Tag Archive | "biking"

Memorable Bike Rides: The Westport Ramble, Massachusetts

Tags: , , , , , ,


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

2014-09-05-bike-riding-1

By Steve Jermanok

South of New Bedford lies countryside so fertile, you’ll feel like you’re in Vermont.  Stretching from Dartmouth, Massachusetts, to Little Compton, Rhode Island, the area is known as the Heritage Farm Coast. It has the sunniest and most temperate climate in New England and thus the longest growing season. Vast dairy farms, cornfields, even vineyards, border the Westport River as it washes into the Atlantic. Add the dunes of Horseneck Beach and you have the perfect country and coast ride, especially in the spring before the beach traffic starts to arrive.

Turn left out of the Westport Middle School parking lot onto Old Country Road to start this 21-mile loop (give yourself at least two hours). A right turn onto Pine Hill Road heads downhill, but the route is relatively flat for most of the ride. Within a mile, you’re lost in acres of farmland. Historic Cape Cod shingled houses and barns are bordered by old stone walls. Continue on lightly traveled Old Pine Road to see cornfields edging towards the horizon. A mile later, turn right onto Hix Bridge Road and then left a half-mile beyond that onto Horseneck Road. The Westport River appears on your right, a strip of dark blue snaking through the green pasture.
Around the halfway mark, the ocean starts to appear on your left and the area becomes more developed.  A good choice for lunch is the Bayside, known for their cod wraps and lobster rolls. Veer right on East Beach Road for expansive views of the ocean. Another right onto Route 88 leads to the sweeping beach and dunes of Horseneck Beach State Reservation. After crossing a small bridge which rewards you with views of the harbor and its numerous fishing boats, turn right onto Drift Road. This leads to Old County Road, where you turn left to return to your car.
Steve Jermanok Working as a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, contributing editor at Budget Travel, and regular contributor for The Boston Globe, Men’s Journal, and Yankee Magazine, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1500 articles on 80 countries. He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life. With his wife, Lisa Leavitt, Steve launched a boutique travel agency, ActiveTravels.com, in May 2012. His clientele includes many people in the travel business, including Steve Kaufer, founder of TripAdvisor (designed his honeymoon to Turkey), and Mark Snider, owner of The Winnetu Resort on Martha’s Vineyard and The Nantucket Hotel on Nantucket. You can follow him @ActiveTravels

Steve Jermanok Working as a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, contributing editor at Budget Travel, and regular contributor for The Boston Globe, Men’s Journal, and Yankee Magazine, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1500 articles on 80 countries. He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life. With his wife, Lisa Leavitt, Steve launched a boutique travel agency, ActiveTravels.com, in May 2012. His clientele includes many people in the travel business, including Steve Kaufer, founder of TripAdvisor (designed his honeymoon to Turkey), and Mark Snider, owner of The Winnetu Resort on Martha’s Vineyard and The Nantucket Hotel on Nantucket. You can follow him @ActiveTravels

Biking in South Africa

Tags: , , ,


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

6306c5a863b098463c455287b7aa4a1a_preview

By Steve Jermanok

Sitting at the southernmost tip of South Africa, Capetown can certainly match Sydney and San Francisco as the most beautiful city in the world. Table Mountain, often draped in its tablecloth of clouds, forms a spectacular backdrop. A nice little warm up ride will bring you from the city to the exquisite beach of Camps Bay and the mountains rising behind Hout Bay. Serious bikers can then continue on to the Cape Peninsula and the Cape of Good Hope, where the Indian Ocean meets the Atlantic Ocean. Just be on the lookout for baboons that often cross the road. Once you’ve properly explored Capetown, drive one hour to the west and start your tour of Stellenbosch and its award-winning wineries. Bikes N’ Wines offers a 2-day guided bike ride through the region, where you learn about the rich heritage of the area and most importantly, taste the wares. The two day tour includes breakfast, a light braai lunch on one of the days and accommodation at on one of the wine estates. Cost of the 2-day jaunt is $1950 Rand or $127 US. By all means, continue your tour of the region on the famous Garden Route, a drive amidst forest, lagoons, and coastal towns, including the surfing mecca of Plettenberg Bay, another stunning locale to bike along the Western Cape or mountain bike the forests of Knysna.

