The dos and don’ts of group cycling holidays
Getting away with a group of like-minded cycling friends makes for a brilliant holiday. I know, because I have done this on many occasions. Only your cycling pals will want to cycle on holiday (all others will think you are mad and head off to the beach) and, if you choose wisely, they will happily keep you company while to tackle long days in the saddle. Of course, you can choose to ride shorter days with your cycling pals but my experiences have been full-on guided and self-guided cycling holidays. Here I bring you a few of my words of wisdom on group cycling holidays.
The 32 dos and don’ts of group cycling holidaysDo get everyone together many months before your hoped-for trip to come up with a destination and idea of what you all fancy. Don’t leave the final decision until another day because you will never agree without everyone being there. Do have a vote and make the decision final at the first meeting. (If people disagree with the final vote it is probably best if they ride off in their own direction.) Do take the deposit from each person on that first night. Do nominate a group leader who has superb organisational skills and is adept at persuading everyone to pay up or send them required details on time. Don’t choose your room-mate based on their good looks and chat. Do choose your room mate based on their snoring/tiredness/desires to go to bed early. Do ask your partner to go with you on the group cycling holiday. Don’t persuade them to come with you if they have no intention of becoming fit for the bike ride (they will only moan at your for months before and afterwards) Do choose a guided cycling holiday if you want to be chaperoned each day by a van, a guide and have snacks and drinks available at frequent opportunities. Don’t choose a guided cycling holiday if you prefer the flexibility of doing your own thing on two wheels each day. Do choose a self-guided private group cycling holiday if you like to go it alone but want the reassurance and ease of luggage transfers and pre-booked accommodation, as well as a planned route, map and guidebook. Do choose a self-guided group cycling holiday, such as England’s C2C, is you are looking for a good team-building trip or a charity challenge. Do carry your own luggage in panniers if you a strong and tough cyclists. Do book a group cycling trip with Macs Adventure if you would like your luggage to be a distant memory each morning – and there waiting for you each evening at your booked accommodation. Don’t leave overnight accommodation to chance on a group cycling holiday because you might find that hotels and B&Bs are fully booked when you arrive tired at grumpy at the end of a big day of riding. Do ask a company, such as Macs Adventure, to book their recommended and quality assured accommodation choices for you before you set off on your cycling holiday. Do pray for good weather. Don’t expect good weather every day. Do pack wet and dry weather cycle clothing. Don’t set off on a cycling holiday without checking our guide to what to pack. Do use the excuse of a holiday to buy lovely new cycling kit. See our reviews, great kit and what to buy in the sales Do put in some training for your holiday if you want to enjoy, rather endure, it. Do make sure you pay the final balance to your group organiser on time. Don’t forget your passport. Do expect your holiday to go smoothly if you book it with a reputable and knowledgeable cycle tour company. Do enjoy your cycling friends' company. Do give each other space each day to enjoy some me-time. Don't try to make big changes to the cycling plans when on holiday unless you all agree to this. Do keep your room tidy each night if you are sharing. Do take lots of photographs so you will remember the trip. Do tell others about how your private group cycling holiday goes.
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