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Ride Rating System

The BAC has a Ride Rating system that can tell you what to expect while on one of our rides. Learn more...

Fall Colors along the Loire

  • Arrival
  • 9/28/2019
  • Departure
  • 10/11/2019
  • Ride Coordinator
  • Jane Holahan
  • Tour Company
  • Pure Adventures
  • Starting Location
  • Tours, France
  • Finishing Location
  • La Baule, France
  • Estimated Cost †
  • $3300
  • Deposit
  • $1300
  • Number of Riders
  • 14 (min. 21 /max. 21)
  • Space Available
  • 7
  • No. of Pending Riders
  • 0

Ride Rating

1A  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

OVERVIEW: Since 2001, the leader has offered this trip through BAC, and over 250 riders have participated! Come join the “club Loire"!   Pure Adventures, a commercial tour operator, will make land arrangements, hire the van and driver to transport luggage and provide emergency support. We will follow the Loire and its tributaries from Tours to the sea, stopping in medieval villages and Renaissance gardens, riding through fields, forests, vineyards and island marshes. Chateaux along the route include Villandry, Azay-le-Rideau, Chinon, Le Rivau, Usse, Langeais, Saumur, and Angers. After we leave the chateau region, we’ll explore the thatched roof villages in the ancient Briere Marsh, the walled city of Guerande and the salt flats before reaching the Atlantic shores of Brittany with two nights in the popular seaside town of La Baule. 

RIDE RATING is 1A but note that there are a few climbs on cliffs near the Loire River. We ride mainly on small roads, occasionally on gravel bike paths, and on a couple of days, there are partial routes on regional highways with some farm to market truck traffic.  Daily mileages for the nine obligatory riding days are: 24, 22, 21, 43, 16, 47, 28, 43 and 25 miles respectively, with very little elevation gain. To address the technicality of mileage rating, three days do exceed the 35-mile limit for level A, but they are not difficult days. This is a relaxed trip with plenty of time for sightseeing and wine tastings, but also with options for more mileage each day. We will spend two nights in three different towns, providing 3 rest days (or extra loops) in Chinon, Champtoceaux and La Baule.

WEATHER: The temperatures in late September and early October can range from the 50’s at night to days in the 70’s with some possibility of hotter afternoons and/or rain showers. There is often an Indian Summer effect with fall colors along the river and gardens still flourishing.

LODGING AND MEALS: The hotels and inns we use are 2, 3, and 4 star, each room with in-suite bathroom.  They include an 18th century chateau hotel, country inns and post houses in medieval towns, a spa resort, and a 4-star Mercure on the beach in La Baule.  Our 8 Group dinners will be 3-course gourmet events. Breakfasts are buffet style, with juices, fresh fruit, cheeses, breads, pastries, yogurt, and, usually, eggs and bacon.

LOGISTICS: Meet Saturday afternoon, September 28, 2019, at our first hotel in Tours, a regional capitol easy to reach directly on the TGV from either Paris or Charles de Gaulle Airport. Please arrive by 4pm, as our Map Meeting and Happy Hour is set for 6:30pm, followed by our welcome dinner at the Chateau de Beaulieu. Our trip finishes after breakfast on Friday, October 11, 2019, in La Baule, where you can rent a car or take a train back to Paris or CDG airport.  

RENTAL BIKES: There will be bike rentals available directly through Pure Adventures from an agency in Tours.  They will be delivered to the first hotel and picked up from the last hotel.  High quality hybrid bikes are recommended for this trip, Trek 7.2fx bikes are available for rent for $348.  This includes handlebar bag, a very basic bike computer, helmet, and flat tire repair kit. There is a pump and lock for every two bikes to share. You may bring your own pedals and saddle, but state this at the time of renting. The rate also includes delivery and return to Tours. All prices are subject to currency fluctuation. If you prefer to bring your own bike, there will be a supplement for transporting and storing your bike box that will be determined based on the number of bike boxes to be managed and shared equally.

As this tour is rated 1-A, the leader discourages the use of E-Bikes.

NOTE:  For those choosing to bring their own bikes, note that train travel on the TGV, high speed trains, does not accommodate standard size bike cases.  Small luggage racks and overhead racks are the storage spaces on these trains.  You will need to travel on slower regional trains or other means, such as renting a van or car large enough to transport your bikes in boxes or cases.

COST & ADMINISTRATION: The price for the September trip is currently estimated at $3300 (using the rate of $1.25 to the euro). The first payment of $1300. is due upon acceptance to the ride; the second payment of $1000. is due on March 15, 2019; the last payment of $1000. is due on June 15, 2019. 

