† 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.
In 2000, the Loire Valley was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. “The Loire Valley is a harmonious alliance between mankind and nature. The châteaux, towns and villages, the river and its culture, winegrowing, and gastronomy all fit perfectly into this magnificent landscape, that of Europe’s last untamed river.” The Loire Valley is also a worldwide cycling destination. This tour has been organized to include multiple nights in each location and excursions to some of the most charming and historic châteaux of the Loire Valley.
We begin our tour in Angers and follow the Loire à Vélo and Château à Vélo routes, among others, concluding our adventure in Cour-Cheverny, where we will say goodbye and depart to Blois for connections. Along the way, we will ride at a relaxed pace through the historic, scenic Loire valley, often following the river, enjoying the peaceful pace of valley life. No tour of this area would be complete without sampling the delightful local foods and wines, including fruits, cheeses, and mushrooms, and touring historic sites like the troglodyte caves of the Turquant. Mid-ride activities on our ride days include château tours, medieval sites and ruins, picnicking amongst vineyards and gardens, sampling delights in markets, and other local activities. Highlights include the château that inspired Cinderella’s castle and Da Vinci’s home Clos Lucé. The tour includes at least three excursions for the entire group and a group dinner in each location but one.
Vaccinations for Covid are recommended, but not required.
Participants are expected to come to the tour in good health and ready to ride. Prior to the final payment for the tour, an infectious disease plan will be developed and communicated. The plan will identify possible actions for dealing with persons with an infectious disease on the tour that could affect their ability to ride or the health of others in the group. The plan will include items such as isolation protocols, testing, masking, distancing, and leaving the tour.
This trip is rated a 1B with an average of 40 miles and about 1,000 ft of elevation per day and no steep grades (nothing over 8% and most days have a maximum grade of 5%). As we will have multiple fixed locations, riders have the option to ride or take a day of leisure, although we encourage everyone to enjoy the opportunity to see the surrounding areas by bike. Many of the daily routes (with the exception of transit days, the longest of those being 44 miles) can be shortened to a 1A rating or lengthened. There are also options for a couple routes with a bit over 1,500 ft of elevation. Most of the rides are along established bike routes and often on separated bike paths.
ITINERARY AND HIGHLIGHTS
CUE SHEETS, MAPS, GPS FILES
GPS files for all routes will be provided and the use of a navigation device is not just highly recommended but required. It would be difficult if not impossible to follow many of the routes with printed route sheets (which will only be provided upon request) due to the spotty signage and numerous turns. Note: It is up to the rider to know how to use his or her GPS device before the trip begins.
September is the month that is both the end of summer and the beginning of autumn in the Loire Valley. It is a typical transitional month, that is still quite pleasant, but also gradually getting cooler. The afternoon temperature averages 68 degrees F. Nights begin to cool, with an average low temperature of 50 degrees F. The beginning of September is definitely the warmest time of the month with temperatures dropping as the month progresses.
Rainfall typically averages ~2 inches for the month, spread over 11 days. This can range from moderate rain to light drizzle with a small chance of thunderstorms. The chance of rainfall also increases as the month progresses.
LODGING & MEALS
After the first night in Angers, we are staying primarily at historic châteaux and properties of the Loire Valley in Saumur, Azay-le-Rideau, Amboise, and Cour-Cheverny. There will be at least three organized group dinners and a happy hour each evening that we do not have a group dinner. Breakfasts will be provided at each hotel. There will be no shortage of local gastronomic delights to explore!
Accommodations include the Best Western Hôtel d'Anjou, Hôtel Anne d’Anjou (Saumur), Hôtel Le Grand Monarque (Azay-le-Rideau, tentative), hotel TBD (Amboise), and Relais des Trois Châteaux (Cour-Cheverny). Some hotels have pools and/or hot tubs and some offer spa treatments. Hotels are centrally located so you will have ample time to explore the local villages. Opportunities for wine tasting abound. Links to hotels below:
The tour starts in Anger before dinner on Sunday 1 September 2024 and ends in Cour-Cheverny (15 km from Blois) after breakfast on Friday 13 September 2024. Overnights in order are Anger (1 night), Saumur (3 nights), Azay-le-Rideau (3 nights), Amboise (3 nights), and Cour-Cheverny (2 nights). Participants can fly to Paris and take the TGV (train) to Angers and then walk to the hotel. At the end of the tour, participants can take a taxi to Blois and depart from there by train as well. We will have a van driver whose primary role will be to transport luggage and supplies. While it will be available to assist with any emergencies, it will not serve as a SAG vehicle and participants are expected to complete the ride each day.
Bike rentals will be available directly from a local rental company and you can pick them up or delivery can be arranged for the first hotel in Angers. Hybrid aluminum road bikes are recommended given the relatively flat terrain and because some bike paths are compacted gravel. The rental company can also pick up the bikes at the last hotel. E-bike availability may be limited; the last time this tour was conducted, no e-bikes were available and all riders completed the mandatory rides, which are shorter now given some restructuring of the tour. The Ride Leaders will send additional information to those participants who are interested in renting bikes. Participants are responsible for and must pay separately for their bike rentals.
COST & ADMINISTRATION
Cost estimate is $2,800 per person double occupancy for 12 hotel nights, 12 breakfasts, happy hour drinks and snacks most afternoons, at least 3 group dinners, daily route review, luggage transfer, scouted routes and sightseeing information as well as at least 3 special tours/excursions (e.g., tours of châteaux and attractions.). Other optional activities and sightseeing, as well as transportation to the start location in Angers and to the train station or elsewhere from the final hotel are paid by you. The initial deposit is $1,400 with the final payment of $1,400 due March 1, 2024. With the current economic uncertainties in mind, the cost was estimated based on $1.18 per Euro. Depending on future currency exchange rates, there may be an adjustment in the amount of the final payment (i.e., up or down).
SINGLES & SOLOS POLICY
We welcome single participants, whether you share a room with another single or you choose to pay a solo supplement, although we are limiting the number of solos on this tour to 3. 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 January 1, 2024 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 Ride Registration Fee and Payment Processing Fee) or pay the $800 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 by February 1, 2024. 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.
The BAC Ride Registration Fee and Payment Processing Fees are not refundable unless the entire tour is canceled because the number of participants registered is less than the minimum established for the tour. For individual cancellations, refunds of tour payments will depend upon whether a replacement rider signs up, and whether costs 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 canceling participant is replaced, a refund will be made at that time. If the canceling 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 canceling 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 the 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.
Before participating in any BAC tour, you should assess whether your medical and travel insurance coverage is sufficient. BAC maintains insurance that covers expenses related to accidents, medical emergencies such as sudden and unexpected sickness, and repatriation. This coverage applies when touring outside the US, regardless of your nationality. It will cover you door-to-door for a maximum of 90 days but will expire if you make a side trip not related to the BAC tour for more than 7 days before or after. There is limited coverage for a family member to join a covered person in an emergency. The policy covers the cost of treatment for Covid and other unexpected illnesses, but not quarantine. You should ensure that your vaccinations are up to date.
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. Wait listing is encouraged.
Bicycle Adventure Club
PO BOX 23998 San Diego, CA 92193
Telephone (858) 715-9510 firstname.lastname@example.org