Some of you might not know that Zephyr Adventures started in 1997 as Zephyr Inline Skate Tours, the first tour company in the world to meet the needs of inline skaters (often called Rollerbladers). Since that time, inline skating has declined in popularity. Nevertheless, we still operate half a dozen inline skating tours a year and are the only company in the hemisphere to do so.
However, our growth has been in other tours, such as hiking and biking, and we have seen an increasing number of inline skaters taking to these activities along with us. And you skaters, it is no shame! I am here to tell you that even though I still love our skate tours, traveling by bicycle rocks! Here’s why:
- Biking provides all the benefits of active tourism, allowing us to meet the locals one-on-one on their terms. You are so much more likely to get in a conversation with a local when you are on a bike (or on skates or foot) than when you are driving.
- Biking is a good rate of speed, slow enough to watch the scenery but fast enough to get us to the next town without wearing out – unless you want to do that long route!
- Biking is forgiving, as it allows us to take the occasional unpaved road or steep hill, something we avoid on skates. In fact, many fantastic destinations not suitable for skates because of paving or legal regulations are perfect for bikes (Italy, France, and Spain being three).
For those of you who don’t inline skate, you probably already know the benefits of bike touring if you are reading this blog. For those of you who do inline skate and have yet to join us on a bike tour, I would like to suggest you consider joining us on one in 2010!
As one great example of a bike tour location, consider Provence. I first biked through Provence in 1995 – and I admit I can barely remember all the locations I visited. What I do remember is the wonderful scenery, fantastic towns, and beautiful side roads with little traffic. I remember drinking lots of red wine, visiting an incredible Roman viaduct, and wandering through ancient towns. In my opinion, France is one of the best biking countries in the world (sorry to Giovanni, our Italian guide) and Provence is one of the premier destinations in France.
So give it a shot and come join us on April 19-24 when we tour Provence by bicycle! We also have 2010 bike tours scheduled in Spain and Napa & Sonoma. (Photos in this blog post provide by Visit Provence.)