2018 TOUR OF CALIFORNIA

2017-05-17 10.39.34

TRIP DETAILS : 
Duration: 11 days (10 nights)
Dates: Sunday, 13 May – Wednesday, 23 May 2018
Start: Los Angeles, California
Finish: San Franciso, California
Accommodation: 3 and 4 Star hotels
Group Size: 15 Guests (4 Staff)
Suitable for: Cyclists and Non Cyclists
TRIP COST: AUD$6400.00 (US$4600.00)
OPTIONAL SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: AUD$1675.00 (US$1210.00)

Note: All trip costs are per person, not including airfare and based on two persons per room. If traveling alone we will match you with a person to share. Alternatively, you may choose to have a room of your own by paying the single supplement.

Optional Extras:

Highlights:

  • Cycle along the wild coastline of California’s Big Sur, one of the world’s great rides.
  • Sightseeing  including  Santa Barbara, The Big Sur, Sierra Nevada, Sonoma Valley, Monterey and the Muir Woods
  • Experience 4 stages of the 2018 Amgen Tour of California
  • Challenge yourself on the TOC climbs of Gibraltar Road and Sierre Madre Mountains
  • Relax amongst the vineyards of Sonoma Valley in the beautiful town of Healdsburg

Who is this trip for?

This trip is not just a trip to the Tour of California but a trip designed to offer our guests the opportunity to see the fantastic sights of California from its extreme natural beauty to its lively towns and cities. Enjoy it’s food, wine and the hospitality of its friendly, relaxed people. Our trip is a great mix of cycling, tourism, gastronomy and of course the race.

As with all of our tours you’ll be guided by our expert team of ride leaders, drivers and guides.

Itinerary

Sunday 13 May: Welcome to California

Our Tour of California trip starts at 10 am this morning from our pre-trip hotel close to Los Angeles airport. Our staff will greet you on arrival before we head off on our transfer north to sunny Santa Barbara, where we spend our first two nights.

We’ll arrive in Santa Barbara in time for lunch in one of the many cafes close to our hotel. A laid-back city, Santa Barbara is known for its coastal beauty and lush sub-tropical gardens combined with an eclectic mix of Spanish, Victorian and Art Deco architecture. Our hotel in Santa Barbara is a quaint historic Victorian style building and is Southern California’s longest continually operating hotel, first opening to guests in 1871.

This afternoon we will head off on our first ride which will take us along the coast and through some of the most beautiful areas of the Santa Barbara coastline, with a stop for a coffee and chat.

Early this evening we’ll host a pre-dinner get together with some local wines and cheeses to tempt you. Our staff will brief you on what to expect during the trip and answer any questions you may have. It’s a great way to start a trip and get to meet your fellow travelers.

Tonight in Santa Barbara you can 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

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

Easier Ride Option

Meals
Pre-dinner drinks

Overnight
Santa Barbara

Harder Ride Option

Monday 14 May: Gibraltar Road Stage

For the second time in three years, the peloton will finish atop the iconic Gibraltar Road climb at La Cumbre Peak in 2018. Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe won here in 2016, catapulting him into the leader’s jersey and the Tour’s overall victory. Today’s second stage of the 2018 Amgen Tour of California on Gibraltar Road is sure to once again define the race. It is here on this amazing climb that we will witness the race for the first time during our trip.

We will have a couple of ride options today, with something to suit everyone. For those wanting an easy day then it’s an easy flat 50km cruise down the Pacific Coast to Ventura to witness today’s stage start. Tour of California stage starts are normally a relaxed affair and a great opportunity to see some of the biggest stars of pro-cycling up close without the crowds of the European races.

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Our big ride for the day will be to see the “queen stage” of the 2018 Tour of California on Gibraltar Road, high up above Santa Barbara. The climb from our hotel up through the lush residential areas of the Santa Barbara hills is a pleasant start to what can only be described as the most challenging ride of our trip, comparable in length and difficulty to many European climbs. We’d rate it as tough as Alpe d’Huez with many steep sections. The reward for your efforts are fabulous views down to the coast and the excitement of the race finish once you’ve completed the climbing.

Tonight is again free in Santa Barbara to explore this delightful city and refuel in one of the local restaurants after what has been a memorable first day at the Tour of California.

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Meals
Breakfast

Overnight
Santa Barbara

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Tuesday 15 May:  Monterey

This morning we leave Santa Barbara and travel north to Monterey on the Pacific coast.

Our ride today will take us through the hills surrounding Monterey to see the 3rd stage of the Tour of California, which finishes outside Monterey at the Laguna Seca Raceway. The race last visited Laguna Seca in 2016 with a stage finish after a marathon 215km stage won in a sprint finish by Mark Cavendish.

We’ll make up our mind on our final ride route once more stage details are available, with us either seeing the race at one of the KOM points of this hilly route, or at the finish at Laguna Seca.

