FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I’m worried that I’ll be too slow and get left behind or frustrate the group. Will I be OK?
Yes! It isn't a race and every group has a range of fitness levels; even among a group of pro riders someone has to be the least fit. We strongly encourage camaraderie in our groups so that everyone feels supported to enjoy their own experience at their own pace free from this worry. On the big climbs, it’s best for everyone to ride their own pace. Once the first riders reach the top, we encourage them to head back down to ride with and support those behind. It’s a great morale boost to help you reach the top!
I’m kind of awesome and think I might be too fast for the group. Will I get a chance to ride hard?
Yes! Assuming you haven’t been snapped up by a pro team before your trip, that is ;-). We promise you will be challenged as much as you want to be. Feel free to smash up the climbs full gas, then how about you turn around, descend back to meet the others, and ride up again to support them? You will get more riding in and the rest of the group will appreciate it, too. In the valleys, you can sit in the wind to help others and maintain more effort. We can also add on an extra climb at the end of each day just for you.
Can my non-cycling partner join me?
Yes! NCPs (as absolutely no one calls them) are very welcome. There is a lot else to do in the mountains (see our home page or check out the local tourist office) or simply relax in our peaceful gardens. NCPs on tours pay the self-guided trip price.
Do I need travel insurance?
Yes! You should ensure that it covers you for cycling (most policies do). Visitors from EU countries are also advised to have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC); visitors from the UK need a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). Even if you apply at the last minute and there’s no time for the card to arrive by post, you will still be covered, just keep your reference number.
NHS Overseas Healthcare Services on +44 191 218 1999, Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm. NHS EHIC guide here.
Do you have GPX files of routes that you can share?
Yes! We have lots of routes available for all types of rides, from recovery spins to all-day epics. We can custom-make them for you, too.
Can you organise bike rental?
Yes! There’s lots of choice locally, including high-end carbon road bikes and also e-bikes. In peak season we suggest booking ahead to avoid disappointment, but there are plenty of providers.
Can under-18s visit?
Yes! Under-16s require an accompanying adult.
For group ride weeks the minimum age is 16, or 14 for the Meet the Mountains week.
For self-guided trips, or non-cycling holidays, children of all ages are welcome.
Can I use my carbon fibre rim-brake wheels in the mountains?
Yes! But give this careful thought because there are some issues to consider.
Carbon wheels can fail on big descents where prolonged heavy braking can cause a build-up of heat that softens the resin holding the carbon fibre layers together. Essentially, you can melt them. It's much less of an issue than it used to be, but it hasn't gone away.
If you are not a confident descender and you tend to drag the brakes almost constantly, or you’re a bigger rider putting more force into your brakes, then you should definitely be on alloy rims or, even better, disc brakes.
The answer also depends greatly on which wheels you have. We ride ENVE carbon wheels all the time without any issues at all because they’re highly developed and extremely temperature resistant. Leading brands have advanced resin technology greatly in the last few years; others are still catching up.
Cheaper carbon wheels – especially anything fake or unbranded from China off eBay! – have no place at all being ridden in the mountains and we recommend in the strongest terms that you leave them at home. We can lend you alloy wheels in their place.
If you’re unsure about your wheels, get in touch and we’ll talk it over.
I’m vegan / I’m vegetarian / I have food intolerances / allergies. Can you still cater for me?
Yes! Vegan, vegetarian and intolerances are straightforward as we're in those categories ourselves.
If you have serious allergies, please get in touch to discuss this before booking. We will do all we can to cater for you but we will need to understand the measures necessary.
I’m on a diet. Can you help me stick to it?
Yes! But if you’re on a diet to drop weight, you may like to consider what your calorie expenditure will be while riding in the mountains! Remember that weight loss is all about creating a net caloric deficit – burning more than you eat in a given day. When you’re burning 3,000kcal on a ride, on top of the 1500-1800kcal required per day as a functioning human, you can eat four thousand calories and still be in a deficit. If you fail to fuel your riding, you will soon end up empty, exhausted and missing out.
All that said, while we can’t make you a completely separate meal, we’ll happily help to tailor your servings to your goals.
Please contact us to discuss anything at all to do with a visit to us, even if we have covered it here and you're not quite sure.