This page was last updated Fri 03 January 2014.

Contents: Tours (6)   

Reports by Ben and Beth Elderd

All descriptions are in English, unless otherwise noted.

Tours

Cycling from Barcelona to Avignon and back through the Gorges de L'ardeche and Gorges du Tarn
by Ben and Beth Elderd, tour started September 2012, submitted 27 November 2012

When I begin the planning process for a tour, I usually start by looking at journals on Trento Bike Pages and 'Crazy Guy on a Bike'. If something peaks my interest, I'll check out the Web site for that country and also look at Google maps. As I progress I'll browse through the travel section of our local bookstore.

The great thing about touring is that every day is an adventure and every day offers different challenges. In spite of all the planning you do, what you expect and what you get are two different things.

Cycling through the Catalan region of Spain and the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France far exceeded all our expectations. It was a bike ride that combined beautiful scenery with historical sights. We had challenging cols, rode along the Mediterranean and through spectacular river gorges. Every day was different.

See all 6 reports by Ben and Beth Elderd

The bridge over the Tarn River into the village of St. Chely
Cycling Burgundy, Alsace-Lorraine, and Champagne Regions of France
by Ben and Beth Elderd, tour started September 2009, submitted 3 May 2010

We were sitting around our dining room table sipping a glass of wine (can't remember if it was from a box or bottle) thinking about where to take our next bike tour, when I said, ``We should try for more diversity.'' Beth immediately replied, ``You're not going to go off about our immigration policy again? I thought we were going to discuss our next tour.'' I responded, ``No, no, not that type of diversity!'' Beth replied, ``Oh, you mean terrain, like cycling along rivers, canals, rolling terrain, forests, maybe a mountain or two, that kind of diversity?'' ``No'' I said, ``I was thinking more about red grapes, white grapes and grapes with bubbles.'' The solution was to combine both: red, the canals and forests of Burgundy; white, the mountains of the Alsace; bubbly, the rolling hills of Champagne.

So sit back, open a bottle of your favorite, and we hope you enjoy our journal.

See all 6 reports by Ben and Beth Elderd

Looking back at the village of Andlau
Cycling the South Island of New Zealand
by Ben and Beth Elderd, tour started February 2004, submitted 14 December 2008

I have a confession to make. There are times when I enjoy planning our trips as much as taking them. There is a certain excitement to putting a magic marker on a map knowing that you will be following that zig zag line on your bike. Could it be that the planning process heightens the anticipation of the trip? Is it the beginning of the adrenaline rush? And if it was adrenaline that we were looking for, then why not go to the adrenaline capital of the world, New Zealand!

The tour would begin in Wellington at the southern tip of the North Island. We would take a ferry ride across Cook Sound to Picton. From there we would make our way to the coast and bike along side the Tasman Sea to Haast. At Haast we would turn inland to Lake Wanaka and Queenstown. After taking a week off from biking to hike the Milford Trek, it would be back across the island to the Pacific Ocean and Dunedin. Our trip would end in Dunedin where we take the bus to Christchurch and then the train back to Picton.

See all 6 reports by Ben and Beth Elderd

At the top of the Crown Range - highest paved road in New Zealand
Touring Switzerland
by Ben and Beth Elderd, tour started September 2007, submitted 15 March 2008

After a year's sabbatical from bicycle touring we could not wait to get back in the saddle. After researching our options and spending countless hours on various countries' Web sites, we decided on Switzerland because of the beauty of the country and their national cycling routes. We were not disappointed.

The most difficult part was eliminating routes. Not being able to make up our minds, we decided to do a little of everything - lakes, mountains, rivers, waterfalls, national forests and rolling green pastures with ubiquitous Swiss cows and their bells.

Our journal includes lots of photos along with a daily log and an equipment list.

See all 6 reports by Ben and Beth Elderd

Taking five by Lake Brienz
Cycling Along the Danube, Munich to Budapest
by Ben and Beth Elderd, tour started August 2002, submitted 28 October 2007

We are addicted. Our bike seats are still warm from our previous and first tour, three months of cycling from Stockholm to Rome, and already we are thinking of another tour. You would have thought we had enough, but no we don't want those seats to get cold. The only question was where?

Our first tour had been North to South so how about East to West. We had loved the two days that we had cycled along the Danube and wished we would have had more time following the river. Now we would make up for that.

We would start in Munich and follow the Isar River to the Danube. There we would join the super highway of bike touring, the Donauradweg, and follow it to Budapest. The return trip would be by train arriving back in Munich in time to enjoy Oktoberfest.

See all 6 reports by Ben and Beth Elderd

Cycling through the vineyards of the Waschau Valley
Cycling Normandy, Brittany, and the Loire Valley of France
by Ben and Beth Elderd, tour started September 2005, submitted 21 January 2007

We had just finished cycling the South Island of New Zealand and instead of sitting back and relaxing on the flight home, we began planning our next trip, a month long self-supported cycling trip in France.

What better place to begin a trip to France then in Paris. From the 'City of Lights' we would dabble in a little art history by visiting Monet's gardens and then it would be off to the D-day beaches and a WWII history lesson. From 20th century history we would go back in time to the 11th century and visit Bayeaux and its famous tapestry. We would then check out life in a monastery, cycling across Normandy to Mt. St. Michel.

From Mt. St. Michel we would travel along the Brittany coast. At St. Malo we would leave the coast for the medieval city of Dinan and continue to the mouth of the Loire. We would then cycle through the land of chateaux and wineries ending our trip at Fontainebleau.

Our site includes lots of photos along with a daily log and an equipment list.

See all 6 reports by Ben and Beth Elderd

Cycling along the Seine, looking down on Le Petit Andelys