Is it Your First Time Bicycle Touring?

What you need to know about your first bike tour!

Bicycle Touring Explained

Wilderness Voyageurs offers an incredible selection of inn-to-inn bicycle tours for cyclists of all experience levels and fitness levels. Every one of our trips includes full vehicle support, two professional bike tour guides,  unique lodging, scrumtious food, small group sizes and the option to rent a bike or bring your own.  We find the comfortable inns and the local secret restaurants and the great attractions so you get to focus on relaxing and riding without worrying about the details.  Cycling is a great way to vacation – every day you’ll be outdoors, getting exercise, fully immersed in beautiful landscapes and national parks.  The key is to selecting a tour that matches your levels of experience and fitness.


The most important concept to remember is that our job is to make your vacation as easy as possible.  We Support you from Pedal to Pillow!


Who is a First time Bicycle Tourist?
  • You’ve never been on a multi-day bicycle tour before.
  • You’re new to cycling, but keen to do more!
  • You’re an experienced cyclist who’s never done a supported/guided tour.

Bicycle Tour Inner Workings:

On a fully-guided tour, your only concern is cycling from Point A to Point B. We take care of all the rest — booking hotel rooms, organizing meals and snacks, fixing broken bikes and transporting luggage!


The crucial piece of a guided bicycle tour is the “SAG Vehicle” or SAG wagon, it literally stands for Support And Gear.  This is where your luggage hides out all day leaving you a bike free of weight.  The SAG is never far away so that if you do need to grab a piece of clothing or want to stash that really great mug you just bought, voila, it will magically appear and take care of that for you. This is also where the yummy treats and lunch are stashed and awaiting you, and it also serves as a mobile bike shop to ensure you are able to keep rolling through your vacation.


What do the guides do for me?

There are 2 guides on all of our tours, each day one of the guides is riding a bike on the route, interpreting the landscape, helping with directions and offering encouragement and pointers and making sure that everyone is headed the right direction. This person is known as the “sweep rider” and is always the last one out on the trail or the road to make sure you arrive at your destination. The other guide is driving the SAG vehicle, setting up rest stops and your lunch, tweaking your bike and making sure your luggage is at the inn.  This is the tip of the iceburg of what the guides are doing on a daily basis to keep you comfortable and make sure the only effort you expend is on your bike.


How will I know where to go?

Every day begins with a group get together to review the route of the day and the timeline of meals and attractions and rest stops.  We provide every rider with an app that contains the daily riding route and information on the region you are riding in.


Do I have to ride with everyone, will I be able to keep up?

This is a ride not a race.  Every tour will have riders of varying abilities and interests, that means folks are all traversing the same route throughout the day but at their own pace, stopping to take pictures, read historical markers, or just plain relax.  It is important to choose a tour that fits your riding style and skills and what you are looking for from your vacation.  See the botom of this page for a complete discussion of tour types and difficulties.


How do I prepare for the riding?

After you’ve booked a bike tour with us, you will receive a training plan to follow. If you do most of the rides in this plan, you should be well prepared for your bike tour!  Getting ready for a tour is half the fun.


Will I be able to finish the rides?

This is your vacation, not a race, the goal is to ride as much as or as little as you want each day. Remember that the support vehicle (SAG)  is always nearby. If you get too tired, just hop in the van and skip a leg of the ride!  On many tours we provide the opportunity to lengthen or shorten the primary route of the day.


What is a support stop?

Throughout every day of a tour there are preplanned SAG or support stops where the SAG vehicle and guide will be awating you.  Refill your water bottles, grab an energy bar, change a layer of clothing, and chat with your fellow riders.


What kind of food will there be?

We provide a healthy, fun selection of food for both supports stops and lunches. If you have dietary restrictions or preferences, just let us know when you fill out your registration form before the tour.


Will there be cars?

We offer many tours that follow dedicated cycling paths! These trails are well-maintained, free from vehicles, easy to follow and (usually) flat. Riding on a bike path takes away the stress of dealing with cars on the road. Read more about our bike path and rail-trail bike tours.


Can I bring my own bike or do you provide a bike?

What ever works best for you. We have a fleet of well maintained bikes available for rent.  If bringing your own bike, make sure that it is the appropriate type of bike and/or tires for the surface you’ll be riding on during your trip.


For a lot more nitty gritty on tours, Read our full bike tour FAQ.

The key to a successful bike vacation starts with selecting the correct tour!


Step 1 – Choose a tour type,  rail-trail  or road

Step 2 – Choose a level of riding from easy to advanced- 5 levels to choose from


We offer tours of each type, in each riding ability.  Below you will find some examples of tours from the first 3 levels of tours: 1) Easy 2) Relaxed and 3) Active

To see a complete list and comparison of our tours head to the tour ratings page


1) Easy (2-4 hours of daily riding)

The daily routes:

These rides are flat and slightly downhill. There’s little to no traffic to worry about, so you can feel free to enjoy the sights.


Your fitness level:

You’re in pretty good shape — you can ride about 15 miles a day, with a long ride of up to 30 miles. You’re comfortable riding 8 – 10 miles per hour. You also don’t mind hopping in the support van when you’ve done enough.


