Why should I travel with Gourmet Cycling Travel?
- Owner operated tour leaders on each tour – meet Jon, a Michelin starred chef who has been active in the wine world for many years and Simon, a former professional cyclist and internationally renowned cycling coach.
- Small intimate groups – we limit our tours to 16 guests.
- Luxury, private, authentic, exclusive accommodations
- Incredible food and wine knowledge, tips and demonstrations from our Michelin starred chef Jon.
- World class on-the-bike coaching from our cycling coach Simon.
- If you're still not sure, check out what previous guests are saying about us.
What is included in the tour price?
- All accommodations
- Most meals and wine at dinner. We always leave you the opportunity to discover a restaurant on your own, with our recommendations of course! This is why on each trip we leave one lunch and one dinner open.
- Expertise of your tour leaders – a former professional cyclist and top cycling coach and a top chef and wine connoisseur
- Ride support – detailed ride maps, bike guide, sweep vehicle, on-the-road maintenance and water bottles
- Carefully planned sports nutrition for each ride to ensure you stay topped up with fluids and energy..
- Private tours, wine tastings, and relaxation hour
- Cooking classes and our Gourmet picnics
- transportation during the tour
- luggage transfers and handling
- Gourmet Cycling Travel Guest Packet
- Online tour photo gallery
- Airfare is not included in the price.
What if I want to bring my spouse or friend who does not ride?
Each tour is designed for both riders and non-riders; this is what sets us apart from many of the other tour companies. We have a separate guide with separate activities planned for non-riders each day. Everyone gets to experience the same incredible vacation!
How big are the groups?
Gourmet Cycling prides ourselves on small, intimate groups and a high level of individual support.
What kind of support do you offer?
Gourmet Cycling truly cares about making your tour with us a wonderful experience! Each tour is owner operated which means you have the owners of the company as your personal tour leaders! Tours are limited to 16 people for 2-3 guides which means everyone gets the full attention and support they deserve. We’ll fit you on your bike using our 20 years of cycling knowledge. Your sports nutrition will be carefully calculated so that you fully enjoy your riding with no drop in energy. We’ll fill your water bottles and offer you extra energy products during rides. A vehicle is available to sweep the course and pick riders up if needed. We provide all luggage transfers.
How do I reserve my place?
To reserve your place please call us at 1.888.327.2283. You can also start your reservation by completing the online booking form. We will follow up with you to complete the reservation. If you book less than 90 days prior to the trip then the full balance is due at the time of booking.
How far in advance do I need to make my reservation?
We recommend booking your trip at least 90 days prior to the tour start date. last-minute bookings can sometimes be accommodated up to one week prior to departure.
If you cancel your trip more than 90 days prior to departure, there is a cancellation fee of $100; between 61 – 90 days prior to departure there is a cancellation fee of 30% of the original tour price; between 31 – 60 days prior to departure there is a cancellation fee of 50% of the original tour price. There is no refund for canceling a tour less than 30 days prior to departure.
You may switch your trip for no fee as long as there are more than 90 days remaining before the initial trip start date. You must transfer to a different trip in the same calendar year. You may switch trips only once. If you switch trips less than 90 days before your initial trip start date then the trip cancellation policy applies.
Do I need travel insurance?
Gourmet Cycling strongly recommends travel insurance in the event of a medical emergency, lost baggage, or if you need to cancel your trip. We do not offer travel insurance.
What kind of travel documentation do I need?
All international and continental travel, for both Canadians and Americans, requires a valid passport. Other nationalities may need to obtain a visa for certain countries.
Will someone meet me at the airport when I arrive?
Each tour has a centrally located meeting point at a specific time on day 1 of your tour (e.g. TGV train station in Avignon at 10:00am). Details of your meeting point are provided in your trip itinerary. The cost to travel to the meeting point is your responsibility. Airport transfers are not included. Gourmet Cycling is available to help you arrange transportation to the meeting point in the form of ordering taxis, train tickets, or other transportation. Meeting point instructions are provided with your final tour documents.
Is a trip guaranteed to happen?
We require a minimum of six people to run most of our trips. If a trip must be canceled due to low enrollment, we will cancel it at least 60 days prior to the trip start and a full refund will be issued. Trips will not be cancelled due to low enrollment within 45 days of the trip start.
