Day 1: Welcome to the Golden State
Start what is sure to be an unforgettable tour by meeting your guides this afternoon in Los Angeles. We will leave the airport mid-day and transfer a short distance north to Santa Barbara. If you prefer to arrive the day earlier then we’ll collect you from your airport hotel. Arriving to this glamourous region perched on the water’s edge known as the American Riviera, it’s officially time to begin your holiday. You may be a bit tired after the journey, so use today to relax at the hotel and get settled in preparation for our exciting week ahead. Your guides will assist with assembly and fitting of your personal or rental bikes before we gather for a welcome dinner to discuss logistics and the equal importance of food, wine, laughter and overall enjoyment on this California cycling tour. Meals Included: Dinner
Day 2: North County Cruising
A great introductory ride awaits us to shake out those legs. This morning we head to North Santa Barbara County and cover much of the terrain that many US pro teams utilize during their spring training camps. Exploring the landscapes of Solvang, Santa Ynez and Los Olivos, all dotted with numerous ranches and vineyards, you’ll experience what it’s like to be one of the luckiest grapes or horses on the West Coast. Non-riders will find this to their liking as well. Stopping for a private lunch and wine tasting at a guide-favorite winery, you’ll be drenched in sunshine and serenity and won’t even notice the sweat. Returning to Santa Barbara, unwind this evening exploring the downtown area and its abundance of magnificent eateries. Keep your eyes up for a celebrity sighting.
Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch
Day 3: Rockin Gibraltar
Clipping in and heading out from the hotel this morning, we’ll canvass the coastline by bike to determine if the sea breeze has the same rejuvenating powers as coffee. But don’t worry, there’s time for both. Our fairy-tale start soon turns quite real as we ascend high into the Santa Ynez Mountains along the route the pros will tackle shortly after us. Gibraltar Road is a newer feature to the Tour of California and making its second appearance in the event is sure to be even more spectacular than the first. We’ll cheer on the peloton as they punch up the steep switchbacks and vie for victory on the mountaintop finish. After Stage 2 concludes, we’ll transfer by van to Monterey, an important city in terms of California history, and a beautiful one at that. Gathering to enjoy dinner as a group this evening, we invite you to experience a glass of Chardonnay. After all, this region is the largest producer of the varietal in the entire state.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 4: The Coast with the Most
A true gem of a ride awaits today. Our route boasts breathtaking bay views of Monterey Bay, meanders past the world-famous greens at Pebble Beach, and explores the charming upscale village of Carmel-by-the Sea before heading south along Route 1. Here, you’ll have expansive views of the rugged coastline and Pacific Ocean, crossing the iconic Bixby Bridge en route to Big Sur. After lunch tucked below a grove of California redwoods, we’ll retreat back to Monterey in time to catch the ProTour finish. Today’s stage finish is a new addition to the TOC and showcases Laguna Seca Raceway as racers pop on to the tarmac. They’ll knock out a few laps on the motorsports speedway before shifting into high gear and sprinting to the checkered flag. A short trip back in to Monterey for the evening gives plenty of time to relax and to dine independently. Meals included: Breakfast
Day 5: Defeating Diablo
After breakfast we’ll hop in the coach and make our way to the headquarters of Specialized Bicycles. A morning visit to their facility will offer a glimpse into the ingenuity, passion & engineering that amount to the consistent creation of some of the world’s best bicycles. Then it’s time to check a big one off of the bucket list as we hop on bikes and make our way up iconic Mount Diablo. This incredible mountaintop has been used in previous versions of the Tour of California, yet this year we’ll have it all to ourselves as we ascend to the stunning summit and take in unrivalled views. At nearly 4,000 ft above sea level you’re sure to have a good vantage point of Northern California from one of the largest viewsheds in the western United States. Enjoy a grin-inducing 11-mile descent before the long transfer to Lake Tahoe, a big blue paradise nestled high in the Sierra Nevada mountains. After such a full day, we’ll gather for a casual dinner to ensure you’re back into your room with enough time to catch a good night’s rest. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6: The Jewel of the Sierra
Waking up to this morning, you’ll be stunned with views of pristine emerald waters, mountainous snow-capped granite peaks, and the sweet scent of sugar pine enhancing the crisp alpine air. Are you excited to ride? You should be, as we’ve got one of the most beautiful bike routes in the world up for grabs today. You’ll circumnavigate Lake Tahoe as part of a 73-mile loop that will leave you breathless for both its splendor and challenge. You’ll have time this afternoon to relax and recover before joining your guides for a boat cruise on Big Blue. Lake Tahoe is estimated to be 2 million years old. That is a lot of beautiful sunsets and let’s hope the one we witness this evening is one for the record books. Back in town, dinner is on your own this eve and we encourage you to continue the creation of a day to remember with a meal enjoyed at one of the many superb restaurants. Meals included: Breakfast