After our ride, we’ll complete our journey to Monterey where you can relax and explore the town before heading out tonight to enjoy dinner in one of the restaurants that line Monterey’s famous Cannery Row.

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. It’s an atmospheric, but quiet town, with a charm of its own.

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Breakfast

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Monterey

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Wednesday 16 May: Big Sur

We’ll take a day off viewing the race today so we can explore Monterey and Carmel and take a ride along the famous Big Sur coastline. It is one of the world’s great bike rides and guaranteed to be a day you will never forget.

After breakfast, we will first take a drive around the scenic road that is the beautiful 17 Mile Drive to Carmel. 17-Mile Drive is widely recognized as one of the most scenic drives in the world. The famous coastal landmark runs through Pacific Grove to the homes of the rich and famous of Pebble Beach. We will make a stop in Carmel for a morning coffee before continuing down the coast to the landmark Bixby Bridge where we will start our 80km ride down the Big Sur Coast. It’s a hilly route with the most stunning scenery of our trip, with the added bonus of an almost guaranteed tailwind as we head south. For those not wanting to do the full route there is the option of starting from the top of the climb at Nepenthe, with the best scenery of the coastline and an easier 55 km ride.

After today’s ride, we’ll return in the van to Monterey where the evening is free to relax and dine at a restaurant of your choice.

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Meals
Breakfast

Overnight
Monterey

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Thursday 17 May: Elk Grove Finish

After a few big days on the bike, we’ll take it a little easier today, with a transfer north towards Elk Grove (Sacramento) where we will see the finish of the 4th stage of the race. We’ll fit in a ride, but an easy one so we can recover as we’ve got some more challenges ahead of us!

We’ll arrive in Elk Grove in time for lunch and we should be able to take in some of the opening stage of the 3-day women’s Amgen Tour of California, which kicks off in Elk Grove today. The men’s race stage finish in Elk Grove will be a sprint finish for sure, so we’ll set ourselves up to catch the riders as they sprint for the line, then head off to the team buses to check out your favourite team before heading off on our own ride.

Our post-stage recovery ride of 30kms will take us from along the American River Bike Trail, a super paved bike highway that will take us all the way to our hotel in Folsom. On arrival at the hotel, you can unpack your bags as we settle in for a 3-night stay in Folsom.

Folsom is a regular host of Tour of California stages and is the stage start town for tomorrow. It’s perhaps best known to many for the Johnny Cash song “Folsom Prison Blues”, but the town has much more to offer. Situated on the American River it was a town that grew from nothing to prosperity during the Californian Gold Rush and in the old town of Folsom, close to our hotel, remains of the old west can be seen in the timber storefronts that mix with later 19th century brick buildings.

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Meals
Breakfast

Overnight
Folsom

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Friday 18 May: Sierre Madre Mountains

You will have two options to experience the penultimate stage of the race today, which along with Gibraltar Road will be one of the most decisive stages of the 2018 Tour of California. One option is to experience the stage start a short distance from our hotel in Folsom. The other option is to ride from Folsom up into the Sierre Nevada mountains and catch the race as it makes its way over the mountains to the finish in South Lake Tahoe.

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Those choosing to stay in Folsom today will enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of a Tour of California stage start the race up close this morning, with the remainder of the day free to enjoy an easy ride, catch the race live on TV and explore the old town of Folsom.

Those who are keen for a more challenging day will skip the stage start and head up into the hills, or to be more precise the Sierre Nevada mountains. In the 1840’s the Californian Gold Rush started in the Sierra Nevada, but today the rush will be on for the peloton to cross the peaks and be first across the finish line in South Lake Tahoe. It will be a challenging but rewarding ride for us as we catch the race as it makes its way over one of the KOM points on the route from Folsom.

Tonight is free to take a stroll through old town Folsom and dine at one of the many local restaurants.

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Meals
Breakfast

Overnight
Folsom

Harder Ride Option

Saturday 19 May: The final stage

Today’s final stages of the both the men’s and women’s Amgen Tour of California starts and finishes in California’s state capital, Sacramento. The Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race has finished in Sacramento during each of its four years running, with Italian Giorgia Bronzini winning the sprint to the finish in 2017. Similarly, the men’s race has finished here nine times, more than any other host city. The list of Sacramento winners is also an international who’s who that includes Cancellara, Boonen, Swift, and Heado. Marcel Kittel won here in 2017 on his way to winning five stages at the Tour de France.

We’ll head off after breakfast and follow a new section of the American River Bike Trail’s northern path all the way into the heart of Sacramento. It’s a 45km traffic-free route that we’ll knock off pretty quickly as it is flat and fast, making it the perfect way to get into town to see the race.

After spending the day in Sacramento witnessing the crowning of both the men’s and women’s winners for 2018 and exploring downtown Sacramento we’ll head back to Folsom for our final night there. You’ll have the option of cruising back along the river by bike, giving you a total of 90kms for the day, or taking it easy in the van.

