Self Guided Cycling Trips in VT
The lower Champlain Valley provides the best cycling in Vermont. While much of the rest of Vermont is mountainous, ours is a rolling terrain of open farmland dotted with truly picturesque villages. Our self-guided tours, designed for cyclists who want luggage transported between inns but have no need for a guide, provide 3 to 8 days of leisurely paved-backroad biking with accurate maps, augmented by an orientation talk at the first inn and daily turn-by-turn cue sheets. Well-vetted routes provide 20 to 40 miles of safe, scenic, moderate biking per day, or more if you prefer. We can give you a short tour with short days; a short tour with long days; a long tour with short days, or a mix of those. We cannot give you a long (6+ day tour) with long (50+ miles per day) days. We simply run out of road. Tours are fully customized to suit your preferences for number of days, daily mileage, and terrain.
Explore the charming villages of Brandon, Middlebury, Vergennes, Bristol, Shoreham, Addison, and Proctor. Enjoy a refreshing swim at a state park along several of our routes. Visit museums and exhibits which present Vermont’s fascinating history. Cruise through a covered bridge. Pause while a farmer drives his herd from field to field across your route. And, enjoy the magnificent scenery all along the way.
The cycling season runs from about the second week of May through about the third week of October. The only 2019 dates we will not be able to book you at any inn in our network are Friday and Saturday, May 24 & 25, and Friday and Saturday, October 11 & 12. These are the local college graduation (May) and Columbus Day (October) weekends, and the inns are not able to facilitate the inn to inn cycling program during those times.
Comfortable accommodations at unique Vermont country inns, including candlelit dinners and hearty breakfasts, round out the package. Occasionally, or if you prefer, accommodations may be at charming bed-and-breakfasts (B&Bs), giving you the opportunity to dine at whim at fine local restaurants. Trips start and end in “the Art and Soul of Vermont,” the village of Brandon, where you will receive a personal overview of your trip. Nights may be spent at the Lilac Inn, Inn on Park Street, Brandon Inn, Inn at Baldwin Creek, Strong House Inn B&B , Swift House Inn, Middlebury Inn, Button Bay B&B, and Shoreham Inn. The actual inns in your itinerary will depend on the distance you wish to ride each day, the starting date, and the availability of rooms at the inns. Bring your own bike, or rent from our well-equipped shop.
2019 COST: Package prices vary depending mostly on the inns you’ll stay at, but also on the season. Rates below include high-quality hybrid or road rental bikes delivered to your first inn and retrieved from your last inn. Bikes are customized to your height and inseam measurements and your preferences for pedals and handlebars. Rental bikes come equipped with helmet, water bottle, and small trunk over rear wheel for sundries. Each group of bikes comes with spare tube(s), mini-pump, adjustment kit, and lock. Hybrids are recommended. These are not knobby-tired, heavy mountain bikes with shocks; they just have a bit beefier tire than a thin-tire road bike. All the routes you ride will be paved, but more than half the road distance in Vermont is unpaved, and hybrids will give you more freedom to choose a quiet lane, take an extension that looks promising, or shortcut off the cued route using your large-format map. If bringing your own bikes, deduct $100 per person from package quotes below.
Sample 2019 “classic” 4-night trip: One night each at Lilac Inn, Shoreham Inn, Swift House, and The Inn on Park Street, with high-quality rental hybrid or road bike for four days riding, dinner nightly, private-bath accommodations, full served breakfast each morning, daily luggage transfer while you cycle, an orientation talk at the first inn, detailed maps and turn-by-turn cue sheets for four days of well-vetted, paved back roads that have been enjoyed by our clients for safety and scenery for forty years, all meals and rooms taxes (9% or 10%, depending on the town) and required housekeeping and waitstaff gratuities. Out-of-pocket expenses: lunch daily and any alcohol. If bringing your own bikes, deduct $100 per person from package quotes below.
Summer (early May through mid-September): $995 per person double occupancy / $1990 per couple. Bring your own bikes rate: $895 ppdo / $1790 per couple.
Foliage (mid-September through late October): $1095 per person double occupancy / $2190 per couple. Bring your own bikes rate: $995 ppdo / $1990 per couple.
Single occupancy rooms for solo travelers: $1195 summer (includes bike) / $1295 foliage (includes bike). Solo trips will be four nights but not include Lilac Inn.
Electric-assist bikes are available for rent! These are hybrid bikes outfitted with small electric motors to help give you that little push you might appreciate on the hills. Many, many of our guests have reported that their e-bike made the trip just that much more enjoyable because it was just that much less work. Add a premium of $25 per biking day to the trip cost. The bike shop also has one tandem available for those of you who like to ride a bicycle built for two.
If bringing your own bikes: Rentals are geared 3 by 8, and you will want a similarly-geared bike for this trip. A “beach cruiser” is not appropriate for distance touring, nor is a ten-speed. Have your bike inspected by a reputable mechanic, and consider equipping your own bike similarly to how the bike shop equips the rentals (read above), including a handlebar-mounted holder for your cue sheets / map.