May 17th to 19th 2013 – The BMF Show, Peterborough
Not a Bike Tour, but a big annual event well worth attending. I don’t run a Bike Tours UK stand anymore, but I’ll be there again, joining my friends on their club stand “All About Bikes”. See all BMF Show dates here http://www.thebmfshow.co.uk/news/bmf-2013-show-dates/
May 21st 23rd – a proper “Best of Three” Tour – with the Ravenglass base. Dates TBC*
If it ain’t broke – don’t fix it. This tour has been run many times now, but it still works exceptionally well. I WON'T BE RUNNING THIS MID-WEEK TOUR in 2013. I've just learned the Holly House is closing and the trip just wouldn't be the same staying anyway else :( I'm on the look out for similar "characterful" accommodation in the Lake District.
Highlights were – scenery of the Lake District, riding the Wrynose & Hardknott passes and beer & curry in the Holly House. The nearby Roman Baths?
30th May to 8th June (dates fixed, ferries booked) - the famous ISLE of MAN, TT RACES
What can I say? Just an awesome, breathtaking sporting event. The very finest road racing spectacular in the world. I offer the complete package to get you there; good ferry tickets, a support vehicle to carry stuff, accommodation (albeit camping) and a great international group of people to spend Race Week with. Motorcycle Rental can be arranged if required also. Please request a document with the full 2013 details. Basically though – more or less the same trip as it’s always been since 2001. 4 SPACES LEFT.
Highlights – the racing spectacle & sheer speeds! (no speed limit on the mountain – even for the riding public). The party atmosphere. The team spirit on the campsite (when it works) – if you like this kind of thing. The mini-bus Karaoke tour of the Mountain Circuit. The fairies :)
Between 13th and 25th June, the potential for TWO trips, run back to back in Iceland
See also "Trip 3" dates in July.
Trip One – a five day ride around the North West Fjords of Iceland, with a possible dirt road return ride through the interior (depending on exactly when the Kjolur F35 road opens for the Summer). Up to 1500km, with a third to half, on gravel roads. (7 day trip with 5 days’ riding) Suggested dates 14th to 20th June 2013.
Trip Two – The Black Desert Tour. Ride to the interior on the F35, then cross to the area of Landmannalaugar, where the riding gets a little trickier, and there may well be a couple of un-bridged rivers to cross. (usually a 6 day trip, with 4 days’ riding) Suggested dates 21st to 26th June 2013.
Both the above tours take place around the longest day of the year – and 24 hour daylight will be experienced. Both tours can be reasonably demanding, both mentally and physically – with extensive gravel road riding, potential bad weather and camping out in the semi-wilderness. You’ll see the normal tourist spots (hot springs, geysirs and big waterfalls), but then we escape the crowds and tour buses and go off on a proper little adventure. Just to re-state, it’s GRAVEL ROADS. GRAVEL ROADS. Just so you know. Some people seem to overlook this bit – until they get there J And you will almost certainly get cold wet feet at some point or another. Just so you know.
28th June to 7th July* (dates fixed, accommodation booked). The French Alps.
10 day (9 night) trip to our base in the French Alps. We ride in France, Italy and Switzerland. Sometimes all three in one day. Arguably, the best, surfaced, riding roads in the whole world? I’ve seen a few, many may be equal, but none better. 2 day ride to get to the Alps – a week to play, and then 2 days to ride home again. Hotel, self-catering or camping options regarding accommodation. 1 Chalet remains un-allocated; so space for 2-3 more.
Highlights – great twisty, normally well-surfaced, challenging roads. Snow-capped peaks. Pretty Alpine villages. A circular ride around Mont Blanc using up to 9 high mountain passes – all in one day. A walk, or a morning's skiing on the Grand Motte glacier. The Colle San Carlo J Tartiflette & Apremont.
*I believe the Stella Alpina Rally is taking place just over the border in Bardonecchia on 7th July. It wouldn’t be entirely out-of-the-question to extend the trip a little, to attend this Rally, if there any semi-independent Adventure Bikers out there.
16th to 21st July – Iceland Trip Three (Flights booked - taking bookings)
The classic Icelandic “Black Desert” tour. As above. Personally I love the roughie-toughie, dirt road camping thing, but if you want tarmac roads & comfy hotels – this can be arranged – at greater cost of course – and you won’t see as much – but it’s still fun J Anything is possible – just ring me for a chat. Filling this tour first. The interior roads are almost guaranteed to be open by now - only by opionion, but this trip is a "best of".
Late August, into Mid-September – Something NEW?
Late August – re-instate my Western France, Pyrennes and Picos Tour (Northern Spain). I haven’t run this trip for a couple of years, and it may be time to resurrect it. Ferry to Caen or St Malo, ride down to the Perigord Region of Western France (AKA the ”Dordogne”) for 3 days, then across to the Pyrenees mountains for one night before riding across the Rioja region of Northern Spain to reach the Picos mountains. Long ferry journey back from Spain to the UK. Around 10 days in total. All hotel accommodation, comfortable rooms although not 4 star, all road riding - no dirty stuff.
Highlights – renowned French cuisine from this region (Confit du Canard.. mmmm), pretty castles, canoe descent of the river Dordogne, a day circuit of the Picos and the Cares Gorge, the great bar at our place in Las Arenas de Cabrales.