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Meals
Breakfast

Overnight
Folsom

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Sunday 20 May: Sonoma wine country

We leave Folsom behind this morning and head to our next destination, the Sonoma Wine Country. Tonight will be spent in one of California’s most beautiful small towns, Healdsburg. A favourite weekend getaway for affluent San Franciscans, Healdsburg is a delightful mix of a small historic town, funky and fine dining restaurants and a laid-back atmosphere.

We will arrive in Healdsburg late this morning, enjoy lunch in this lovely small town, then head off to explore the Sonoma Valley wine areas of Russian River and Dry Creek Valley by bike. This afternoon’s 60km ride route highlights why this area is so popular for cycling. Quiet undulating roads punctuated by picture book rural scenery passing through the vineyards of Russian River and Dry Creek Valley make this one of California’s most popular cycling destinations.

Tonight we will enjoy a special dinner amongst the vines at the Francis Ford Coppola winery, an easy 15-minute drive from Healdsburg. The winery, owned by famous Hollywood director Francis Ford Coppola, is unique and offers more than just wine and dining. Inside the winery complex you’ll find a small museum dedicated to Coppola’s work, most notably the Godfather trilogy of films. It’s well worth a visit before dinner this evening.

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Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight
Healdsburg

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Monday 21 May: Pacific Coast to Marin County

Enjoy a lie-in this morning as we have a late start today. Mid-morning we’ll drive through the vineyards of Russian River to arrive at the start of today’s ride, which will take us south along the Pacific Coast and up into the forest of giant Redwoods of Muir Woods National Monument.

Petaluma, where our ride begins, is typical small town USA with some beautifully preserved Victorian timber homes and town centre and its charms have been displayed in a number of Hollywood films. We won’t spend long in Petaluma as there is so much to see today on our ride which first takes us through the hills to the coast at Point Reyes where we can stop for lunch.

From Point Reyes it’s a roller coaster ride heading south along the Pacific Coast with some breathtaking scenery before we head inland to meet up with our crew at Muir Woods, where you have the chance to take a stroll through this impressive forest of giant Redwoods. You can finish your ride here and travel in the van to our hotel, or climb up from the forest floor and ride the final stretch through the hills of Marin County to finish at our hotel.

We spend the final 2 nights of our trip in a 4-star waterfront hotel, situated in between the attractive small towns of Sausalito and Tiburon on San Francisco Bay.

Muir

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Meals
Breakfast

Overnight
Mill Valley (San Francisco Bay)

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Tuesday 22 May:  Golden Gate ride

Today we’ll finish our trip by exploring San Francisco Bay and the Tiburon Peninsula by bike.

Our ride today is an easy 50 km route taking in the lovely bayside towns of Tiburon and Sausalito, following some of the San Francisco Bay trails. We’ll have time to stop for a coffee, admire the views and make a stop at the famous Golden Gate Bridge for a group photo.

For those wanting the full tourist experience today, there will be the option of riding across the Golden Gate to San Francisco and taking the ferry back to Sausalito or Tiburon, a lovely trip across the bay that passes the famous Alcatraz prison.

Tonight is our final night together so we will celebrate our California adventure coming to an end with a special farewell dinner at a restaurant close to our hotel.

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Easier Ride Option

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight
Mill Valley (San Francisco Bay)

Harder Ride Option

Wednesday 23 May: Farewell

Sadly today is the final day of our trip. We hope you have enjoyed exploring the wonders of California with us and seeing the stars of cycling up close at the Amgen Tour of California. You are free to depart any time today after breakfast.

Our staff can assist you with arranging transfers for those flying out today from San Francisco or Oakland airport.

Meals: Breakfast

Inclusions

Tour cost is per person twin share and includes:

  • Transport throughout by custom mini vans
  • Services of our experienced tour guides, mechanics and drivers
  • 10 nights accommodation in quality 3 & 4 star hotels
  • Buffet breakfast daily
  • 3 course evening meals on 2 nights
  • Welcome pre-dinner drinks
  • Mechanical assistance with your bike
  • Ride files and Bikestyle guide to the 2018 Tour of California
  • Full Bikestyle Tours kit including knicks, cycling jersey, cap and musette bag

Reserve your Place Now

NOTE: Please place number of persons attending in box below
Deposit 2018 Tour of California ($1000pp)
2018 Tour of California Bicycle Hire ($600.00)
2018 Tour of California Single Supplement ($1675.00)
Tick the box to accept the Bikestyle Waiver and Reservation Conditions. If renting a bicycle you also agree to our Bicycle rental Conditions
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • It is a requirement of Bikestyle Tours that you have Travel Insurance for your trip.
If you have any further enquiries please email us at tours@bikestyletours.com

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