Sure the natural beauty and historic architecture are great, as are the flowers and windmills, but the true highlight of the tour just might be the well-deserved stop at a Dutch pancake establishment with hundreds of pancakes on the menu.   

Tour Company: Austin Adventures

Cost: $2,898 (per adult)


Pacific Ocean at Big Sur

Crush the California Coast

There’s a waitlist for the fall 2021 version of this tour already, with good reason. The 15-day, advanced-level tour takes riders along the Pacific Coast, from San Francisco to the Mexican border. Magnificent views and incredible memories are guaranteed. 


Tour Company: Adventure Cycling Association

Cost: $1,699

Related: The Best of California For Budget Vacations

Montana ranch
Glacier National Park, Montana, USA

Glamping & Glaciers

Bike Montana’s Glacier National Park by day. Enjoy camping (in its most glamourous form) at night. This 4-day excursion is perfect for the outdoorsy traveler who likes to stay active but be pampered.     


Tour Company: Trek Travel

Cost: $2,999 (per person, starting price)


Related: The Best Remote Vacation Spot in Every State

Ostrich male savanna plain looking

Cycling South Africa

Suitable for beginner-level cyclists (with e-bikes available), this 10-day tour begins in Cape Town. Riders travel 7-31 miles per day. The trip includes a visit to an ostrich farm and a penguin colony as well as cultural experiences, like a home-cooked meal at a local’s house.    


Tour Company: VBT Bicycling Vacations

Cost: $5,645 (per person, including airfare)


Cyclists at the Moon Valley in the Atacama Desert, Northern Chile, South America
R.M. Nunes/istockphoto

Chile? Really!

You don’t have to be a cycling rock star to explore a gorgeous stretch of the western South American coastline by bike. This 7-day trip is suitable for beginners, or anyone interested in an active vacation, with 1-4 hours of pedaling each day.     


Tour Company: VBT Bicycling Vacations

Cost: $4,595 (per person, including airfare)


Related: 14 Under-the-Radar Destinations in Latin America

Route 66
Boris Edelmann/istockphoto

From Sea to Shining Sea

Riders on the Great American Road Trip tour, travel 3,604 miles from California to Georgia. Fifty days of pedaling (62-75 miles per day) are offset by 11 rest days. Some nights are at hotels, others camping. The tour is “in the tradition of ‘Travels with Charlie’ and ‘On the Road,’ with a dash of ‘Electric Kool-Aid [Acid] Test’ and ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,’” the organizers say.


Tour Company: USA Bike Tours

Cost: $14,050


Related: 30 Beautiful Road Trips That Celebrate American History

Old South Church (Third Church) in Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Pedaling & Camping Coast-to-Coast

For a less expensive cross-country option, this Seattle-to-Boston ride is a no-frills choice. Every night is spent camping. Riders can opt to sign up for just certain segments of the trip as well.  (Booking now for summer 2022.)


Tour Company: Cycle America

Cost: $7,415


Green valley and Polycrhrome Mountains in Denali

The Complete North American Experience

Is a cross-country bike tour too tame for you? Maybe a cross-continent trip is more your speed? The North American Epic begins in the Canadian Arctic Tundra, where there’s a chance to spot caribou or grizzlies! It ends 166 days later in sunny Panama. You can also choose to sign on for one or more smaller segments of the journey. (Booking now for 2022.)

Tour Company: USA Bike Tours

Cost: $27,050