It was an unusually rainy morning (for California) as I pulled up to the Hotel Healdsburg to collect George’s luggage. George is a silver-haired octogenarian from Colorado and he and his son were on a 6-day bike tour for seniors in Napa & Sonoma.Both men were kitted out in bright Lycra and ready to ride. Given George’s age, I gently suggested that he might want to ride in the van and meet his son at their next hotel. His smile suggested I wasn’t the first impudent youth (I was 45 at the time) he had surprised with his determination. “Tony,” he said, “at 82, if I don’t ride this route today I probably never will.”
I checked in with George a couple more times that day. Each time that I saw him he smiled, waved and rode on. George was an inspiration and he taught me that there is no such thing as a typical senior. I now keep this front-of-mind as I design bike vacations for senior clients.
We create two styles of bike tours for seniors: private bike tours and self-guided bike tours. As with all of our trips, you tell us the sort of riding you enjoy, the style of accommodation you would like, and we design the trip accordingly. My objective is to make your trip as relaxing or as challenging as you would like.
For a small group of friends or family, we create your own private bike tour. Six people or more make this economically feasible. On these tours you typically have two guides: one in a support vehicle and one riding with you. We always customize your routes to the sort of riding that you enjoy. We also offer other recreational activities such as group cooking classes, winery tours, and hiking.
Self-Guided Bike Tours for Seniors
Like our private tours, we customize the riding on our self-guided trips. Unlike private tours, these trips are economically feasible for just two people. Typically, you have a support van on call and your luggage is moved between your accommodations for you. Unlike the private tours, you don’t have a guide riding with you and you are on your own for lunch and dinner. A good self-guided tour is like having a private concierge service: support and advice when you need it, discretely in the background letting you explore on your own when you don’t.
As you may have guessed, George arrived at his next hotel wet but with a large grin under his silver mustache. He had beaten his son by a couple of minutes and delighted everyone with his positive attitude. As I pass fifty, George is a role model I hope to emulate as I grow older. He is also there in the back of my mind as I design trips for seniors. I am a better listener now; helping out when help is wanted but staying discretely in the background when it isn’t!