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 “10 of 10” 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–Thursday 8:30am-7pm EST and Friday 8:30am-5:30pm EST . 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 has done that tour.
What are the meals like?
Each tour includes most dinners and some lunches. Dinners are as much about conviviality as they are about fine cuisine. Menus are crafted to deliver that culinary experience that makes a Ciclismo Classico tour memorable on and off the bike. Dinners consist of several courses at fine restaurants and local trattorias but at times we also opt for a less formal pizza night. We strive to serve what’s local and in season, and we are flexible when it comes to accommodating specific dietary needs.
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.
What’s the make of your road bike?
Our custom Bianchi Via Nirone 7 Road Bike is available in 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 gel-padded, narrow profile saddles are designed to balance performance with comfort. We offer Bianchi Sempre carbon bikes as an upgrade. Go to the Bikes and Gear page for a full description of our fleet.
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 easy-to-use grip shifters.
What are your tandems like?
We have a limited number of Cannondale and Co-motion tandems available, so reserve yours early. Hybrid 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.
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 seat height. 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. We charge a $30 handling fee for the bike case on tour to be paid before the tour.
Travel & Planning
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.
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.
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 highspeed train (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.
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
Am I expected to tip my guides? How much?
Tips are greatly appreciated. Guests usually leave 4% to 8% of the trip price per guide per guest. 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?
Local enology is part of the cultural experience Ciclismo Classico wants to deliver. This fermented nectar has been part of human civilization for thousands of years and is still very much linked to the land and to local cultures. We strive to offer the best wines that each production area can offer. On top of that, many of our guides are wine connoisseurs and some are trained sommeliers. The best way to guarantee that the wine experience on tour is unparalleled is to keep the cost of the wine separate. Also, not everybody likes to drink wine. For those reasons wine and other alcoholic beverages are not included in the cost of the tour. We suggest two options to deal with the wine and other alcoholic beverages we consume at dinner as a group:
- Join the Wine Kitty: On the first night of the tour your guides will collect a designated amount of money (depending on the length of tour and average wine price) to go into the “Wine Kitty.” During each group dinner guides will select wines that showcase the best production of the region, and in some cases the best local beers.
- 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.
Are there ATMs in Europe?
Yes, 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. Exchange rates with credit card withdraws are very competitive. Visa and Mastercard are the most widely accepted cards and be sure to contact your bank before traveling abroad so they do not place a hold on your account for suspicious activity.
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 checks accepted?
Some places will accept Travelers checks, most banks, but we recommend cash/credit cards because most hotels, restaurants, and shops will not accept Travelers checks. Travelers checks may be exchanged for cash (for a fee) at most banks. You’ll need your passport when you want to use a Travelers checks.
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. Another option is to buy a cheap cell phone and pre-paid sim card at the airport upon arrival. It’s a good way to have a cell phone for emergency at a cost of €30-50.
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.