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Choosing a Tour
- There are so many bike tour companies out there. Why should I come with you?
- You’re right. There are a lot of companies to choose from. We recommend you take a look at Bike Tour Reviews: at biketour-reviews.com, a site is run by independent cyclists who have traveled with all the bike tour companies and provide succinct, no holds barred, run-downs on all the major companies out there.
- What makes Ciclismo Classico different?
- Our guides are native or expert to the routes they lead. This means that they can immerse you in your journey - introducing you to people, places, and flavors that many of the locals have never even experienced! Our guides consistently receive “5 of 5” on guest evaluations. Without a doubt, they are the #1 reason our guests come back with us year after year.
- You have a lot of tours. Where do I start in terms of choosing?
It’s important to make sure that your dream vacation is a match for one of our tours. The most effective way to do this is for us to connect over the phone. So please let us know a good time to reach you and the number, or call us any time Monday–Friday, 9-5pm U.S. Eastern Time. Here are a few questions to think about as you peruse the catalog:
- How long would you like to ride (i.e. how many days)?
- What time of year do you wish to travel?
- How much do you bike these days - both in terms of distance and terrain?
- Would you like to be challenged or do you prefer to travel at a relaxed pace?
- Can I speak to someone who's done this tour?
- Absolutely! We can put you in touch with a reference who's done that trip.
- My partner doesn’t bike. Do you accommodate non-riders?
- We absolutely accommodate non-riders and, actually, we get this request quite a lot. Ideal tours for non-riders are those that include double-night stays at each hotel. This provides ample time for a non-rider to explore the town and area on his/her own.
- Great! What is the price for a non-rider?
- Non-riders are equal members of the group, entitled to the same hotel, dining, and guide services as riders. Thus, the price for a non-rider is the same.
- On your family tours, do you take infants?
- We can accommodate infants on our family tours (Tuscan Fantasy, Sardegna Multi Sport, and Lovely Lofoten). We What is important to understand is that there are no child services provided. A parent or guardian must be with the child at all times. Children under the age of 8 may not ride unaccompanied in the van with the guide. Ciclismo Classico does not provide child’s car seats, adaptor or booster seats; parents are responsible for bringing these.
- My teenager is a great rider. I want to bring him/her with me. Can I?
- A mature teenager who is a devoted cyclist is welcome on a Ciclismo Classico tour – beyond the family programs (Tuscan Fantasy and Sardegna Multi Sport). Please call our office to discuss.
- My teenager is a great rider. I want to send him on a tour by himself/herself. Can I?
- We do not permit minors to travel unaccompanied on tour.
- What’s the make of your road bike?
- Our custom Bianchi Via Nerone 7 Road Bike is available in 27- and 30-speed. It has a custom-assembled, lightweight aluminum frame with carbon fork and racing handlebars. The bikes geometry allows for a precise fit, high performance and responsiveness. Our integrated Campagnolo Veloce Ergopower shifters and brake levers are safe and easy to use. Our gel-padded, narrow profile saddles are designed to balance performance with comfort.
- What’s the make of your hybrid bike?
- Ciclismo’s 24-speed, custom-designed ultra-performance hybrid has a welded aluminum frame with straight handlebars. Our sloping design allows for superior fit and comfort, better clearance, high performance and responsiveness. Ultra-Performance hybrids are equipped with adjustable stems, 25mm tires, and Shimano rapidfire shifters with easy-to-use push-pull levers.
- What are your tandems like?
- We have a limited number of Cannondale and Co-motion tandems available, so reserve yours early. Tandems are equipped with easy-to-use grip shifters. They come with either a 24-speed drivetrain and 26 wheels, or a 27-speed drivetrain and 28 wheels.
- Do you take recumbent riders? Do you have recumbent bikes?
- If you are committed to riding recumbent, we can accommodate you. However, in our lengthy experience, we have found that recumbent riders do best on flat services. All of our tours include some degree of rolling terrain. In addition, European roads are narrow. For these reasons, we encourage riders to choose an upright bike to fully enjoy the trip. Further, we do not have any recumbent bikes in our fleet, so you must bring your own bike – and be able to assemble/ dissemble it on your own.
- How can I be sure you’re going to fit me to the right bike?