 

Steve Jermanok Working as a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, contributing editor at Budget Travel, and regular contributor for The Boston Globe, Men’s Journal, and Yankee Magazine, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1500 articles on 80 countries. He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life. With his wife, Lisa Leavitt, Steve launched a boutique travel agency, ActiveTravels.com, in May 2012. His clientele includes many people in the travel business, including Steve Kaufer, founder of TripAdvisor (designed his honeymoon to Turkey), and Mark Snider, owner of The Winnetu Resort on Martha’s Vineyard and The Nantucket Hotel on Nantucket. You can follow him @ActiveTravels

Steve Jermanok Working as a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, contributing editor at Budget Travel, and regular contributor for The Boston Globe, Men’s Journal, and Yankee Magazine, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1500 articles on 80 countries. He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life. With his wife, Lisa Leavitt, Steve launched a boutique travel agency, ActiveTravels.com, in May 2012. His clientele includes many people in the travel business, including Steve Kaufer, founder of TripAdvisor (designed his honeymoon to Turkey), and Mark Snider, owner of The Winnetu Resort on Martha’s Vineyard and The Nantucket Hotel on Nantucket. You can follow him @ActiveTravels

George Butterfield Celebrates 50 Years of Adventure Travel

Tags: , , , ,


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
George_fb

George Butterfield in France.

By Amiee White Beazley

George Butterfield, who turned 77 in February, has been at the helm of Butterfield & Robinson since its inception. Born in Canada and raised in Bermuda, George practiced law in Toronto before dedicating himself full-time to the business of biking and walking in 1969. He still plays an active role in day-to-day operations and serves as B&R’s spiritual leader, resident travel sage, voyageur extraordinaire, and CEO of all things slow.

Taking a personal interest in each trip’s success, George and his wife and co-founder Martha guide at least one trip a year—which George claims is the best part of the job. This year, George and Martha will travel back 50 years to 1966 in order to meticulously re-create B&R’s very first biking trip through the hills of Bavaria – Munich to Salzberg.

I spoke with George Butterfield recently as he reflected on his past as founder of Butterfield & Robinson and a look ahead at the adventure travel industry.

1-1960s_033

George Butterfield, Martha Butterfield and Sidney Robinson.

Amiee White Beazley: How did that first trip come together?

George Butterfield: That first trip, well I was born in 1939, and planned it in 1966, so I was 25. Sidney Robinson and I were best friends in high school and I ended up marrying his sister, Martha. We worked (in Europe) giving talks in museums and galleries to students through our University. Then we left and went to law school, but we wanted our jobs back, we missed the cappuccino fix and all the stuff you couldn’t get here in (Canada and the U.S.) in the 1960s. So we decided we are going to start our own business and took students to Europe.

We had not planned the biking section, so Sidney and Martha went with the group to Italy and I flew to Munich and got a map. I saw a whole lot of green stuff and a little town called Steinberg. So I went there and I found a guy who had had bikes, so that’s where we went. The first trip cost $1,500 for 60 days, with 40 kids. It was one of those things, when it was all over we had taken in $50,000 revenue with $12,000 left over. So we said, “Let’s do it again.”

AWB: Has the original route changed, or is it as you remember it?

GB: It has changed significantly. The route that I did down the Steinberger Sea, that road is not bikeable now. So it will be different, but a great throwback. It’s hard to believe. You pinch yourself. What we did no one had done before, it was a new spin. It was a great education touring the museums and getting the students to learn. We wanted those kids to experience it not just the youth hostels and more affordable things, but how to solve problems. That bike route I put together the first year didn’t have accommodations, so one night we spent in a hay barn night. We got creative and it was just having great fun doing it. You are always using your wits because it’s not like driving a train on the tracks. You have to be resourceful and creative. I had 10 words of German then. I got a group of students on bicycles, begging people with the 10 words I had. Sometimes you go down on bended knew or you use your personality. Whatever you got you use it. I strive on those things, the unpredictability of it. You have to come up with something.

