Loire Valley France Bike Trip

I was in France in June to do a bike tour of the Loire Valley. Due to Covid, this trip was rescheduled from 2020. We spent a few days in Paris, then took a train to Orleans on a Wednesday, spent the night in Orleans and started biking on Thursday. We spent each night in a different town along the way. Towns we stayed in include Beaugency, Blois, Amboise, Tours, Azay-le-Rideau, Chinon and Saumur. Our last night was in Angers and I took a high speed train from Angers the following morning direct to Charles de Gaulle airport outside of Paris. We passed through and stopped in a bunch of other towns along the way, visited castles and gardens, ate lots of pastry and drank lots of wine. Coteaux du Layon is a dessert wine that the Loire Valley region is known for and I had some after dinner every chance I got. We also passed through Vouvray, known for wines of the same name, and we stopped off at a cave for some wine tasting and a tour of the cave (nice and cool on a hot summer day!). We used CycleTours, a Dutch company, to book the trip. They took care of the hotels, bike rental and baggage transport and I highly recommend them.

The Loire River

Quebec Bike Tour — Region around Quebec City

I was recently in Quebec for a bike tour of the region surrounding Quebec City. We drove up to Lévis, a town directly across the St Lawrence River from Quebec City, took a ferry over to Quebec City the next day and then on to Ile d’Orléans, where we spent one night. Later in the week we came back to Quebec City, spent two nights there and then explored the countryside west of the city. We crossed the Pont du Québec, bike around more countryside and then circled back to Lévis.


A beautiful sunset on Ile d’Orléans

Some Biking Routes north of Charlotte, NC

A few years ago I was biking in North Carolina, around the area north of Charlotte, on a pretty regular basis. Here are a few of my favorite bike routes in that area. Of them all, the area surrounding Lake Norman State Park is really beautiful. You can park in the park, bike around the area, bike up to the town of Statesville for lunch and then bike back to the park. For a really full day, there’s boat rental at the park too.

Davidson is also a really cute town. Home to Davidson College, it has lots of restaurants, cafes and ice cream shops, as well as a bike shop if you need one.





North Carolina State Parks

Greenways in Charlotte-Mecklenburg County



Portugal — Porto, Coimbra, Lisbon & Estoril

A friend and I are going to Portugal in February on an unbelievably inexpensive off-season deal. For less than $700 per person we get five nights in hotels, round trip flight from Newark to Lisbon and a small rental car. This package is being arranged by Gate1 Travel, a huge operator of guided and unguided tours. We’re going without a guide, so, of course, I’ve created a map to help us figure out where to go. I used the itinerary from Gate1’s website, some articles from the New York Times and some looking around on the map to create this map for us. We’re not going until February, so I will likely add more to the map before we go. Check back and then use this map for your own travels to Portugal.

New York Times 36 Hours Porto

New York Times 36 Hours Lisbon

Gate1 Travel

New York Times article on Bairrada wine

Mexico — Michoacan State and State of Mexico

A friend recently traveled to Mexico and really enjoyed her time there.


She flew into the city of Morelia from Dallas and then took a taxi to Patzcuaro, a smaller town on the lake of the same name. From there she was able to visit a few villages in the surrounding area.

She then made her way to Mexico City and San Juan Teotihuacan, which is about a half hour drive from Mexico City and is known for its Pyramid of the Sun and Pyramid of the Moon.


You can use local buses to get from Patzcuaro to the other villages surrounding the lake and from Patzcuaro to Mexico City. My friend used Uber to get from Mexico City out to Teotihuacan.

The smaller towns and villages are quite safe, but do use caution in the bigger cities, just as you would in any big city.



Hiking, Biking, Kayaking in the Poconos — weekend trip from Philadelphia or New York

The Poconos is a good place to go for outdoor activities not too far from Philadelphia or New York. I’ve been meaning to hike the Pinchot trail. There’s a few different loops you can do there. I’ve marked the trailhead parking lot and you can go from there.

To make it a full weekend, why not do one day of hiking and a second day of biking or kayaking? There’s plenty of places to rent bikes and boats in the area. Have fun!


Pocono Mountains Tourist Information

Information on the Pinchot Trail

Information on Pinchot State Forest

Biking and Hiking in Norway, visits to Oslo and Bergen

A few weeks ago I took a biking and hiking trip in Norway. Before the biking/hiking portion of the trip, we spent a few days in Oslo. At the end of the trip, we made our way to Bergen, spent two nights there and then flew out of Bergen. For the biking/hiking portion of the trip we used my favorite outfitter for bike tours in Europe, a company called Blue Marble Travel, which is based in Paris. Blue Marble also took care of booking our hotel in Oslo, which was very well located. In Bergen, we stayed in private rooms in the YMCA, which was located right in the middle of town.

Norway has a lot to recommend. It is a beautiful, clean, peaceful country with spectacular scenery. We enjoyed good food, good beer and friendly people. Norway is not the least expensive country you can visit, but you get what you pay for.

Oslo Opera House — Walk right up!


Hiking above Finse



Blue Marble Travel

Oslo Public Transit

General Norway Tourist Info

Rallarvegen — Mountain Biking trail alongside railway

Quebec Bike Tour –Eastern Quebec and excursion into Quebec City

Here’s a bike tour I’m tentatively planning for the summer of 2019. Three days of biking in eastern Quebec, cross the river by ferry over to Quebec City, spend two days in the city, cross by ferry again and bike back to our cars. There’s also the possibility of biking on the northern side of the St. Lawrence and circling back to Quebec City each day.  Points of interest for these two loops days include Montmorency Falls and Ile d’Orléans. This is a work in progress; the map may change, but any changes I make will be reflected on the map on this blog.


Quebec Route Verte — Signed Bike Routes — Official website

Chaudière-Appalaches Tourism website

Bas-St. Laurent Tourism website

Eastern Townships Tourism website

Centre du Quebec Tourism website

Charlevoix Tourism website

Mauricie Tourism website

Quebec Tourism website (for all of Quebec with links to each specific region)

Quebec City Tourism Website

Quebec City Blog entry

Montmorency Falls — just east of Quebec City

Philadelphia — Escape to the Countryside — New Hope

New Hope is a wonderful little town within striking distance of Philadelphia (and also New York). Good for a day or an entire weekend, New Hope has cute inns, good restaurants and art galleries in town. Further afield are some wineries and nice biking or walking along the river towpath (on the New Jersey side). Many of the restaurants in town are BYOB and you can grab some wine at one of the wineries or at a wine shop in New Jersey.

A little further to the northwest is Nockamixon State Park, where you can rent a boat.

The below map shows New Hope and the surrounding area. Have fun! And if you go, please post here and let us know how your time in New Hope was.



Bucks County Tourism Info for New Hope and Lambertville

Pennsylvania Tourism Info for New Hope

New Hope Chamber of Commerce

Delaware & Raritan Canal Towpath info (for biking or walking)