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Russian Cycling Touring Club:  rctc.ru

I tried entering the review below but message came up to contact you. So here is the review below for trip with RCTC. In Aug 2014 my husband and I set off for Russia to do the Golden Ring followed by the Moscow to St Petersburg bike tours with the RCTC. I have to say as the time got closer, I felt more and more nervous considering the unrest that had started in the Ukraine. But my fears we unfounded. I also had some concern that I was paying a large sum of money to someone in Russia who I really had no credentials for!!!! But...it was a magnificent trip from beginning to end. The hotels, the food, transportation, guides....everything was way beyond my expectations. The riding was easy, mind you, we were riding a tandem we took with us. I would recommend this trip to anyone and wish more people would visit Russia and not be afraid of going there. Moscow and St Petersburg are just like any other European city, St Petersburg especially.. - Vivienne Henderson, Queenstown, New Zealand

I've been on 2 tours with RCTC - Moscow to Saint Petersburg and the Golden Ring tour. These tours are organized by cycling enthusiasts in the club, many of whom are college professors. They offer you the chance to see the "real Russia" by traveling through small villages and towns. The sights and people that were encountered along the way were truly memorable. All levels of riders seemed to fit in and we averaged 40-50 miles per day. The group sometimes met up with cycling clubs in cities along the route. Visits to key museums and sights were included, and local guides were provided when necessary. Accommodations and food were basic, and conditions often required flexibility. That's part of the adventure of traveling in Russia. RCTC offers a unique way to cycle in Russia and provides it at a very good value. - Mark Criswell, San Diego, CA

RCTC's Moscow to St Petersburg cycling tour is an amazing endurance feat with spectacular scenery, variable road conditions that would suit a fit casual cyclist but best suit those used to 50-100k days. The tour co-ordinators did their best always for the participants - often with difficulty as Russia is, well, Russia and patience, tolerance and a sense of humour made for a wonderful life-changing experience. Highly recommended to those who are keen to be further off the beaten track, and don't mind roughing it - which just added to the sense of achievement! Most accommodation was satisfactory, just one nasty 'hotel' that RCTC will try and delete in future - camping would be preferable! D. Dean, Perth, Australia

Traveling with the Russian Cycling Touring Club is like riding with your local bike club rather than with a for-profit company. Participants are treated like friends, not customers, so you need to come with a spirit of adventure and cooperation and be willing to go-with-the-flow. Vladimir Filippov is a wonderful leader, calm, quiet, smart, organized, strong and nice. Danielle Reed, Glenside, PA

The best way to see the real Russia - from your saddle with Russian friends on their saddles - real people, villages and countryside, not tourist guides, tourist meccas and posh hotels. RCTC tours are a great way to see, feel and understand this country. We've been twice - highly recommended! Chris Bell, Lampeter, Wales

The Russian Cycle Touring Club's bicycle tours offer an ideal way to explore this endlessly fascinating country. I've been doing independent and group bike tours for over 30 years and, without question, RCTC tours are among the most interesting I've done. Bicycle touring in Russia will reward you with a stunning visual and cultural experience, and the riding is great! I especially enjoyed RCTC’s Golden Ring tour. I think it is a great way for foreigners to begin their Russian cycling adventures. The sites we visited were magnificent, and the accommodations in authentic Russian schools and hotels were both comfortable and interesting. Diane Hofland, Yamhill, OR

The Golden Ring tour with the RCTC exceeded all our expectations for comradeship, sightseeing, scenery, accommodation, folklore, cycling pleasure and all around good fun. The RCTC made things happen! They phoned ahead that we would arrive late to the museum with Peter the Great's boat and it re-opened for us. The cosmonaut museum was closed for repairs, but we got a special tour anyhow thanks to our leader's connections. It was great to cycle small backroads that their experience had found, instead of suffering with traffic on the highway. Diane Baker, Corona del Mar, CA

If somebody is looking for a really authentic way to see Russia, this is it. The tour of the Golden Ring goes by some of the most beautiful and historic sites in Russia which are the heart and soul of Russian history. The tour is down to earth in the best sense as it meets all needs, but you are never separate from the Russian scene in where you stay, what you eat, what you see, and who you meet. The tour leaders who are committed Russian cyclists from the Russian Cycle Touring Club are happy to discuss any topics and share their views. I have been to Russia numerous times on business but never felt I ever really experienced Russia until I took this tour with the Russian Cycle Touring Club. You really get a sense of Russia the big sky country, Russia a land of one thousand years of history, Russia a land of people engaged in all aspects of everyday life, and Russia a land of great hospitatlity as exemplified by the tour guides from the Russian Cycle. Richard Levine, Takoma Park, Maryland,

It's great to know that you have a best friend in Russia! That's the feeling you get with the Russian Cycle Touring Club. On both the Golden Ring tour and the Moscow to St. Petersburg tour, we did much more than just cycle from place to place. Daily tours of museums and historical spots, fun rest stops, and stimulating interactions with local Russian made for a very memorable trip. Having local guides enabled us to fully experience this mysterious and magical country. In the 20 years since it threw off communism this bewildering country has come a long way, and a bicycle tour is the finest way to untangle the complexities. - Jim and Anne Jesse, St. Louis, MO

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