Everything you’ve ever thought of - and some you haven’t
Note that these FAQs are general in nature and may not apply to all tours. Each tour webpage will have it’s own FAQs, found on the ‘Tour Details Download’ which will be more specific to that tour.
Why book with us?
We only run approximately 10 tours per year. This makes every tour as special to us as it is to you because we are not repeating the same rides over and over again week-in week-out. Every tour is meticulously planned and we are just as excited to be there as you – there is no bulk production-line here! On most occasions the owner-operators of the business will be on tour with you looking after everyone on the ride. The safety and confidence that comes with that is one of many great reasons to book your cycling holiday with us. AllTrails is a proud Australian owned company with a great reputation in the bicycle tour industry. We have earned that reputation through hard work and dedication and we sincerely care about every person on every tour. Our large community of loyal AllTrails riders that keep coming back year after year are testament to the high standard of tours that we provide. We consider ourselves the best in the business and we always make sure that our tours represent great value at a fair price.
We don’t have a fleet of hire bikes ourselves however we do regularly work with a bike shop near our office in Melbourne who have a great range of bikes for rent. For many of our tours around Australia we can use this partnership for hire bikes. Just let us know on your booking form or email us and we will get the ball rolling for you. You can also bring your own seat and/or pedals to give you that little bit of ‘home comfort’.
Our support vehicle is there to support the tour and also pick up riders who need to jump in for any reason. The bus is also sometimes used for part-time riders who only ride certain sections of each day – these are often partners of someone else on the ride. This vehicle can be quite popular on some days – especially long days or days with big hills! There is no shame in riding in this bus so if you are considering a tour and are ‘in the ball-park’ in terms of your fitness and preparedness, but not 100% sure if you will be up to it on the toughest days, just go for it – our vehicle and staff will be there to help out. It’s better to give it a try than to miss out all together. If you feel that you are extremely far off the fitness level required and cannot commit to enough training that will get you fit in time then you may be better off booking a later ride or a different type of tour – just give us a call or email to discuss.
Bike mechanical assistance provided
A staff member with good bike mechanical knowledge will be part of our crew and will have a stand pump for different valves. We will have limited parts available for replacement which will be charged at shop prices. Labour is free for the first fifteen minutes, there after costs may be incurred at the mechanic’s discretion. Cyclists with rare or different bikes are asked to contact us at AllTrails as parts can often be very difficult to obtain.
Carrying personal items on the bike
We suggest you carry a spare tube, a full water bottle and your own personal goods such as camera, wallet and rain gear, on your bike with you. We transport your luggage, drawstring day bags, food & extra water. A more detailed list of things to bring and not bring is on our ‘Tour Preparation Guide’ which is sent out to you before the ride.
We always try to obtain great accommodation in the best location for you to rest your weary head (and legs) in each town whether it be a motel, hotel, cabins or similar, usually 3.5 to 4 star. We choose the best and most welcoming motel for cyclists and our tour group needs. On occasion we travel through some very small towns where accommodation is extremely limited. If for whatever reason, such as limited options, the accommodation one night is below normal standard, we strive to improve this with an extra good room the next night or nights following.
Sharing a room as a solo traveller
On the entry form you can nominate any travelling companions who you would like to share a room with and/or be accommodated close to so that couples or friends can be grouped together. This can be in a double bed or twin beds. If you are travelling alone like many of our riders, a Single Supplement price is available for those who would like their own room for the whole trip. On some tours you can also choose to ‘twin share’ where single riders are paired with other riders of the same gender (often changed during the tour to allow solo travellers to meet other solo travellers). On other tours you may need to put your name down on a Twin Share Request List and we will try to match you up. If you are a snorer or have other habits that may affect your fellow room-mates we ask that you book your own room at the Single Supplement price. If you are coming on your own and have booked in as twin share, this usually means that you will share a room with one other single twin share cyclist or crew member, however in some cases we may have larger rooms (eg. two bedroom apartment or a B&B/house with multiple bathrooms) where we may have 3 or more single twin share travellers together. Contact us anytime to have a chat and check twin share availability – we may already have a match for you.
