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Your questions answered

The Cycling

How far do we cycle each day?

It depends on the day and the tour you're on. Some days are designed to be shorter, either to offer active recovery after a hard ride day or to give us more time at an interesting project. For the 'tour' style trips the average is about 55 miles or 90 km but for those trips where we stay in one location we'll run two rides a day, one shorter ride (around 30km) and a longer ride (up to 80km). 

Will I be able to do it?

Absolutely. Without a doubt everyone can do it. If you dive in, commit yourself to it and do the training, you'll be amazed at what you can accomplish.

Do you run any training weekends or rides?

Yes we run weekend rides over the summer and tour taster weekends down in Dartmoor. Check out our facebook events to keep up to date with these and to book on.

Do I need to be a lycra-clad tour de buff or young gun to take part?

Whilst you don’t need to be whipping the hairs off your legs just yet, you really need to make sure you've done some training before coming on the challenge.

We attract a diverse bunch at Brake the Cycle with a mix of age ranges. Our eldest participant was 65 and our youngest 19, the average being 34.

What bike should I get?

We'd highly recommend a tourer, road bike or hybrid. 95% of our cycling will be on tarmac roads with the remaining 5% being dirt or gravel tracks to access projects. You can find out more about bikes and kit on our kit list page.

What training do I need to do?

It depends on your current level and the trip you're joining as well as how enjoyable you want to make it! The more you do the easier you'll find the trip.  Coast to Coast is the hilliest route but it is manageable for every rider. Seriously.

Training-wise we suggest just getting out more and more on your bike. Better to do 'a little often' than one long ride every few weeks. If you can, for Coast to Coast and Coast and Castles, try and build up to a 50km ride before you arrive (with lots of stops of course!). For the other trips, just rock up!

Travel

How can I get to and from my tour?

Of course this depends where you're travelling from. Most of our guests come by train and we've specifically chosen our trips to make this as 'train-easy' as possible. We'll pick you up from the station with bike and bag and drop you back off again at the end. Simple. 

If you'd prefer to drive, there's often car parking that we can point you in the direction of, especially for the weekend stays. 

How do I get my bike to and from the tour?

It's best to book your bike onto a train well in advance of the trip as places are limited. You can also box you'r bike up for the journey but this really isn't necessary unless you're flying. 

Can I hire a bike?

We don't offer official bike hire on our trips, but you can always ask us to see if we can procure one for you through our network!

Accommodation

Where do we stay?

Well, our trips are also a journey into green living. That's what makes us unique. We stay at a mixture of inspirational eco-communities and rustic organic farms with a dose of Airbnbs for luxury and the occasional camping/glamping site. This year we've designed all of our trips to maximise time spent outdoors with ample space for socially distanced activities so there may be a few more glampsites that usual.  

What are the facilities like?

As you would expect the facilities at Airbnb's and campsites are second to none. The facilities at some of the projects vary depending on how developed the project is. This means that we may occasionally sacrifice having access to a warm shower to see an interesting project.

Do I need to bring a tent?

Only if your tour is a camping one! If you don't have one and you're up for sharing, we have a number of spares so just get in touch.

Can I see an itinerary?

Yes, we have itineraries to download on each tours page, known as a 'tour pack.' Please note that the itineraries are guides and we reserve the right to make changes as per booking conditions.

Food

Is it all vegetarian?

All the food we cook and provide will be delicious and yes, vegetarian. When we do go out for dinner of course there will be non-vegetarian options available. 

We've found that organic vegetarian wholefoods are a great way revitalise your body from the inside out. We can easily cater for vegans on our trips. Worried about not getting your meat fix? Well don’t worry you’re free to buy whatever snacks you want during your days ride. It’s also a great way to try local delicacies, be that Cornish pasties or chorizo.  

Is it all organic?

The large majority of our food is organic. We purchase large quantities of dried goods before the trip from a large organic wholesaler, purchasing fresh produce on the road or from the farms we visit.

 

Support

What is the support vehicle and do I need to carry my own bag?

No, you won't need to carry your own bag or stuff. The support vehicle is a bespoke minibus and trailer turned adventure machine that will carry all our kit, bags and food on the trip. You won't need to carry any more than you need! 

We often suggest a small frame / saddle bag or even just a deep pocket to hold your phone, wallet and maybe a snack bar. 

The van will meet for lunch each day. 

 

Who are the support team?

Each trip has a core crew of between 2-4 people. They’re a passionate bunch who are well versed in bike mechanics, first aid and green living.

Group Dynamics

How many people come on a tour?

For standard trips the minimum we can take on trips is 12 and the maximum is 20, however in 2021 we are introducing weekend trips in one place where more can enjoy the experience! (Check out Wellness Weekender and All Hallows Harvest)

What's the gender split?

About 45/55 with the slight majority female.

Money

Tell us more about your prices?

We run our tours at the most affordable price without compromising on the things which we know are essential to ensuring that the tours are safe, exciting and memorable - that’s why you’ve come to us, right? We highly recommend checking out other cycling companies and seeing what they charge in order to gauge where we sit within the cycle tour market. Putting on cycle tours such as ours involve various costs; there’s the staff time (all tours are staffed by our core team as well as extra crew members), organic food and drink, the running costs of the support vehicle, and the accommodation which includes paying a fair price to the communities who host us, which gives them a valuable source of income.

Can I get a refund if I cancel?

All deposits (25% of total trip price) are non-refundable unless we cancel the tour. Check out our booking conditions for more information. And our flexible covid policy and FAQs here.

 

Kit and Gear

What do i pack?

Most kit and gear is standard and applicable to all trips, to view the exact items to bring simply download the tour pack for the trip you're interested in.

In summary, some stuff is 'essential': a bike, a helmet, something to wear, trainer or shoes, a waterproof, two inner tubes (ask your bike shop or us!) and a water bottle.

Other stuff is 'less essential but highly recommended': padded cycling shorts, something to sleep in, a towel, a toothbrush, shoes for the evening.. 

Finally, 'optional bits to bring if you have' include: cleats / cycling shoes, a small saddle bag or pannier, swimwear.. 

'Expertly planned routes, helpful bike advice, delicious food and incredible places. Memories to treasure.'

Ed Brake the Cycle Participant