Bicycle tours are for almost everyone. Still, we hear a lot of concerns that keep people from enjoying what might have been their vacation of a lifetime–the experience of a lifetime.
Here are nine fears we hear from potential clients–and why those fears are unfounded.
Fear #1: What if I can’t keep up?
Bicycle tours are not about speed. They’re are about going slowly and savoring your surroundings. In fact, bicycle tours are a key part of the slow travel movement. You ride at your own pace. Enjoy the scenery. Smell the flowers. Literally.
Fear #2: What if I’m not in good enough shape?
Bicycle tours really are for almost anyone. Just as people come in all shapes and sizes, so do bicycle tours, including plenty that are flat and cover short distances. Some even build in rest days.
Fear #3: But seriously, what if I can’t keep up?
If that’s still a concern, we have some ideas to put your mind at ease. Like tours with electric pedal-assist bikes—or e-bikes. Sure, you still have to pedal, but e-bikes put more power behind each pedal stroke. They make distances feel shorter and hills feel flatter!
Fear #4: What if my bike breaks down?
If you’re on a guided tour, the guide or support van will take care of things. Even on a self-guided tour, you can usually call a service hotline for assistance.
Fear #5: What if I break down?
There are options, from jumping on a train or riverboat—with your bike—or getting picked up by a support van. But if you’re really concerned, we can suggest tours based in one hotel, where you don’t have to ride every day. Or bike and boat tours: If you don’t feel like riding all or part of the day, see the world from the deck of your boat.
Fear #6: What if it rains?
There’s a saying in bike touring that there’s no bad weather, just bad clothing choices. And the likelihood of rain diminishes if you bring good rain gear with you. But you can generally take your bike onto a train, riverboat or bus or get picked up by a support van.
Fear #7: What if I get lost?
Most tours feature easy-to-use GPS units. Many follow well-marked dedicated bike paths—along smooth asphalt and with no cars! Or you can go on a fully guided tour and ride with a group.
Fear #8: What if I don’t get lost?
We admit it, we have never heard that fear—other than from our founder and president, Jim Johnson, who says getting lost is where the most fun happens. What he calls “magic moments,” where you often are “forced” to interact with locals. Jim has made some lifelong friends from getting lost!
Fear #9: What if I can’t figure out all the logistics of booking and sending payment for an overseas tour?
You don’t need to. That’s our job!