GBAWB: What are some of your favorite trips?

GB: My favorite trip, it’s that last trip that I took. Burgundy has always been a favorite of mine. It’s perfect biking. Throw a dart in France, and there’s great biking anywhere. You really can’t do that in Italy, it’s mountainous, not England because of hedges, not Vietnam, but in France it’s just wide open and we do what we do. There are so many choices it’s just getting the bits right and not going to that are industrialized or ugly. We go to pristine parts of the world. We are showing the gems of the planet whether in Africa or Europe – they are the gems of the world, for sure.

AWB: You are described as B&R’s spiritual leader. Can you tell me why?

GB: I’m here a lot. I am the founder and I care a lot about it. Everyone sees me around as the older guy here now, but I care immensely about what goes on. I have my finger on where things are going, and I’m in touch with what goes on, what’s important. And I still love to bike. I’ve gotten use to biking back and forth on my city mountain bike, and I have a bike I use up in the country. It was for my 50th birthday. I still ride – a lot.

AWB: What’s next for you?

GB: We are in the process of publishing the book “Slowing Down to See the World” — the history of Butterfield & Robinson. I drink wine. I love French wine. My son, David, makes brilliant wine, Butterfield Wine, in Burgundy. But right now my passion is to save the planet. I work with a lot of environmental companies, investing I cleaner ways of operating, of doing business. I’m involved in four different venture capital groups and with our local university to make it greener, more environmentally friendly.

George and Martha Butterfield will lead Butterfield & Robinson’s 50th Anniversary trip, Munich to Salzburg Biking, on the Sep 11-16, 2016.

2016-Cover

Visit Butterfield & Robinson

 

 

 

 

 

Amiee IMG_9858White Beazley is an award-winning journalist focusing on food, adventure and family travel. Her work has been featured in The Washington Post, Robb Report, DuJour, The Denver Post, 5280, Yankee, Coastal Living, CondeNastTraveler.com, Departures.com, TravelandLeisure.com and Monocle.com among others. She lives in the Rocky Mountains near Aspen, Colorado, with her husband and two sons, where they hike, bike and sleep under the stars as much as possible. To learn more, visit www.awbeazley.com.

 

Active Travels: Biking Lake Geneva’s La Côte Region

Tags: , ,


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Biking in the Lake Geneva Region of Switzerland.

Biking in the Lake Geneva Region of Switzerland.

By Steve Jermanok

Traveling to the Lake Geneva region of Switzerland this past September with Lisa, every day was a dream that could easily make this list. Seeing Dubuffet’s collection of art from the insane at Lausanne, strolling through the sculpted vineyards of the Lavaux, and taking a cruise over to the magical 12th-century castle on the rock, Chateau de Chillon, were all worthy of being chosen as my favorite days of the year. But the day that sticks out most in my memory was the most authentic experience, electric biking through the La Côte vineyards just outside the town of Nyon.
If you want to bike through vineyards with only locals on charming hillside towns reminiscent of Burgundy, follow in my footsteps. When we arrived at the Nyon train station to meet our guide, there were no more bikes to rent, only electric bikes. So off we went, zipping on a paved trail through the neighboring community of Prangins, staring in awe at 15,781-foot Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Europe, which rises from the French side of Lake Geneva. In the town of Gland, we filled up our water bottles in one of the many public fountains, where water comes from the same reservoir that supplies the nearby homes.
Chateau des Luins, Lake Geneva Region, Switzerland.

Chateau des Luins, Lake Geneva Region, Switzerland.

