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Ride Rating System

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Azores Bike & Hike: Climbs and Trails of São Miguel

  • Arrival
  • 7/2/2017
  • Departure
  • 7/11/2017
  • Ride Coordinator
  • Rick Hill
  • Tour Company
  • Easy Rider Tours
  • Starting Location
  • Ponta Delgada
  • Finishing Location
  • Ponta Delgada
  • Estimated Cost †
  • $2990
  • Deposit
  • $1000
  • Number of Riders
  • 21 (min. 12 /max. 21)
  • Space Available
  • 0
  • No. of Pending Riders
  • 0

Ride Rating

2A  Warning - Read the Description Carefully

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† Explanation of BAC Ride Fee – This fee is not included in the Estimated Cost and is non-refundable once submitted. The Ride Fee for US and Canada is $50 and $100 for all other countries, both are per participant.

Ride Description

 

SUMMARY:  If you think you might enjoy challenging yet rewarding cycling and hiking on volcanic islands with a European culture, the Azores are for you.  This Portuguese-speaking archipelago is located three-quarters of the way across the Atlantic between New York and Lisbon, only a 4.5 hour flight from Boston.

The Azores display exotic gardens of fragrant flowers and Japanese cedars, hot springs and crater lakes. Our route stays on São Miguel Island, hugs coastal cliffs and forested mountainsides for challenging, yet rewarding, cycling. We’ll spend our time there exploring the island’s natural wonders by biking and by hiking: the Val das Furnas, a luxuriant green valley of geysers and steam vents; the secluded beaches and picturesque fishing villages of the coast; and a botanical park with flora from around the world. Imagine Hawaii-like landscapes with Portuguese customs, culture and cuisine.   Special events will include a traditional cozido dinner cooked in a volcanic fumarole and a dressage performance of high-stepping Lusitano horses.

We will stay in each of our four-star hotels multiple nights, including 3 nights at the Terra Nostra Garden, an Art Deco style retreat in the middle of a botanical park. This also enables different activity options.  There are only three days of required riding. The other days offer choices of riding various distances and degrees of difficulty or hiking among beautiful natural areas, including waterfalls and rocky coastlines. All rides require substantial climbing (2-6 miles).  If you do not enjoy a challenging climb, this is not the tour for you.

LOGISTICS:  The group meets in the late afternoon (5 pm) on July 2 at the Hotel Bahia Palace in the seaside village of Agua do Alto, where introductions and the first group dinner will take place.  After arriving by air at Joao Paulo ll Airport (PDL), Ponta Delgada, on São Miguel, transfer with the Easy Rider van or taxi to our first hotel in Agua do Alto.  There will be an included pickup to meet the morning flight arriving from Boston.

The trip ends after breakfast on Jul 11 back in Ponta Delgada.   Easy Rider will transport riders and their luggage (including packed bicycles) back to the airport. This transfer is included in the cost of the tour, and will coordinate with the return flight to Boston. See SATA Airlines (www.sata.pt) for the best airfare rates from the U.S.

RIDE RATING:  The daily routes are planned with the intent of providing enough time to fully enjoy the scenery and sites along the way.  But do not be fooled.  Although the distances are short, this is a hilly tour and there are occasional steep climbs that exceed 8%.  The 2A ride rating is based on only the 3 mandatory days of riding.  These easy days are interspersed with some optional hard days. The rating with all options included is 4B.            

DayMandatory MilesVertical Gain (ft)Opt 1 (mi)Vertical Gain (ft)Opt 2 (mi)Vertical Gain (ft)

01    Arrival day

02  91338  

03161997283024  

04    Hiking or...121027193373

05    Hiking or...456388506063

06201792324000  

07    Hiking or...101236203091

08412710484468  

09    Free day for hiking, whale watching or sightseeing.

10    Departure

ROAD CONDITIONS AND BICYCLES:  27-speed hybrid bicycle rentals are available from Easy Rider Tours -- arrangement must be made directly with Easy Rider Tours. 

Cobblestones are common in towns and villages, and there are a couple of optional sections (3-8 miles) that are dirt roads.  If you bring your own bike, the recommended tire width is 28mm to accommodate the cobblestones.  A 25 mm tire may work (with some walking) but tire widths less than that are discouraged.  You also need to bring spare tubes and any items that may be non-standard or unique to your bike.  

A maximum of 1 tandem can be accommodated by the van.  If you plan to bring a tandem, please notify the ride leader via email when you apply for the ride. 

