A selection of common questions.
If any other questions come to mind, please call us. We’ve all been traveling for years, so even if your question isn’t bicycle-specific, chances are we can help.
If I come alone, will I have anyone to cycle with?
You'll naturally find others in the group who pedal the same speed as you. Most of our groups include 2 - 4 solo travelers. Because we simplify navigation by marking the road with chalk arrows, couples can easily split up into their own comfortable riding pace. You’ll have plenty of people to ride with!
We're happy to tell you about the group composition before you sign up. Just give us a call.
Can you accommodate small children in a tag-along?
We have a tag-along available upon request. We do expect children to be supervised by a parent or guardian at all times.
What kind of clothing or other gear will I need for the bike tour?
We provide a detailed packing list that includes all you need but not too much. Many of our customers wear lycra bike shorts and cycling jerseys for the rides. We also recommend gloves, a rearview mirror if you're used to using one, sunglasses and a helmet (mandatory). Call us if you have any questions.
I usually ride a road bike but a friend suggested I use a bike with upright handlebars to see the countryside better. What do you think?
You should ride whichever bike you are most comfortable on and which you normally ride. We find that a trip like this is no time to try out a completely new bike (unless you are at home on both a racing bike and a hybrid bike, in which case it doesn't matter).
What kinds of cyclists take your tours?
Our customers tend to be recreational cyclists who pedal during the summer and on weekends during good weather. These folks might make up 50-60% of your group. The remaining cyclists might be split between complete novices (who have never pedaled more that 10 miles in their life) and avid cyclists (who will ask for more mileage every day).
What are your hotels like?
We use comfortable tourist-class hotels and local-style inns. In Europe, this means they are primarily 3-4 star hotels. We might occasionally use a 2 star hotel when there are no other choices. We do not use luxury hotels, but we do insist on comfort and a private bathroom. Above all, we select our hotels for location. In cities, for example, our hotels are within walking distance of city-center sights. We would rarely isolate you in a luxury hotel far from the center of town. In Argentina/Chile and Croatia our hotels are, of necessity, a mixture of traditional, small country inns and modern resort hotels. In all cases, our hotels have a bathroom in the room (unless stated otherwise in the itinerary).
How many people will there be on a bicycle tour?
It depends on the season but it could be from 6 to 18 people. Call us and ask about the specific tour as we normally have a good idea of how specific tours fill during certain times of the year.
I like a mirror on my handlebar. Can you provide one?
We don't provide mirrors but encourage you to bring your own if you are used to using one. Let us know if you'd like to use a handlebar mirror so we are sure that it is compatible with our bars.
Should I bring my own bike saddle?
If you've found a saddle that works well of you then by all means bring it. This is especially important because it isn't often that most people ride 6 to 12 days in a row so being comfortable is key. We do have a variety of saddles available and carry extras if you'd like to use one of ours.
May I bring my own pedals?
Yes, we encourage those who want to have ‘clipless’ pedals to bring their own, and don’t forget your shoes!
Should I bring my own bike?
We find that if you are very tall, very short, or just hard to fit in general, it may make sense for you to bring your bike. But 99% of our customers find that the bikes we provide are perfectly adequate. We suggest you give us a call to discuss the pros and the cons.
Here's some information to help you decide whether to bring your own bike or not.
The road bikes in our fleet are Titanium with carbon forks, and feature 30-speed Shimano Ultegra and 105 components and STI brake/shifter combo levers. All bikes come with adjustable stems to help dial in a perfect fit. They weigh in at just over 18 pounds with water bottle cages and racks. They offer a superior ride and gearing for touring.
People who are considering bringing their own bikes usually present one of several reasons for doing so:
- Bike fit
- Familiar accessories
If you are considering bringing your own bike for any of the first three reasons, you are probably better off leaving it behind and using the bike provided. Our fit algorithm is very successful at providing a good match if you give us accurate measurements, so fit would only be an issue if you were extremely tall or short, or had some other unusual physical characteristic (old injuries, etc.) that affected bike fit. As for gearing, all of our bicycles are equipped with triple-chainring drivetrains, meaning that you will always have a decent low gear for climbing. Some people worry about their comfort with different pedal systems, or different saddles; if this is a concern for you, you can always bring your own pedals and/or saddle (much easier than bringing a whole bike).
The final issue, quality, is more subjective. Cyclists who are used to a custom frame made just for them by an artisan frame builder, or used to carbon fiber ocassionally choose to bring their own bikes because the frames we have are simply not of that quality. Similarly, those accustomed to Shimano Dura Ace or Campagnolo parts sometimes feel that they would be unhappy with the componentry on our bikes. If you have any of the above reasons to consider bringing your own bike, then you'll have to decide for yourself; please remember to factor into your decision the hassle of carrying your bike around in the airports, the issue of packing & unpacking it, and also the fact that it might require some mechanical adjustments after reassembly. It's generally a good idea to use a specially constructed hard case, because cardboard boxes don't provide much protection against the ravages of airport baggage systems. You can expect to pay an extra for the privilege of checking your bike on the airplane. And it's worth having your bike professionally packed at your local bike shop if you're unsure of the best way to go about it. If, after imagining all of that trouble and expense, the prospect of having your own faithful steed beneath you on the tour seems worth it, then you should go ahead and bring your bike.
Do I get a discount if I bring my own bike?
We don't give any discounts if you bring your own bike. But we’ll be glad to help you with the logistics of traveling from the beginning to the end of the tour with a bike box.
What kinds of roads are we riding on?
We design all of our bicycle tours to use quiet roads and peaceful bike paths, whenever possible. After all, we want you to have a fun and safe time! But if you ever have a question regarding the quality of roads or traffic on any tour route, please give us a call. We'll be glad to talk with you about it. All of our biking routes were designed by our company founder, Rick Price. Rick holds a Ph.D. in human and cultural geography.
Do you offer custom or private tours?
We can offer Custom dates and Custom tours as well.
If our tour dates don't fit your dates and you have 8-18 people, we will gladly add a departure for any of our existing tours.
If you would prefer to customize your itinerary and include more leisurely strolls through lavender fields in France's Provence or more gelato stops while cycling across Italy, our custom tours are great for groups of friends or family, cycling clubs, or business and professional retreats. Prices will vary depending on the number of people in your group, the time of year, and the destination. So if your imagination has run wild, give us a call and we'll brainstorm the perfect trip. Fill out our custom tour inquiry form, or give us a call at 800-685-4565!
I don't like to travel alone. Since you don't meet us at the airport, what are my options?
On all our tours we provide you with detailed instructions on how to get from the airport to the starting hotel. We will be glad to talk with you about your travel options and to suggest the closest airport to the starting point of the trip. Some tours begin in towns that you can fly straight to. Others involve a very simple train transfer.
Does the tour price include airfare?
No, but we will gladly put you in touch with a capable travel agent. Also, we can suggest different options to explore, including buying online, buying through a travel agent, or purchasing a ticket from a "consolidator." ExperiencePlus! prices include the ground portion of the trip only. We find that our customers are very independent and like to make extra travel arrangements and stops when they come on tour, hence our tours begin at the starting hotel of the tour itself. Note: "Consolidators" are companies that buy large blocks of airline tickets and then sell them to the public directly or through travel agents.
Can I rent a bike from you to tour on my own?
Yes, we do rent bikes. Click here to visit Bike RentalsPlus!