Frequently Asked Questions
WHY TOUR WITH DISCOVERY BICYCLE TOURS?
We have been running tours for the last 41 years, and we are told that our experience shows in everything we do. We know the roads…which ones to ride and which to avoid. We know the best inns and innkeepers. We know where to find the beautiful vistas, the special out-of-the-way villages, and the many hidden pleasures of each area we tour. And our leaders are superb.
DO I NEED TO BE A STRONG CYCLIST TO ENJOY YOUR TOURS?
Not at all! You cycle at your own pace so it can be as easy or strenuous as you want. We do not ride as a group but rather you ride with your friends or other people on tour with similar interests and energy. Some of our riders are experienced, but most are casual cyclists. We do have hills, and they are an essential part of the beauty of our tours. So, if you come from less undulant areas, you should keep that in mind. We carefully plan our routes so that they can be enjoyed by everyone.
HOW LONG ARE THE DAILY RIDES? DO I HAVE TO RIDE THE WHOLE WAY? CAN I RIDE MORE?
An average day is about 25-30 miles, but daily distances vary and specific mileages are detailed on the pages describing each tour. You don’t have to ride the whole way, as all days can be shortened if you want to do something else. For those who would like additional riding, there are optional miles almost every day that can add as much as 50 percent to the standard miles.
WHAT ABOUT LEADER AND VAN SUPPORT?
Each tour has two tour leaders (unless it is a smaller tour and then there will be one leader) and there is always van support. Discovery Bicycle Tour vans carry your luggage, water to refill your bottle, snacks, purchases you make, and you, if you want a break from cycling. It is also a traveling bike shop carrying all kinds of tools and spare parts in case your bike needs some roadside attention.
HOW LARGE ARE THE GROUPS? WHO TAKES THE TOURS?
You can expect from 12 to 20 people on your tour (although we run tours with as few as 4). Our customers come from all over the U.S. and Canada and are a diverse mix of couples, singles, and families. Ages vary widely but tend to average from 30 to 55, (with more over 55 than under 30). And there is better than an 85 percent chance you will have at least one past rider in your group who has come back for another tour with Discovery Bicycle Tours!
WHAT IF IT RAINS?
Sometimes you will experience rain but rarely in the past 39 years has it rained so much that we couldn’t ride at least part of the day. Until it stops raining, however, your leaders will be very inventive in finding things for you to do. Rain will not ruin your Discovery Bicycle Tour vacation.
SINGLE TRAVELER? WE ARE THE MOST AFFORDABLE TOUR COMPANY FOR SINGLE TRAVELERS, AND OUR POLICIES AND RATES ARE THE VERY BEST.
A limited number of private rooms are available on most tours for those single travelers who want to guarantee a private room at an additional single supplement rate. This cost is indicated on each tour page. Please note we never charge you more for your private room than we are charged by the inns on your tour.
Single travelers willing to share a room will be charged an amount no greater than 50% of the guaranteed private room rate and this will be fully refunded if we can find you a roommate (same gender, two beds). This cost is also indicated on each tour page.
Why the added charge? As you know, hotels and inns almost always charge by the room. Therefore, a private room costs the same as a room occupied by two people. Since Discovery Bicycle Tours’ per person rates are based on double occupancy, it is always more expensive for us to have a single traveler on tour. Be assured that we never charge you more for your private room than what we are being charged by the inns. Moreover, if you are willing to share a room but end up in a private room because we have not found you a roommate, it is our policy to absorb 50 percent of the private room cost, and you will not find a more generous approach anywhere.
CAN I BRING MY OWN BIKE? WHAT BIKES DO YOU PROVIDE?
You are welcome to bring your own bike. It should have a minimum of 21 gears and please have it thoroughly checked in advance by a competent bike mechanic. Alternatively, we are happy to provide you with a bike to use at no charge. Our bikes come equipped with a front handlebar bag, rear carrier, water bottle, mirror and flat pedals. Pedal cages and soft gel seat covers are available on request. We are also happy to put your own clipless pedals (pedals that attach to your biking shoes) and seat on your bike if you wish. Specific details and styles of bikes available in each location are indicated here. The make of bikes varies by location.
WHEN IS THE BEST FOLIAGE? (VERMONT, QUEBEC AND MAINE TOURS ONLY)
Historically, fall foliage has started by the last week in September and will usually peak anytime from October 1 to 15. Color is usually still good until October 20. Huge caveat: foliage is fickle! The timing and quality of foliage varies greatly from year to year and also from place to place within each state.