Snorers can enjoy their own room
If you are a chronic snorer or have other habits that may affect your fellow room-mates we suggest booking your own room (single supplement cost). This is not just a courtesy to your fellow travelling companions, but will also give you the space & privacy you need to enjoy your sleep after a long day on the bike.
Meals and food
Always a big part of any cycling holiday! Check tour details for meal inclusions on your ride. Our emphasis is on fresh food and balanced diet with plenty of carbohydrates, proteins, fruit and vegies catering for a cycling holiday. We successfully cater to most dietary requirements, however feel free to contact us with any questions. Most meals are usually included as part of our tours, however you may be required to purchase some meals.
Non-riding partners and part-time cyclists
We realise that often our riders want to spend their holidays with loved ones who may not be a keen cyclist as they are - we are happy to accommodate non-riding partners and part-timers who only want to ride part of each day, or only certain days. We will generally try to allocate pickup points along the route every day. The entry price will be the same for part-time riders and usually non-riders as well depending on their tour plan.
One of the great things about cycling in an organised group with safety vehicles is the increased awareness that we are able to provide to drivers about the cyclists on the road. Safety discussions are also held throughout the tour as part of the daily briefings. We have a great safety record, but accidents can happen. We have trained First Aiders as crew, comprehensive First-Aid Kits, a list of hospitals in the areas that we travel through, as well as mobile phones and a satellite phone for emergency calls when we are out of cellular range.
Speak to a past client?
We will be happy to give you the names and telephone numbers of people who have participated in the ride or a similar ride to the one which you are considering. Where possible we will provide you with the details of someone within your city or state. Another good place to look is our ‘Testimonials’ page.
Bring your friends and save some money! Many of our tours have group discounts for 3 or more entrants. Check out the pricing on each ride page to see if group discounts apply to that tour. This generally excludes any optional extras such pre and post tour accommodation, cycling jersey, t-shirt etc. Contact our office for more details and information.
Group info session
Contact us if you would like to find out about booking an info session for your group of friends, or if you would like to find out about a travel talk happening near you in the future. Be inspired, hear from the experts, learn more about a destination and even book your tour on the night.
Training for most AllTrails road bike tours
You really need to be a reasonably keen cyclist – not necessarily fast, but consistent. Try to sit on an average speed of at least 20-25 km/hr on the flat, and build your kilometre total distance in training to be out on the bike for a number of hours for two days straight. Aim to ride close to the average daily distance of your chosen tour on each of the days if you can. This will usually put you in a good position to be ready for your tour. We have a training schedule specific to each ride which we send to you after you place your deposit, however we are more than happy to send this to you earlier when you are considering the tour – just ask us for a copy and we will get it out to you straight away.
Training for a long-distance ‘Australia Ride’ AllTrails tour
You need to be a keen cyclist - not necessarily fast, but consistent. If you can sit on an average speed of 25 km/hr on the flat, and build your kilometre total distance in training to gradually attain over 100km a day for 2 days straight, that will usually put you in a good position to be ready for most of our long distance tours. We have a training schedule specific to each ride which we send to you after you place your deposit, however we are more than happy to send this to you earlier when you are considering the tour – just ask us for a copy and we will get it out to you straight away.
IMPORTANT - Insurance
Obtaining appropriate insurance is your (very important) responsibility.
Travel Insurance, even for trips within Australia
• When you consider the cost of cancelling your tour if something goes wrong before or during your travel, insurance is good protection.
• International travellers should always have a comprehensive travel insurance.
• You should also have travel insurance for domestic travel - usually considerably cheaper than international.
• Purchase your travel insurance as soon as you have booked your tour and your travel – don’t wait until just before you go.
• Some credit card travel insurances do not apply to domestic Australian travel – check with your provider.
• There are lots of travel insurance providers – cyclists should do their own research to ensure they are covered adequately.