Then we headed for the hills and were instantly enchanted by the town of Luins. We met Laurent Vigneron, the winemaker and owner of the picturesque Chateau de Luins, ready to start his fall harvest in less than a week. He took us into rooms holding immense oak barrels, some dating from as far back as 1922. We sampled his wines, a smooth pinot noir and a dry white created from the region’s favored grape, Chasselas, realizing instantly why the Swiss keep most of their wine for themselves. From Luins, we biked on a trail through the vineyards into the storybook town of Bursins, where a Medieval Cluny church still stands with requisite watchtower in the town center. A historic whitewashed chateau, now an upscale lodging called Chateau Le Rosey, peered down from the hillside. Across the street was a house straight out of a French countryside movie set with a wooden tile roof covered in moss.
We had lunch at Café de L’Union, known for its deep-fried gruyere cheese puff they call the Malakoff. Another specialty was the blue trout caught at a nearby river, which did arrive on our plate the color blue. It was served with cornichons and French fries. Perfect. After lunch, we headed downhill through cornfields waiting to be reaped and apple trees bending over with the latest crop. We past a horseback rider and soon took Route 1 along the lake to the town of Rolle. Quickly changing into swimwear, we had a paddleboard lesson at the Paddle Center. Soon we were gliding out on the placid blue waters of Lake Geneva, again mesmerized by the mountain panorama. An image I won’t quickly forget.
Steve Jermanok Working as a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, contributing editor at Budget Travel, and regular contributor for The Boston Globe, Men’s Journal, and Yankee Magazine, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1500 articles on 80 countries. He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life. With his wife, Lisa Leavitt, Steve launched a boutique travel agency, ActiveTravels.com, in May 2012. His clientele includes many people in the travel business, including Steve Kaufer, founder of TripAdvisor (designed his honeymoon to Turkey), and Mark Snider, owner of The Winnetu Resort on Martha’s Vineyard and The Nantucket Hotel on Nantucket. You can follow him @ActiveTravels

Steve Jermanok Working as a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, contributing editor at Budget Travel, and regular contributor for The Boston Globe, Men’s Journal, and Yankee Magazine, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1500 articles on 80 countries. He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life. With his wife, Lisa Leavitt, Steve launched a boutique travel agency, ActiveTravels.com, in May 2012. His clientele includes many people in the travel business, including Steve Kaufer, founder of TripAdvisor (designed his honeymoon to Turkey), and Mark Snider, owner of The Winnetu Resort on Martha’s Vineyard and The Nantucket Hotel on Nantucket. You can follow him @ActiveTravels

ExperiencePlus!

Tags: , , , , ,


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

The Interview: Maria Elena Malpezzi-Price of ExperiencePlus!

Tags: , , , , ,


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

 

Interview by Everett Potter

This month, we’re giving away an amazing bike trip in Italy with ExperiencePlus! (you can enter here). Rick Price and Paola Malpezzi-Price founded the company that would become ExperiencePlus! in 1972, an eternity ago in the world of adventure travel. Italy was and is their specialty, but today the company offers biking trips to two dozen destinations and is owned by their daughters, Monica Malpezzi-Price and Maria Elena Malpezzi-Price. I caught up with Maria Elena at the Adventure Travel World Summit in Kilarney Ireland last fall to ask her about ExperiencePlus! and its continuing role as an adventure trailblazer.

Back CameraYour parents were adventure travel pioneers when they founded ExperiencePlus! in 1972. What do you and your sister do to keep their original vision alive, even as you deal with a new generation -or two-of travelers? 

From the beginning, and still today, the emphasis has always been about combining the advantages of a bicycle, a human powered vehicle that is independent so you can start and stop when you want for photos, gelato, coffee and more gelato. The two wheeled pace is slow and yet you can travel significant distances.

What we find has changed is how people decide where to go and when.  We have developed shorter and longer tour options for most of our trips.  Most itineraries now have a 7 or 8 day option and a 10 – 12 day extended option so that we can accommodate different needs for different travelers.  We also find that more people want to just travel with their friends or on their own schedule so we found ways to easily set up custom dates or private trips within our schedule.  There are certainly differences in the newer generations but we find that ultimately the desire to explore and the delight people have in exploring by bike hasn’t changed that much.

Biking in Northern Argentina with ExeriencePlus!

Biking in Northern Argentina with ExeriencePlus!

 

You’re based in the US and your sister is in Italy. Is that a competitive advantage when it comes to planning and running trips? 

We definitely find that having a solid base in North America, where most of our travelers come from, and then another headquarters where most of our trips are operated helps us in terms of logistics, staffing, trip development and overall quality control. It actually mirrors how we grew up, part time in the United States and part time in Italy and so for us it seemed like a logical way to maintain our “split identities.”

