Multiple cycling styles, same tour: how to travel with differences
Former BikeTours.com tour advisor and client service manager Richie Daigle traveled with his then-girlfriend (now wife!) in the summer of 2015. He’s what we call an “intense” mountain biker, whereas his girlfriend is what we call “normal.” See what tour they chose and how it worked out.
My girlfriend Emily and I both love to ride bikes. However, our definitions of a “great bike ride” are a little different. For Emily, a great bike ride is a leisurely pedal down Main Street and over to the library where she can pick up a book or two, before heading over to the market for some fresh veggies, all of which she hauls back to her house in the basket hanging from her handlebars on her classic Schwinn touring bike.
My idea of a great bike ride involves an all-day trip on my beloved Cysco Ti Hardtail mountain bike, through the Cohutta wilderness with numerous long sustained climbs, white-knuckled descents, hike-a-biking, and being utterly exhausted by the end of the day.
So we were faced with a small obstacle when choosing a bike tour. What tour would be great for both of us?
We settled on the Dalmatia from Dubrovnik Plus by Bike and Boat tour, which proved to be the perfect fit. This tour has three bike and two itinerary options. Mountain bikes, hybrid bikes, and electrically-assisted bikes are available to rent. There is a hybrid/e-bike itinerary and a mountain bike itinerary. However, these two itineraries overlap quite a bit. Often times, the mountain bike routes merely add gravel road and trail loops on to the paved route that the rest of the group follows.
I rented a mountain bike and Emily rented an e-bike, which she appreciated on the longer days and hills climbs. We rode together on some days. However, I was still able to ride the majority of the good mountain bike routes. I was able to climb mountains and use the dropper seat post on my full suspension 29-inch wheeled mountain bike while descending hair-raising single track, while Emily was able to glide along the back roads of the Dalmatia islands enjoying the sights and sounds of the tour. We had breakfast lunch and dinner together almost every day and were able to go swimming together on several days, as well.
We made great friends with other couples on the boat and had a fantastic trip.
Bike and boat tours that offer both hybrid and electrically-assisted bikes are a great option for couples or groups of people who are of different ability levels. These tours have hybrid, e-bike, and mountain bikes, with dual itineraries, offer even more options.
Read another post about why bike and boat tours are perfect for your group.