1. Where should I start and end my bike tour of the Bourbon Trail?
The routes that we recommend begin and end in Louisville and Lexington, KY, as most visitors to the Bourbon Trail find themselves traveling to either one of these cities. Also, these towns have the most options for bike shops, grocery stores, restaurants and accommodations. For route options that begin in other Kentucky towns, please join the Kentucky Bourbon Trail RidewithGPS account, or email us at email@example.com.
2. How many days does it take to bike the Bourbon Trail?
Many factors determine how long it may take you to bike the Bourbon Trail. Most rider choose 1-3 days, although longer options exist for those who want to see more of the Trail or who choose to enjoy it at a leisurely pace.
Factors to consider:
- How many distilleries do you plan to visit? We recommend no more than 2-3 each day, especially if you plan to stop for a tour.
- Average mileage per day? Depending on how many distilleries you plan to tour, we recommend 50-80 miles each day.
- Do you plan to stop in for a tour, or only ride by? Depending on the number of visitors at each distillery, tours may not be available on a walk-up basis. Be sure to book online ahead of time if you want to guarantee a spot. Please keep in mind that most online tickets are not refundable or transferable, so please be sure to make it to the distillery on time.
3. What is the terrain like?
- Kentucky is not flat.
- Continuously rolling hills.
- Climbs are not long — typically less than 0.5 miles — but they are frequent.
- Most riders find a rhythm that allows them to climb one hill and then coast down the next, allowing their momentum to carry them partly up the next climb.
- Some may find it challenging. Others find it quite enjoyable. We quite love it.
4. What do I need to know about touring the distilleries?
- Some distilleries do not allow cycling shoes with exposed cleats. We recommend wearing recessed cleats, such as Shimano SPD’s, or bringing cleat covers. Also, it is often a good practice to carry a change of shoes for the distilleries.
- Many distilleries offer products that can only be found at that location. With this in mind, please consider how you plan to carry that rare bottle of bourbon on your bicycle.
- A bottle sherpa service is offered by Louisville Bicycle Tours. They will pick up your purchases for you and transfer them to you at the end of the ride. Contact them at kbtbike.com to inquire.
- Some distilleries have bike racks, others do not. Please be considerate of where you leave your bike while touring the distillery.
- We recommend carrying a secure bike lock if you plan to take a tour.
- Most distilleries close by 4PM, but it is up to you to confirm the hours with each distillery individually.
5. What are the road conditions like?
- All recommended routes are on paved public roads that are open to vehicular traffic, and riders should be comfortable sharing the road with motorists.
- All of the Bike the Bourbon Trail recommended routes have been planned by local cyclists with safety as the top priority. However, please note that, in some cases, short distances along high volume, high speed roadways are unavoidable to reach various distilleries.
- Road hazards may exist on any and all roadways.
- In general, the road surfaces in Central Kentucky are found to be in better condition than in many other places. Especially on the roads surrounding the Thoroughbred horse farms.
6. Will I have cell service?
- In most places, yes. But in some places, no. Central Kentucky is quite rural and in some places even quite remote.
- If partaking in a self-supported tour, we always recommend leaving a detailed itinerary with a friend or family member before departing.
7. Will there be vehicle support/SAG?
8. Where should I park my vehicle?
- Depending on where you begin and end your tour, public parking is usually located nearby.
- If parking at a distillery, please be sure to check with the individual distillery regarding operating hours and whether there is a gate that is locked after hours.
- If you plan to head out on a day ride, please be sure to return before the distillery closes and locks their gate.
- Always ensure that you have the distillery’s permission to park your vehicle prior to departing on your ride.
9. Are there plenty of options for food and water along the way?
- Generally, you will encounter a town with food and water options every 15-20 miles. However, it is always advisable to carry additional food and water for your ride.
- Please note that outside of Louisville and Lexington, it might be more challenging to find many options for those who have a restricted diet, such as vegan or vegetarian. So, we suggest planning accordingly.
- Also, please contact Louisville Bicycle Tours for more info regarding vegan and veggie options along the Trail.
10. How can I navigate the Bourbon Trail by bike?
- We have created numerous recommended routes on RidewithGPS, a cycling navigation app. We suggest downloading the app, joining the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Club, and then downloading your specific route to your phone for turn-by-turn navigation on the Trail.
- You can also download printable maps and cue sheets from RidewithGPS for the routes you plan to follow.
- We recommend carrying cue sheets as a back up in the event of a dead, lost or broken phone.