Cross-Country: Underground Railroad
43 Day Cross-Country Bike Tour
We're bringing back our cross-country bike tour along the Underground Railroad! It's been 15 years since we first ran it and the route has been improved in so many ways - more paved bike trails, more historical signage and new interpretive centers along the way. We will follow the trail of thousands of freedom seekers from years ago. We will honor the bravery of those who fled bondage and those who provided shelter and food, as we cross eight states on our way from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada.
Save $565 by signing up by June 30, 2022.
Rolling terrain over a total of 1904 miles. Moderate to advanced cycling level due to the longer days. Average mileage of 46 miles per day.
All lodging, breakfasts, dinners and snacks on riding days, SAG stops every 20 miles, luggage transfers every day, detailed maps, cue sheets and GPS files, a bike tire repair class, mechanical support, state line crossing parties, send-off banquet, celebration dinner, airport transfer at the end of the tour, and trained guides.
Fly into the Mobile, Alabama airport and out of the Buffalo, NY airport.
Our 2000-mile, women-only bicycle tour across the country begins in Mobile, Alabama, which was once a busy port for slavery. We’ll follow rivers north through Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky. Then the North Star will guide us through Ohio, along Lake Erie and into Canada on the Peace Bridge in Niagara Falls. Our journey ends in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.
Filled with history, the Underground Railroad is also beautiful. You’ll ride beside the Alabama, Tennessee and Ohio Rivers. Although there are no major climbs, there are many sections of roller coaster hills. We’ll ride a short distance on the Natchez Trace, and further north, along several paved rail trails.
- Civil War and Underground RR interpretive centers
- National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
- Harriet Beecher Stowe House and Museum
- Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area
- Ohio to Erie Trail
- Niagara Falls
- Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ontario, Canada
The days will quickly fall into a comfortable rhythm. We'll start early with a light breakfast provided by our inn or the hotel. Then we'll pack our bike bags with snacks of raisins, nuts, energy bars and peanut butter sandwiches. We'll make sure we have an extra layer of clothing and a rain jacket with us. We leave on our own, usually between 8-9am and cycle at our own pace.
We follow the cue sheets that have been meticulously prepared for us, along with the expert Adventure Cycling maps and optional GPS directions. We each ride at our own pace, sometimes alone and sometimes in small groups and we stop where we want along the way.
About every twenty miles, we’ll meet our SAG vehicle. It holds water, snacks, tire repair tools and a first aid kit. Even if we don’t need anything, we’ll stop to chat and talk about the wonderful tailwind or the panoramic view. If we’re too tired to bike anymore, we’ll take a ride in the SAG vehicle to our hotel for the night. The SAG makes sure everyone is in safely at the end of the day.
Once at our hotel, we find our luggage, (delivered earlier by the WomanTours van and trailer,) check-in to our room, and meet our roommate. Most of our hotels are chains and most of us will be in double occupancy rooms. We rotate roommates every night, unless you’ve requested the single room upgrade. There’s time to shower before dinner and perhaps take a dip in the hotel pool.
If anyone has experienced bike problems during the day, we’ll use the time before dinner to work with the guide to fix it. If it’s a more complicated repair, the bike will go to a trained mechanic at a nearby bike shop.
Then we eat dinner together, served buffet-style outside. Our traveling chef prepares hearty and healthy dishes from our trailer kitchen. While she will accommodate guests with specific allergies and provide a nonmeat protein source for vegetarians, she cannot adhere to everyone’s likes and dislikes. You'll need to be flexible. If you require a vegan or gluten-free diet, there will be a $250 fee.
After dinner, the guide holds a map meeting to discuss the highlights of the day and to go over the details of the next day’s route. We'll celebrate every day that we cross into a new state. When we reach Niagara-on-the-Lake, we'll celebrate with a special meal. Average of 46 miles per day.
TO JOIN: Sign up online or call us to make your nonrefundable, nontransferable registration deposit of $300. The first payment of $2,000 is due September 1, 2022 and $1000 of that payment is nonrefundable and nontransferable. The balance of the trip fee is due by February 25, 2023.
DISCOUNT: Sign up by June 30, 2022 and receive $565 off the tour price.
TRIP INSURANCE: We will provide you with a source for trip cancellation/interruption insurance. We strongly recommend insurance, especially for a trip of this magnitude.
TOUR DETAILS: Help on training, transportation, packing, and an itinerary will be sent upon receipt of your registration fee. We will also mail you periodic Prep Talk newsletters to help you prepare for the trip.
Tour Itinerary (tentative)
|May 10, 2023||Mobile, AL||0|
|May 11, 2023||Bay Minette, AL||34|
|May 12, 2023||Monroeville, AL||65|
|May 13, 2023||Jackson, AL||48|
|May 14, 2023||Jackson, AL||0|
|May 15, 2023||Demopolis, AL||95|
|May 16, 2023||Livingston, AL||30|
|May 17, 2023||Columbus, MS||85|
|May 18, 2023||Columbus, MS||0|
|May 19, 2023||Amory, MS||54|
|May 20, 2023||Fulton, MS||25|
|May 21, 2023||Corinth, MS||63|
|May 22, 2023||Savannah, TN||40|
|May 23, 2023||Savannah, TN||0|
|May 24, 2023||Parsons, TN||48|
|May 25, 2023||Hurricane Mills, TN||50|
|May 26, 2023||Buchanan, TN||60|
|May 27, 2023||Grand Rivers, KY||60|
|May 28, 2023||Grand Rivers, KY||0|
|May 29, 2023||Morganfield, KY||91|
|May 30, 2023||Owensboro, KY||64|
|May 31, 2023||Tell City, IN||48|
|Jun 1, 2023||Brandenburg, KY||55|
|Jun 2, 2023||Louisville, KY||48|
|Jun 3, 2023||Louisville, KY||0|
|Jun 4, 2023||Madison, IN||56|
|Jun 5, 2023||Dry Ridge, KY||57|
|Jun 6, 2023||Maysville, KY||74|
|Jun 7, 2023||Newport, KY||69|
|Jun 8, 2023||Newport, KY||0|
|Jun 9, 2023||Xenia, OH||69|
|Jun 10, 2023||Columbus, OH||60|
|Jun 11, 2023||Mt. Vernon, OH||52|
|Jun 12, 2023||Millersburg, OH||41|
|Jun 13, 2023||Masillon, OH||38|
|Jun 14, 2023||Akron, OH||30|
|Jun 15, 2023||Akron, OH||0|
|Jun 16, 2023||Austinburg, OH||84|
|Jun 17, 2023||Erie, NY||56|
|Jun 18, 2023||Hamburg, NY||88|
|Jun 19, 2023||Niagara Falls, ON||43|
|Jun 20, 2023||Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON||24|
|Jun 21, 2023||Shuttle to Buffalo, NY||0|