2014 Tour of California

2014 Tour of California

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Ride the West Coast of America!

A unique 10 day cycling experience from San Francisco, taking in the best of coastal California, Northern California wine regions and the 2014 Amgen Tour of California pro-tour cycling race. Experience exciting racing, fantastic riding, beautiful scenery, great accommodation, food and wine with the experienced Bikestyle team.

toc california coast

TRIP DETAILS:

Duration: 10 days (9 nights)
Dates: Friday 09 May 2014 to Sunday 18 May 2014
Start: San Francisco
Finish: Los Angeles
Accommodation: 2 nights 3 Star, 5 nights 4 Star, 2 nights 5 Star
Group Size: Maximum 16 people (4 Staff)
Cost: AUD$5490.00 – Optional single supplement AUD$1320.00
Deposit: AUD $1000.00
Note: All trip costs are per person, not including airfare and based on two persons per room. If travelling alone we will match you with a person to share, or you can have a room of your own by paying the single supplement.

Reserve your Place Now
Register Your Interest or Ask a Question
Inclusions

Optional Extras:

Scott CR1 or Addict Ultegra carbon fibre bike: $A450
Pre or post tour accommodation to extend your stay
Travel Insurance
Email us for details

Highlights:

  • Cycle along the wild coastline of California’s Big Sur, one of the world’s great rides.
  • Ride through the vineyards and hills of Sonoma County
  • Experience the 4 biggest stages of the 2014 Amgen Tour of California including a stage start, stage finish and mountain stage.
  • Taste the modern cuisine and wines of California
  • Sightseeing  including  San Francisco, Monterey, Sonoma vineyards, Hearst Castle and Santa Barbara

toc california start

 

ITINERARY

 FRIDAY, 9 MAY: WELCOME TO SAN FRANCISCOTOC GOLDEN GATE

Arrive in San Francisco today and make your own way to our hotel in the bayside town of Tiburon. There are various options available from San Francisco International airport including taxi, shuttles and private transfers.

On arrival we will help you assemble your bike, or introduce you to your rental bike, before we take an afternoon warm up ride of approximately 30 kms (return). This is no ordinary ride though as we ride around the bay to one of America’s most recognisable landmarks, the Golden Gate Bridge via the quaint town of Sausalito. You can get a great view of San Francisco and Alcatraz Island before returning to our hotel via the winding road past the mansions of the elite in the pretty bayside suburb of Belvedere.

For non-cyclists you might like to take a ferry to San Francisco from our hotel in Tiburon, take a tour of  Alcatraz Island, or stay and explore our pretty bayside location of Tiburon.

Tonight we will enjoy a special welcome dinner at a local Italian restaurant on the wharf where you can meet your fellow travelers, taste some Californian wines and find out a bit more about what’s in store for you over the next 10 days.

Overnight: Tiburon
Meals: Dinner

SATURDAY, 10 MAY: CALIFORNIA COAST AND REDWOODS

TOC REDWOODSThis morning we will take a ride through beautiful Marin County and along the Pacific coast to Point Reyes, with a stop to take a walk through the Giant Californian Redwoods along the way.

It’s a short drive up in to the hills from Tiburon to Muir Woods, which we’ll visit this morning before the throng of day visitors arrive. Muir Woods National Monument is an old-growth coastal redwood forest. The average age of the redwoods in the Monument are between 500 and 800 years old with the oldest of these giant trees being at least 1,200 years old. Before we start our ride we’ll take a walk through the giant trees in the cool of the morning.

Our ride will take us from Muir Woods to Point Reyes, a pleasant small town on the Pacific coast. The ride is a mix of hills, winding coastal roads and a fast flat run along the Bolinas lagoon past the basking harbour seals. It’s about 40kms from Muir Woods to Point Reyes where we will take a break for lunch at a great little café we’ve discovered.

After lunch we will travel on to Petaluma, known for its typical small town USA centre and grand timber Victorian houses. You can ride the 30kms, or take it easy in the van. From Petaluma it is a short drive to Santa Rosa where we spend the next 3 nights.

Santa Rosa is the northwestern gateway to the Sonoma and Napa Valleys of California’s famed Wine Country. Many wineries and vineyards are nearby, as well as the Russian River resort area and the Sonoma Coast along the Pacific Ocean. Its most famous son is Charles M Schulz, creator of the Peanuts cartoons. You will find statues of various characters from Peanuts scattered around the town centre. Not quite as well known worldwide (but a local identity all the same) is American cyclist Levi Leipheimer. The team of Cadel Evans, BMC, has its North American base in Santa Rosa.

