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Two cycling tours include music festivals

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Commercial bicycle tour operators always are on the lookout for ways to make their offerings stand out. At Great Freedom Adventures, an extra feature of two East Coast tours in 2014 will be attendance at a summer music festival.

A four-day trip around Rhode Island in July includes a visit to the famed Newport Folk Festival. A six-day August ride through New York's Hudson Valley takes in performances at the four-year-old Hudson Music Fest, a free rock/pop/folk event scheduled in the ever-hipper river town of Hudson.

Jeanne Rummel, a founder of Great Freedom Adventures, told me that the musical events "are intentionally scheduled for the beginning of the tour because listening to music together (and maybe singing and dancing) really brings a group of people together in a hurry."

Overall, said Rummel, "I search for unique experiences that will add enjoyment and give guests an in-depth exposure to the places they visit so they come away really understanding the people and the culture in each region. So to a large extent, the Newport Folk Festival and now the Hudson Music Fest are a part of the story of these places and definitely an experience worth having at least once."

Other tours offered by Great Freedom Adventures include Martha's Vineyard, off the coast of Cape Cod; Vermont (with visits to a cheese factory and antique stores); and coastal Massachusetts.

The outfitter is also one of the growing number of bicycle trip developers who are happy to create private trips for groups of cyclists who want to take vacations together.

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