The Civil War Bike Tour

Our Civil War Bike Tour Makes 2012 National Geographic Traveler 50 Tours of a Lifetime

Wilderness Voyageurs Civil War Bike Tour National Geographic Traveler

CIvil War Bike Tour Makes 50 Tours of a Lifetime!

We are pretty excited here in the offices of Wilderness Voyageurs! Our historical and scenic Civil War Bike Tour made the 50 Tours of a Lifetime list for 2012 by National Geographic Traveler. We got the news a couple of days ago, the magazine hit mailboxes yesterday, and the news is online. While Wilderness Voyageurs is well known as the oldest rafting adventure company on the East Coast (established 1964), many don’t realize we offer premium quality bicycle tours. We’ve been running bike tours across the mid-Atlantic and more since 1995.

Here’s what National Geographic Traveler says about its  Tours of a Lifetime:

The selection process was competitive and our editorial team worked long and hard to find 2012’s most authentic, most innovative, most immersive, best-guided, and most sustainable tours. “Our theme this year was transformation. The outfitters we selected are experts at creating trips that have the power to change lives—the lives of the traveler as well as the residents of the destinations,” notes executive editor Norie Quintos. “The trip is usually just the beginning.”

National Geographic Traveler magazine has been surfacing the best tours and outfitters for travelers for the last seven years, as part of the magazine’s mission “to propel readers out of their armchairs and into the field.”

Maybe it’s the right year for you to learn about Civil War history from the sustainable & wildly civilized perspective of a bicycle?  Enjoy checking out our award-winning Civil War Bike Tour here.

Categories: Biking Vacations, The Civil War Bike Tour | 2 Comments

Gettysburg Bike Tour

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A ride mapped on 06/07/2011
Find more Cycling Routes / Bike Rides in Gettysburg, PA

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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

Civil War Bike Tour

Civil War Bike Tour

Biking to the Battlefield

One word…WOW!! I joined the Civil War Bike Tour excited for the outing and ended the trip being blown away by the experience. It was phenomenal!  My husband & I drove to Gettysburg where we met the rest of the group on morning number 1. It was a rapidly warming morning, which turned into a spectacular fall day. We biked for a few miles to the battlefield where we enjoyed a superb lunch, prepared by Bill, our bike tour leader. As we enjoyed the final bites of our tasty wrap, one of Gettysburg’s Certified Battlefield Tour Guides joined the group. Jim was a treat!

Jim giving us a history lesson

His enthusiasm and knowledge of the battle far exceeded my expectations. He kept us engaged as we relived the battle through his animated descriptions over next few hours. Interesting, fascinating, & educational, Jim made the tour of the battlefield unforgettable.

Ending the day’s tour at The Brafferton Inn in downtown Gettysburg was fitting. Built in 1786, the Inn complimented the day’s history lesson. We relaxed before enjoying wine and cheese on the back deck, then wandering off into downtown Gettyburg for dinner. A local Irish Pub caught our attention and filled our hungry bellies.We then retreated for a comfortable night sleep.  The group gathered in the morning for a home made breakfast, then off on our bikes we went.

The Battlefield at Gettysburg

Pedaling through the country, passing old farm houses, crossing the battlefield, lunching by a covered bridge and the like made the hours disappear. Gary, our other bike tour leader, kept us entertained with Civil War era music through the day. The biking was spectacular! Not to mention where we landed that evening.

And it’s time for another WOW!

Our bedroom at the Antrim Inn & the most comfortable bed I've ever slept in!

The Antrim Inn. Absolutely Stunning! An old plantation home from 1844, the Antrim has been flawlessly restored. Not a detail was missed. The rooms are beautiful, the grounds idealic, the food is outstanding and the wine list…is 75 pages long! It was a true treat to get to enjoy an inn like the Antrim. Before indulging in the multi course meal, Gary challenged us to a game of croquet. Little did we know he had this hidden talent. It was fun. When was the last time you played croquet? As a kid? Ever? It had been years for me! The dinner that followed was delicious.

Gary sending the game off to a great start

Thankfully we had biked that day so we could enjoy course after course (The smoked salmon cheesecake appetizer is highly recommended)!

Unfortunately we had to leave the group the next morning, missing out on the final 2 days of the tour. I can’t wait to return next time for the full Civil War Bike Tour with Wilderness Voyageurs. It was a great time! I learned more about Gettysburg and the battle that could have changed the course of American History, got to bike through beautiful country, stay in fabulous inns and indulge in fine meals. I give the trip 2 thumbs up and can’t wait to bring some friends with me on the next one.

Saying farwell to the group as we departed from the Antrim Inn

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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

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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