Supported Camping Tours|
Some of the best tours in North America are supported camping tours. These are inexpensive organized tours where a truck or van carries all your camping gear, and meets you at the end of the day at a pre-arranged location where you can shower, eat supper, pitch your tent and camp overnight. The next morning you get up, eat breakfast, pack up your tent, load it on the truck and away you go. All you have to do is ride your bike, travel light and enjoy yourself. Many of these tours are operated on a non-profit basis. Most of them offer seven days of cycling, but sometimes there's an optional rest day in the middle of the week. In case you prefer to sleep indoors, some tours offer a "deluxe" option where you stay in hotels or with volunteer host families.
Here's a short list of seven-day supported camping tours in North America. There are many more! The biggest, with 7500 riders, is RAGBRAI in Iowa. Other tours with 2000-plus riders include Ride The Rockies in Colorado, GOBA in Ohio, Le Grand Tour in Quťbec, and Cycle Oregon. There are 1000 cyclists on GRABAAWR in Wisconsin, and TourBC in British Columbia has 100.
A couple of single-day events are especially worthy of mention:
Le Tour de l'Ile in Montrťal, and The Five Borough Bike Tour in New York City.
If you like riding your bike and raising money for a worthy cause, you can do both at the same time: Audrey Prouty Ride along the Connecticut River in New Hampshire and Vermont (1 day, benefits Norris Cotton Cancer Center) Vermont MS 150, Milton to Johnson and back (2 days, benefits Vermont Multiple Sclerosis Society) Pan-Mass Challenge, Sturbridge to Provincetown, Massachusetts (2 days, benefits The Jimmy Fund) Trek Across Maine, Sunday River to Belfast (3 days, benefits the Maine Lung Association) AIDS Rides - California and Midwest editions (benefit AIDS research, prevention and treatment)
Bicycle touring in Europe is an unforgettable adventure. Read about it in Crossing France on Two Wheels. In Scandinavia, single-day marathon events are popular in June and July,
when you can ride round the clock under the midnight sun with 10,000 fellow cyclists on:
Sjślland Rundt, 319 kilometers in Denmark's Sjślland province.
Pirkka Cykelloppet, 215 kilometers in central Finland.
Telemark Tours, 375 kilometers in two days in Norway's Telemark region.
Vštternrundan, 300 kilometers around Lake Všttern in Sweden.