Can I Brake the Cycle!?
The short answer is yes, of course you can. Having run bicycle tours for over seven years, we’ve seen it all. And it’s with certainty that we can say that if you want to do a tour with us, then that alone is enough. Here’s the slightly longer answer though, broken down into the bits that most people want to know.
Me, on a cycling tour? Really?
Yes, really. We like to think of ourselves as offering the most accessible cycling tours by any provider out there. That’s not to say that they are a doddle. It’s more a statement that reflects the help that we give you before and during the tour to give you a little boost. Provided that you can cycle, you have a serviced bike, and you’re able to commit to a couple of training rides beforehand just to give you a bit of saddle time, then trust us, you can do it. We are on hand to talk to you throughout the time leading up to your tour, to consult over bike choices, and to give you training ideas. Once you’ve arrived with us on a tour, then you’ll be amazed at how you feel at the end of day one, confident in the knowledge that you can do it.
Who goes on bike tours with you?
For quite a lot of people who cycle with us, it’s been their first experience of touring. When registering for a tour, we ask you to fill in a form to tell us a bit more about your background and experience on the bike. We quickly find out who will want more support and information and who is more ready to go. We’ve had people on our tours who are members of cycling clubs and on certain tours (particularly those in mountain regions) have told us that they’ve found the ride challenging. We always cycle in groups, making sure that everyone is in a group that they find comfortable in terms of speed. It’s not a race, and you’re never left behind.
So I don’t 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, we think it’s highly in your interest to do some training before coming on a tour. Again, you don’t need to turn yourself into a cycling machine to be able to cope with a Break the Cycle tour. It’s more so that you can enjoy it, especially in those first few days where you might otherwise be feeling a bit sore. With a bit of training and those first few days with us under your belt, you’re totally set.
In terms of who comes on our tours, we attract a diverse bunch. Our eldest participant has been 65 and our youngest 19, the average being 34. About 55% of riders are women.
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. But the average is about 55 miles or 90 km. You can see the various cycling grades and which tours are in those grades here.
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. For tours which are grade 3 or more, we’d recommend considering the gearing available to you and making sure it’s as friendly to climbing up hills as possible. If you’re unsure about your bike, by all means get in touch with us, perhaps with a photo of it and we can give our honest opinion.
We have a bike rental scheme which we can discuss should you need one. 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 which challenge you're joining, but generally as a guide you should be able to cycle 50-60 miles with 2,000-3,000 feet climbing and it not overly trouble you (with a few breaks, of course). An equivalent ride would be something like London to Brighton. To get to that point, you would probably need to do 3-4 shorter rides building up to it. Any supplementary training you can do, such as a spin class, would be a bonus.
Check out our sample training plans here.
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.