Gourmet Cycling Travel reserves the right to cancel any trip at any time for any reason, including if there are too few participants, or if the quality of the trip or the safety of travellers is judged by Gourmet Cycling to be compromised. In such cases, a refund of payments received by Gourmet Cycling shall constitute full and final settlement. Gourmet Cycling Travel is not responsible for any loss incurred on account of non-refundable or non-transferable air tickets.
What does “double occupancy” mean?
Our prices are per person based on two people sharing a room. If you don’t want to share a room, a single room supplement fee is required.
What is a single supplement?
Because our prices are based on double occupancy, we offer a single supplement to those guests traveling alone who would like to guarantee their own private room. This supplement is in addition to the standard trip price. If you would like a roommate, we can sometimes pair you with another solo traveler (of the same gender).
How much cycling do I have to do?
You are free to ride the scheduled ride, take a shorter spin on your own (with detailed map) or skip the ride and join our non-riding guide for a cooking class, hike, or a site-seeing trip in the region. We rank each tour' in terms of ride difficulty. For example our Tour de France trip is ranked “high” and attracts a more serious cyclist. Rides on "Challenging" ranked tours are between 20-80 mile/day, often up famous mountain passes like Alpe d'Huez or Mont Ventoux.
What kind of riding fitness do I need to be in?
Our ride level guidelines are for riders who would like to ride with the majority of the other riders in the group, lead by coach Simon. We like to stay together when possible (except when climbing and descending) as it increases the enjoyment and camaraderie for everyone. You can always go alone at your own pace or do a shorter ride option. For group riding we rank our tour levels as follows:
Challenging - rides of 20-80 miles, many times in the high mountains. Cyclists should have a high level of fitness and be at ease riding with other cyclists in a group. Of course you can always go at your own pace. Drop bar road bicycles with clip-less pedals the best option.
Moderate - Manageable rides of 10-40 miles on flat to rolling terrain. More intense rides upon request. Cyclists should have a decent level of fitness. Road, hybrid or MTB bikes are available.
Easy – rides of 3-20 miles. You ride at your own pace and explore the local area (maps included). Road, hybrid, or mountain bikes are available.
Should I bring my own bike?
You can but please be aware of the risk that your bike gets delayed, damaged, and the increase cost and hassle associated with traveling with a bike box (airlines typically charge $100-$200 for a bike). The rental bikes offered on each tour ($400 rental fee) are high level carbon or titanium bikes equipped with Shimano Ultegra or 105. All bikes come with either a triple or compact cranks.
If you have a super light, high-end bike at home then these bikes will be a little heavier. It makes sense to bring your own bike if you are very tall or short, or are very attached to your custom bike. If you bring your own bike then you are responsible for any spare parts that are needed. You are also responsible for assembling your bike upon arrival and disassembling it upon departure (we will help you here as much as we can). There is no discount in the tour price if you bring your own bike.
I plan on using one of the rental bikes, what bicycle equipment do I need to bring?
For drop bar road racing bicycles you must bring your personal clip-less pedals, cycling shoes and helmet. It is a good idea to bring your seat height measurements from your personal bike. Tubes and a pump are included with each rental bike. Other things you may want to bring but are not required: Garmin computer, multi-tool and your preferred energy products.
Do you do custom dates or custom tours?
We offer both custom dates and custom tours. Custom date: if our tour dates don't work for you and you have a group of 8+ then we will happily add a new start date for any of our existing tours, when possible. Custom tours: if you prefer a fully customized itinerary for your family or group then call us today at 1.888.327.2283 and we can brainstorm together your next dream vacation.
What kind of tour information does Gourmet Cycling Travel provide?
Approximately 4-6 weeks prior to departure you will receive a Gourmet Cycling Travel Guest Packet. This Guest Packet includes destination and tour-specific information, local and regional history, training tips, as well as suggestions for packing and general trip preparation. One week prior to your tour start you will receive an email containing a tour start meeting point reminder and any last minute information.
Once you arrive at your destination your tour leaders will brief you on the day’s upcoming activities and rides. Detailed ride maps will be distributed before each day's rides.