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Vail Valley company offers self-guided Tour de France tours

Elizabeth Roberts
Special to the Daily
Viva Travels, a Vail Valley-based bicycle touring company, offers customized self-guided tour books for a portion of the Tour de France route.
Special to the Daily |

If you go ...

What: Presentation by Viva Travels bike tour company about the Tour de France trip

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Where: Vail Athletic Club.

Cost: Free. Wine and cheese will be provided.

For more information: Call 390-1757 or go to http://www.vivatravels.com.

VAIL — Cyclists will have the chance to saddle up and ride along the route of the 2015 Tour de France with Viva Travels bicycle tours. This year, it is easier than ever for cyclists to pedal through the 18th, 19th and 20th stages of the race, located just 15 miles outside the iconic climb at Alpe d’Huez.

Viva Travels, a bicycle touring company, provides access to all three pivotal stages of the race through its Velo Concierge self-guided tour service.

The self-guided tour, curated by Vail Valley resident Jennifer Sage, the founder of Viva Travels, is provided in a notebook customized to each cyclist’s travel needs. It includes accommodations, maps, sights to see, restaurant options, emergency information and more. Sage says it even tells how to make a picnic in France and the best places to view the stage. “It’s as if they have a guide there, without the price of a guide,” Sage said.



Paul Steffenson says he has enjoyed two self-guided trips with Viva Travels to the Tour de France, and he is planning his third trip through Sage.

“She does a great job,” he said.



The self-guided book that he has had on his tour was over 100 pages, and it catered to the needs of everyone.

“It makes it pretty much idiot-proof,” Steffenson said.

Steffenson says that he and his wife opted for the self-guided tour because it catered to their group of cyclists of the same fitness level.



“We didn’t really want to be tied down to the way that a bunch of strangers ride,” Steffenson said.

After cheering on the riders, cyclists may explore nearby trails and settle down in the evening at a chalet or bed and breakfast. The tour comes at a fraction of the cost of other, live-guided tours, and accommodations are filling fast.

This tour comes as a popular offering to cyclists in the area, who often travel abroad during the summer months. Frank Mitchell, owner of Moontime Cyclery of Edwards, says that he has seen his customers enjoy cycling trips abroad in France, Mallorca and Belgium.

“It seems like most of them absolutely love it,” he said.

On Tuesday, Viva Travels will offer a presentation of the self-guided tour at 7 p.m. at the Vail Athletic Club hosted by Sage. She has been organizing and leading bike tours since 1989 and sending people to the Tour de France since 1999. Her experience includes working with Vermont Bicycle Tours and Bicycle France, and she also leads a self-guided tour through Italy.


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