What is the most under rated ExperiencePlus! destination for biking?

Northern Argentina, around the Salta area, is likely not on the top list of cycling destinations for most people, but we have found a fabulous combination of diverse scenery, breath-taking landscapes, friendly and welcoming people, good roads and great food.  We started running trips in Chile and Argentina about 10 years ago and although we don’t offer as many dates as we do in Europe, we are seeing an increase in interest. They are great “winter” destinations for those of us in the Northern hemisphere and although they have a slightly different character than our European trips, the beauty of the regions and the interesting history make up for that. After all, if we can pedal the vineyards in Italy and France, why not Chile!

Biking in Spain with ExperiencePlus!

Biking in Spain with ExperiencePlus!

For riders who’ve done some of the classic rides in France and Italy but want that special mix of old Europe, great food and scenic countryside, which destinations might you suggest?

I’m partial to our cycling tours in Spain because in my days as a tour leader I spent most of my time there.  Whether it is our bicycle tour in Andalusia (a harder trip), or pedaling the Camino de Santiago, or our easier Catalonia tour north of Barcelona, Spain always seems to surprise people with its history and interesting food.

Wine tasting in Bavaria with ExperiencePlus!

Wine tasting in Bavaria with ExperiencePlus!

Another destination is Germany. Germans travel by bike more than almost any European nation and so their own network of roads and streets and bike paths are incredibly friendly to cyclists. Our bike tour in Bavaria often receives high praise from longtime customers who have cycled all the “classic” destinations because of its picturesque towns, great routes and good food. The trip follows Germany’s historic “Romantic Road” and in fact, it has even been called by some of our senior guides – who are not even German! – as one the prettiest tour that we have.

 

You mark your routes with chalk dust? Who came up with this great idea? Does it really remove the need to look at a map? 

Our father, Rick Price, came up with this idea in 1986 or 87.  It is considered by many of our travelers’ one of the biggest advantages of traveling with ExperiencePlus!  Anyone who has cycled in a local charity ride or even just with a group of friends knows the feeling of having to navigate with a group of cyclists.

Chalk marks show the way with ExperiencePlus!

Chalk marks show the way with ExperiencePlus!

Imagine a family road trip when your GPS is broken and you aren’t sure whether you should go right or left at the next intersection. There are multiple opinions, arguments and the feeling like you are just going around in circles. Our arrows take all of that anxiety away and truly allow for people to ride at their own pace and they do in fact remove the need for a map. Of course, Rick was also a geographer and so we still provide very good marked maps for every day! The arrows are “chalked” each day by one of our tour leaders who rides out in front, usually an hour or two before others leave.  They are not permanent and they aren’t paint.  One of the beauties of the arrows is that we can really take people on small tiny back roads that would otherwise be hard to explain with cue sheets or with maps.

Any new destinations for 2015 or 2016?

One of the key design principles we work on for all of our itineraries is that people can ride from point A to point B without getting into a vehicle unless they want to! In fact, the allure of being able to say you cycled from point A to point B is part of what gave way to our ExpeditionPlus! trips in 2006 when we first ran a tour from St. Petersburg, Russia to Istanbul, Turkey.  Since that first Expedition trip we have developed other continental scale 30+ day Expeditions and almost every year we design a new one. Our 2015 Venice to Kalamata Expedition tour sold out within 2 weeks.  For 2016 we are reimagining the Eastern European expedition, this time from Tallin, Estonia to Istanbul, Turkey and we are also looking at a Scandinavian or Rhine River to Danube River Expedition.

ExperinecePlus! in the Dordogne region of France

ExperinecePlus! in the Dordogne region of France

Most cyclists don’t fall into the “I want to cycle 2000 miles over 30 days” camp and most of our trips are perfect for the recreational cyclists. So we have designed some exciting new tours that are meant to more of an introduction to cycle touring, called Sightseer Tours. These tours still include cycling every day but they also have more options for half day activities off the bike and the cycling is on quiet roads and bike paths. For 2015 we have two such trips: a Veneto and Lake Garda tour as well as one along the Loire Valley in France.

