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Great Bike Trip

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

DH and I traveled on the Eastern Shore in MD and DE for six days last week with a company called CarolinaTailwinds. This was one of the best bike trips we've taken with a group, and our first with this company. We definitely will be traveling with them again.

Highpoints for us:

Location was terrific--farmlands and sea shore, cute historic towns, national wildlife refuges. See photos below.

Roads: Routes were extremely well chosen. Most had little to no traffic, or involved biking on very wide shoulders. Road surfaces were in amazingly good condition. Billing as FLAT was pretty accurate, though headwinds were challenging on a couple of days.

Daily rides: Very flexible wrt mileage. High end of 50-60 mpd was perfect for Jon (alias DH) and many of the other riders, but there were shorter options involving van shuttles for those who only wanted to do 20, 30, 40 miles, or wanted to skip sections on busier roads. Usually morning and afternoon rides, though sometimes most miles were before lunch.

Lodgings ranged from truly spectacular to very very good, with a bit of quirky (and very clean) thown in to keep it interesting. Favorite was probably the Brampton Inn in Chestertown.

Food--also excellent. Most meals provided, with good suggestions re: where to eat the few times when we were on our own. Breakfasts at B&B, picnic lunches prepared by tour guides, dinner in very nice restaurants.

Group was very congenial. There were a dozen riders and two leaders. Ages on this trip ranged from mid forties to mid seventies. A woman in her seventies was one of the strongest riders! More than half the group have traveled with this company before. One couple has done this specific trip (with minor variations) five (yup, 5) times! Generally couples or adult singles--no kids on these tours.

Access: Pretty easy for this tour. Start is about 1.5-2 hrs by car from BWI or the Washington DC airports. Many folks brought their own bikes, either by driving or shipping them.

Weather could not have been better-- unseasonably warm and sunny pretty much the whole time we were there. . .though there were serious headwinds a couple of days.

This is the van & trailer that carried our bikes, luggage, snacks, and us, if we got tired.



DH and yours truly, ready to ride.



We rode through several nature preserves--great scenery, many birds, much wildlife.





Non-riding activities included an afternoon sail on a "skipjack"



You can see more photos of the area covered by the tour, and learn more about the company that ran it at:

http://www.carolinatailwinds
.com

We had a great time. Within three days of returning home my weight was back to pre-trip level. We're already planning another trip for next spring--probably the Low-Country tour.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RESIPSA99 5/19/2010 4:56PM

    What a great trip! Thanks for the blog and the photos!!

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LILPAT3 5/13/2010 11:51AM

    Sounds wonderful! Thanks for the recap! emoticon

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CAROLYN1ALASKA 5/13/2010 12:29AM

    Thanks for the recap of your tour! We did a "guided" tour last summer and will do one again this summer. It's great to have a "review" of a tour company by someone who doesn't work for them.
Sounds like you had a great time too!

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OHIOBLUEGRASS 5/12/2010 9:27PM

    Thanks for sharing your trip! I've been worrying about my GOBA ride in June, but I think I need to think of it more as an opportunity to get away and have fun, rather than a challenge that I must conquer.
I'm so glad you had a great trip!

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BMWEBSTER 5/12/2010 9:25PM

    wow this sounds like a great trip. I need to check and see if there is something like that in our area, Thanks for the review. Loved looking at your pics too.

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CYCLINGSANDY 5/12/2010 8:37PM

    I got the flier for this company. I was truly impressed by their brochure. I thought I'd do the low country tour with a friend, then my plans changed. Now I am moving to Germany so there is not extra time for any bike tours until after the move.
I still plan to use them later on.
I am glad you shared your opinion of their services. It sounds like it was dream trip too.

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