Overnight: Santa Rosa
Meals: Breakfast

SUNDAY, 11 MAY: SONOMA VALLEY VINEYARDS

It’s Sunday in Sonoma Valley, so what better way to spend the day than with a ride through the Sonoma Valley wine area of Dry Creek Valley.

From Santa Rosa it’s an easy 30 km ride up to Heraldsburg where we take a break for coffee before starting our scenic loop through Dry Creek Valley past some of California’s picturesque boutique vineyards. We’ll finish our 40 km loop back in Heraldsburg where we can have lunch in this pretty little town, a popular destination for day trippers from San Francisco and known for its great little restaurants housed in the historic timber buildings that line the main street.

After lunch we’ll head back to our hotel in Santa Rosa. If you want a bit more riding we’ll take a back route away from the Sunday drivers through the Alexander Valley, a lovely undulating ride that will finish at our hotel. If you’ve had enough riding we’ll head back to the hotel by van where you can relax for the afternoon.

Tonight we will walk in to Santa Rosa for dinner. The town boasts a big selection of restaurants and even a couple of boutique breweries, so join in with the locals tonight and try something different. The area has everything from cheap and cheerful to Michelin star restaurants, so there will be something for everyone.

Overnight: Santa Rosa
Meals: Breakfast

toc california saloon

MONDAY, 12 MAY: RUSSIAN RIVER

We can visit another of the Sonoma wine areas today as we take a ride from Santa Rosa through the Russian River Valley, named for the regions first settlers, is one of California’s cooler climate wine regions. It is known for its world class Chardonnay, fine Pinot Noir and California’s specialty, Zinfandel.

With a full day to enjoy Somona County we can enjoy a pleasant ride this morning taking a loop from the hotel through the small wine towns of Graton and Occidental, returning to Santa Rosa for lunch. We’ll ride 60-70kms, with a shorter option available. In Santa Rosa we can relax over lunch in the historic town centre before returning to the hotel.

This afternoon when we’ve cleaned up after our ride we can take a trip to visit a few local wineries. At the top of our list is film director Francis Ford Coppola’s winery, which could only be in America. This amazing complex includes restaurants, pool, tasting rooms and a museum full of memorabilia from Coppola’s many movies, including the Godfather series. After that we can make a visit to some of the smaller boutique wineries that the area is known for.

This evening we’ll spend our last night in Santa Rosa and refuel our bodies. We’ve got a few hills to climb tomorrow as we catch up with the Tour of California on Mt Diablo.

Overnight: Santa Rosa
Meals: Breakfast

toc california Coppola Winery

TUESDAY, 13 MAY: MOUNT DIABLO STAGE FINISH

Today’s stage is perhaps the most important stage of the Tour of California with a summit finish at 1175 meters on the summit of Mount Diablo. This will be a great stage for us to view the race, with thousands of local cyclists expected to join us on the climb to Mount Diablo to see world class professional cyclists make their way up the mountain.

This morning we’ll drive south to Walnut Creek where we will start our ride to Mt Diablo. We will work out our exact ride route once we know more about the stage but there are a number of approaches to the summit. The most likely route will be from the south, a favourite route for Bay area cyclists and a nice easy climb of around 6% average gradient from the valley. The final few hundred meters kicks in to a steep 15% plus gradient which should make for an exciting race finish.

After we’ve seen the race it will be a thrilling descent back down to the valley to meet up with the van where we drive on to our hotel in the famous California coastal town of Monterey.

Monterey was the capital of “Alta California” from 1777 to 1846 under both Spain and Mexico. It was the only port of entry for taxable goods in California. In 1846 the U.S. flag was raised over the Customs House, and California was claimed for the United States. Today Monterey attracts visitors from all over the world to see the historic buildings on Cannery Row, Fisherman’s Wharf, the world class Monterey Aquarium and the annual Monterey Jazz Festival.

Overnight: Monterey
Meals: Breakfast

toc california race

WEDNESDAY, 14 MAY: MONTEREY STAGE START AND THE BIG SUR

A busy day awaits us as we do a bit of morning sightseeing near Monterey, see the race start and then take a ride in the tracks of the peloton down the famous Big Sur coastline. This is one of the most beautiful coastal rides in the world, so you are in for a real treat today.

