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Cycle Europe - serving bicycle travellers since 1972

Self-Guided Bike Rental FAQ

We want to do some cycling around the countryside from a fixed location, not on a tour. What can you suggest?

We have often rented to groups of friends who have rented a villa in Emilia Romagna or Tuscany. We are happy to deliver and do a bike fitting for the group. It is important you make sure the approach to your villa is acceptable to ride on a bike. Although hilltop villas are nice, cycling up a 2 mile dirt road is not always pleasant.  Look for villas with easy access to great roads when planning your stay.

How difficult are these tours, do I need to be an athlete to do them?

The tour rating describes difficulty level. Most tours don’t cover more than 40 miles per day. Be sure to read the mileage over carefully and send us an email if you have questions. Most of our customers are NOT performance athletes, just normal people who love riding bikes. To best enjoy your tour, however, you should be riding your bike at least two times a week and be comfortable spending time in the saddle.

Learn more about on our Ratings page.

I am very fit, will this tour be challenging enough for me?

Our standard routes on each tour are designed for the average recreational cyclist. That said, almost every tour allows for added millage for those with extra energy. We’ll suggest optional, longer rides each day.

What is included in the cost of the trip?

Each individual “Tour Details” page specifies what the tour includes. Most tours include bicycles, luggage shuttles, hotels, and all breakfasts. We also provide a detailed “road book” suggesting what to see, where to eat, and information about locating bike mechanics along the route.

Are support vans available and how is luggage transferred?

On days when you change hotels our staff or a shuttle service picks up luggage mid-morning and delivers it to the next hotel by mid-afternoon. Most of the time these vans are not available to shuttle people and you will need to plan to make the ride yourself. In cases of emergency our staff is available and hotels will help locate taxis or alternative means of transport.

What should I pack?

We recommend you start you packing list with the following items:

  • A few pairs of bicycling shorts and jerseys
  • A few non-bicycling outfits to wear for your time off the bike
  • Helmet (we recommend attaching it to the outside of your carry on if it does not fit in your luggage)
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Toiletries
  • Spare glasses, contact lenses
  • Dress pants/ skirts and shirts (layering is always encouraged)
  • Two pairs of shoes (a pair for cycling and a pair to wear around town after cycling)
  • Any prescription medication you might need and prescriptions in case you need to refill.

What choice do I have for bicycles on this tour and what is the cost?

The bicycle rental price is included in the cost of the self-guided tour. On most tours, you have a choice between a road (racing) bike with drop bars or a hybrid bike with upright handlebars.

What meals are included on tour and what are they like?

Breakfast is included every morning. A typical breakfast is served continental style and includes assorted beverages, rolls or pastries, fruit, cereal, and yogurt. Some hotels provide cold cuts in addition to the continental breakfast.

What about lunches and dinners?

Most people pick up picnic supplies for lunch. If you prefer to stop at a cafe or restaurant, there will be plenty on your route and listed in your road book. For dinners we’ll suggest local restaurants, typically within walking distance.

How do I get to the starting point of the tour?

We will send you detailed travel instructions on how to arrive to the hotel where your trip begins by train, plane, and/or taxi.

Who do I contact in the event of any changes made to my stay (early departure, hotel or itinerary change, etc.).

We will provide all the necessary contact numbers for you to communicate changes to appropriate parties.

Are there any road signs that are different in Europe than in my home country?

We will provide a Bike Safely Sheet with information on safety and road signs.

Does self-guided mean on my own completely? What if I have a flat tire? What if it rains?

Self-guided tours are not normally “supported.”  That means there is no guide with you and it is your responsibility to cycle to the next hotel.  To that end, you should either know how to fix a flat tire or have someone with you who can. If it rains we suggest “Plan B,” – put on your rain gear and follow Plan A.

Will there be other people on this trip or will we be entirely alone?

It could be that there will be others along on your same ride but normally you should plan to do this on your own.  The others may be taking advantage of luggage shuttles but who knows, maybe they see this as a romantic get-away and have no interest in interacting with others on the tour.

If I am a solo traveler can you find me a roomate?

We’ll make an effort but it isn’t easy.  Normally people on self-guided tours have their own traveling companions.  If we can’t find you a roommate you’ll have to pay the single supplement.

When does my tour start and end?

Most tours begin late in the afternoon or early evening of the first day on tour.  Bike fitting usually occurs then.  Tours normally end after breakfast on the last day.  Note that you may want to consult with us on the best time to plan to arrive on Day 1 and when to leave on the last day. Normally you should plan to fly out one day after the last day.