The Americana Bicycling Vacation

Designing Bike tours in Pennsylvania

Another tough day of work here at the Wilderness Voyageurs Bike tour division!  Our Civil War bike tour is really starting to take off.  This year we have a number of custom bike tours in the central Pennsylvania region, that means we are  out driving and biking around the beautiful countryside, looking for bike friendly routes.

Thought  I would share some improptu pics from a route we are working on between Gettysburg and Antietam

Great spring day, dogwoods and red bud trees  were putting on a show.    Found a great route that makes getting over South Mountain almost pleasant.  Lots of creeks and cool rock formations to accompany you on this ride.    The Monocacy Valley and  Washington and Frederick counties in Maryland and Adams County Pennsylvania are really awesome biking destinations.  Lots of friendly roads, and there are so many old buildings and barns around every corner.  The topography can be challenging but not make a ride feel like work.

Join us for a Pennsylvania bike tour and explore the country’s history while vacationing hassle free, you can’t beat it.

happy trails

Categories: Biking Vacations, Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Bike Tour, The Americana Bicycling Vacation, The Civil War Bike Tour | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

MEMORIAL DAY 2010 SPECIALS!

Stop down to Wilderness Voyageurs in Ohiopyle this Memorial Day weekend to check out our AMAZING Holiday Specials.  The weather forecast is projecting sunny skies with temperatures reaching the mid-80s by Sunday, so thrill seekers, jump on one of our Upper Yough trips challenge your “American Spirit”. But if your looking for a more relaxing way to spend the holiday, our Americana Bike Tour will have you traveling through Pennsylvania’s rich historic landscape.

upperyough Wilderness VoyageursBike Tours Wilderness Voyageurs

  • Save $26 per person on the Upper Yough this Friday 5/28: Raft the Upper Yough for only $99
  • Paddle & Shred: 2 days of Class III-V whitewater fun! Raft the Upper Yough on Friday for only $99 AND the Lower Youghiogheny on Saturday in a shredder with a FREE upgrade. Save $60 per person!
  • Sale $100 on the Americana Bike Tour: Spend a few days enjoying Pennsylvania’s beautiful country side on two wheels.
  • Ready to learn to paddle? Keep the beginning package weekends in mind. The first weekend of every month. Meals, Equipment & multiple days of instruction. Great deal at only $185! The first weekend in June is SOLD OUT! Book your spot for July now!
  • Learn to Fly Fish with Wilderness Voyageurs! Our instructional classes are selling fast but there are still seats available for the first weekend in June. Call and reserve you spot today!
Categories: Biking Vacations, Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Bike Tour, Outdoor Gear, The Americana Bicycling Vacation, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bill’s review on Cannondale’s Quick 2

Cannondale's Quick 2

Cannondale's Quick 2, a great option for the Americana Bike Tour or Civil War Cycle

Today, I was fortunate enough to test a Cannondale Quick 2, which we just added to our bike tour rental fleet. The Quick series was designed for the rider looking to: recreate, commute in an urban setting, stay fit, pedal instead of drive to their favorite weekend destination, and just plain have fun.  In the past, when I thought of commuter style bikes, I always pictured a bike that would compromise style and comfort. Yes, I can be vain from time to time. However, I have never come across a bicycle that could do all these aspects of cycling well. In fact, sometimes bicycle companies try to make a bike do too many things, which results in a bike that doesn’t perform well at anything. The Quick certainly isn’t lacking in the style department.

How does the Quick 2 ride you ask? Lets start with the frame. This bike features a Hydroformed 6061 Alloy main frame with Carbon seat stays for a more compliant ride. By adding carbon only to the seat stays, it allows Cannondale to give cyclists an incredible ride without breaking the bank. However, Cannondale does have the Quick Carbon 1 and 2 for those looking for the utilmate in compliance and light weight. I was a firm believer in the Quick’s forgiving nature after riding over many downed branches along the trail. Be sure to watch out for branches that move. They aren’t always black snakes like the fella I made friends with today.

