US Edelweiss tour questions

Discussion in 'West – California, the desert southwest and whatev' started by flux_capacitor, Sep 6, 2005.

  1. flux_capacitor

    flux_capacitor I know a shortcut!

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    Howdy, Me and my Pop are thinking about going on one of these Edelweiss tours somewhere out west. Maybe AZ or the grand canyon. Anyone have any experience with them, or any other company offerring the same services? We like the 4 day tours. Our situation will be: Will be flying to get to where the tour starts so bringing our own bikes won't happen, limited off road due to the old man's back (but some easy off roading would be nice), probably we'll do this in February 06. If it were up to me, I'd trailer the bikes out there (time wouldn't allow us to ride), set up camp somewhere, and ride ourselves. But Dad feels more comfy going with a tour type situation, guess I can't blame him. He rides a Harley, so his sense of adventure isn't quite as great as mine.:D Thanks for the help.
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  2. flux_capacitor

    flux_capacitor I know a shortcut!

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    Thanks for the move to the West forums...good call.
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  3. Jabba

    Jabba "HOLD THE LIGHT!!!"

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    Save your sheckles- fly to Vegas and rent him a Hardley and YOU a GS- Vegas has both if you Google it. Plan a couple of stops around the Grand Canyon (snows that time of year on occasion, btw) and go riding. Much more flexible, and you'll pay 1/2 of what you would to have somebody else do a little organizing for you. I've done an E-Weiss tour in the Alps, and just did a self-guided tour of California. I'd do my own thing from now on- not that E-Weiss was bad, but you can do better on your own because you're not paying their fee. You stay at better places for less money- and all you have to invest is a little planning time (or not! Winging it is really fun, and shouldn't pose a problem in the off season).
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  4. Airhead

    Airhead More human than human

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    I guess it depends on what you want...my wife and I took an Alps tour for our honeymoon, and it was the best vacation we've ever had. Edelweiss was great, the riding was outstanding...and it was very nice to have someone shuttle your gear, interperet the menus, and show you the best roads. You could certainly do it on your own...but if you are looking for a relaxing vacation with great riding, I'd highly recommend Edelweiss. It's also fun to meet and ride with the group...we had a great time with the folks on our tour.

    I like going on my own...but if you're looking for a relaxing vacation, I think it's nice to let someone arrange all the details. We are thinking about doing the Arizona trip in March...get away from mud season up here in the Northeast. I don't disagree with Jabba...I just think there's a time and a place for striking out on your own, and for sitting back, letting someone else do the planning, and just riding.
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  5. flux_capacitor

    flux_capacitor I know a shortcut!

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    Thanks for the replies fellas. Like I said, if it were ME I'd head out by myself, probably just going where I fell like going. My dad on the other hand is pretty set in his ways and wants to go with a tour for safety reasons. I can respect that P.O.V. and don't plan on trying to get him to change his mind. If there was a catastrophic failure, it'd be on my head.

    Are there any other tours besides Edelweiss?
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  6. Techfiend

    Techfiend High Priest of Duh

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    http://www.pashnittours.com/

    Tim Mayhew from pashnit (pretty much the most awesome site for road info in California, www.pashnit.com) runs California/Sierra Nevada tours. I've never been on one, but I've met Tim (he's local to me here in Sac) and he's a cool cat and knows his roads. For what it's worth, if I wanted to run with a tour group in California, I'd run with Tim in a heartbeat. Give him a call.
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  7. Jabba

    Jabba "HOLD THE LIGHT!!!"

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    Not like you're going to Bangladesh- all the "planning" you have to do is a couple of phone calls to make some reservations. The rental companies have roadside assistance to help you if you get in trouble. That's 1/2 the fun if you ask me- talking to folks for recommendations just ads to the experience of the tour. Ask you dad what he'd like to see- what he'd really like to see- and start your route from there. I guarantee that you'll get a lot more out of the trip if you do it yourself. Hell, it doesn't cost a dime to plot out a dream trip on a map~

    My major rub against my Edelweiss tour was that although I rode in 5 countries, I couldn't really tell much difference. You're isolated more than if you do it on your own. You interact with your group and that's cool- but that's about it unless you really go out of your way. Sure, they make reservations and lug your bags. You can pack your own bike, can't you?! You can read a map ahead of time and mark a route, can't you? AND, you can enjoy a 5 star spa with the coin you'll save- for a few nights. Your dad will probably remember that part, too. I'd think that if you guys made this trip a project for the two of you to team up on and pull together, you'll find it a lot more rewarding and memorable than simply joining an organized tour. This stuff is really NOT THAT HARD! Everything you'll need is a cell phone call away, afterall. If you were taking your dad to a foreign country, I might have a different point of view...
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  8. Airhead

    Airhead More human than human

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    This is what I love about ADVRider...room for all different points of view...:lol3

    I agree that you don't see much country while on an Edelweiss tour, at least in the Alps...but the riding was so spectacular that it didn't really bother us. We were there to RIDE...and not having to look at a map every 20 minutes certainly made the riding more enjoyable. Like I said, it depends on what you want to do. If you want adventure, plan it yourself. If you want relaxation, go with a tour...