- If you are using one of our bikes, we fit you based on your height and bike inseam. We don’t ask you for your bike frame size because different manufactures calculate frame sizes differently. All bikes are all checked before and after your tour, and our mechanics are extremely knowledgeable and professional.
- Do you offer Trail-a-bikes for kids?
- We do have a limited number of Trail-a-bikes for our family tours, but they can only be mounted to one of our hybrid bikes.
- I have a lot of camera equipment or other gear I want to keep with me on the bike. Can you mount a rear rack bag on the Bianchi?
- Our Bianchi road bikes come with front handlebar bags. On request, we can also mount a rear rack in most cases. Do keep in mind that our support van will be with you along the route, and you’ll have easy access to a backpack or other bag at any rest stops.
- Should I bring my own bike on tour?
- Whether to bring your own bike on tour is a personal decision. Some riders are determined to ride their own bikes. Of course knowing your own bike is a huge plus. However there are hassles inherent to shipping or bringing it as luggage on the plane (including a substantial cost). You may prefer instead to bring simply your pedals, shoes, and saddle - and leave the rest at home.
- How can I ship my bike?
- A good resource for shipping a bike overseas is www.luggagefree.com To ship domestically, try www.shipbikes.com.
- Will there be assistance in assembling my personal bike? What about transporting its case?
- The guides usually are very busy organizing the tour and working on the rented bikes. if they have time they can also give you a hand with your personal bike, but it depends on your arrival and when you meet them. Your bike case will be sent to the last hotel or (if there is space - not to be relied upon) it may be kept in the van.
Travel & planning
- I’ve never organized a trip like this. How do I start looking for airfares, trains, etc.?
- Please visit our Travel Planning Links page for information on airports, airlines, hotels, trains and more!
- My vacation schedule is tight. Can I join the trip late – or leave early?
- In exceptional cases, we may permit a late arrival or early departure. However, we do not recommend these steps as alternatives to participating in the full tour. Several of our tours do have “mini” versions - use the Trip Finder or give us a call to find out more.
- When should I book my airfare?
- Ciclismo Classico does not recommend the purchase of non-refundable advance-purchase airline tickets. If you wish to make airline reservations before the trip is confirmed (i.e. 90 days prior to departure), please contact our office first.
- Airline restrictions are getting tougher. Can I ship some stuff ahead to Italy?
- It is possible to ship gear ahead. However, because of U.S. and European Customs red tape, this is not a hassle-free solution and we encourage packing light instead. If you are determined, call us for the shipping address. It is imperative that when you are at the Post Office (or UPS station) that you thoroughly complete your customs forms. Otherwise your package may not arrive – or will arrive with a large Customs fee. If there is a fee, our office must pay it on the spot in order to secure your package. Therefore, be prepared to pay for your Customs fee when you meet your guides at the start of your trip. You can either pay directly out of pocket or authorize Ciclismo Classico to charge the amount of the fee to your credit card on file. Then, while you are in Italy, you must call UPS (your guides can give you the number) in order to arrange a pick up. You must fill out all of the customs-related documentation (passport number, soc sec number, declared value, etc).
- What type of suitcases should I use?
- Any luggage with wheels is preferred.
- What are the hotels like? What star rating are they?
- On all of our tours, we use charming, comfortable and unique three- and four-star inns and small hotels. Our accommodations consist primarily of 4-star luxury inns and small hotels. Our More Miles for Less tours have more modest accommodations, retaining all the charm of our other trips.
- I’m a single traveler. Do I have to pay more for my room?
- An additional fee, called a “single supplement” is required to reserve private accommodation throughout your tour. However, if you are willing to share accommodation, we will attempt to find you a same-sex roommate with whom you may share a room. If you indicate you are willing to share, we will put ½ the single supplement on your trip invoice. If we fail to find you a roommate, you only have to pay this much for your own room. If we are able to pair you up, of course the ½ supplement is refunded to you.
- I want to book an additional hotel night at the same start/end hotel. Can you do this for me?
- Of course! Just give us a call and speak with our hotel manager Natascia, who will confirm the reservation and the rate. During the winter months, please allow about a week to receive your confirmation, as many hotels do not maintain full reservation desk hours.
- I need to get all my trains to and from the tour organized. How do I do this?
