Bicycling vacations in New England and Ireland. Bicycle through scenic country in New England or southwest Ireland, eat gourmet meals, and spend restful nights at picture-perfect wayside inns. These are the promises the Vermont Country Cyclers has been making for six years. Tours are popular with both adults and families. The tours, limited to 24 cyclists, run from May to October and range from two to 12 days. Each trip is rated for difficulty and distance and led by two expert cyclists. A van follows, carrying luggage and picnic food. Bikers supply their own bikes or rent well-tuned 12-speed models. Write Vermont Country Cyclers Inc., Box 145, Waterbury Center, Vt. 05677. For cyclers interested in weekend or longer trips in Maine staying in charming New England lodgings, contact Maine Coast Cyclers, 9 Pepperell Square, Saco, Maine 04072; (207) 283-1086. Packing your bags. At Ventura Travelware Inc., packing for a vacation is considered a science. ``Lay out everything on a bed. Then remember, if you put it on last, it goes into the bag first,'' says Walter Bialo, Ventura's chairman. Mr. Bialo says the whole process should take no more than 10 minutes. He also recommends that shoes, which go in first, should be stuffed with a roll of socks to protect the shape, then wrapped in cloth, not plastic. Then add pants, skirts, and finally underwear. And don't stuff your suitcase to the point of having to sit on it to close it! That is, if you don't want to pop your suitcase zippers or split the seams. For more ``roll and fold'' packing tips, write Ventura Travelware Inc., Long Island City, N.Y. 11101.Skip to next paragraph
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Summer study at Yellowstone Institute. Each summer, the Yellowstone Institute provides two- to eight-day seminars covering such topics as animal tracking, birds of prey, outdoor photography, astronomy, and women and wilderness. Classes are kept small, and some cater especially to youngsters and families. The institute is in the northeastern, more remote part of the park, once the site of a turn-of-the-century bison recovery project and now known as the ``Buffalo Ranch.'' Classes are held in June, July, and August. Write the Yellowstone Institute, Yellowstone National Park, Wyo. 82190.
Trekkers help clean up Machu Picchu. A Second Annual Inca Trail Preservation Trek is being planned for July 31-Aug. 14. The purpose of the 35-mile, six-day trip along the famous Inca trail is to clean up and help preserve the ancient trail through the Andes Mountains of Peru. Since some 6,000 people hike the trail each year, it is important to have an annual pickup. Volunteers supplement the national park budget by carrying out debris left by careless trekkers. Last year 14 North Americans worked with 40 Quecha Indians from nearby villages. In addition to the cleanup hike, there are stops in Lima and Cuzco and rafting on the Urubamba River. Cost of the trip is $1,700 including equipment (tax deductible). Write to the Earth Preservation Fund, Inca Trail Project, Box 7545, Ann Arbor, Mich. 48107; 800-255-8735.
Arizona adult community ``summer fling'' vacations. For the 50-plus crowd, special summer rates for three- or seven-day vacation packages are available at Sun City West, Ariz., an adult community respected worldwide for its extensive recreational facilities. Rates are in effect from June through August: three days for $98 and seven days for $175 ($395 in winter.) The 40-acre R. H. Johnson Recreation Center offers opportunities to swim, play tennis, bowl, and jog. The Hillcrest Golf Club, site of the Senior PGA Tour Roundup, is one of five courses in the community. A large performing-arts center, restaurants, stores, and churches are nearby. Visitors are lodged in furnished, fully equipped garden suites. For more information, write Del E. Webb Communities Inc., Public Affairs Department, 13950 Meeker Boulevard, Sun City West, Ariz. 85375; (602) 876-3461.