• Here are two options as an example:
Cyclist insurance for accidents and medical
Cyclist Insurance is different to Travel Insurance and is often included as part of cycling memberships such as Bicycle Network or Bicycle Queensland or can be bought separately. Cycling can be a dangerous activity and you should be prepared for the worst. If you have an accident in training for the tour or on the tour itself cyclist insurance can help with medical, income protection and third party coverage. Check out the benefits here:
Changing or cancelling a tour
Should you wish to change your booking with AllTrails to a different tour, there will be a very reasonable service charge. We try to keep this figure as low as possible to allow flexibility where we can as we want to make sure that you get on the right tour for you. For cancellation and refund policies for your tour click the ‘Book This Tour’ button on the relevant tour page of our website. If you need to cancel your tour, a travel insurance policy will cover cancellation fees due to most unforeseen events. This is why we provide links to travel insurance options and highly recommend that you investigate and purchase travel insurance for all our rides (including Australian domestic tours) at the time of deposit and ensure that it includes coverage for cancellation fees if for some reason you are not able to travel (see Travel Insurance FAQ). For our international tours we require all participants to have Travel Insurance to assist you in the event of a medical emergency, lost baggage, personal liability, cancelled tour or other trip related issues.
What sorts of people join our rides?
People from all parts of Australia and also some overseas guests. Ages generally range from 35 – 75 with the average age about 50-60 years old. Adventurous cyclists usually about 40% women & 60% men with a mix of singles, friends and couples.
We recommend you bring a soft bag or backpack. We advise against bringing a suitcase as they are bulky, difficult to stow on board vehicles or trailers and heavy. You may be required to lift or carry your own luggage from time to time, e.g. into accommodation. We expect your bag to be no heavier than 15kg, making it easy to manage for you and the staff. Any excess luggage may need to be stored or forwarded on to your final destination at your own expense. Information about what to pack is included as part of your pre-departure information. Generally we advise that you pack as light as possible.
Bike type – which is best?
Most of our tours are designed for road bikes but we do also do some tours suited to hybrids and mountain bikes. Check each tour page for the appropriate bike.
Buying a new bike – what to consider
If you are purchasing a new road bike for a long-distance ride or wanting to make some upgrades here a few points to consider:
Bike set up:
Unless you are accustomed to riding long distances or are very flexible set your bike up for comfort rather than optimum aerodynamics. A more comfortable upright position is most easily achieved by raising the handle bar and moving the seat forward.
Do not go too light. High-end road bikes often allow you to choose different wheel sets or if you are considering upgrading, the lightest wheels might be the fastest, but they are not always the strongest. The heavier you are the more important this is. Cheaper wheels are heavier and generally have more spokes, but are also quite robust and easy to repair, so if this is your price bracket then there is not too much to worry about. If you looking at getting some fast wheels and you are over 90kg ask your bike shop for advice and even do some research online or within your bike community.
Durability is the most important feature for long distance rides. When choosing your tyres look for features like anti-puncture and Kevlar lining. A harder rubber also allows you to get more kilometres out of each tyre. A popular choice amongst our cyclists are the Continental Ultra Gatorskins in either the 25mm, 28mm or 32mm width. Generally the wider the tyre the more comfortable, but check how wide a tyre your rims, forks and frame can accommodate before purchasing.
As a rule; the more gears you have the easier it is to climb hills. The standard configuration of gears found on road bikes does not suit everyone. If you find yourself running out of gears while climbing, needing to get out of the saddle to get over a hill or ride with a high cadence it might be worth considering one or both of these options. Replace the cassette with a larger one (more teeth) and/or get a compact crank. A compact crack tries to do what the triple chain ring crank does in just two chain rings. If you already have a triple, this is not for you. The compact crank slightly reduces your big chain ring size and significantly reduces your small chain ring size making it much easier to climb hills and spin your legs faster rather than harder.
Our tours have been specifically scheduled to take into consideration the best time of year to travel to that destination. This takes into account the temperate range, possible rainfall and the prevailing winds. Of course, we can’t ever control the weather however this only adds to the adventure and excitement of your travel experience! For more specific weather and climate information visit the bureau of meteorology or for our international tours visit world weather.
If you can’t find an answer to your question feel free to contact us at any time through our Contact page, phone or email. We love what we do and want to get you on the best bike ride for you. Speak to us about what’s on your mind and we’ll help you make your decision.