There is a way of getting around that not only evokes a sense of thrill, but also has you slowing down to better appreciate your journey. Biking. It is undoubtedly on trend, and we can see why. A friend once described biking as “the newest version of golf,” encouraging groups to gather and converse. Biking culture, as we know it, draws a a certain group of people with similar interests – those who practice an active lifestyle, enjoy a well earned beer or meal at day’s end, and meaningfully connect with their fellow travelers. There are very few things in life that bond people more than enduring a laborious task, and a hilly bike ride can certainly qualify as one.
We attribute our new found appreciation for biking to Great Bike Tours in Pittsfield, Vermont. A day spent on a well calculated route with fellow cyclists gave us a taste of the week long excursion offered by Great Bike Tours. We started the day bright and early. A morning fog lingered with the promise of bright afternoon skies. Laid back yet impeccably organized, a hearty breakfast lined the tables of Amee Farm Lodge. Our fellow tour members were welcoming, prompting us to join in their morning chit chat. Tour leaders, Simon, Jessica, and Chris, enthusiastically greeted us and supplied all the gear needed for the day’s excursion. Road bike, helmet, gloves, and wind breaker – we were fueled and ready for a full day of adventure. To be completely honest, we had little clue as to what we’d be doing this day. We knew we were invited to join the group from breakfast to dinner. However, the hours in between were left fairly vague. As novice bikers ourselves, we were truthfully a bit nervous. Yet, the tour guides had this way of putting us at ease. The day would undoubtedly bring challenge, but also fun and accomplishment. After a quick synopsis of the day’s route, possible points of interest, and the reading of a selected poem by Henry David Thoreau, we joined the group in the tour van to begin our route a few miles down the road. Outfitted and adjusted (with the help of bike technician, Chris), each biker went on their way, following the map fastened to their handlebars.
The main objective of this tour, as described by Simon and Jessica, is to go at your own pace. Each rider has chosen this tour for their own individual reasons. Yes, they all seek an active vacation, but they also have the ability to experience their own journey with Great Bike Tours. Along the way, the guides provide detailed directions, intermittent check-ins, as well as convenient water and snacks. Truly, no detail seems to have gone unnoticed. Simon, Jessica, and Chris are obvious veterans in the business, prompting an overall feeling of safety and support. For newbie bikers like us, this is extremely comforting – a large weight off our shoulders. And for seasoned bikers, this is a sure luxury.
What ensued was 28 miles of the most picturesque route you could imagine. We rode along rolling hills of cow pastures, tall silos, impressively large barns, and sprawling fields…all made even more impressive by this season’s unbelievable foliage. Simon and Jessica sure chose the best fall weekend possible. It appears that these two have a knack for choosing the perfect locations at ideal times. Their company hosts a slew of events around the globe, including New Zealand, Georgia, Nantucket, and the Florida Keys.
Luxury continues into other aspects of the tour, aside than the bike ride itself. Simon and Jessica provide lodging at Amee Farm, the inn for which they are innkeepers for many days of the year. They also supply a delicious breakfast, made by our favorite culinary couple, Kevin and Katie of The Backroom. Dinners are chosen to provide an accurate “taste” of Vermont as well. After some downtime and a well deserved beer at the lodge, we headed to The Backroom for supper. You truly can’t go wrong with this restaurant – the perfect end to an incredibly rewarding day of biking.
Overall, we were blown away by this experience. Especially as new bikers, we were thankful for the guidance and flexibility of this particular tour. Our guides truly allow you to mold the days to your liking – whether you want to bike half the suggested route, take the afternoon off, or go further than another rider. Simon, Jessica, and Chris sincerely go above and beyond to make your tour a very special one. We left that evening with a sense of accomplishment and new friends. If you are up for an adventure, one that will allow for a unique view of the Vermont countryside in peak foliage, we highly suggest Great Bike Tours Vermont. You can read about the details of Simon and Jessica’s Vermont tour here. We encourage you to get out, see the sights, and enjoy the ride!