We stay in motels with beds and hot showers every night. No camping for us!
There will be 6 rest days over the course of the trip. We schedule these at scenic stops where there is an opportunity to explore the area. We strongly believe in giving everyone time to see the natural wonders of our country and to relax to keep our bodies healthy and strong.
Reasonable price. You’ll find we have the cheapest per day rate for any hotel cross-country bike touring company.
We offer healthy, home-cooked meals prepared by our traveling chef who understands the “performance food” needed to undertake such a challenge.
We use our own easy-to-read cue sheets to show you the way.
TO JOIN: Register on-line or call us at 800-247-1444 to make your non-refundable registration deposit of $300. The first payment of $2,000 is due November 15, 2011 and $1,000 of that payment is nonrefundable. The balance of the trip fee is due February 15, 2012.
DISCOUNTS: Sign up for any shorter, domestic WomanTours trip in 2012 at the same time you register for the 2012 Meandering Mississippi and receive a discount of 10% off the shorter tour.
CANCELLATION & REFUNDS: The $300 registration fee is nonrefundable, but holds your space. Our cross-country tours usually fill to capacity.
TRIP INSURANCE: We will provide you with a source for trip cancellation/interruption insurance. We strongly recommend insurance, especially for a trip of this magnitude.
SAG VOLUNTEERS: We use 4 volunteers to drive a support Subaru Outback vehicle during this tour. Each driver works once every fourth day supporting the riders until the last rider finishes cycling for the day. She provides food, drinks, flat tire assistance and moral support, and becomes an integral part in the success of the tour. In return, each volunteer receives a discount of 40% off the full tour price. If you’re interested in a position, please email or call us.
TOUR DETAILS: Help on training, transportation, packing, and an itinerary will be sent upon receipt of your registration fee. We will also mail you periodic Prep Talk newsletters to help you prepare for the trip.
A cross-country bike tour along the Mississippi River for women only. We offer a fully supported, five week bicycle tour, designed with women over 50 in mind. A hot shower, a home-cooked meal and warm bed will await you every night. Ride at your own pace and enjoy a rest day every week.
Long before the Mississippi River empties into the Gulf of Mexico, it travels 2,500 miles through the heartland of America. Join us as we follow this river by bicycle -- south to north -- across the country. We will meander through the blues-singing south and the farmland of the great plains until we reach the River's source deep in the woods of northern Minnesota.
With any luck, we’ll have the wind at our backs the entire way. We’ll bike through ten states, cross the river several times by bridge and by ferry, and pedal along parts of the National Great River Road, the Millennium Mississippi River Trail and the historic Natchez Trace.
Leaving New Orleans, the terrain is flat and we’ll make our first ferry across the river at St. Francisville, once a flourishing port before the arrival of the railroad. We’ll stop in Natchez and enjoy a stay in an antebellum home before picking up the Natchez Trace to Vicksburg. There, we’ll be reminded of important Civil War battles. The gentle rolling hills give way to flat farmland as we enter the Mississippi Delta. We’ll roll past seemingly endless fields of cotton, soybean and corn, and quiet pools filled of catfish.
A stop in Memphis will give us a history of the blues and a taste for ribs on Beale Street. Farmland becomes filled with sugar beets, wheat and sunflowers as we bike further north. In St. Louis, we’ll stay across the street from the welcoming Arch.
We’ll begin to understand that the Mississippi has always been a “working river,”still providing hydropower and an important transportation route for the country. A series of 26 locks and dams from Minneapolis to St. Louis continue to maintain water levels for safe navigation. Just the mention of “Mississippi” brings forth Mark Twain images of paddle wheel steamers, barges, and youngsters floating down the river on rafts. The Mississippi is also an important “flyway” for millions of migrant birds so bring your binoculars.
We’ll reach some hillier country with steep bluffs as high as 500’ before they give way to gently rolling terrain and the flat territory of Minnesota. The glaciers of the last ice age carved the many lakes of Minnesota and flattened much of the terrain. Some of the last part of our journey will be on bike paths, like the Paul Bunyon Trail and on routes marked just for us. We’ll celebrate our expedition with a farewell banquet on our last night together. Then we’ll say good-bye to the river and each other with a shuttle to the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport.
TRIP HIGHLIGHTS: Women only! A supportive atmosphere for and by women celebrating what we can do in "life after 50".
39 Day Cross-Country Bike Tour
Tour Start: New Orleans, LA
Tour End: Lake Itasca State Park, MN
Terrain: 2000 miles of rural roads through small-town America. Average 52 miles per day with 7 rest days. You’ll experience mostly flat and rolling terrain in all types of weather.
Includes: 38 nights lodging, all breakfasts, dinners, & snacks on riding days, van support, SAG support, cue sheets, shuttle service to the airport at the end of the tour, trained guides & a commemorative jersey.
Van Support: We carry your luggage, and you if necessary.
Rental Bike: Not available.
Participants: 30 women, maximum
For a free DVD of our cross country tours, request a catalog