† 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.
Off the beaten path Europe is hard to find these days, but Bulgaria fits the bill. Alongside a wonderfully well-preserved culture, ancient ruins and medieval churches, lies beautiful back country and quaint countryside. Bulgaria's hearty local cuisine, a distinguished regional wine culture and a plethora of traditional spas are all perfect for experiencing by bike. The country's rocky and wild wilderness has captivated locals and travelers alike.
This ride is 16 days and 15 nights with 11 full cycling days. The journey starts in the storied and beautifully weathered city of Sofia, one of the oldest inhabited cities in Europe. We begin our Bulgarian biking adventure on the afternoon of Monday, August 23, 2021 at the Arena di Serdika Hotel. We meet for a trip briefing and Happy Hour before a welcome dinner in a traditional Bulgarian restaurant.
The adventure begins the next morning after a 30 minute transfer to Yablanitsa town, where we start our biking exploration. The ride on each day will be between 28-45 miles with an average elevation ascent of 2700 ft.
Cycling starts in the north foothills of the Balkans alongside the Beli Vit river before we climb up to Bogoi Pass at 3887 ft. Once over the highest Balkan mountain pass we cruise downhill through the gorgeous forrest of the Sredna Gora Mountain and into the Valley of Southern Bulgaria. The sparklingly preserved town of Koprivshtitsa will invigorate road weary legs and send us on the way across rolling hills to the thermal spa town of Hisarya. For our first rest day we transfer to Plovdiv, "The City of the Seven Hills," where a walk will take us back to antiquity as we discover the Roman amphitheater and a wander along the town's cobblestone street will take us to St Marina church and an Ottoman Empire mosque.
The journey continues through two spectactular gorges en route to Velingrad, the spa capital of the region. It's Bulgaria at its unspoiled best, a cache of natural beauty and ancient history, comfortable accommodations, and fresh cuisine in idyllic surroundings. We spend two nights providing a full day to relax in the spa or walk around the lovely town.
We finish our riding experience on Monday, September 6, 2021 with a great 6000 foot descent from Pirin mountain to Melink. We then transfer to our hotel, again the Arena di St Serdika Hotel in Sofia, where we have our last Happy Hour and final dinner. On the following day, Tuesday, September 7, we have a transfer to Sofia International Airport (SOF).
The biking adventure will be led by SpiceRoads Cycle Tours (www.spiceroads.com), a specialized biking tour company with highly experienced cyclists with insider knowledge.
The ride is limited to 20 participants who are expected to ride the entire distance.
A detailed daily itinerary is available under the Ride Leader Docs.
We will cycle 397 miles in 11 full cycling days. The longest day is 45 miles (Day 14) and the shortest is 27.5 miles (Day 3). Total ascent is approximately 29,622 ft. This is a touring trip using mountain bikes or hybrids on a mixture of good sealed roads. Road bikes could be used, but there will be some cobblestone and sections of old tarmac that could be a bit bumpy. There is one 5 km section of off road. No off road riding experience is required. For riders bringing their own bikes, bike boxes will be stored in Sofia. Tandems are allowed on a case by case basis-contact the leader before signing up. A support vehicle is always available to assist in emergencies.
The days are rated as follows:
Day 1 Arrive: No riding day
Day 2 33 miles and 2460 ft 2A
Day 3 27.5 miles and 2591 ft 3A
Day 4 33 miles and 2080 ft 2A
(Day 3 and 4 we overnight in the same hotel in Chiflik)
Day 5 38 miles and 3228 ft 3B
Day 6 41 miles and 1040 ft 1B
Day 7 Rest day
Day 8 31 miles and 2821 ft 3A
Day 9 30 miles and 3871 4A
Day 10 43 miles and 2874 ft 3B
Day 11 Rest day
(Day 10 and 11 we overnigiht in the same hotel in Velingrad)
Day 12 45 miles and 3553 4B
Day 13 30 miles and 777 ft 1A
Day 14 45 miles and 4327 4B
Day 15 Rest day
Day 16 End of tour after breakfast
The average elevation of Sofia is 1800 ft.
