Below we will aim to answer many of the questions we get asked - if you don't see what you're looking for, why not call us, or fill in our enquiry form, below...
Our full FAQ is being prepared and we will also be updating this page from time to time.
What sort of bike do I need?
Seriously, we don't have a problem if you ride a full carbon race bike, hybrid/urban bike (that's a conventional road frame with straight bars, in case you didn't know) or a Mountain Bike. You can even bring a fold-up commuter bike if you want - you've got to ride it!
What you do need to ensure is that it is road legal in your chosen destination. Cycling laws do vary from country to country, even in Europe, so please do check before you travel.
You also need to consider the routes we will be riding - which are a mix of flat, rolling hills and in some cases something steeper. A fixie with high gearing might not be the right thing, unless you're particular fit! That said, our aim is for something around 8-10mph on most routes so accommodating most riding capabilities - even if you need to get off and walk up some of the hills (hey, the views should be great).
See also 'Highway code for cyclists in France' which is similar across Europe - but each country has its own rules (so much for European harmonisation, eh!).
We recommend you bring along at least one, preferably two, drinks bottles - and if you want you should factor in some electrolyte tablets especially if the weather is hot. The latter can help avoid muscle cramps. A tube of 20 electrolyte tablets is about £3.50.
What about clothing?
Whatever you feel comfortable in. You'll find our ride leaders will probably be 'MAMILs' - that's middle-adged men in Lycra (strangely there's no equivalent acronym for women) - simply because we find it most comfortable. But that doesn't have to be you. We're concious that not everybody feels comfortable in Lycra! That said, ensure that you can ride 20-30 miles (or longer on some of our tours) in the clothes you intend to wear, without chaffing - there's nothing worse than saddle sores to ruin a great holiday, and keep you off your bike. Talking of which, you may like to invest in some 'chamois cream' (preventative) or a tub of E45 (preventative but also useful if you do suffer), just to be on the safe side.
You'll want to remember smart-casual clothing for when we're out to dinner, and casual wear for your days off. Might be worth remembering swimming costume/trunks too as most of the properties we use have a swimming pool.
While we're giving you a list of things to buy, don't forget the suntan cream! We swear by P20 Once a Day spray which you can get from pharmacies, supermarkets and also from Wiggle (just click the big image banner above).
What about cycle helmets?
We're minded to make cycle helmets compulsary - it is for your own safety after all. Simon will attest to the benefits of a good helmet after an incident involving a bumper and bonnet of a car (the bonnet was MUCH worse off than his head!). If you want to see why you should wear a helmet check out this Youtube video - and yes, that's Simon separate from his bike... Needless to say, he walked away from this. The same can't be said for the bike!
Across Europe the picture is varied in terms of laws - with France requiring under 12's to wear head protection, whilst in Italy there is no requirement at all.
At the end of the day, it is up to you. We can take NO RESPONSIBILITY for any injuries exacerbated by not wearing a helmet.
Can I bring an 'action camera'?
Yes, of course you can - or any other sort of camera for that matter. Just do us a favour - mount it to your bike, NOT your cycle helmet. Unless you want a head injury... Also remember, if you're brining a DSLR or similar - you've got to carry it!
What about insurance?
ALL guests MUST have adequate travel insurance and please check that cover extends to whilst you are riding your bike - and also that you have insurance to cover your bike whilst it is being transported to/from our tour. We also recommend guests are in possession of an EHIC card - European Health Insurance Card - which you can get free from the relevant UK Government website.
We also recommend clients have specific bicycle insurance to cover your bike in the event of an accident. Yes, we know, it's likely the other party's fault but trust us, it's worth every penny and buying from a specialist provide is often cheaper than adding your bike to your home insurance policy!
What sort of food can we expect?
Breakfast will be provided by our host property. As an example, many of our French locations will provide a typically French style buffet - bread, pastries, jams and preserves, lots of glorious local butter. At least one of our Italian properties have the most amazing doughnuts, as well as a more 'American breakfast buffet' including cereals, bacon and sausages (of sorts), scrambled eggs etc.
Lunch will be informal - and often at a roadside cafe en-route somewhere. The cost of your lunch is NOT included in the package.
Dinner will normally be either on site at our accommodation or at a local restaurant - often 5-10 minutes walk from our accommodation. Where we eat out we will often aim for local produce.
We ask that all guests make us aware of any dietary requirements - it's no good us taking the group to a seafood restaurant if you don't eat seafood for health or religious reasons. Regardless, there will normally be a choice on the menu... but we will always attempt to accommodate the group's requirements. Note that dinners will not necessarily be 'fine dining'.
We will include some local drinks in the meal - normally local beers, red or white wine. We aren't paying for you to get drunk though, and reserve the right to close the bar at any time!
We will also have a selection of energy gels and snacks available - including electrolytes for your drinks bottles. We do recommend that, if you feel you need them, you bring your own though. Our preferred brand may not suit your stomach! Ours will be more of an 'emergency' supply should you run out of energy on a ride. Remember that these are gentle rides not training camp chain gangs.
Are children allowed?
Our intention with these short breaks is an 'adult environment' - but that's not to say that we don't allow children just that we prefer our groups to be of a similar age and outlook. If you would like to bring along well behaved teens (or even younger) who will participate in the rides (20-30 miles per day, remember) then please get in touch. You never know, we may be able to offer you exclusivity on a tour.
Highway code for cyclists in France.
Note: The following is a brief introduction to the rules of cycling in France, are given solely for information, and are valid at the time of writing. They do not constitute an exhaustive list of all laws and rules governing cycling in France, and may be changed from time to time.
To be roadworthy, bicycles must be equipped with a bell, fully functioning brakes, and after dark with reflectors and front and rear lights. Cyclists must wear a high-visibility waistcoat if cycling after dark outside urban areas.
In urban streets, cyclists must use the marked cycle lanes where these exist.
Cyclists must obey traffic signs and signals in the same way as other road users; this includes respecting "no entry", "one way" and "stop" signs. Like cars, cyclists riding behind each other on a roadway are obliged to keep a safe distance between them. Cyclists may ride two-abreast, but only during hours of daylight. At night, single file cycling is obligatory.
Drinking and cycling: cyclists are subject to the same alcohol limits as other road users. Cycling while under the influence of alcohol can lead to a hefty fine, the impounding of the cycle, and/or the withdrawal of the cyclist's vehicle licence if he/she has one.
Wearing helmets is not compulsory for adults when cycling in France, but from March 22 2017, children under 12 years of age must wear a cycle helmet when cycling or being carried as a passenger. There is a fine of €90, payable by the responsible adult, but to be honest, most children and regular cyclists wear them as a matter of routine these days.
To find out where we're going with our tours, click on the tiles below and explore our cycling holidays: