We appreciate that if you have never toured before, you will be a little apprehensive about what to expect. We have therefore added this section to answer some of the most Frequently Asked Questions. If you have any other queries, please feel free to call us on 01446 772135 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to put your mind at ease.
I have never been on tour before – will I hold everybody up?
No, this is a tour, not a race – whenever there is a group of riders together, you get a wide range of experience and riding abilities. This is common and we are quite used to it. Tours will be labelled clearly so that you don’t accidentally book a tour that would be unsuitable for your riding ability. You owe it to yourself and the others on the trip to be a competent rider and choose a tour within your riding capabilities. In any event, you will never be asked or expected to ride faster than you want to.
Should we come on a UK tour before trying abroad?
The UK is a fantastic touring country. It is not essential but if you have never toured in a group before, it’s a great way to see if you like it.
I have never toured abroad before – how much experience do I need?
We label each tour with a brief description of how much experience we feel you need for that particular trip. This is not meant to put you off but is there to enable you to select the appropriate tour that you’d be comfortable participating in. Things like mileages and the type of roads are important things to consider. If it’s your first time, a ‘Beginners’ tour might be ideal but it will be up to you. If you’re in any doubt then give us a call so we can talk it over and maybe recommend something suitable. Ultimately, there is no better way to gain experience than actually getting on an giving something a try – due to the better quality of roads and less traffic density abroad, many people find riding on the continent a lot easier than in the UK.
What difference is there between Guided and Escorted Tours?
Guided Tours: have no maps to read, or route directions to follow – you will be led by an experienced guide whose local knowledge will ensure that you get to see all the right places and ride some great roads. We use a simple ‘drop off’ system, which allows you to ride at your own speed. These tours are usually in the UK and offer an ideal opportunity to try touring for the first time. Even if you prefer to ride alone or in a separate group on one of these tours, we will provide you with comprehensive maps and GPS co-ordinates, so that you will be able to plot your route.
Escorted Tours: mean that although the guide will be with you, you are responsible for doing your own navigation. Our tour guide will be on hand to make sure you get the most from your holiday. We provide a Tour Pack which will include the relevant notes, suggested route directions, places of interest and information for you to find your destination. This system suits many people, as it allows them to ride at their own pace and style, either alone or in small groups. It also gives you the ultimate freedom to explore, deviate from the route and stop whenever you wish. However, if it is your first time abroad, or you just prefer, you may ride with the guide, who will act as your escort throughout the tour.
How many people go on tour?
Numbers very much depend upon the bookings we receive. However, it is our policy not to run with a large number of bikes.
What is the average age of people on tour?
It can vary quite a lot and on most trips there is likely to be a mixture. This all adds to the variety of the trip… but in case that question means “Are there any idiots going?” I would say that our tours are open to everyone of all styles of riding but generally the people who come on tour with us are more interested in touring rather than racing. If it’s at all reassuring, I’m approaching 50, so that should raise the average age somewhat :0) – that’s not to say we don’t enjoy ourselves when conditions allow ;0)
How far do we ride each day?
Mileages will vary every day, usually in relation to what we are trying to achieve. We will resist being ‘slaves to the tarmac’ but sometimes if travelling on French Motorways en-route to the Alps, it can be as much as 320 miles whereas when we get to the Alps it can be as little as 80 miles. We like to stop approximately every 100 miles to refuel or just to have a rest. We like to arrive at our accommodation in plenty of time to unwind and relax and we build in enough time into each day so that we can visit attractions, have a leisurely lunch, or just stop for a “brew”. You will find rough estimates of daily mileages and totals for each tour within the tour details on the website.
What happens on ‘rest’ days?
Only on longer tours and once at a location, your time is your own, so please feel free to do as you wish. Within your Tour Pack will be information on local attractions, or your guide will be able to suggest some good routes. There will also be a number of guided tours, which you are welcome to join.
What documents/Insurance do I need?