Bike rentals and any solo supplements are also due at the last payment date.  Bike rental fees will be paid directly to Pure Adventures.  Solo payments are made to BAC by check.  All final payments may be adjusted based on exchange rates at that time. 

The total tour cost of $3300 covers 13 nights in 2, 3 and 4-star hotels, double occupancy; 8 dinners and 13 breakfasts; van for the luggage with English-speaking driver, road books and maps sent out to participants in advance, and gratuities for the van driver. Except for the welcome aperitif at our first hotel, all happy hour and map meetings will be cash bar because of French hotel restrictions on bringing in wine or beer. 

The price does NOT include entrance fees, lunches, or wine or other beverages at dinner or happy hour, or bike box storage and redelivery at the last hotel.  GPS tracks will NOT be provided, but a comprehensive Road Book with detailed daily maps and cue sheets will be sent out to participants about 6 weeks in advance of departure. 

Singles are most welcome and I will try to match up roommates. A very few solo rooms may be available at extra cost (estimated at $863.) Request this when applying for the ride!  The supplement fee is due with the last payment by June 15, 2019. See instructions below for payment direct to BAC.

It is recommended that singles who want a roommate will find their own roommate before they sign up for the ride. If they are unable to find a roommate, and if solo rooms are still available, they can request one and agree to pay the $863. solo supplement. If a single agrees to pay the supplement, they may continue to seek a roommate, but must plan to participate without a roommate if necessary.  The Ride Leader will assist by attempting to match singles who apply for the ride.  Solo supplement payments need to be sent to the BAC office. Checks should be made out to “BAC” with a notation of the tour name included on the check. They should be mailed to: Bicycle Adventure Club, PO Box 23998, San Diego, CA 92193.  Single supplement payments are due on June 15, 2019.

The BAC ride registration fee and credit card payment processing fees are not refundable unless the entire tour is cancelled.  Refunds of tour payments will depend upon whether a replacement rider signs up, and 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 the cancelling participant is replaced, a refund will be made at that time.  If the cancelling participant can't be replaced, any refund will be determined after the ride and final expense report are completed.  If a single participant cancels and another roommate cannot be found, in addition to other costs that cannot be recouped the cancelling roommate may also be liable for the solo supplement fee of the roommate remaining on the tour.  BAC encourages members to purchase trip cancellation insurance.

In addition to the BAC cancellation policy, those who cancel are subject to Pure Adventure's cancellation policy:

  • For total cancellation after deposit but before March 15, 2019, the penalty is $750 based on 20 cyclists. Between March 15 and June 15, 2019, there is a penalty of 50% of the total commercial cost of the trip (estimated at $1447.). After June 15, 2019 the, penalty is the commercial portion of trip cost (estimated at $2,894.). Actual penalties depend on the currency exchange rate at the time of cancellation. If a replacement cyclist is found, payments can be transferred to the new cyclist (no penalty). BAC encourages members to purchase personal trip cancellation insurance to help avoid these penalties.

This ride typifies BAC’s motto of friends leading friends. This ride is not a follow-the-leader ride. At least six weeks before the ride, participants will be provided a road book with cue sheets and daily detailed maps. Please note: GPS files are NOT provided for this trip.  Of course, we will discuss routes daily at the map meetings and the leader will help any rider navigate as needed.

Remember that BAC Ride Leaders are volunteers, and that successful tours depend on participants providing much of their own support.  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.  We encourage you to read the ride description carefully and respond to requests from Ride Leader.  While on the ride, support your Ride Leader with offers to help with various tasks such as happy hour preparation and clean-up.  Please do not interfere with the ride by inviting non-participants onto any portion of the ride or tour.  Please keep the Ride Leader informed of any special request you may have and respect the Ride Leader’s decisions.  NOTE: the van is for luggage and emergency help only; riders are expected to do the distances! If you need "concierge" service, this trip is not for you!

To submit a request to join this ride use the "links" displayed above this Ride Description.  When you are accepted, the Ride Leader will move you from the Waitlist to the Pending List.  At this time you will receive an email notification to login to the BAC website to sign the release of liability form and pay the non-refundable $100. BAC ride registration fee and the initial tour deposit of $1300. by credit card.  As soon as your deposit has been processed, your name(s) will be added to the Participant List.  To contact the Ride Leader, "click" the name at the top of this Ride.

Bicycle Adventure Club
PO BOX 23998 San Diego, CA 92193
Telephone (858) 715-9510

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