- Public transportation in Europe is excellent. Most of the time, there is no need to make reservation prior to your trip, unless you plan to be traveling on a Eurostar or TGV, or if you are traveling on an overnight train. Please check the train schedules in the country you are visiting to see what type of train connections are available. We recommend that you contact Rail Europe at 877-257-2887 or visit www.raileurope.com for travel in Europe. A good website for train schedules in Italy is www.trenitalia.com.
- How far in advance should I buy EuroStar (non-local train) tickets?
- Unless you plan to travel on a major holiday, one month is plenty of time for advanced train reservations. Even a few days before you departure the U.S. is typically sufficient.
- What’s the weather like in the region when I’m going to be there?
- For weather information for every region of the world, visit Weather Underground. Here is the link to the page for Italy: http://www.wunderground.com/global/IY.html
- Exchange rates have improved. Are you lowering your trip prices?
- It is Ciclismo policy not to adjust pricing mid-year. We calculate prices based on a median exchange rate. While the exchange rate might be favorable at one point in the year or another, of course, should the rates change direction, we doubt our guests would appreciate us then raising prices on them. So we hold steady.
- Am I expected to tip my guides? How much?
- Tips are greatly appreciated. Guests usually leave €100 - €200 Euro per guide per guest (about €15 Euro per day depending on the length of the trip), or more when guides have gone above and beyond. Typically tips are given at the end of the trip to thank guides for their exceptional service and expertise.
- Is wine included in my trip cost?
Wine and other alcoholic beverages are NOT included in the cost of the tour. We do this because not
everyone likes to drink wine, while others want to try each variety. We suggest two options to deal
with the wine and other beverages we consume at dinner as a group:
- Join the Wine Kitty: On the first night of the tour your guide will collect a designated amount of Euro (depending on the length of tour and average wine price) to go into the “Wine Kitty.” This money pays for a combination of local, house wines and fine wines for each night. The Wine Kitty does not cover the cost of beer and soda.
- Select and purchase wine and beer on your own each night: You will be responsible for keeping track of the bill and should be prepared to pay in cash each night for any beverages you drink.
- How much out-of-pocket money should I bring?
- Make sure you have enough spending money for coffee, snacks and lunch (Lunches on your own average €8-15). Depending on your style of travel, expect to spend from €15 to 30 additional per day. We suggest that you exchange between $150-300 at the start of your trip.
- Are there ATMs in Europe?
- The best way to get cash is at ATMs, which are widely available. You might have difficulty finding them in the countryside, but you can always ask your guides for help. Most ATMs limit withdrawals to €250 per day. The best place to get cash when you arrive is at the airport ATM. Don’t worry about shopping around for the best exchange rate. Unless you're exchanging thousands of dollars, it doesn’t make much of a difference.
- What are banking hours in Italy?
- Banks are ONLY open: Monday through Friday 8:30 AM -1:00 PM and 2:30 PM -3:30PM. You may need your passport to exchange cash. Banks typically DO NOT OPEN on Saturdays and Sundays. If you will be arriving during the weekend, exchange some money at home before leaving or withdraw cash from the airport ATM or exchange bureau. Plan your banking accordingly! Some banks in Croatia have Saturday morning hours.
- Are credit cards accepted?
- Credit cards are widely accepted, but still many establishments insist on CASH ONLY. The safest bet is to ask or look for the credit card sticker.
- Are travelers cheques accepted?
- Travelers checks may be exchanged for cash (for a fee) at most banks. Be sure to bring your passport when you want to use a travelers cheque. Most hotels, restaurants, and shops will not accept travelers checks.
- What about public pay phones?
- Public telephones are available throughout Europe. Most of them now use phone cards that you can buy at newsstands or tobacco shops and many café/bars. We strongly recommend purchasing one at the airport or train station as soon as you arrive. Be sure to read the card instructions carefully (some require you to snap off the perforated corner of the card, others to scratch a special code) or it won't work. Another option is International Phone Cards that you can use to call from any phone.
- Will my cell phone work over there?
- Many cell phones do work in Europe. In remote, rural areas, coverage can be spotty. Before traveling, be sure to check with your provider to make sure that your phone will work, and that your rate will be reasonable.
- Is there internet service at hotels in Europe?
- Many hotels have wifi service, though speeds are not what we’re used to in North America. Most hotels will also have a “business center” or at least a PC with internet access for checking email.