We supply a comprehensive checklist that will tell you exactly what you will need to take with you.
Do you cancel many of your tours due to lack of participants/interest?
No, but it can happen! We understand how annoying it would be to have your holiday cancelled a few weeks prior to departure. You will have made all sorts of plans with time off work, arrangements for pets so nothing could be more frustrating! We would give you as much notice as possible and replace or refund your tour (whichever you prefer)
Do we need Travel/Breakdown Insurance?
Breakdown Insurance is a sensible idea and can be quite inexpensive as a ‘bolt on’ to your insurance policy. Many insurers now include this within your policy, however, on all European tours (including Southern Ireland) we make it a condition that all our clients take out some form of Personal Travel and Accident/Breakdown cover. This is essential for repatriation of yourself and your motorcycle in the event of an accident or medical emergency. If you have an existing policy you should check that your company would repatriate your bike, even if undamaged, should you be unable to ride it (many do not!) .
We also strongly urge you to take out Holiday Insurance that includes cancellation cover in the event of accident, illness or redundancy prior to departure.
Is there a support vehicle on tour?
We generally do not operate a support vehicle on our European tours, we prefer to keep our prices down and offer outstanding value for money holidays.
How do we book a tour?
Once you have made your choice, we suggest you ring us to ensure that places are still available. If you then wish to book, we will hold a place for you for 48 hours (to allow time for you to check whether you can get time off work, etc.). You should then complete a Booking Form (see website) together with payment for the deposit amount. Upon our receipt of your Booking Form and deposit, you will be sent a Booking Confirmation Invoice showing the remaining tour balance and when it is due. We do not send a balance reminder as a matter of course, so please mark the date on your calendar.
What happens next?
Once we receive the balance for your tour, we will issue a final receipt, together with any relevant information. A full Tour Information Pack will then be sent 2-4 weeks before departure – however, please feel free to contact us at any time with any questions you may have.
What information will I receive?
We will send you details of your Eurotunnel crossing, meeting point and hotel information including full addresses and telephone numbers. You will also receive our comprehensive tour manual including detailed route maps, GPS coordinates, suggested kit list, documents you require and legal information for the various countries we will visit.
Can we pay by Credit/Debit card or Paypal?
Yes you can but I am sure you are aware that all these means of payment incur a charge which inevitably is passed onto the customer. Therefore we prefer to keep your costs as low as possible by recommending Bank Transfers.
Can I pay in instalments?
We believe our tours are good value for money, however we do understand that any holiday can be quite a financial commitment. Although we do not have any specific system, if you arrange with us first, we will take interim payments from you and keep a tally on the balance for you. There is ONE condition and that is that the total balance is paid by the due date on your invoice. We strongly urge you to take out some kind of holiday cancellation insurance in the unfortunate event of you being unable to come on tour due to redundancy or illness.
Is our money safe?
In compliance with EEC regulation (90/314/EEC) all payments received will remain in a dedicated account until your tour is complete.
Do you do bike hire?
No, we don’t, but should you wish to come on one of our tours, we will try to put you in contact with an appropriate hire firm. All tour prices are based on you supplying your own motorcycle.
Do you have a limit on the type of motorcycle/scooter you will accept?
On European tours we do not accept a motorcycle or scooter less than 500cc, neither do we accept any vehicle that will not do 125 miles to a tank of fuel. Common sense dictates that you are responsible for making sure that your bike is reliable and in good condition. On UK tours we can be more flexible and suggest you ring to discuss your request.
Will my bike be suitable?
We welcome all style of bikes on our tours. However your bike should be capable of long periods of use and capable of a reasonable speed. Ideally bikes 500cc and above are best suited for touring. If you are in any doubt about your bikes suitability please do not hesitate to contact us. Please have a look at our ‘Tour Gradings’ page where there’s additional advice about specific bike styles.
With regards to panniers and luggage; you don’t need top box or panniers in order to go touring. Soft luggage such as tank bags, tail packs and throw over panniers are more than sufficient. (In fact, I’ve never used hard luggage!)
