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Ride Rating System

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Cancelled - Douro and Minho Wine Country: Portugal 2020

  • Arrival
  • 6/13/2020
  • Departure
  • 6/26/2020
  • Ride Coordinator
  • Alexandra Wagner
  • Tour Company
  • Easy Rider Tours
  • Starting Location
  • Covilhã, Portugal
  • Finishing Location
  • Porto, Portugal
  • Estimated Cost †
  • $4195
  • Deposit
  • $1400
  • Number of Riders
  • 15 (min. 16 /max. 24)
  • Space Available
  • 9
  • No. of Pending Riders
  • 0

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.

Ride Description

SUMMARY:  Portugal is one of Europe’s best-kept secrets, although the word is getting out! This BAC trip through northern Portugal explores the UNESCO World Heritage Douro Valley, famous for Port wine, and then moves into the Minho Valley, with its terraced hillsides and beautiful National Park. The tour finishes in Spain along the Rias Baixas coast.

We begin at the top of the Serra da Estrela, mainland Portugal’s highest mountain.  Passing through ancient stone villages guarded by granite-toothed mountains, we reach the terraced landscape of the Rio Douro (Golden River).  Along the way, we will ride through the glacial Zazére Valley, tour the Burel wool factory, visit a traditional olive oil mill and wood-fired bakery, and stay on three wine estates! Besides biking in the Douro Valley, we’ll cruise down the river on a traditional rabelo boat.  

A short charter bus transfer brings us to the Minho Region at the heart of the vinho verde wine country. The countryside has a unique look, with terraced hillsides covered by granite-trellised vineyards. Our riding takes us through fertile river valleys, handsome granite villages, and the mountain wilderness of Peneda-Geres National Park. Crossing the border into Spain brings us to the Atlantic along the Galician coast. We will cycle along its wild coastline and visit mystical Celtic ruins and the Chan de Lagoa nature reserve.

Throughout our tour we will have plenty of opportunity to sample the local tinto (red), branco (white), and verde (green or young) wines.

Most of our stays are at luxurious wine estates, boutique hotels and historic manor houses. But there is one night where we will stay in a modern hostel where not all rooms have private bathrooms and solo participants may have to share a bathroom for just this one night.  Our last 3 nights are in the town of Baiona (Spain) at a four-star parador overlooking the bay from the medieval walled Monterreal Fortress. It was here that the Pinta brought the first news of the discovery of America.

This tour was customized for BAC by Easy Rider Tours, who has run several previous Portugal tours for the club. It combines the best of their Douro & Port Wine Country and Minho Grape Escape tours.

LOGISTICS:  The trip meets on June 13 at 12:00 noon at the Covilhã train station (3 hours by train from Lisbon). There will be a bus transfer (1 hr) provided to our hotel in Penhas Douradas, located in the Serra da Estrela mountains.

The trip ends at mid-day on June 26 in Porto, Portugal.  After breakfast on June 26, a bus will transport riders and their luggage (including packed bicycles) from Baiona, Spain, to Porto, Portugal.  Both transfers are included in the cost of the tour.

RIDE RATING:  Most daily routes were planned with the intent of providing enough time to fully enjoy the scenery and sites along the way. The 3A ride rating is based on 7 mandatory days of riding of which there are several easy days interspersed with some harder days. While the mandatory days average 33 miles with 2520’ of elevation gain, do not be fooled. This is a hilly tour and there are occasional steep climbs that exceed 8%, hence the 3A rating.  Note day 3 is 55 miles with an elevation gain of 3639 feet. Day 8 is 41 miles with an elevation gain of 2907 feet.

There will be options for additional miles on the shorter days and a choice of ride options on the non-mandatory riding days.

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

There are many town centers on our route that are paved in cobblestones.  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 2 tandems 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 June are in the mid-70s and the average highs are in the mid-80s F.  Although rain is less likely during June, rain can happen at any time.

COST:  The cost of the trip is $4,195  and includes:  13 nights lodging with breakfasts, 9 group dinners including wine, snacks at social hours, maps, cue sheets, GPS files, daily luggage transfer, emergency van pick-up, bike box storage/transfer, bus transfers from Covilhã Portugal to the tour start and Baiona, Spain to Porto, Portugal at the tour end, Douro boat cruise with lunch, and 2 picnic lunches. 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 alcoholic drinks at social hours.

The first deposit of $1,400 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 deposit of $1,400 is due August 1, 2019.  The last deposit of  $1,395 is due December 1, 2019.  There may be an adjustment in the final payment due to currency fluctuations.

SINGLES & SOLOS POLICY:  It is recommended that singles who want a roommate try to find their own.  However, after receipt of the initial deposit, a single without a roommate will be placed on the ride and given until December 1, 2019 to find a roommate.  If they are unable to find a roommate, they will have the option to receive a full refund (minus the BAC fee and payment processing fee) or pay the $850 solo supplement and stay on the ride.  If a single pays 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.

Solo rooms will be limited to two for those who wish to pay the solo supplement for a room of their own.  As noted above, there is one night where solo singles may have to share a bathroom. The solo single supplement is an additional $850 and is due with the second payment on August 1, 2019.  

CANCELLATION POLICY:  The BAC Ride Registration fee and 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.  Easy Rider Tours will charge$150 if a participant cancels by January 15, 2020 and cannot be replaced, $850 if the cancellation is between January 15 and February 15, 2020, $1,700 if the cancellation is between February 16 and March 15, 2020, $2250 if the cancellation is between March 16 and April 12, 2020, and $3420 if the cancellation is after April 12, 2020. 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.

RIDE PARTICIPANT RESPONSIBILITY:  Please 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 cleanup. 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 might have and respect the Ride Leader’s decisions.

SIGN-UP:  To register for this ride, use the sign-up links just above the Ride Description. After preliminary acceptance, you will be moved to the pending list and receive an email requesting you to go back to the BAC site to digitally accept the terms of the Release of Liability (ROL), and pay the non-refundable BAC Ride Registration Fee and Tour Deposit by credit card. As soon as your deposit has been processed, your name(s) will be added to the Participant List. BAC members with questions may contact the Ride Director by “clicking” the name at the top of this Ride Description.  

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

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