Another day of discovery!
Follow the arrows
The arrows are so easy to follow and they allow us to design incredibly complicated routes that would be impossible to follow using cue sheets. This helps us keep you away from traffic and easily direct you to hidden gems along the way. Here are a few comments from past travelers:
Your chalk arrows are the best idea in tour riding. I would never go on a tour that did not use them. You did a great job. One of the best 12 day vacations ever.
Michael D., Boulder, CO
I have done over 20 cycling tours in Europe with 5 different touring companies .... they were all good, but this was one of the best .... the routes, the arrows so each could cycle at their own pace, and the guides were all excellent.
Bill M., Paso Robles, CA
The arrows are wonderful!
Bill W., Naples, FL
The chalk arrows are outstanding. My wife and I ride at different levels and the arrows allowed us to each ride at our own pace without the anxiety of getting lost. I think it makes the whole tour flow much better. Bill M., Ridgecrest, CA
The arrows...we love them. There is no substitute! We cannot imagine biking the routes we took and the roads we were on with any kind of written directions. It would take dozens of pages, we would have spent all our time looking at the maps and not the beautiful scenery... and we would never be sure we were on the right road = stress...just what we wanted to avoid.
Jim B., Incline Village, NV
ExperiencePlus! is also very conscious of the impact our arrows may have on the communities we travel through and train our tour leader to use the following guidelines:
- The material we use must not be permanent and must be 100% natural. We select gypsum chalk which has a neutral ph and is not harmful to the environment. Each arrow uses a very small amount of powdered chalk and it is purposefully not mixed with water in order to lessen its durability.
- The principle goal of our arrows are to provide navigation. We want to use the number and quantity of arrows necessary to safely provide direction for our travelers but not so many that they appear intrusive.
- At times we may point out sights or suggested resting stops for our cyclists, we talk to our vendors and partners to make sure they understand that a bucket of water on an arrow will wash it away if they are concerned about it lasting more than a few days.
- In historic city centers we train our tour leaders to use as few arrows as possible. In some towns we refrain entirely from using them – instead providing city maps for how to enter and exit town to each of our riders.
- Our Tour Leaders may write encouraging messages to our cyclists on mountain passes like people do in the classic cycling races throughout the world. Since our chalk will disappear under car traffic it rarely lasts more than a few days or a week and we make sure it is far from town.
- Generally our arrows don't last more than a week or two if they are in an area that receives some traffic. Under heavy traffic they may disappear in a few days.
- We don't use colored chalk as that would add coloring agents that are not natural.
You will also be given a ‘daysheet’ that lists lunch stops along your route today. Restaurants, small cafés, and markets where you can pick up picnic supplies. Wonderful bakeries where you can stop for delicious croissants or pastries. We’ll suggest our favorite ice cream and café con leche stops along the way. There may also be a Romanesque church or a Greek ruin to visit. Just follow the arrows.
People you’ll Meet:
Fascinating travel companions.Our customers tell us that one of the highlights when traveling with us is meeting the other people who choose to tour with ExperiencePlus! We attract inquisitive, adventurous, fun-loving people who appreciate fabulous food, comfortable lodging and great bike rides.
Grandmothers and grandfathers, mom and dads, kids and cousins, couples and solo riders of all ages… There’s enough adventure and exhilaration on our trips to delight anyone!
Stop anywhere and say, Hello!When we ask our customers to recall their favorite moments on tour, many describe a conversation with a local farmer or shopkeeper. Even if you don’t have the language, it’s easy. Our tour leaders will usually be there to facilitate and interpret, and if not – you’ll be amazed at how much you can communicate with your hands.
Sometimes all it takes is the courage to wonder into a peach orchard with a smile on your face and your camera held high. You’ll come away with photos – and peaches – if you’re lucky.
Your Tour Leaders
Friends, coaches, story-tellers, and so much more . . .Depending on the size of your group, two or three tour leaders will accompany you on tour. Our tour leaders are great storytellers and love to share their knowledge.
Ask them why in Italy you don't drink cappuccino after 10 'clock in the morning. Or, what is the difference between a cloud forest and a rain forest? Their main purpose on tour is to make sure everything runs smoothly, to share their knowledge of the destination and to make sure you get the most out of your vacation.
Enjoy the town, take a walk, sit by the pool . . .When you arrive at the next hotel, one of our tour leaders will generally be on hand to greet you and tell you where you can find your luggage and your room. If a tour leader is away from the hotel lobby taking care of other business, the hotel staff will be available to help.
You’ll also always find a “welcome” note waiting for you at the hotel desk. It reminds you what time dinner is and if the group will be dining together. If it's not a night for a group meal, we’ll suggest several local spots for you to try on your own.
In the note we’ll also provide some suggestions on what to see in town, whether it is the beautiful cathedral at the center square or the small artisan shops that sell woolen caps, leather purses, and silver jewelry.
Grab a shower. Take a walk. Find a sidewalk café. Write those postcards that have been calling you.
Relax. You’re on vacation!