12 tips for group cycling holidays
A rising trend in active holidays is to book a group trip. In particular, like-minded friends are opting for group cycling holidays. To make sure your group holiday is successful we bring you a guide to how to have a harmonious, highly rewarding and wonderfully good adventure.
Choose your friends wisely:
Make sure that your cycling buddies are of similar fitness and have the same ideas about holidays and adventures. Harmony will be created if you can all manage the daily distances and agree on the number of attractions to see each day.
Draw up a short list:
Each person in the group could do a little homework and suggest their top three cycling holiday ideas or cycling destinations. Hopefully some of the ideas will overlap or the majority will be keen on one or two of the ideas.
A group booking will be tricky if some of the cyclists are school teachers or similar and tied to school holidays while others prefer to take advantage of term-time dates for their trips. Try to find dates to suit all.
Host a booking party:
Trying to get all your friends to agree on one trip when they are each sat at their home computers, work PCs and spread out is impossible. Instead, order a takeaway meal, open a few bottles of wine and invite them over to agree on a trip. You could present a top three holidays list, compiled from the ideas suggested by each rider. If you are widely dispersed host a Skype or Facetime meeting.
Get the deposit there and then:
At the same party, make sure you extract the deposit for the trip from each of the cyclists. Cash or cheque and no IOUs.
Vote in a group leader:
If you are reading this blog and taking notes, the group leader will be you. Make sure the person who is in charge of booking, taking deposits and informing the group about further holiday information is organised and responsible.
To make sure you all are in good shape for the cycling holiday, head out on regular group outings. Training together is also good for motivation.
Bike hire or take your own:
Discuss whether you plan to take your own bikes or hire at your destination. Taking your own bikes has the advantage of comfort and knowing your bike is set up for you, but you will need to organise bike bags or boxes for transportation and perhaps a mini bus for getting to and from the airport or holiday destination. If you plan to hire bikes, you’ll need to book ahead.
Write up an essential kit list and email to all the riders. This ensures everyone takes the right items and clothing and no one forgets the basics, such as spare inner tubes.
Nominate a techie:
There is usually someone in a cycling group who is great with GPS gadgets. Nominate them as the person to upload route maps etc. Make sure they also upload maps to at least one other person’s GPS gadget so that if you become separated on a day’s cycling there are others with the same route information.
It’s not all about the riding:
You could take it in turns to drive and ride. Many groups enjoy a cycling tour that includes a motorised vehicle. This allows for rest days and riding without panniers and rucksacks.
Let others do the planning:
A time-saving alternative is to book a group cycling holiday with a reputable and experienced tour company. Macs Adventure also offer discounted prices for groups of five people on a departure date of your choice on the C2C cycle tour holidays