Today’s stage of the Amgen Tour of California starts a short distance from our hotel in Monterey, so we’ll enjoy a lie in this morning before strolling down to see the race prepare for another day on the road. Or if you wish head down to the Monterey Aquarium for a quick tour before the race to see this amazing must-see world famous attraction.

toc california sagan

This morning will be a great place to see some of the big names of cycling up close as they arrive to sign on for the race this morning. As a UCI World Tour race the Amgen Tour of California attracts the biggest teams in cycling, although it’s a lot more laid back than the big European races so the chances of scoring a photo or autograph of your favourite riders are pretty good.

After the race start and lunch we’ll drive to our ride start point atop the Big Sur. The Big Sur coastline is the most scenic part of the California coastline and undulates up and down all the way, but the scenery is truly magnificent and you won’t notice the hills! It is truly one of the world’s great drives or bike rides and with a bit of luck we’ll have the prevailing northerly wind blowing us all the way down the coast today. From the start of our ride to our meeting point at Ragged Point it’s about 80 kms, but we’ll have a shorter option available if you need it.

Tonight we will stay right on the coast in the small town of Cambria, close to Hearst Castle which we will visit tomorrow. After our ride up the Big Sur we’ll enjoy dinner together in a local restaurant in town.

Overnight: Cambria
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

toc california coast riding

THURSDAY, 15 MAY: HEARST CASTLE AND STAGE FINISH

Another of California’s top attractions is our first stop this morning as we take a tour of Hearst Castle in San Simeon. Hearst Castle is a National Historic Landmark mansion located high above the coast and was built over 28 years between 1919 and 1947 for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, who died in 1951. This truly amazing complex of buildings and gardens is like nothing you will ever see and was the inspiration behind the “Xanadu” mansion in the 1941 Orson Welles classic film, Citizen Kane.

If you’ve been to Hearst Castle before on a previous trip then you can have a lie-in, or we can take an easy morning ride of about 25km down to the Piedras Biancas Elephant Seal colony and see these giants of the sea bask in the morning sun on the rocks below.

After our tour of Hearst Castle we will drive down the coast to our next destination of Santa Barbara, where we will see the finish of today’s Amgen Tour of California stage. This is the second year running the race has visited Santa Barbara and it is a nice place to see the race finish with a long finishing straight for the sprinters along the palm lined seafront. Santa Barbara is a laid back and attractive city with some beautiful Spanish missions, Victorian and art deco architecture. Our hotel is a lovely old timber Victorian Inn, which is the oldest continually operating hotel in California.

After we’ve seen the race finish mid-afternoon you are free to explore Santa Barbara, or take an easy ride along the beach to work up an appetite for dinner.

Tonight is free in Santa Barbara to sample some of the local cuisine. There is an amazing choice on offer with the emphasis on casual outdoor dining to take advantage of the mild climate.

Overnight: Santa Barbara
Meals: Breakfast

TOC HURST CASTLE

FRIDAY, 16 MAY: LOS OLIVOS

We had a busy day yesterday so we can have a more relaxed start today. This morning we will take a ride through the Santa Barbara wine region to the charming small town of Los Olivos.

The ride will take us over quiet rural roads through small farms and vineyards and along the delightful Foxen Canyon Road to Los Olivos. We can offer a couple of distances depending on how you feel and how much time you would like to relax or even do a tasting before lunch.

The Santa Barbara wine region is known for a wide range of varietals including Viognier, Syrah, Chardonnay, Cabernet, Zinfandel, Merlot and Pinot Noir. Los Olivos is noted for its eclectic art galleries, wine tasting opportunities, antiques, historic homes and friendly locals. It’s a slice of true Americana in one of the USA’s premier wine districts and quite different to what you will have experienced anywhere else in the world. If you’ve seen the movie “Sideways”, based on a couple of middle age men taking a wine based road trip through California, much of it was shot on location in the areas we pass through today.

After enjoying lunch in Los Olivos we’ll drive on to our final destination of Pasadena where we spend our last two nights in one of California’s finest hotels, the luxurious Langham Huntington Pasadena. Set in large manicured gardens with large comfortable rooms the hotel will be a haven for us to relax at the end of each day and the perfect place to end our trip. The town of Pasadena sits at the bottom of the San Gabriel mountains and the Amgen Tour of California stage finish tomorrow takes place outside the historic Spanish style town hall, close to our hotel.

Overnight: Pasadena
Meals: Breakfast

toc california wine store Los Olivos

SATURDAY, 17 MAY: HILLS AND FINISH

Today is the penultimate stage of the 2014 Amgen Tour of California with the race heading up in to the San Gabriel mountains above Los Angeles. The race last visited this area in 2012 and our experience of that day tells us that today will be a great stage and ride to end our trip with.

