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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...

Ride Info

Ride Overview

Azores Bike and Hike: Climbs and Trails of São Miguel

  • Arrival
  • 6/28/2020
  • Departure
  • 7/7/2020
  • Ride Coordinator
  • Michael Ballinger
  • Tour Company
  • Easy Rider Tours
  • Starting Location
  • Aqua do Alto
  • Finishing Location
  • Ponta Delgada
  • Estimated Cost †
  • $3300
  • Deposit
  • $1100
  • Number of Riders
  • 7 (min. 16 /max. 22)
  • Space Available
  • 14
  • No. of Pending Riders
  • 1

Ride Rating

3A  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.

and you can request to participate in this ride.

Ride Coordinator Comments

Ride Description

OVERVIEW:  This tour was customized for the BAC by Easy Rider Tours, who has run several previous tours for the club, including the Azores in 2017.  If you think you might enjoy cycling and hiking on volcanic islands with a European culture, the Azores are for you.  This Portuguese-owned archipelago is located three-quarters of the way across the Atlantic between New York and Lisbon; there are direct flights from both JFK and Boston.

The Azores display exotic gardens of fragrant flowers and Japanese cedars, hot springs, and crater lakes. Our route explores São Miguel Island, hugging its 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, a boat trip to a submerged volcanic crater perfect for a swim, and a dressage performance of high-stepping Lusitano horses.

We will stay in each of our 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 don’t enjoy a challenging climb, this is not the tour for you. 

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 3A ride rating is based on only the 3 mandatory days of riding (average 26 mi/2614’ gain).  These easier days are interspersed with some optional hard days. The rating with all options included is 4B. 

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

LODGING & MEALS:  

Lodging - 9 nights

·        June 28+29 Pestana Bahia Praia (Praia Agua do Alto) 

·        June 30, July 1, 2 Terra Nostra Garden Hotel (Furnas)

·        July 3+4 Santa Barbara Eco-Resort (Ribeira Seca)

·        July 5+6 Hotel Marina Atlantico (Ponta Delgada)

Meals

·        Full breakfasts every day at hotel

·        Substantial snacks at Happy Hours

·        Five Group Dinners

LOGISTICS:  The trip meets in the late afternoon (5 pm) on June 28 at the Hotel Bahia Praia 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 flights arriving from Boston and JFK.

The trip ends after breakfast on July 7 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 morning return flight to JFK (Delta) and the afternoon return flight to Boston (Azores Airlines).

Day 1 - June 28  Arrival, transfer to Praia Agua de Alto - orientation meeting

Day 2 - June 29  option day: loop ride 9 miles, 1398' or 16 miles, 2119'. Loop hike 5 miles, 800’.

Day 3 - June 30  Agua de Alto to Furnas - 16 mi, 2001’ or 28 mi, 3027.’ Ferry en route to islet of Vila Franca natural crater lagoon.

Day 4 - July 1  option day: loop ride 47 mi, 5395’ or 53 mi, 6995’ or relax in Furas at botanical park, thermal pond, hot springs.

Day 5 - July 2  option day: hikes from 5 mi to 9 mi loop, 950’ to 1433’, from hotel to Lagoa das Furas - Pico do Ferro.

Day 6 - July 3  Furnas to Ribeira Seca - 20 mi, 2192’ or 27 mi, 3353’ with hot springs waterfalls or 33 mi, 4485’ with Lagoa do Fogo (Fire Lake) overlook.

Day 7 - July 4 option day: coastal loop hikes of 4-8 mi, 570’ to 1404’. Ribeira Funda - Praia do Viola cobble beach. Or museums in Ribeira Grande.   Or free day for hotel beach, a surf lesson, or museums in nearby Ribeira Grande. 

Day 8 - July 5  Ribeira Seca to Ponta Delgada via the myth-shrouded crater lakes of Sete Cidades ("7 cities") - 43 mi, 3650’ or 47 mi, 4643’

.Day 9 - July 6  option day: Ponta Delgada sightseeing, museums, whale watch (not included), or coastal hike of 2-5 mi (561’ - 1050’) to Rocha da Relva headlands via ancient donkey trail

Day 10 - July 7 free morning, morning and afternoon transfers to Ponta Delgada airport

A table with details on the daily rides with distances and climbing data and hiking options are provided on the website in a separate document under Ride Leader Docs and are available before you sign up by emailing the ride coordinator directly.

ROAD CONDITIONS AND BICYCLES:  27-speed hybrid bicycle rentals are available from Easy Rider Tours -- arrangement must be made directly with Easy Rider Tours. Cost is $250 US.

Cobblestones are common in towns and villages and there are two optional sections (3 to 8 miles) that are dirt roads.  If you bring your own bike, the recommended minimum tire width is 28mm. 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. (e-bikes aren't an option for this 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.

COST:  The cost of the trip is $3300 and the $100 nonrefundable BAC ride registration fee and includes:  9 nights lodging with breakfasts, 5 group dinners including wine, 2 picnic lunches, snacks at social hours, maps, cue sheets, GPS files, daily luggage transfer, emergency van pick-up, bike box storage/transfer, 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 payment of $1100 will be due within 2 weeks of acceptance on the ride.  At the same time, the $100 BAC fee will be due in addition to the deposit.  Both of these should be paid on-line directly to the BAC, using a credit card after the rider has been accepted on the ride.  The second payment of $1100 will be due October 1, 2019.  The last payment will be due February 1, 2020. The final payment may be adjusted slightly based upon the prevailing exchange rate at the time.

SINGLES & SOLOS POLICY:  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 roommate in mind and the name of the roommate, or (b) you are a single who wishes to share a room but do not have a roommate, 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 single who wish to have a roommate will be moved to the participant list until a roommate is identified and both deposits have been received.

Solo rooms will be limited to two for those who wish to pay the solo supplement for a room of their own.  The solo supplement is an additional $800 and is due with the second payment on October 1, 2019.  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.

CANCELLATION POLICY:   The BAC ride registration fee and payment processing fee is 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.

Easy Rider Tours imposes cancellation fees in addition to the BAC cancellation policy.  These apply only if the cancelling participant cannot be replaced.  For cancellations received:

·         By January 15, 2020: $150 fee

·         Between January 15 and February 15: $675

·         Between February 16 and March 15: $2025

·         After April 27 2020: $2675

·         No penalty charge for a name substitution (cancellation replacement)

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. 

SIGN UP: 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 BAC ride registration fee and the initial tour deposit $1,100 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 Description.


Bicycle Adventure Club
PO BOX 23998 San Diego, CA 92193
Telephone (858) 715-9510 office@bicycleadventureclub.org

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