TripAdvisor Review 

Big Sur/California Central Coast with UDC was terrific

I just returned from a 6-day cycling trip with Undiscovered Country Bike Tours. This was my first organized bike tour, and it met, perhaps exceeded, my expectations.

The tour went from Monterey, south on California Route 1 all the way to Cambria, and finally inland to Paso Robles.

My Excellent rating is based on the following:

1. Routes. This seems like a no-brainer (just go south!), but it's not. The routes were designed with ample time for stopping for photos along the spectacular coastline, and also offered extra challenges for riders who wanted more. For example, on Day 2, we had the option of a difficult 7 mile climb up Nacimiento Road, off Route 1. Not all riders opted for this, but the fact that some riders did it, did not cause any problems for the full group. Also, the route on the optional day's ride was very challenging, and a lot of fun, and it was different from the coastal riding we had been doing up to that point.

2. Guides. We had Laura and Daryl as our guides. A married couple, they took turns each day with one driving the van and the other cycling with us guests. They are California natives, they know the roads and each other very well, but they especially made all of us happy all throughout the whole trip. They took care of every detail - whether it was a small adjustment on seat hight, making sure our luggage was in our rooms, or encouraging us to push ourselves on challenging parts of the ride, they were there, and happy to do it.

3. Bicycles. From the outset, I felt confident that I was in good hands with using a bicycle from UDC. After initial registration for the trip, I received a package with a tape measure and a schematic drawing of a bike, to provide my bike measurements. My setup is slightly unusual, which UDC noticed, and checked with me to verify. Upon arrival, the bike was perfectly fit, with just some minor saddle adjustments necessary, since I brought my own saddle from home. The Scott bikes were in good mechanical condition, and we had no mechanicals during the entire trip. My friend rented a Garmin - it was a great idea for someone to try out using a Garmin, if you don't already own one. The unit came pre-loaded with all of the routes for the trip.

4. Accommodations. All of the hotels we stayed in were top-notch.

5. Food. Breakfast and dinner were included as part of the trip price, and the restaurants were all terrific. In Big Sur we didn't have any choice, but we were already staying at Big Sur Lodge, *the* place to stay. The dinners in Cambria and Paso Robles were terrific, and this is from a New Yorker!

6. Transportation. The tour ended in Paso Robles. Included in the trip price was Amtrak train fare back to Salinas, with transfer to Monterey. This was the only part of the trip that was not perfect. It is not UDC's fault that Amtrak was an hour late. However, I would have preferred if UDC listed the trip as ending in Paso Robles, and then giving us the option of Amtrak back to Monterey. If I had to make a choice, I probably would have preferred to rent a car earlier in the day, and go directly to LA or SF for flights back to NYC. Hindsight is 20/20 though! In this domain, I could be nit-picky and make my rating a 5-1/2.

The biggest compliment I can give is that the day after the tour, my friend and I logged on to their website to see what other tours were available that we could do next year.

Thanks UDC, and thanks Daryl and Laura!

TripAdvisor Review September 2013


Bike Tour Companies in California

Undiscovered Country Tours offers more California cycling vacation options than any other company. But we know that you have a choice when deciding which company to trust with your vacation time and money.

To help make your decision easier, we have compiled a list of all companies we know of that operate scheduled multi-day, inn-to-inn road bike tours in California. We invite you to compare the tour offerings of these companies.

Road Bike Tour Companies in California
Company Trips Regions Daily
Undiscovered Country Tours-Black Sheep Adventures
11 Napa
High Sierra
Big Sur
Central Coast
S. California Desert
$399-$455 “the leading California bike tour company”
4 Napa
Big Sur
Death Valley
$533-$760 “the world's #1 active travel company”
1 Sonoma $333-$408 “best value in deluxe bicycle vacations”
Bicycle Adventures
5 Napa
North Coast
Central Coast
Death Valley
$560-$649 “regional expert in bicycle the Western United States”
1 Sonoma
Palm Springs
$433-$499 “enjoy a carefree vacation that has been choreographed by seasoned professionals”
Duvine Adventures
2 Sonoma
Santa Barbara
$674-$799 “our trips will provide a distinctive and unique experience that will last a life time”
Trek Travel
5 Napa
Santa Barbara
$417-$675 “a once-in-a-lifetime immersive travel experience”
Timberline Adventures
2 Santa Barbara
Death Valley
$398 “our audience is one that loves to cycle and hike as much as we do”
Cycling Escapes
9 Death Valley
Central Coast
Lake Tahoe
$376-$408 “for cyclists who want to challenge themselves on the best of America‚Äôs National Parks and Scenic Byways”
Escape Adventures
2 Napa
$648 “where professional support and local expertise mean pure, carefree adventure vacation”
Discovery Bicycle Tours
1 Sonoma $416 “focus is on the individual guest's experience”
1 San Diego $333 “small company providing high quality trips”
Breaking Away
1 Napa/Sonoma $433 “offering 'beyond category' cycling vacations since 1985”
Woman Tours
1 Death Valley/td> $398 “Extraordinary tours for every woman”
Andiamo Adventours
2 Sonoma
Big Sur
$373-$470 “affordable walking, hiking, bicycling or mountain biking adventures”
Velo Echappe
1 Sonoma $850 “a pioneer and leader in cycling vacations”
More California Bike Tour Information
Name Description
Bike Tour Directory “bicycle tours and events for both road cycling and moutain biking”
Bicycle Tour Network “find the best bicycle tours in the U.S. and beyond”
Bike Tour Operators USA - Open Directory “a list of USA bike tour companies”
Tour of California Cycling Blog “California cycling century events, plus a blog about California bike touring”
Bicycling World “world's largest selection of bicycle tours”
Real Adventures Bicycle Tours North America “Incredible Vacations — North America bike tours”