We’ll wake this morning and enjoy breakfast with a view of the San Gabriel mountains, where our final ride will take us to catch the peloton as it passes through the mountains on the way to the stage finish in Pasadena. The San Gabriel mountains rise up above the San Fernando Valley and are a popular recreation area for the people of Los Angeles, particularly cyclists who enjoy the quieter roads and unique dry climate mountain landscape. The climbs are generally well graded and the roads smooth and wide, making for pleasant riding. All the locals will be out today to cheer on the race, so it will be a fun day. The road closures are nowhere near as strict as at the big European Grand Tours, so it’s easy to get close to the race without too much effort.

Once we know the final route of the race we’ll know more about our plans, but we will be able to choose between seeing the race up in the hills, or at the finish area a short distance from our hotel in Pasadena. With a bit of luck we may even be able to do both.

While the cyclists spend a day in the San Gabriel Mountains the non-cyclists (and anyone else that may be interested) can visit the historic district of Old Town Pasadena, a lively revitalised area of this pleasant city. Worth doing is a tour through The Gamble House in Pasadena, an outstanding example of American Arts and Crafts style architecture and craftsmanship. Affluent Pasadena is often used in the movies because of its wide streets and gracious old turn of the century homes.

Tonight is our final night together so we will celebrate our own tour of California coming to an end with dinner in one of the many restaurants in Old Town Pasadena.

Overnight: Pasadena
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

toc california race

SUNDAY, 18 MAY: FAREWELL

Sadly today is the final day of our Tour of California. You are free to depart any time today after breakfast.

We will offer one complimentary transfer to Los Angeles airport this morning for those with late morning or early afternoon flights. For those leaving later in the day or staying on in the USA shuttle or taxi services are easy to organise.

Meals: Breakfast

 

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Inclusions

Tour cost is per person twin share and includes:

  • Transport throughout by luxury  minibus with custom bike trailer
  • Services of two experienced Bikestyle guides and professional local driver/guide
  • 9 night’s accommodation in quality hotels with breakfast daily.
  • Dinner on 3 nights.
  • Wines with welcome and farewell dinners
  • Includes 2 nights at the luxurious Langham Huntington Pasadena
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees to Hearst Castle
  • Detailed itinerary, Ride Maps and GPS routes for Garmin Edge GPS (GPS unit not included).
  • Bikestyle Tours cycling jersey, bib shorts, cap and musette bag

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Reserve your Place Now

Payment by Credit Card

If paying by bank deposit or cheque see below

NOTE: Please place number of persons attending in box below

Deposit 2014 Tour of California ($1000pp)
2014 Tour of California Bicycle Hire $450.00
Tick the box to accept the Bikestyle Waiver and Reservation Conditions. If renting a bicycle you also agree to our Bicycle rental Conditions

  • By paying a deposit you are deemed to have accepted our Waiver and Reservation Conditions.
  • We charge for our trips in Australian Dollars (AUD). We recommend that you check the exchange rate before booking.
  • A surcharge of 1.5% is applicable for payments made with visa or mastercard and 3% for payments made with American Express credit cards.
  • Deposits can also be paid by direct deposit or cheque. Please see below.
  • It is a requirement of Bikestyle Tours that you have Travel Insurance for your trip.
  • * We charge for our trips in Australian Dollars (AUD) and prices shown in other currencies are only approximate. We advise that you check the exchange rate before booking.

If you have any further enquiries please email us at tours@bikestyletours.com

_____________________________________

Payment by Bank Deposit and Cheque

If you wish to pay by Bank Deposit or Cheque please tick the box below to go to our Bank Details

Prior to paying a deposit it is advisable to confirm a place is available by sending an email to our Office Manager Michelle Knibbs, michelle@bikestyletours.com or telephone our office on 1300 882494.

Tick the box to accept the Bikestyle Waiver and Reservation Conditions. If renting a bicycle you also agree to our Bicycle rental Conditions

  • By paying a deposit you are deemed to have accepted our Waiver and Reservation Conditions. If you have any further enquiries please email us at tours@bikestyletours.com.
  • Don’t forget it is a requirement of Bikestyle Tours that you have Travel Insurance for your trip.Purchase your International Travel Insurance here.
  • * We charge for our trips in Australian Dollars (AUD) and prices shown in other currencies are only approximate. We advise that you check the exchange rate before booking.

_____________________________________

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