Your ideal day:

A leisurely start in the morning, and a shorter bike ride that leaves you with lots of time to relax and enjoy your vacation.


Pine creek gorgePennsylvania Pine Creek  

This is a three-day, rail-trail ride, which is mostly flat and downhill on crushed-limestone bike trails. Pedal along the scenic banks of Pine Creek on the trail sharing the same name, and take in the views overlooking Pennsylvania’s Grand Canyon. Lodging for this trip includes a night at the Nature Inn, recently voted the #1 Eco-Lodge in the United States by readers of the USA Today.



Pennsylvania & Maryland Easy Rider GAP Bike tour EZ rider

 This three-day rail-trail ride is another flat and downhill adventure on crushed limestone paths. This is an unbeatable introduction to the charm and history of the Great Allegheny Passage. You’ll have plenty of time to explore and enjoy the small towns and amazing cultural and historical sites, including Fallingwater, Salisbury Viaduct and the

Historic District of Cumberland.


2) Relaxed (3-5 hours of daily riding)

The daily routes:

These rides are on flat to gently rolling routes. On road bike tours, you will encounter some traffic.

Your fitness level:

You ride regularly and lead an active lifestyle. You’re comfortable pedaling up gentle climbs, and you can sustain a 10 – 12 mile per hour pace for 25 to 35 miles. You’re comfortable riding on roads, and you understand basic road biking safety.


Your ideal day:

You want a cycling vacation to be equal parts cycling AND sightseeing. You want a longer ride every day, but you’d still like plenty of time to take photos and chill at support stops.




Washington Olympic Peninsula

You’ll spend five days enjoying the glory of the Pacific Northwest on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State, which is exceptionally beautiful. Ride peaceful rail-trails through scenic pine forests — short rides of 10-23 miles. There’s lots of time to explore off the bike, enjoy the area and rest in the refined lodging.





Lock with boat erie canalNew York Erie Canal

 The Erie Canal tour is just four days long, the mileage is low and the riding is car-free. We’ll pedal by early 1800’s historic commercial port cities, explore canal locks, and ride 100 miles of the Erie Canalway, a National Heritage Corridor.



Georgia Sunset on Driftwood BeachGeorgia Gold Coast

 This bike tour in Georgia is very flat, with low mileage rides and many opportunities to stop and enjoy historic landmarks, natural beauty and fabulous southern seafood. Traveling through the scenic byways of Georgia’s lush Gold Coast, you’ll escape into a world of live oaks draped with Spanish moss, incredible seafood, breathtaking views and historic inns in the Golden Isles.



Florida's Suncoast TourFlorida Suncoast

Another flat, beachy trip! It’s hard to beat Florida’s relaxed riding and warm tropical temperatures. See birds, dolphins or manatee while cruising causeways and bicycling along the bayfronts. After your ride, go gallery hopping or tap into the craft brewery scene, try paddle-boarding or shuffleboard, visit an aquarium, or just stroll on the beach.


Fun Intermediate Bicycle Tours!


3) Active (4-5 hours of daily riding)


The daily routes:

Moderate mileage with flat and/or hilly terrain. On road bike tours, you will encounter some traffic.


Your fitness level:

You ride your bike on a weekly basis and can sustain a relatively quick pace (12 – 15 miles per hour) for 2 hours or more. You’re comfortable riding with traffic on roads, and you understand basic road biking safety.


Your ideal day:

You’d like to spend a good part of your day riding. You enjoy rolling hills and longer days in the saddle. A weekend ride for you is between 30 and up to 60 miles.



Pittsburgh to DC bike tourGreat Allegheny Passage

This is a four-day, rail-trail ride, which is mostly flat and downhill on crushed-limestone bike trails. Pedal the iconic rail-trail from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, stopping along the way to see Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater House.



Rail trail Route of Hiawatha



Idaho Coeur d’Alene & Route of the Hiawatha

The scenery is outstanding on this four-day tour through Idaho’s best bike trails: the famous Route of the Hiawatha and the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes. You’ll get to check these two Rail-to-Trail Conservancy’s Hall of Fame trails off of your bucket list! The Hiawatha treats you to 10 tunnels, including the famous “Taft Tunnel” at 8771 feet long, and 7 steel trestles – one of which is 220 feet high.



New York Finger Lakes

If you’re relatively fit and comfortable riding on roads, this trip is a delight. New York’s Finger Lakes region is home to 11 pristine, glacial lakes, sparkling waterfalls, small farms and magnificent parks! You’ll get up close and personal with three of the lakes — Cayuga, Seneca and Keuka. We’ll visit charming villages with one-of-a-kind museums, and unique shopping opportunities.



Colorful Colorado Bike TourCycle Colorful Colorado

Don’t be intimidated by the altitude! We’ve tailored this trip to be attainable for sea-level cyclists. On this beautiful tour, you’ll pedal across high alpine with wide-open vistas and down into desert canyons, past mountains and stunning peaks. You’ll even ride over the continental divide (with one heck of a downhill)!


Still Unsure Which is the Best Option for Your First Time Bicycle Touring Experience?

Here’s how to compare our bike tours.

If you are still unsure call us at 800-272-4141 and we’ll help make sure you are on the right trip!