Frank Behrendt, indefatigable bicyclist and now Nordic Walker enthusiast, founded International Bicycle Tours, Inc. in 1976 and expanded it to include Nordic Walking in 2007. In the intervening years repeat customers have been so frequent that some people have a drawer full of IBT t-shirts, each bearing a tour name and the company’s logo.
Frank’s intent is to provide tours at reasonable prices with the trimmings many tour companies omit. IBT participants are met at the airport, so aren’t required to search for taxi or train or bus to their first hotel. Instead of being given a map and good wishes as they set off for the day, they ride as a group led by the tour guide with an appointed “sweep” bringing up the rear. The unique IBT corner system, in which a biker is posted at turns, means that getting lost is hard to do.
IBT guides know the territory and the language, important as we often stay in towns or villages with small, family-run hotels. Meals are local and seasonal and dinner makes a friendly end to each day. Expanding beyond bicycle tours, IBT’s offerings now include Biking and Barging and Nordic Walking and Barging. Barging has the advantage all travelers cherish: no need to pack and unpack as your cabin is your home for the trip! Nordic Walking, the invigorating sport of walking with a special stride using long poles, meshes as perfectly with barging as bicycling does.
International Barging Tours also provides educational travel programs for museums, universities and organizations. Our tours can be effective in strengthening the bonds within the organization, whether it is a group of members from a museum, a group of docents, or alumni from a university association. Individualized bicycle tours can also be arranged for groups of family or friends.
Experience counts. IBT has the experience. Setting out to provide the best tours in the business for people to whom knowledgeable tour leaders and safety in operation are important, IBT has grown but never forgotten the aims Frank originally envisioned.