It’s Tour Picking Time!
October on my calendar means it’s the time of year when cyclists and other people shift their focus to planning the upcoming year’s events and tours.

Those of you reading this blog, probably already know that touring by bicycle is the best way to see, hear, smell, taste and feel the world. Whether you cycle a new neighborhood in your own backyard or ride on your first visit to a country ½-way around the world,  you’ll experience wonderful new sensations every mile.

Selecting a Tour
Through the years, experience has shown us that being mellow and flexible when confronted with various challenges is a helpful asset and wins points with leaders and other people you’ll meet on your tour. We also know what we like and only select tours and tour companies that fit our desires and our abilities.

  • We like cycling with some opportunities to explore or “tourist”.
    So we sign up for tours with daily mileage of around 60 miles or less.
  • We don’t like setting up a damp tent in the rain after a long day in the saddle.
    So we join trips offering nice, dry beds and indoor plumbing.
  • We usually don’t enjoy riding with 2,000+ or our closest friends.
    So we gravitate to tour operators with groups of 350 or even 10-14.
  • We enjoy photographing the experiences of a tour, the cyclists and the region
    and sharing with fellow travelers in
    our photo books .

Pick Your People
Far and away the most critical factor in enjoying your tour will be the people.  In selecting a tour group, you are picking a group of people to be your friends for a week or so. Maybe much longer.

How you meld with the tour operator, and the group dynamics, may make or break your vacation. The right mix of individuals can make it the trip of a lifetime.

Look for a tour operator and a tour that mirrors your riding habits, lifestyle and desires. Characteristics we look for from our tour operators include someone who provides:

  • Miles to feel like we’ve had  a good ride, covering some new terrain.
  • Time for enjoying the area & for attractions we want to visit including local eateries.
  • Comfortable lodging & facilities to clean-up, rest and sleep well.
  • Reasonable descriptions of how we’ll find food & water while cycling.


And for the tour leader (the folks who’ll actually be on the road with you), we like someone who:

  • Likes to talk cycling, places, experiences, wine and food with guests.
  • Allows individuals freedom to wander on their own now & then.
  • Provides emergency services should breakdowns or accidents arise.
  • Enjoys riding and being with fellow cyclists.

If everyone else signing up for the trip picks as well as you, you’ll find yourself among a very convivial bunch. You’ll have an excellent and memorable tour … and you’ll want a photo book too! We offer photo book design services to cyclists and tour operators, even for tours we’re not joining.

Tail Winds-
Daina Kalnins
Founder – Build Your Tour

Transforming dreams into memories by building photo books for bicycle tours.


P.S. We met Jamie and Joy of Outfitter Bicycle Tours while we were touring the French Alps. Through casual conversations in a hotel parking lot, we sensed immediately a common cycling style, rhythm and camaraderie. Although we’ve never “toured” with Outfitter Bicycle Tours, we know we’ll have a great time when we finally do!

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