And where are you off to next?

I’m headed to Italy in February for a conference and to also have some meetings with our guides and guide selection as we plan for the season. But in April I’m very excited to be on our inaugural tour in the Alentejo in Portugal. My sister Monica has some plans to go out and scout some new tours, either in Southern Italy or the new bike and barge tour.  We seem to never have a shortage of places to go, just a shortage of time!

 

Visit ExperiencePlus!

Read a blog post from Rick Price about the founding of the company.

Active Travels: Biking the Confederation Trail, P.E.I.

Tags: , , , ,


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

pei

By Steve Jermanok

Biking slightly uphill outside of Hunter’s River, horse farms replace dairy farms and the velvety green pasture flourishes. Purple lupines line the trail to add their color to the brilliant canvas. I was on my final ride of a three-day bike tour of Prince Edward Island one September, on assignment for Canadian Geographic magazine. Hunter’s River is less than a 15-minute drive from the fabled dunes and red cliffs of Cavendish, the PEI tourist hub made famous by that young girl in braids, Anne of Green Gables. Close to civilization yet far enough removed to relish the solitude (I’ve only greeted one other biker this day), I’m lost in a bucolic setting that has changed little since Lucy Maud Montgomery penned her timeless novel in 1908.

Oh yes, there is one difference. The Canadian Pacific railroad that once connected the island’s small villages last roared through the interior in 1989, leaving in its wake hundreds of kilometers of track. By 2000, the tracks were pulled and the line replaced with a surface of finely crushed gravel, creating a biking and walking thoroughfare called the Confederation Trail. It starts in Tignish on the island’s western tip and rolls 279 kilometers to the eastern terminus in Elmira.
The hum of trains long gone, I hopped on my bike and pedaled through a tunnel of dense pines that effectively blocked out the world. There was not a soul around and the chaos of modernity was replaced with the melody of birds chirping. I was biking into a bygone era, a serene spot where a girl named Anne could have easily grown up without too much duress.
Steve Jermanok Working as a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, contributing editor at Budget Travel, and regular contributor for The Boston Globe, Men’s Journal, and Yankee Magazine, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1500 articles on 80 countries. He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life. With his wife, Lisa Leavitt, Steve launched a boutique travel agency, ActiveTravels.com, in May 2012. His clientele includes many people in the travel business, including Steve Kaufer, founder of TripAdvisor (designed his honeymoon to Turkey), and Mark Snider, owner of The Winnetu Resort on Martha’s Vineyard and The Nantucket Hotel on Nantucket. You can follow him @ActiveTravels

Steve Jermanok Working as a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, contributing editor at Budget Travel, and regular contributor for The Boston Globe, Men’s Journal, and Yankee Magazine, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1500 articles on 80 countries. He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life. With his wife, Lisa Leavitt, Steve launched a boutique travel agency, ActiveTravels.com, in May 2012. His clientele includes many people in the travel business, including Steve Kaufer, founder of TripAdvisor (designed his honeymoon to Turkey), and Mark Snider, owner of The Winnetu Resort on Martha’s Vineyard and The Nantucket Hotel on Nantucket. You can follow him @ActiveTravels

Steve Jermanok’s Active Travels: Biking Across San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge

Tags: , ,


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Biking across San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge

Biking across San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge

Every year as I come close to celebrating another birthday (and this year is a big one), I try to partake in an activity that confronts my fear of heights. Ziplining upside down in Costa Rica or attempting a treetop obstacle course in the Berkshires are two of my most recent examples. Since I hate driving across long bridges, I thought this would be a good time to bike across the Golden Gate Bridge. My family took the Powell-Hyde Cable Car to the biking outfitter, Blazing Saddles, located near Ghirardelli Square. At 10 am daily, they lead a guided tour along San Francisco Harbor though the Marina District, taking a brief stop at the Palace of Fine Arts. Striking views of the bridge open up as you head northwest past Crissy Field to Fort Point. We biked up a short hill and were soon starting our ride in a bike line across the bridge. I was nervous at first, but my passion for biking eased my anxiety. I even stopped several times to take in the view of Alcatraz and the rising bluffs of Marin County on the opposite shores.