Day 7: From Cols to the Capitol
It’s been quite a few days in the saddle now and you’re sure to have those climbing legs under you. Let’s get on with it! You’re in for a true alpine adventure today and will have a series of cols to conquer. Regardless of if you choose to partake in a two or three col route (double or triple bypass), you’ll have the entire day to knock off parts of the State’s prestigious Death Ride course. We reconvene with the ProTour today, catching both the women’s Amgen event kick-off from South Lake Tahoe and also crossing paths with the men’s race as they make their way into town. After our ride, we depart the Sierra Nevada mountains and descend by coach to the capitol city of Sacramento. Checking in to the final hotel of our tour, you’re free to unwind and dine independently. Meals included: Breakfast
Day 8: The Great Crescendo
Wake up, enjoy that cappuccino and have a leisurely breakfast before we visit the ProTour start line festivities taking place in town. Rub elbows with the athletes from both men and women’s race today and give your words of encouragement before they set out on the final stage of the event. We’ll mount up and ride out to the historic district of old town Folsom, home to the Johnny Cash Memorial Bridge and inspiration for this hit Folsom Prison Blues. Returning back to Sacramento along the same route that hugs the shores of the oak-lined American River, we’ll grab some top-dollar spectator real estate and cheer on the sprinters as we watch the conclusion of the 2018 Tour of California take place before our very eyes. Recount your favorite highlights of the tour this evening at dinner, where we’ll raise a toast to an amazing trip and all the memories we’ve made. Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9: Safe travels home
All good things must come to an end. After breakfast you’ll have ample time to pack up, clean up, and check out. You may carry on from nearby Sacramento International Airport or have your guides transport you back to a central San Francisco location to continue on your own. For some it’s time to head home, while others take the liberty to continue their vacation. Regardless, bid your new and old friends farewell and safe travels to wherever you’re headed next. Meals included: Breakfast
Hotel Indigo – 2 nights
This Euro-style hotel in Santa Barbara has combined the historic beauty of the area with the architectural sophistication of contemporary design, offering hip, affordable accommodations for style-minded guests. Located one block from the beach, our ideal location borders the legendary Funk Zone, the city's artistic epicenter, and is just a short walk down State Street from countless attractions.
Hotel Abrego – 2 nights
Relax and rejuvinate in one of the lovely rooms while enjoying your vacation to the world famous Monterey Bay area. The rooms our spacious, comfortable, and close to many different Monterey attractions. Fashionable features like Italian linens, custom furnishings and warm fireplaces welcome guests at Hotel Abrego to take pleasure in their next getaway. Enjoy modern conveniences, with flat-screen TV’s sunken into the wall above your own fireplace.
Hotel Azure Tahoe – 2 nights
Recently renovated, Hotel Azure is a contemporary space looking out at Lake Tahoe which evokes elements of Tahoe’s beautiful azure skies, crystal blue waters and soaring Jeffrey Pines.
Kimpton Sawyer – 2 nights
The Kimpton Sawyer Hotel brings an entirely new level of sophistication and exclusivity to Downtown Sacramento. Their unparalleled locale on Downtown Commons and one-of-a-kind pool deck make Kimpton Sawyer the social epicenter of Sacramento. Discerning guests will be drawn to Kimpton’s genuine hospitality and the many curated treasures of this unrivaled urban retreat.
We have handpicked California’s top bike rides and curated an unrivaled experience to pair with the 2018 Amgen Tour of California. The Tour of California is easily one of the nation’s largest and most recognized annual sporting events. The secret to a successful bike tour is not to see the race too many times. If it’s a flat relatively boring stage we’ll opt to soak up some of that fantastic Californian atmosphere and ride our bikes ourselves. Flexibility is one of our main goals and being a small group allows us to change the plan to suit the riders. Each day there will be two ride options with time to dawdle and sightsee, or gear up and get your heart racing. You choose.
This trip is perfect for non-riding partners or those wanting a rest from the bike. Wine, great food, excellent company, awesome cycling - all while watching North America’s greatest cycling race. This is the perfect holiday.
DURATION: 9 days / 8 nights
LEVEL: Novice - Intermediate
TERRAIN: Rolling to Steep
Trip Price Includes:
Trip Price Excludes:
Napa & Sonoma
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DATES: TBD May, 2019