The fork is Cannondale’s full carbon Ultra X with just enough rake to make the frame and fork combination incredibly snappy and responsive, hence the name, Quick. I found this out after weaving in and out of various trail users on my way to Blue Hole, and could totally picture this bike tearing it up through city traffic. This setup was incredibly comfortable with the flat bar and ergonomically sensitive grips, which are designed to take the pressure off one’s hands that often contribute to numbness after a few hours of riding. I found the Quick’s geometry to be comfortable in the full on racer boy position while trying to make time, and to test the lateral stiffness, as well as a more upright position to lower the heart rate and enjoy the scenery. Both positions have their place on our bike tours.

How about the parts group? The Quick 2 features a solid 105 level build. After working in the bicycle industry for over 12 years, I have been fortunate enough to ride everything from Alivio and Deore level components to ultra bling Campy Carbon 11 speed and Sram XX. This is particulary beneficial to me when it comes to choosing parts for my personal bikes. I have always preffered a working man’s build on my everyday bikes. Typically, you are going to sacrifice durability and longevity for the ultimate in lightweight and overall performance. Granted, I like high-end components on my race bike because I don’t ride that bike everyday, but the build spec on the Quick 2 is going to give you a solid combination of performance and value. This is the first adventure/commuter style bike I ever tested that came spec’d with the new industry standard BB30 shell. The BB30 was devloped by Cannondale in response to the standard 24mm BB Shell that had gotten the job done for years, but Cannondale engineers wanted to make it better. The larger diameter 30mm shell of the BB30 increases stiffness and saves weight. It was proven in the Tour De France in 2000. Cannondale Racers gave rave reviews, and it’s now being adopted by many other companies as more people are seeing it’s benefits, definitely a very nice feature on the Quick 2. The spec also includes Formula CXR 350 wheels, Kenda Kwick Roller Sport 700/32 tires, an FSA Omega Mega EXO Triple crankset 50/39/30, Shimano SL R440 9 speed shifters, Shimano 105 derailleurs, Tektro Mini V brakes. It also featured a sleek yet comfortable Selle San Marco saddle. I have spent time on this saddle without wearing full on cycling shorts, and I have to say, it was incredibly comfortable. These components are tried and true, which is why we chose this model to be part of our bike tour rental fleet, since you will be enjoying them for longer than the average ride around town.

Overall, I genuinely enjoyed riding this bike. The large frame fit my 5’10, 32 inch inseamed carcass well. Usually, I have to do some tweaking to the headset spacer stack height, saddle position and sometimes include an offset seatpost in order to fit me comfortably on account of a bum hip.  The only thing I dialed in was my saddle height and it was good to go. It was very responsive, comfortable, laterally stiff yet forgiving all while turning heads on the trail. To be honest with you, I would consider adding the Cannondale Quick 2 to my personal fleet as an everyday commuter, and all around transportation bike. It will be a great option on either the Civil War Tour or Americana Bike Tour. Feel free to stop by the store if you have any questions about the bike tours, the Quick 2 or any of the other phenomenal bikes in Cannondale’s line up. My name is Bill and I love to talk bikes.

Categories: Biking Vacations, Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Bike Tour, Ohiopyle, The Americana Bicycling Vacation, The Civil War Bike Tour | Tags: | 5 Comments

Gearing up for 2010 Bike Tours!

Summer is almost here and that means getting ready for Bike Tours! Garrett street is hopping with activity today as the wonderful weather allows guides, guests, and managers to get outside and gear up. For our Bike Tour Manager, Bill Hall, Christmas came in April. Our new roof racks for our Bike Tour vans arrived. Bill got to spend some glorious sunshine time this morning installing the new racks on our vans.

 Also our other Bill got to spend some quality outdoor time while tuning up our Cannondale A400 Bikes. These bikes are one of the rental choices riders on our Bike Tours have to customize their experience! We also rent these bikes out for day trips along the Great Allegheny PassagewayMountain biking has also come into full bloom this time of year as the trails dry out and riders get to enjoy spring sunshine!

