Frequently asked questions

Can my non-riding partner join the trip and is the cost the same?

Absolutely.  We encourage non-riders and have a daily plan in place so that they enjoy the trip as much as you do.  In fact for the Tour Down Under and the Tour de France we have a separate staff member who will look after anyone not wanting to ride.  Even for the fittest client 14 days’ cycling in a row without a day off the bike is hard to do.

The cost for non-riders is exactly the same. 

Can I hire a bike and would you recommend I do so?

Yes, we can hire you a bike.  No problems.  They are all late model bikes equipped for the hills.  Hire bikes are easy as travelling with a bike can be a pain.  However, my preference would always be for you to travel with your own bike.  That’s not always practical though – especially if you are continuing to travel after the tour is finished. 

Do I take my own energy food, drink?

Totally up to you.  I take my own as I know what I like.  These days you have to be a bit careful of your luggage limits so it may be easiest for us to have it waiting for you when you arrive, as long as you aren’t fussy. 

I’m planning on taking my own bike, are there particular airlines to avoid? Can you help with flights?

Good question. There are a large  percentage of airlines that will charge you NZD400.00 each way to Europe at the first mention of a bike. That’s $800.00 return.  Being a travel agent I can easily handle this for you as I have my favourite bike-friendly airlines.
Being honest here, generally speaking I am about $150.00 more expensive than the internet when it comes to flights.  For $150.00 I can assure you a hassle free holiday and I’m available 24/7 if you have a problem. 

Do you have travel insurance and can I cover my expensive bike?

I have a range of insurance options.  The travel insurance part is easy. Covering a bike is complicated and it is purely a case–by-case discussion.  Please remember that your bike can only be covered for  its current value. ie, what you can sell it for on Trade Me, not what you or the bike shop think it is worth.  If you over estimate  its value the insurance company will simply challenge  its worth and pay out accordingly. 

Warning – please be aware that the majority of travel insurance providers will not cover you if you are doing a fun ride (as in the BUPA challenge which features in our TDU trip) as it is still considered a race.  I can however arrange a policy that will cover you.  Your bike is never covered while you are riding it. 

How fit do I need to be?

The fitter you are and the lighter you are the more you will enjoy the trip.  The majority of our cyclists are in the 5 to 6 ½ hours around Taupo category.  However we always have a few cyclists who ride sub 4.45.  All our guides are pretty fit so we can cater for  almost anyone.  I’m happy to send you a training programme.  Leading up to one of our tours I’d recommend you budget on doing a minimum of 200km a week, ideally more.  The most important thing you can do to prepare is to ride hills rather than ride around the bays.  Again – I’m always available for practical training advice.

I’ve heard you meet in Taupo for a training weekend.

Prior to the Tour de France – yes, usually in late April.  We spend the weekend together and I answer any questions you may have.  On the Saturday we ride about 100km, have dinner that night and go for a coffee ride on the Sunday.  It’s a great way of getting to know the people you are about to travel with. 

I’m travelling alone.  Can I share a room or do I need to pay for my own room?

20% of our cycling clients are solo travellers.  I can match you up with someone (same sex) or you can have your own room – for a cost. 

Can you obtain V.I.P grandstand tickets at stage starts and finishes?

Yes.They are expensive, however we can certainly make it happen.  I’ll be pretty honest with you if I think it’s worthwhile or not.  Two that I highly recommend are The Legends dinner at the Tour Down Under and also a grandstand ticket on the Champs-Élysées for the final Sunday in Paris. 

What’s the average age range and boy / girl mix?

Probably a 60 / 40 split boys to girls.  Over 50% of our clients are repeats.  The average age is tricky to answer.  Most clients I guess would be in their 50’s and 60’s.  Our oldest cyclist was 74 however he was a past Olympian.  Our youngest cyclist was 17 and he was AAA grade and weighed about 16kgs.  Every year we have a handful of people in their 30’s and 40’s, so a good mix of ages.

What’s the average group size?

Generally speaking 28 to 30 people, but it does depend on what tour.  Tour of California this year travelled with 14 cyclists.  I have 26 people booked for the 2015 Tour Down Under and can fit only two more. 

Can I access the internet in all the hotels?

All of our hotels have access to the internet.  For France and Italy I would certainly recommend a European sim card.  Again – I’m happy to give practical advice. 

What gearing should I have on my bike for this trip?  Do you send out a “what to pack list”?

Basically you need as much help as you can possibly get for the hills.  Please don’t turn up with a 23 rear cassette.  All our hire bikes come with either triples or compact cranks.  If taking your own bike then I’d recommend a compact crank 50 /34 and 11/28 for the rear. 

How much money do I need?

We try to include as much as possible in the tour cost, so you won’t need a lot. Generally speaking an extra $75.00 per day will cover everything else you need. 

Are tips included?

Yes. Our guides are tipped in advance unless you are advised otherwise.  All meals etc that we pay for have advance tipping.  It’s your holiday so we try and make it as easy possible. 

I’m arriving early – can you arrange additional hotels and additional tours?

As well as organising cycling tours I’m also a travel agent so I can help with anything else you need.  In fact, a lot of my cycling clients now use me for their leisure.  I’ve travelled extensively through Africa, South America, Arctic, Antarctica etc. 

I’ve got Airpoints. Can I use those?

I can certainly help, for a fee. They can be time consuming.  It’s value for money on your behalf. 

 

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