By now, we’ve all got cabin fever, so why not get out of the house and try a popular social distancing activity close to home such as cycling? Cycling is becoming one of the most healthy and popular adventure activities. It’s also a way to see gorgeous scenery, visit quaint towns and eat local gourmet food.
Unlike cars, cyclists limit the consumption of fossil fuels and reduce the severity of traffic congestions – not to mention the ease of parking a bike. Cycling is also an excellent way of losing weight as the average rider burns about 300 calories per hour and faster riders burn more. And the stops — overlooking fishing villages and mountains and lakes are photo-perfect.
Because of Covid, Ciclismo Classico, a Boston-based tour company which usually specializes in Italian cycling trips, has created “Ciclismo Close to Home” with guided trips taking place in stunning remote locations in New Hampshire, The Adirondacks, The Finger Lakes, Maine, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, and Martha’s Vineyard. Says the company’s founder and director Lauren Hefferon (who has had to cancel all her trips in Italy), “When the world gives you lemons, make limoncello.”
The cycling tours include ample stops for photos and history talks as well as one-on-one biking instruction. Here are some upcoming trips that will get you out of the house and follow social distancing measures. They all include gorgeous scenery, delicious food, and plenty of local lore and culture.
Texas Hill Country Weekend Spin (March 19 – 21)
There is nothing like pedaling during the wildflower season early spring in Texas with perfect roads, little traffic and stunning views. Cycle on hills where German settlers and the native Comanches lived. Roll by vineyards and visit local wineries. Stroll through historic downtowns and visit the shops and museums. Dine on varied cuisine including barbecue, chili, fried okra, and chicken-fried steak. Don’t worry about the calories – you’ll burn them off.
Martha’s Vineyard Weekend Spring Spin (Apr 17-19)
This New England summer favorite is a destination not to be missed on a bicycle, with pedaling to port towns, lighthouses, sandy beaches and farmland. Experience the picturesque towns of Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, Vineyard Haven, West Tisbury, and Chilmark. View a 19th-century seaport village, and learn the history of the “Gingerbread” cottages. Eat fresh fish and seafood from local fishermen just off the boats. And indulge in lobster rolls, fish-and-chips, and chowder.
Adirondack Odyssey (July 11-18, Aug 15-22, Sept 19-26, Oct 3-10)
Pedal past deep Adirondack lakes, soaring mountain peaks and through pristine wilderness. Experience the forests and historic landmarks of this early American frontier region. Ride along the region’s rivers and lakes. Retrace the route of Teddy Roosevelt’s famous 1901 midnight ride to assume the Presidency after William McKinley’s death. Visit an historic Adirondack ghost town. The cuisine is varied, delicious and always fresh.
The Southern Heart of New Hampshire (May 28 – June 1, June 24-28, July 8-12, Aug 5-9, Sept 9-13, Sept 30 – Oct 4, Oct 7-11)
Roll past historic architecture, covered bridges, abundant lakes, cool forests, zigzagging rivers and endless farmland. Visit historic hamlets and take an historical walking tour of downtown Keene including the city’s 18 historic murals. Ride along gorgeous lakes and rivers, under covered bridges and across stone bridges. Visit a famous chocolate factory, try gelato and farm stand tastings, and dine on the freshest food everywhere you go.
Cycling the Finger Lakes of New York (July 25-30, Aug 15-20, Sept 19-24)
Think big open views, silky smooth roads, and rolling farmland. Visit the Konstantine Frank Vineyard, roll by waterfalls and gorges to rolling hills and glacial lakes views. Finger Lake cuisine is fresh, locally grown and delicious. Think homemade grape pie, Chicken Barbecue, and Chicken French.
Cycling the Maine Coast (June 29-May 3, July 13-17, Aug 10-14, Aug 23-27, Sept 14-18)
For hundreds of years, Maine has welcomed visitors from “away.” The locals are the friendliest anywhere and will make you feel welcome everywhere. Cycle past the rugged coastline, stay in charming inns, and enjoy Maine’s farm to table food scene with endless fresh Maine seafood.
No matter which location you choose, you’ll be getting away from your same-old same-old routine, learning about the culture and history of new places, and staying safe while eating delicious food, and making new friends.