New biking gear has made its way into our Wilderness Voyageurs Outfitter store! Swing by and visit us in Ohiopyle, PA or visit us online at www.gearfetch.com. Our Friendsville, MD store is also now open for every release day on the Upper Yough! Click on Upper Yough to check out the 2010 whitewater release schedule and Ways to Save for current specials on all of our rafting tours!

Enjoy the weather! We sure are!

Categories: Biking Vacations, Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Bike Tour, The Americana Bicycling Vacation, The Civil War Bike Tour | 1 Comment

Wilderness Voyageurs staff, friends, locals grab skis, take to the trails!

This just in: there is a lot of snow in Ohiopyle! Oh, you knew that. Well, we’re making the most of it. Saturday a gaggle of us rallied at the Tavern in Ligonier (the same one where you’ll luncheon on the Americana Bike Tour) and hit the woods for an afternoon of adventure.

Favorite piece of gear for the day: Butter Liner….they are thin, comfy and sometimes that perfect extra layer under your mitts or on their own on warmer days.

Here are some pictures from the day:

Wilderness Voyageurs staff and friends posing for a group shot during a Saturday afternoon ski.

The inevitable group shot. Check out Immersion Research owner John Weld schlepping the sled with the kids in the background!

The terrain was ideal and very pretty.

The terrain was ideal and very pretty.

A better shot of John pulling the sled with a little help from sled dog veteran Isabel

A better shot of John, seen here getting by with a little help from his friends, or in this case his friend's dog Isabel!

Categories: Biking Vacations, Ohiopyle, Outdoor Gear, The Americana Bicycling Vacation | Leave a comment

Rolling into 2010!

Typically the winters here in good ol’ Ohiopyle, PA are filled with quiet, snowy, beautiful days.  Around this time our staff slims down to the managers and a few hardy staffers. We all love the snow and enjoy some form of winter sports whether it be telemark skiing, crosscountry skiing, sledding, snowshoeing, or the occasional competitive snowball fight.  Right now as I write this, sitting in the office above our outfitter store, I am contemplating which piece of gear do I need for my nightly downhill ski excursions. A new pair of Mountain Hardwear gaiters, some super cozy Smartwool socks, or extra warm gloves?  This year I am all-a-twitter about the new Mountain Hardwear women’s Synchro Ski Jacket. I own last year’s Synchro jacket, and let me tell you the new model is something! Perfectly cut for a women, with vents in all the right places, enough pockets to hold anything you would need, and the cool new waterproof seams are a really awesome detail. This jacket is tough enough to take the worst wind and snow storm, and yet light enough to work perfectly in a spring shower. It has my vote.

This is also the time of year when we plan new programs, develop new ideas to keep our trips on the cutting edge, and let our imaginations run wild with summer excitement! This winter our office has been buzzing over our 2010 Bike Tours! Our standard 3 and 6 Day Pittsburgh to DC tours are as popular as ever! Drawing cycling enthusiasts from all over the United States, South America, and Canada. The Great Allegheny Passageway(GAP) and the C&O Canal have a unique way of making time stand still, and reminding you to stop and enjoy the sun on your face.

We are also debuting two new tours this year for the road biker in all of us! The Americana Bike Tour takes you back to a time when apple pies were cooling in the kitchen windows. Our second new tour for 2010, The Civil War Bike Tour, guides you through events that shaped our nation. All the while enjoying peaceful back roads, the smiling faces of your guides, and making new life long friends. Simply put: we love these tours.

It’s a great time to be at Wilderness Voyageurs. I hope to see new smiling faces this year, and of course I look forward to reuniting with old friends.

See you on the trail, on the water, or on a bike!

Categories: Biking Vacations, Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Bike Tour, Ohiopyle, The Americana Bicycling Vacation, The Civil War Bike Tour | Leave a comment

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