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7 questions answered for your first cycling holiday

To help you decide whether a cycling tour is for you, we’ve answered our most frequently asked questions about our cycling holidays to help put your mind at ease.
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1. How fit do I need to be for an Explore cycling holiday?

This depends on the trip you choose. To help you find a trip to suit your fitness level, we’ve given all of our cycling holidays a grade, from easy to challenging. Check the trip page to find the grade, as well as a chart showing the daily distances and information on the terrain. In order to get maximum enjoyment from your holiday, we advise some training rides leading up to the trip, but the amount of preparation recommended will vary depending on the grade.

And don’t worry about keeping up with a fast pace on a group cycling holiday - you won’t always have to ride together. It is an active holiday and not a training camp so the Explore Leader will, wherever possible, allow people to cycle at their own pace, regrouping regularly at meeting points along the route.

Additionally, on all of our small group cycling holidays a support vehicle accompanies the ride and acts as a 'safety net' should you not feel able to ride any section. 


2. What will the group be like?

As with any group holiday everyone is different, so it’s impossible to tell, but an ‘average’ group consists of roughly half couples and half solo cyclists. There's usually a real mix of ages, from people in their 20s to their 70s, and typically half male and half female.

3. Can I take my own bike on a cycling holiday?

We supply good quality bicycles on all our cycling holidays. You can find the full details of bikes included on the trip pages. For an additional cost, if you’d prefer a bit of extra power, you can choose to hire an electric bike (e-bike) at the time of booking. These are ideal on easy grade cycling holidays where you want to experience the outdoors but let the bike do some of the work. They can also help on harder-graded trips, especially good on uphill sections or on long days.

However, it is also possible to take your own bike if you’d like to. Please contact our expert team before your holiday to let us know you’d like to bring your own bicycle, or if you want to find out more about the bicycles we supply.

4. What should I pack for a cycling holiday?

When packing for a cycling holiday, you’ll need to bring your own bike helmet, as these are not supplied. We also highly recommend packing some padded shorts, as you’ll appreciate these after several days of cycling! Cycle gloves are always a good idea as they protect the hands from the sun and give some extra padding to add comfort. Other than that, it’s up to you whether you wear clothing designed especially for cycling. Some people prefer to wear cycling clothing, others don’t - it’s not essential for our trips.

Also we suggest bringing at least one water bottle – many of our bikes have bottle holders where you can store them. Most of our bikes also have handlebar bags, panniers or saddle-bags to store extra water and snacks – check the trip page to find out more. If it only has a small handlebar bag we recommend bringing a small rucksack to wear on your back while you cycle, for a waterproof jacket, camera, food and drinks. All of your large luggage will be transported for you.

5. Do we still cycle in bad weather?

It will be up to your Explore Leader to decide if the weather is too poor to cycle on our trips. It’s likely you’ll still ride in most weathers, unless the conditions are extreme.

6. What are the meals like on a cycling trip with Explore?

Enjoying the local food is a highlight of any trip and on a cycle tour you'll burn more calories and can indulge or reward yourself along the way. The number of meals included will vary by trip – check the trip page for details. On the majority of our tours we will include most breakfasts, which will set you up for the day. We don’t include all lunches and dinners so that you can decide what you eat - your Explore Leader will be happy to recommend places to eat and local food to try. You may want to join your group for meals or do your own thing, the choice is yours.

While you’re cycling, we’d recommend having some nutritious snacks packed, like fruit, cereal bars and energy gels. Generally speaking we don’t include these on the holidays but occasionally the leader may organise an optional kitty to supply snacks for the rides. Depending on where you go, you’ll likely be able to buy food along the way too.

7. Do we get time off cycling?

A cycling holiday with Explore is not purely about the cycling; it is a great, active way to see the destination. Of course, you’ll still get plenty of time to visit all of the highlights of your destination. Many of our cycling holidays have free days or short cycling days, giving you time to see important places of interest, relax, refresh and explore.


Ready to book your first cycling holiday?

Discover our cycling tours guided by expert leaders in unforgettable destinations. Make your next holiday an Explore cycling trip and you're guaranteed once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

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