Cycling Timberline Country
If you're planning your first Timberline cycling adventure, we suspect that you may have questions concerning terrain and level of difficulty. Obviously, "Timberline Country" is not flat. We have our share of hills and we promise that you'll have ample opportunity to do some climbing with us regardless of which tour you select. But then why else would you even consider a Timberline bike tour were it not for our well-known passion for corrugated topography!
When you cycle in the Rockies, Sierra or Cascades in particular, you can expect to be involved in climbs that are longer than those that you may have experienced in other parts of the country. But most importantly, the grades that you will encounter in the mountain ranges of the West, though longer, are more gradual than those of the hilly regions of New England and Appalachian areas, and significantly more moderate than the mountainous regions of Europe.
A word about the altitude factor that is a common concern of those considering their first Western cycletour. Acute Mountain Sickness, a significant reaction caused by rapid ascents and prolonged presence above 9,000 feet is not an issue. Many of our tours rarely exceed 5,000 feet in elevation and, even in Colorado where we'll climb to 10,000 feet and beyond, rapid descents soon return us to lower elevations.
At worst, cyclists at the highest altitudes may find themselves huffing and puffing in a climb, more than they would ordinarily anticipate given that level of activity. The almost universal experience during the course of a tour will be a marked and noticeable decline in the effect of altitude upon respiration. In other words, much of the anxiety over altitude is unwarranted. Most importantly however, you are contemplating a tour, not a competitive endurance event.
As you read our various tour descriptions, you'll note the absence of any labels indicating level of difficulty. Ratings are omitted by design because we believe that such labels are inherently subjective and misleading. Tour descriptions and total mileages for each tour provide helpful indicators as to that tour's level of challenge. But the best insight into a particular tour's content and its suitability for you or your group can be obtained by contacting us so that we can discuss your interests and experience personally and directly with you.
Make no mistake, cycling "Timberline Country" certainly is not an effortless activity and our cycling adventures are athletic experiences by design. But if you are a reasonably active individual, it certainly is "do-able," and by do-able we mean enjoyable within the context of a leisurely vacation experience. In return for that effort, you will share in what well may be the most rewarding and memorable cycling experience that you ever will encounter.