1) Do you find yourself sleeping in later and later each weekend to avoid riding the dreaded bicycle trainer?
2) Does the thought of riding the trainer one more pedal stroke cause you to become lightheaded, dizzy, or cause an intense sensation of nausea or palpitations?
3) Does the thought of shoveling snow sound more appealing than riding the trainer?
4) Do you know the spin class schedule at at least two different 24 Hour Fitness centers?
5) Are you tired of watching re-runs of "Breaking Away" or "American Flyers"?
Well, if you can answer "yes" to any of these questions, then you are probably ready for a spring cycling vacation!!!
Fortunately, for riders living in the southwestern U.S., there are a number of fantastic spring tours that riders can choose from to escape the duldrums of winter and kick-start the cycling season.
1) Pacific-Atlantic-Cycling Tour (PAC Tour) Arizona Desert Training Camp (http://www.pactour.com/). PAC Tour, run by legendary distance cyclists Lon Haldeman and Susan Notorangelo, offers six weeks of spring training cycling camps in the Tucson, Arizona area to kick-start your season. Each tour is fully catered to accomodate cyclists who are serious about their training. PAC Tour arranges for your hotels, gear transportation, daytime meals, and full ride support. All you have to do is show up and ride! But be prepared to log 80-100+miles/day!
2) Texas Hell Week (http://hellweek.com), based out of the Texas hill country in Fredericksburg, TX offers a suprisingly affordable, challenging, and scenic week of early spring riding. Each March, Texas Hell Week draws over 400 cyclist from around the country. Fredericksburg has a distinctive German flair and a variety of restaurants and vinyards to suit the tastes of any cycling enthusiast, from the weekend warrior, to the hardcore racer, to the endurance junkie...Hell Week is a great opportunity to check out some of the best riding in the state of Texas and meet some new friends along the way!
3) Planet Ultra's Solvang Spring Tour (http://www.planetultra.com/sst/index.html), run by Deborah and Brian Bowling, offer a nice tour in the Solvang, CA area. Nestled in the Santa Ynez Valley about 25 miles from Santa Barbara, Solvang features unique restaurants and architecture with a distinctive Danish flair. The Solvang area has a fantastic assortment of riding, including rides along the Pacific Coast, to scenic agricultural backroads, to steep Colorado-esque mountain climbs. This part of the country has it all and is definitely worth checking out!
4) Adventure Corp's Death Valley Spring Cycling Camp (http://www.adventurecorps.com/). Adenture Corps offers some amazing and unique cycling experiences in Death Valley. With its moonscape appearance, Death Valley offers an unforgettable spring cycling get-a-way to kick-start your season!
5) Rocky Mountain Cycling Club Spring Contrail. Our beloved RMCC, led by club president Charlie Henderson, offers it's own week-long spring training camp in Eastern Arizona during the month of April. The highlight of the week is a climb up Arizona's famed Mt. Graham. This year's camp has already reached its rider limit, but it is definitely an experience to consider in 2013!
RMCCers Mark Michel and Tom Groves enjoy the California sun on Jalama Beach near Solvang, California during the 2011 Planet Ultra Solvang Spring Tour.
Views into the Santa Ynez Valley from Mt. Figueroa, near Solvang California were spectacular! Mt Figueroa is a daunting climb, gaining over 4000 feet with several pitches greater than 20%!
Andrea Koenig and Mark Lowe prepare for a tough day of riding at the 2010 Texas Hell Week in Fredericksburg, TX.
Please let us know if you have any other ideas for spring cycling tours. In the meantime, kickstart your cycling season now! Take a spring cycling vacation!!!