Storage of bike cases during the tour, and transfer of the cases from the start location to the finish location, is included in the cost of the tour.

WEATHER: Average low temperatures in July are in the low-70s and the average highs are in the upper 70’s F.  Although rain is less likely during the summer months, a shower can happen at any time.

COST AND ADMINISTRATION:  The cost of the trip is $2,990 and includes:  9 nights lodging with breakfasts, 5 group dinners including wine, 1 or 2 picnic lunches, snacks at social hours, maps, cue sheets, GPS files, daily luggage transfer, emergency van pick-up, bike box storage/transfer, van transfers from Ponta Delgada to the seaside village of Agua do Alto and from our last hotel back to the airport in Ponta Delgada.  A suggested tip for the guides is included in the cost but the final tip details will be discussed during one of the happy hours.  Due to hotel restrictions, there will be a cash bar at most social hours.  Not included in the cost are drinks at social hours, but wine will be provided at all group dinners.

The first deposit of $1,000 will be due within 2 weeks of acceptance on the ride.  The second deposit of $1,000 will be due October 1, 2016.  The last deposit will be due January 10, 2017.   A solo single supplement will be approximatly $675 and is due with the second payment on October 1, 2016.  

SINGLES & SOLOS:  Single participants are welcome on this trip whether sharing a room with another single or you choose to pay the solo supplement for a room of your own.  Due to room configurations, only 2 solo rooms can be accommodated on this trip.

If you are a single or solo, please send the ride leader an email when you apply for the ride to let them know (a) you are a single who has a room mate in mind and the name of the room mate, or (b) you are a single who wishes to share a room but do not have a room mate, or (c) you wish to pay the solo supplement for a room of your own. If you do not have a roommate in mind, the ride leader will assist you by providing names of other singles seeking a roommate who have signed up or indicated an interest in the trip.  No singles who wish to have a room mate will be moved to the participant list until a room mate is identified and both deposits have been received.

CANCELLATION POLICY: The BAC ride registration fee is not refundable unless the entire tour is cancelled.  Refunds for cancellations will depend upon whether a replacement rider signs up and/or on costs that can be recouped. The amount refunded will be based on the principle that the tour’s remaining participants will not incur any additional cost as a result of cancellations. If a canceling participant cannot be replaced, any refund will be determined after the ride and the final expense report is completed.   If a single participant cancels and a replacement roommate cannot be found, the cancelling roommate will be liable for the single supplement fee of the roommate remaining on the tour in addition to any other costs that cannot be recouped.

Since Easy Rider Tours will make reservations for BAC, the cancellation policy for the Easy Rider Tour fee portion of the cost for participants who are not replaced is as follows: 

  • 45 – 90 days before the start of the trip: 50% refund
  • <45 days before the start of the trip:  no refund

RIDE PARTICIPANT RESPONSIBILITY: The most important rider responsibility is to read and fully understand the ride description.  BAC tours depend on participants providing much of their own support.  The primary purpose of the support vehicle is to transfer luggage, not for people who do not feel like riding.  Riders will only be transported if sick or injured, have a major mechanical problem, scheduled transfers, or for anyone who gives it the good old college try and simply runs out of time. 

Participants are expected to come to the ride well trained, in good health and ready to accomplish the required daily riding using well-maintained bicycles.   All participants should accept responsibility for a safe and enjoyable tour.  Respond promptly to calls for payments and emails from the ride leader.  Do not interfere with the ride by inviting non-participants onto any portion of the ride or tour.  Keep the ride leader informed of any special request you might have and respect the ride leader’s decisions.  Request immediate clarification or assistance before and during the tour rather than waiting to complain at the end of the tour.

SIGN UP: To submit a request to join this ride use the links displayed above the Ride Description. When you are accepted, the Ride Leader will move you from the Waitlist to the Pending List, and you will receive an email notification to login to the BAC website to sign the release of liability (ROL) and pay the non-refundable BAC ride registration fee online. You will also be notified by the Ride Leader regarding the payment details for the initial deposit.  When your deposit check has cleared your bank (for both riders in the case of double occupancy), the Ride Leader will move you to the Participants list. Contact the Ride Leader with any questions:  Rick Hill, rick.hill585@gmail.com  541-961-0323 (6-9 pm Pacific Time).


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Telephone (858) 715-9510 office@bicycleadventureclub.org

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