TOURING WITH DISCOVERY BICYCLE TOURS!
Some of you are probably considering a bike tour for the first time, and are wondering what this whole idea of inn-to-inn touring is about. The basic idea is that you ride your bike from inn to inn, enjoy fine food and great lodging, and are pampered by professional and engaging leaders. We take care of all the details for you — at the inns and along the way — so you can relax and have fun. Discovery Bicycle Tour vans carry your luggage, water to refill your bottle, purchases you might make, and spare parts and tools for roadside repairs or adjustments. And if you want a break from pedaling, there is always an empty seat waiting for you, and our leaders are always glad to have some interesting company.
Yet there is really a lot more. Bicycling is part of it, of course. But the adventure is also made up of a great number of special experiences, both large and small, that make each person’s vacation unique. You will surely be enthralled with the handsome churches, spectacular views, historic sites, and quaint towns. Equal, perhaps, to these larger sensations, will be your memory of the snapping bright taste of an apple you just picked; the warmth and friendliness of the owner of a general store; visiting a sugarhouse and sampling pure Vermont maple syrup; getting to know several folks in your group and establishing new friendships; enjoying some iced tea on the porch of your inn; riding a ferry across Lake Champlain; hiking on one of the many forested trails; seeing deer on the edge of a pasture in the evening light; listening to the clatter of your bicycle as you cross the hard wood flooring of yet another covered bridge; soothing your tired feet in the flow of a spring-fed brook; feeling a quiet sense of satisfaction at the end of the day’s ride; or taking an evening stroll along a quiet dirt road.
You do not need to be an experienced cyclist to enjoy our tours. Each tour is carefully designed to recognize, welcome, and encourage the varying skills and interests of our riders. The tours are flexible and most include easy to moderate riding, plus optional routes for the more energetic cyclist. You set your own pace. You can ride with others from the group, pair off, or ride alone, enjoying the quiet countryside. You may choose to bike ahead, or stop along the way to sample local products, photograph a village, or just relax along a river. No awards are given for finishing first — our goal is to help you enjoy getting to know the area in your own personal, intimate way.
So while the cycling is certainly an important part of the adventure, it is also important to realize that it is really just one perfect part of the total experience. You are engaged in not just a bike tour, but a whole range of conscious (and not so conscious) interactions with a new environment, including new and different people, places, sounds, smells, and perceptions. And this realization comes not just from us, but rather is reflected in the many wonderful comments and letters we get every year from the people who have come on our tours.
Part of the experience is also in the absence of things, things such as cell phones, billboards, decisions, cars, and bustle. The cycling is all at your own pace, but so is everything else. Let us do the organizing and the lugging. Your job is to enjoy yourself.
Our Country Inns
Our inns are selected for their friendliness, warmth, and country comforts, and represent a wonderful diversity. We stay at such places as a restored 18th-century farmhouse filled with antiques and surrounded by gardens, an antebellum plantation estate where we are treated to grand elegance and elegant decor, a supremely welcoming and relaxing family-run inn that Vermont Magazine says exudes “old-fashioned perfection”, and an old Vermont tavern virtually unchanged from its heyday during the early 1800s. Our inns are described with the specific tours.
The food is delicious and as diverse as the architecture. Many of our inns have been featured in such magazines as Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Yankee, and Cooking Light. The wonderful breakfasts – which might feature homemade muffins, Belgian waffles, quiche, or Swedish coffee cake – start your cycling day right. One evening you might enjoy interesting international cuisine, and on another, homemade pasta and seafood with vegetables picked fresh from your host’s garden. From the simple pleasures of home-baked breads to elegant desserts, dining is always a delight. And if you are a vegetarian or have special dietary needs, the inns are happy to accommodate you.