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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I are looking into guided tours for TdF 2011. We have been talking with a few tour companies about itineraries / prices. I'm leaning towards either Custom Getaways or Trek Travel. Has anyone had experience with either company? We were looking at spending 6-7 days during the last week of the Tour which should include the Alps and the ride into Paris. Most likely, we will be able to climb the Alpe d' Huez. Anyways, besides recommendations on tour company, I was also looking at bringing our own bikes vs renting in France. Trek provides Madone 5.2's. Custom Getaways arranges Kuota or Ridley bikes with rental rates about 250 - 290 Euro / week. If we were to bring our bikes, we would have to purchase hard cases (starting at about $300 each) and pay the additional fees for oversize shipping (varies between $100-150 per bike each way). So, shipping our own bikes would definitely be a little more expensive, but is it worth it to be riding your own bikes? Anyways, any input would be appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the advice.

Trek Travel packages are definitely more luxury oriented (and more expensive). I think the 3rd week packages range from $5000-7000 per person but include bike rental. Custom Getaways packages are more reasonable ($3200-$4200 per person) for the 3rd week and include VIP entry into the start area, riding a portion of a stage on the same day (before the racers), and getting to hang out with the teams in the finishing area in certain stages. They also are very flexible in terms of ride distance, which is probably helpful since I'm riding with my wife and may opt to do the shorter rides on some days.

As for traveling with bikes, has anyone flown recently. I was looking into fees / regulations from various airlines. They pretty much all have a max weight of 50 lbs and a max linear measurement of 64 inches. Pretty much any hard case will be up around 88-90 linear inches and will be considered oversize. Are some airlines better than others? Does anyone still offer a bikes fly free program? I haven't flown with a bike for over 10 years, so I would appreciate anybody's more recent experiences with flying their bikes.
 
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