Bulgaria's climate is temperate and generally favorable, with average daytime highs of 82 F in August and lows of 59 F. Average rain days are 6/month. Expect colder temperatures on the mountain passes. Be prepared for rain, cooler weather in the evenings and warm, sunny days.
LODGING AND MEALS
15 nights in double/twin shared rooms, 15 breakfasts, 13 lunches and 14 dinners. Lodging will range from local, traditional and charming hotels to deluxe properties. Accommodation is included from Monday, August 23rd 2021 until departure on Tuesday September 7th 2021.
You should aim to fly into and out of Sofia International Airport (SOF). Airport transfers to the hotel (Arena di Serdika Hote;) will be arranged. The tour begins on the afternoon of Monday, August 23, 2021with a trip briefing and bike fitting before the 5:30PM Happy Hour. If you plan to arrive early, SpiceRoads can assist with pre-tour hotel bookings. SpiceRoads will assign a company representative to assist the BAC riders who sign up, ie. pre and post tour hotels, bike rentals ($350 ) etc. For any enquiry concerning equipment, pre/post nights and for bike rentals please contact Spiceroads direct: email@example.com.
On Tuesday September 7th 2021, the tour ends and airport transfers will be arranged.
COST AND ADMINISTRATION
Cost is per person, double occupancy. The price includes 15 nights lodging, 15 breakfasts, 13 lunches and 14 dinners, cue sheets, BAC Happy Hour refreshments, cycling jersey, transfer to and from the SOF airport. The cost does not include the non-refundable $100 BAC fee, the cost of optional activities, or alcoholic beverages at included meals. For riders who choose to rent a bicycle from SpiceRoads the cost is $350 payable directly to SpiceRoads and is in addition to the $4750 estimated ride cost. The cost includes English speaking guides, support vehicles, snacks, water and soft drinks during cycling. Each days' Happy Hour drinks are based on 1/2 bottle of wine or 2 bottles of beer, 2 premium fruit juice or one cocktail per person. The deposit of $1750 is due on registration and two additional payments of $1500 are due on 8/31/2020 and 3/31/2021.
PASSPORT AND VISA: Your US passport must be valid for at least 3 months after the expected day of departure from Bulgaria and have one blank page. US citizens traveling on regular tourist passports may stay in Bulgaria for up to 90 days. All other nationalities should check with the Bulgarian Embassy for details.
HEALTH: No vaccinations are considered necessary for Bulgaria. Tap water is safe to drink in Bulgaria. Fountains in town parks and outside monasteries and churches provide fresh drinkable water, as well as the Cheshma (water spouts) found along main roads, which also offer fresh, delicious and safe water.
SINGLES AND SOLO:
If space allows, a limited number of solo rooms may be available. It is recommended that singles that want a roommate try to find their own. However, after receipt of inital deposit, a single without a roommate will be placed on the ride and given until February 28, 2021, 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 $450 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 are due on February 28,2021, and should be sent to the BAC office. Checks should be made out to "BAC" with a notation of the tour name included on the check. The mailing address is: Bicycle Adventure Club, PO Box 23998, San Diego, CA 92193.
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 costs as the result of the cancellation. If the canceling participant is replaced, a refund will be made at that time. If the canceling participant cannot 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 canceling roommate will also be liable for the solo supplement fee of the roommate remaining on the tour. BAC incourages members to purchase trip cancellation insurance. If the minimum number of 14 is not met, SpiceRoads reserves the right to adjust the price, the participants can then decide to accept the increase or the tour will be cancelled.
For cancellations that go unfilled and without a replacement, the SpiceRoads policy applies and is as follows:
Number of days prior to trip start, cancellation fee per person:
90+days Administration expenses incurred*
45-89 days $1230
15-44 days $2870
0-14 days $4100
*Bank fees and any tour costs incurred by the company as a result of the cancellation.
RIDE PARTICIPANT RESPONSIBLILITY
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 Leaders. 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 requests that you may have and respect the Ride Leader's decisions.
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. At this time you will receive a e-mail notification to log in to the BAC website to sign the release of liability form and pay the non-refundable BAC ride registration fee and the inital tour deposit of $1750 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 firstname.lastname@example.org