    And yes, I can pack my own bike and find my own places to stay...it's just nice sometimes not to do that...
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  9. Airhead

    Airhead More human than human

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    And this I do disagree with. Given what we were looking for, I don't think we would have gotten more out of our Europe trip if we had done it ourselves. Again, depends on who you are and what you're looking for.
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  10. Jabba

    Jabba "HOLD THE LIGHT!!!"

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    We're not talking about Europe, lobsterboy. Read the post again- I said that if he were going to a foreign country I would have a different point of view. This is the Southwestern USA- Food everywhere, lodging everywhere, zero language barrier and not even that many routes to sort thru~ It's a slam dunk to plan and pull off this trip without a tour group. Other trips would be less-so. I don't really care what he chooses, I'm just pointing out that he's gonna throw a lot of money at Edelweiss for very little upside on THIS PARTICULAR TRIP. You could plan and book a trip like that on the internet in less than an hour. Hell, you could post a thread on here and get your route handed to you~ Why pay those folks extra??? Remember, it's a 50/50 chance that you'll get some asshat in the group that lessens the experience!~
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  11. flux_capacitor

    flux_capacitor I know a shortcut!

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    All right, kids, calm down. :D Nothing to debate over really. Jabba, the more you talk about doing it yourself, the more I am planning on just making up a route/itinerary and handing it to my dad along with the Edelweiss stuff. He can make his mind up from there. You have many good points, although you have no idea how hard it will be to change pops' mind (keep in mind he is over 50, I am 27). Airhead, I thank you for the tips. It is nice to know that if we do go the Edelweiss route, we will be taken care of by them. Sometimes you do get what you pay for. Techfiend, good link my friend, I think we're looking at going more towards the Grand Canyon though.

    Good arguing points to present: No language barrier, cell phone use (although is this a true statement in the middle of the desert?), cheaper. I may be able to win him over on this.
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  12. Jabba

    Jabba "HOLD THE LIGHT!!!"

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    You'll be fine. Save the Edelweiss trip for the following year- and do it in someplace exotic and intimidating. This thing is gonna be a breeze... and your dad will appreciate it all the more because YOU put it together. Meet and mingle with the locals along the way- hook up with some members of the ADV contingent... it's a recipe for a really memorable trip with your dad. Have fun!
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  13. Popey

    Popey Nutter

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    I'm 100% with Jabba on this one. I didn't look at the details in the thread to see exactly where you're planning to go, but bear in mind that all of northern AZ is at elevation and that it will be cold/snow on the ground in February. Same for much of NM and Utah. I couldn't get to the north rim of the Grand Canyon in the first week of May this year because of snow, to give you some idea, although I admit this year was not typical.

    Remember, the dry air also makes the temperature feel cooler. I lived in Phx for two years and learned this the hard way when riding in the winter!

    Have fun.
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  14. jktpa

    jktpa X-Troller

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    I ran into an EW group this summer in Glacier Natl. Park they were all from the states. Talked toem for a while and they were really enjoying themselves. I talked to one of the guides too he was out of Bozeman and very knowlegable about the roads so he would not be taking them to places that would intimidate them.
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  15. real gone

    real gone Been here awhile

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    Hey!!! Who you calling an asshat?
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  16. dakar92

    dakar92 Been here awhile

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    I did the Edelweiss Pacific Coast Touring Center tour in April of this year. All I can say is that it was the most fantastic trip of my life by far. I had very high expectations going into the trip, and they were very easily exceeded. Every single other person in the tour had the same sentiments as well. The first day was a ride along the Pacific Coast up Highway 1 to Monterey from Pismo Beach. It was such an unbelievable ride that I thought it could never be bettered. Yet Day 2 was better and Day 3 was the single most memorable day of riding I will likely ever experience.

    I can understand some people feeling isolated with their group, but that didn't bother me in the least. I'd rather get to know a few people well over five days than to spend an hour or so with more people anyway.

    Our group included men and women of different riding levels. Yet our tour guide expertly worked the group to keep everyone happy. If you want to ride aggressively, you won't have to sit around waiting for Granny who wants to dawdle along and take advantage of every photo op. The tour guides realize that different people want to ride differently and they will accommodate you.

    Also, our tour guide, who has been doing this tour for a couple of years, took us on many roads that are not a part of the official tour and these were some of the most unforgettable roads that a tourist would most likely never find on his own. The entire Day 3 route was a creation of the tour guide. I certainly enjoyed not having to worry about directions or routes or the places to eat lunch and just being able to enjoy the ride.

    I will probably some day take a trip where I rent a bike, but I'll probably also take more Edelweiss tours. I truly could not have been happier with a vacation, period. By the way, a writer from RoadBike magazine was in our group and her article should appear in the magazine in the next month or two.
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  17. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    Some people prefer tours where things are managed for them. Hell, otherwise, the tours wouldn't be running...right?

    Others prefer doing it on their own and the adventure that goes along with that.

    All of this is good.....

    Personally...the only place I'd seek a tour would be the Moon...and that's only if good maps were not avalable.
    #17
  18. flux_capacitor

    flux_capacitor I know a shortcut!

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    These are all good comments and I fully appreciate all of them. I think I will look into doing a route myself, compare it to the Edelweiss tour side by side, and we'll make a decision based on that. My little bro (24 yrs old) is now going to be joining in on the fun, who is not yet an experienced rider. We shall see how it turns out. I will say I have not yet heard a single negative thing about the EW tour. Thanks all for the comments once again! :thumb
    #18