FAQs about cycle tours, training & coaching
Questions about the cycling
How fit do I need to be for the trips?
A good level of basic fitness is ideal for our trips. They vary in intensity and duration and cater to a range of abilities, but riders should expect to be cycling for around 4-6 hours per day, often uphill. Get in touch with us if you have any queries or concerns about the fitness level required to enjoy a particular trip.
What bike do I need?
A road bike with drop handles is the norm.It should be in good working order. Good tyres, fresh brake pads and properly adjusted gears should be in place before your trip.
Do riders bring their own bikes?
Yes, most people bring their bikes, but hiring a bike in our locations is also possible.
Can I hire a bike?
Yes, we can usually arrange for you to hire a bike through one of our trusted providers.
What will the weather be like and what clothes should I bring?
Even in the summer months, riders should be ready for every type of weather imaginable! Conditions can change rapidly, and temperature extremes are often experienced. Prior to the trip, we will provide you with a checklist of clothing and equipment you should bring to ensure you are prepared for every eventuality.
How big are the groups of cyclists?
Our point-to-point tours are a maximum group size of twelve. This size of group will be supported by a support vehicle/driver as well as two guides riding with the group. Centre-based training camps will sometimes have bigger groups, but the guide-to-rider ratio will always remain high.
What support is offered during the rides?
Most of our tours enjoy full vehicle support, both transporting your luggage and offering mechanical and nutritional support when needed. Our guides will ride with you, too, offering advice and support and making sure that navigation is never an issue.
What is VAM?
Firstly, don’t be put off by this! VAM stands for Velocità Ascensionale Media, Italian for average climbing speed.
The VAM value can be applied to any cyclist; it expresses the rate that a rider gains altitude in metres per hour. It’s one way of determining the fitness level of a cyclist.
A strong amateur rider who aspires to get up the entire length of Alpe d’Huez in under an hour will need a VAM of 1170 to achieve that goal. A Tour de France leader might achieve a VAM of more like 1600 on that same climb. When we visit climbs like this with our tours, our riders typically climb at VAMs of somewhere between 600 and 1000.
VAM is a guide figure; in correspondence before a trip, it can help us and the rider to determine fitness levels. VAM figures are provided automatically for riders using STRAVA.
It’s also a very useful number to know when estimating how long a mountainous ride will take. If a rider’s best possible VAM is 750, for example, then we know that a big alpine climb of 1500m altitude gain will take them at least 2 hours to complete.
Questions about the travel
Do I need travel insurance?
Yes, it’s your responsibility to ensure that you have adequate insurance to cover you for your trip. It’s important to make sure that road cycling is included in the policy cover.
Are airport transfers included?
Airport transfers to and from recommended airports at selected times are included on each cycling trip. Transfers to and from other airports and at other times are often available subject to an extra charge.
What's the accommodation like?
The hotels we stay in on our tours are carefully researched and chosen for their location, comfort, quality of service and food. The hotels and the towns we stay in are a huge part of each trip, and using characterful and bike-friendly places to stay adds to the enjoyment of the tour.
Can I bring a non-cycling partner/friend?
You are very welcome to bring a non-cycling with you! Our tours take place in stunning locations, often with plenty to occupy a non-cyclist. We can often bring your friend or partner along in the tour support vehicle so that they feel involved (space permitting). Contact us to discuss a discount for a non-cyclist guest.
I'm coming on my own. Do I have to pay a single supplement?
No, you do not have to pay for a single supplement. Our accommodation is on a twin-room basis, so if you are happy to share with a fellow guest, you will not be charged a supplement. We will match you up with another rider on the trip to share a room. However, single rooms are also available for an additional cost, so the choice is yours.