Soon, we were sweeping downhill into the coastal community of Sausalito. We grabbed lunch at an excellent Italian sandwich shop,Venice Gourmet, and sat outside on benches near the water. Then we took the ferry from Sausalito back to San Francisco. When we returned the bikes at Blazing Saddles, we walked over to the original Ghirardelli’sfor root beer floats and sundaes. The perfect end to a glorious 10-mile ride.
Steve Jermanok As a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, adventure travel expert at Budget Travel, and regular contributor on outdoor recreation for Outside, Men’s Journal, Health, and Sierra, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1,000 articles on the outdoors.He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life. His latest book is Go Now! Put Your Life on Pause and See the World. He’s currently an adventure travel expert at Away.com and blogs daily at  Active Travels.

Steve Jermanok As a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, adventure travel expert at Budget Travel, and regular contributor on outdoor recreation for Outside, Men’s Journal, Health, and Sierra, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1,000 articles on the outdoors.He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life. His latest book is Go Now! Put Your Life on Pause and See the World. He’s currently an adventure travel expert at Away.com and blogs daily at Active Travels.

L.L. Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools

Tags: , , , , ,


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

L.L. Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools

Tags: , , , , , ,


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

In spring, this not-so-young man’s fancy turns to fly fishing, sea kayaking, biking and other activities that require skilled use of both hands, putting away electronic distractions and simply being outdoors. Especially the latter. By this time of year, I’m always geared up and ready to go. But what about those who’ve never wet a line, paddled a quiet lake or estuary in the early morning, or tried to ride a single track.Or simply don’t know how to leave Facebook behind for a few hours, get outdoors and have some fun?

 

Paddle boarding at L.L. Bean's Outdoor Discovery Schools

Paddle boarding at L.L. Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools

For that, we can turn to L.L. Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools, which began offering courses back in 1979. Every year, Bean introduces newcomers to a variety of sports and also raises the skill set among experts who want to tweak their cast or shoot a straight arrow. The Schools are a smorgasbord of courses, trip and tours, ranging for a few hours to several days. In addition to offerings for the beginner to the expert in kayaking, fly fishing, clay shooting, biking and camping, highlights for 2014 include stand-up paddle boarding yoga experiences, including a weekend-long retreat, multisport weekend-long adventures, island bird watching tours and more. New offerings include Teen Adventure Weeks, offered all summer long and featuring canoeing, paddle boarding, hiking, kayaking, fly fishing, archery, leadership skills, Leave No Trace ethics and more.

Fly fishing at L.L. Bean's Outdoor Discovery Schools

Fly fishing at L.L. Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools

DSS_2596

“We’re very pleased with how our Outdoor Discovery Schools have grown over the years,” says L.L. Bean spokesperson Mac McKeever. “Last year alone, over 100,000 people engaged in our activities—many for the first time. Our founder, L.L. Bean was the quintessential guide—he loved to share his passion for the outdoors with family and friends. That sentiment is as strong today as it ever was in his and we get really excited knowing that we are turning so many people onto the outdoors—our passion is infectious. We hope that we are instilling this passion for the outdoors in others and sparking what will hopefully become a lifelong passion. “


A few examples:
Summer Weekend Getaway—a three-day, two-night adventure featuring home-cooked meals, hiking, canoeing and kayaking in a remarkable wilderness Maine setting
Kayak Camping Adventure—three days and two nights of hiking, camping and kayaking in a pristine, remote Maine setting
Maine Bike and Kayak Trip or the Maine Bike and Paddleboard Trip—the best of Maine by land and sea, a chance to explore the beautiful Maine coastline, plus enjoy a lobster or steak dinner while camping at L.L.Bean’s private oceanfront campground
Stand-Up Paddleboarding Yoga Weekend Retreat—a great way to refresh your body and spirit with a relaxing weekend of yoga on land and sea, plus stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking tours of Maine’s Casco Bay.
Visit L.L. Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools for more info on classes, trips and tours.

Sponsors

Sponsors

Sponsors