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What Your Typical Day On A Bike Tour Looks Like

Beppe Salerno
Posted by Beppe Salerno on Dec 6, 2016 3:01:48 PM

If you are new to supported bike tours, you might have some questions or concerns. Having a layout of what a typical day on tour looks like could be helpful and give you some peace of mind as you know what to expect. 

Bike Tour in Italy. Cycling Tour in Italy.

No matter where in the world you travel, if you book a supported group bike vacation you will find that a typical day is, in fact, very typical. Bike tour companies might have unique approaches in delivering information, and guides will have their own leading style. But, for the many tours I have lead - and also taken - I've found that the industry has developed some shared standards.

The best bike tour companies are "best" not because they do things totally differently, but because they consistently make small improvements that come from experience.

Get all the facts before booking your next tour by downloading our guide.

Bike Tour in Italy. Cycling Tour in Italy.

Van assistance at a panoramic spot on our Puglia and Matera Magnifica tour

Support Vehicles (aka sag wagon)

The support vehicle deserves a special mention and explanation as its logic might be totally new unless you have taken bike tours previously. 

One of the guides will be making sweeps along the route with a branded - and for that reason easy to spot - support van. The van is going to assist you on the ride, and tour guides designate stops that serve as on-the-road feed zones and pickup points (in case a rider wants to shorten the ride or get a lift). 

The van is always loaded with water, electrolytes, fruit and other goodies. Of course, it also carries spare parts, spare tubes, a floor pump, etc. The support vehicle has room for six to eight passengers and for eight to 15 bikes, and sometimes it carries an auxiliary trailer. 

Starting the Day

Hopefully, you'll awake refreshed after a good night's rest in a quality hotel. Get ready to go to breakfast and to meet your fellow riders - a great day of cycling is ahead! Complete your breakfast and go back to your room to finish preparing in time for the route review. It is important that you attend the route review session, and that you ask questions or even take notes. Be punctual: the information that the guides deliver is meant to make for a safe, enjoyable day. Now you're ready to start. It's a beautiful day, and the picturesque countryside is calling.

Outside, the support vehicle awaits to carry your gear - that should be all consolidated into a labeled bag or backpack. You're all set to go! Follow the Ride with GPS or Garmin GPS track. It will be your guide pointing out turns, mileage, terrain. The GPS track and/or cue sheet will tell you where to regroup at the designated coffee stops, lunch stops, and points of interest. 

On the Ride

Enjoy a full day of cycling at your own pace. It's a vacation: cycle at touring pace, stopping often to see, touch, smell, and taste the area around you. There are so many sights to see and explore every day. Sometimes there are planned stops to visit a village or to taste some wine at a local producer. Not rushing things will allow you to imprint some great memories in your mind. 

Tourissimo-31Bike Tour in Italy. Cycling Tour in Italy.

Take pictures. For tips, read my blog: Smartphone Photo Tips for Your Next Cycling Adventure.

Stop at the scheduled regroup points. Drink, fill up your water bottle, grab a banana or granola bar and apply some sunscreen. The guides are available throughout the day to assist in adjustments to your bike fit or attend to a mechanical problem.

Bike Tour in Italy. Cycling Tour in Italy.

Dinner with cooking demonstration on our Friuli and Slovenia tour

End of the Day

Upon returning to the hotel, retrieve your gear (and perhaps shopping items) from the van. Relax, go for a swim in the pool, take a hot shower, explore town or take a nap before dinner. Make sure you know what the schedule is as you don't want to miss a pre-dinner activity such as guided tour or some other social event. Enjoy dinner and toast to a fine day of riding. After dinner you receive a map and/or some clues about the following day's ride and schedule. When you change hotels, the guides will tell you what the additional steps will be.  This is a great time for questions! But if you had too much wine, you might not process all the information right then. Remember, you can always rely on the morning route review after proper caffeination. The rest of the evening is yours to explore, socialize, party, watch a movie or just relax.

In Italy, dinners can go kind of long because it is our social time. Don't feel like you are being impolite if you have to skip a course or go to bed earlier. 

Bedtime comes; set the alarm and dream about tomorrow's adventure.

You can find more tips in the article titled Your Top Eight Questions on Group Bike Tours.

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Topics: Useful Info: Travel, Tourissimo Tours

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