Do you have a minimum age for people on tour?
The conditions of our Professional Indemnity Insurance are such that we can accept no one (including pillions) under the age of 18 years old. Some European countries stipulate this as a minimum legal age for bikes.
Do you have a maximum age?
No we do not, everyone is different, and providing they are a competent rider they are welcome. However, we hope that riders will know when the time has come to ‘hang their leathers’ up.
Do any women come on your tours?
Yes absolutely! – We pride ourselves on the fact that women feel comfortable to come on our tours, whether they’re with people they know already, or are new customers. Pillion or riders, we think it’s excellent to have a mixed group.
Where do we meet and at what time?
This will be specified in your Tour Pack as we use a variety of crossings for our tours.
Do you ride everyday on tour?
No. On our short tours of 6 days and under we will generally ride every day, although there is often the opportunity to chill-out instead of joining our planned ride outs. On our longer tours we build in rest days, staying in interesting locations that give you the chance to relax and explore your new surroundings.
What will the weather be like whilst on tour?
Errr, you might as well ask me next week’s winning Lottery numbers. We always run our tours at a time of year where the regions we are visiting should be warm and sunny in theory but all we can do is hope that Mother Nature is kind to us. If it rains, you might get wet, if it’s windy, you’ll be blown about. It’s all part of the excitement!
We normally use local bakers for sandwiches but we may stop in a roadside café, or sometimes just enjoy a snack during a fuel stop. We do not do big sit down meals at lunchtime. The primary reason for this is it simply takes too long, continental service is normally far more relaxed (slower) than in the UK. Whatever happens, we will not see you go hungry.
What do we do in the evenings?
We strongly encourage the group to stay together in the evenings, having a few beers and a nice meal together after a great days ride really finishes the day off nicely. The evenings play a big part of the tour experience, anecdotal stories and general banter are encouraged, this is when you get time to know your fellow riders better and make new friends. There is always free time to explore each host town or city too, taking in the culture and sights of each.
What’s the dress code in the evenings?
The majority of accommodation we use is 3 star standard or above and whilst most hotels are ‘bike friendly’ it does no harm to set a good impression for future visits. Most people dress ‘smart casual’ that is, jeans and polo shirts, that kind of thing. All we ask is that no vests (gentlemen), track bottoms, shorts or baseball hats are worn whilst eating in the dining room.
How much money should I take?
With the odd exception, the euro is now the common currency of Europe (including Ireland) making life easier for anyone touring abroad. Credit cards are also readily accepted, especially at fuel stations. If you do run short of currency, there are numerous ATMs although most now charge you for the privilege. So, to answer the question, we suggest you look carefully at the description of what exactly is included on your tour. Every tour includes accommodation, breakfast and some include evening meals. Petrol in Europe is generally a little cheaper than the UK and as we give you an estimate of your daily mileage, calculating your fuel bill shouldn’t be too difficult. We rarely use motorways, so toll road costs will be kept to a minimum. Food and drink costs vary depending on how much beer and wine you drink! To give you an idea, you need to budget around 20 Euros for a decent three course evening meal. For lunches we tend to use local cafés, a typical lunch costing around 5-10 Euros. We highly recommend you take along a credit or debit card, if only for emergencies.
What should I bring?
The best advice is to pack light and only take what you need. We provide a suggested kit list included in our tour pack. Exciting isn’t it?
Do your customers all tend to know each other already? (Will we fit in?)
If this is your first time with us, it may seem that many people on tour already know each other (as invariably they do). This is purely down to strong friendships being forged on previous trips. I can guarantee, if it’s your first time, you will be amazed at how friendly, helpful and warm other riders will be. It will feel like we are a team on an adventure and we’re all in it together (and that’s not an exaggeration). Many of these friendships become permanent, with clients keeping in touch with each other and booking subsequent tours together.