ARRIVING & DEPARTING
After reviewing the following information, please tell us of your arrival and departure plans.
MEETING TIME AND LOCATION
Classic & Private Tours: On the first day of the trip, meet your Art of Bicycle Trips Leader at your hotel lobby or our local outlets (please confirm the place & time with your trip consultant). You may wish to arrive at tour starting location at least one day before the trip start day. Please contact your trip consultant for a list of suggested hotels.
Short & Day Tours: Please meet your Trip Leader at meeting location mentioned on tour page.
We recommend to check the size of your bikes and do bike fit at least a day before the departure. You may visit our local outlets for the same.
August, September marks the monsoon season in Rajasthan and the countryside feels alive. The temperature (similar for March) could be close to 25-30 degree Celsius in nights, but the days are sunny & humid with temperatures around 30-40 degree Celsius. If it is humid and hot, we recommend to start biking early in the morning around 6 AM, carry packed breakfast and end riding by noon time to avoid heatstroke. Though it may be a bit hot, it is still a good time for biking as countryside is amazingly green with many water bodies. Generally it rains for a short period and then settles down which makes the condition much cooler and perfect for biking.
November, December, January & February marks the winter season in Rajasthan. The monsoon season has ended. The temperature could be close to 2-5 degree Celsius in nights in Dec-Jan, but the days are sunny with temperatures around 15-20 degree Celsius. Nights can get chilly in the highlands. It is recommended to carry warm clothes and breathable windproof jacket. These are the best months for cycling in Rajasthan.
With varied terrain, starting form below sea level in costal plains to 1900m in the mountains, Kerala has a diverse climate. A typical tropical climate, it remains cooler in the highlands and hot and humid in coastal plain through out the year.
Mid-November to end of February is the winter time is Kerala, which is best experienced in the highlands with pleasant climate in mornings and temperature falling below 10°C during night. A fleece jacket or warm sweater and long pants may be needed for the cooler evenings and mornings in hill stations. The temperature in plains averages between 25°C to 31°C during this time.
From Beginning of March till end of May, it’s summer. The temperatures go above 40°C during some days in coastal pains and generally remains very hot and humid. The highlands still offer some relief during this time with comparatively cooler climate.
Start of June is the beginning of Monsoon season in Kerala. Kerala receives two cycles of Monsoon. From June till September, it’s southwest monsoon, which brings heavy rainfalls till mid of August and it slowly weakens towards end of September. The second cycle, North east monsoon, starts from beginning of October till mid November with light to heavy showers mainly during the evening hours.
With a tropical climate, Sri Lanka has two cycles of monsoon which bring rain to the west and south-west coastal lines from May to September and between October and February, it rains in North regions and east coast line. Although the rains are generally short, but with occasional heavy downpours.
Leaving out the monsoon season, the remaining months receives plenty of sunshine and is mostly dry. Temperatures remain fairly consistent year round, with coastal regions averaging from 25 to 32°C and the mountain regions from 15 to 20°C. Sri Lanka is humid as well with relative humidity ranging between 60% & 90%.
Cambodia is almost year-around cycling destination. April and May are touted as hottest months. During remaining time of year, the temperature hovers around 30°C and the days are sunny & a bit humid. If it is extremely humid and hot, we recommend to start biking early in the morning around 6am, carry packed breakfast and end riding by noon time. Though it may be a bit warm, Cambodia is still a good destination for biking as countryside is amazingly green with many water bodies. From June to early November, it rains moderately for a short period and then settles down which makes the condition much cooler and perfect for biking.
November to February is the best time of year for biking – warm days with light breeze and clear skies.
From cycling point of view, we can divide the country into four main sub-regions: Northern Mountains, North, Central & South Vietnam with different weather conditions.
Northern Mountains – Sapa, Ha Giang: The best months for cycling in Northwest mountains are between Late August & November, and from Late February to May. It can get a bit cold in December & January with light showers.
North Vietnam – Hanoi & Halong Bay: Oct to May is a good season to go here with coldest months being Dec-Feb.
Central Vietnam – Hue to Nha Trang: Good season runs from January to September for warm water beaches, with average temperature of around 30°C. October to early December is rainy season.
South Vietnam – Saigon & Mekong Delta: Almost year-round cycling destination. April and May are touted as hottest months. During remaining time of year, the temperature hovers around 30°C and the days are sunny & a bit humid. If it is extremely humid and hot, we recommend to start biking early in the morning around 6am, carry packed breakfast and end riding by noon time. Though it may be a bit warm, South Vietnam is still a good destination for biking as countryside is amazingly green with many water bodies. From June to early November, it rains moderately for a short period and then settles down which makes the condition much cooler and perfect for biking. November to February is the best time of year for biking – warm days with light breeze and clear skies.
From cycling point of view, we can divide the country into two main sub-regions: North and South Thailand.
North Thailand: dry season runs from late October until May; June to October is characterised by heavy rainfall. The south-west monsoon generally arrives around May/July. Until July, rain comes mostly in the form of short downpours for an hour or so, clearing the way for clear skies. After July, rain reaches peak levels in August and September. Our bike tours in North Thailand run during Oct-Jul with the best months from Nov to Feb.
South Thailand: the wettest months on the west-coast are during April-October. The east-coast experiences heavy rainfall during September-December. Our bike tours in South Thailand run during Jul-Mar with the best months from Oct to Mar.
INCLUSIONS & EXCLUSIONS
Guided Bike Tours
- All hotels, as mentioned in the tour details
- Meals as per itinerary
- On each trip guests are given the opportunity to dine on their own so that they discover a location independently. Your guides are happy to make recommendations should you so desire.
- A Van support that follows throughout the trip and carries all belongings
- Bike with helmet
- Expert Trip Leader(s) who look after your every need
- Refreshments & mineral water while cycling
- Entrance fees to most of the monuments and temples. Please check your itinerary here.
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
- Transportation to and from the trip including airfare, or train travel
- Lodging before and after the trip
- Personal items purchased during the trip
- Some meals are not included (check your itinerary)
- Gratuities for your Trip Leader(s) are not included in your trip price. Industry standard is 7.5-10% of your trip price for the guide team. Local currency is preferred and unless you want to tip separately, guides will divide tips amongst themselves. Please tip your guides at your discretion, based on their level of professionalism, guest care and service.
PREPARING FOR YOUR TRIP
PREPARING FOR YOUR TRIP
We recommend to read our comprehensive blog Preparing for your Cycling Holiday addressing questions on Insurance, VISA and Vaccinations.
TERRAIN AND CONDITIONING TIPS
In most of the trips, terrain varies from rolling to high hills. To get ready for your trip, we suggest biking regularly beforehand and hitting a few hills whenever you can. We want you to have the best possible vacation, and while there’s no need for hardcore training, you should feel comfortable riding at least 20–40 miles each day and still have the strength and enthusiasm to get up and do it all over again the next day.
To ride safely along the narrow and sometimes trafficked roads, it is important to ride single file and to develop good balance on your bike. Balance can only be developed by riding on the road.
We recognize that not everyone lives in an area conducive to outdoor riding, but please keep in mind that while running, riding a stationary bike, spinning and other aerobic exercise will help improve your strength, endurance and cardiovascular health, these activities will not help with balance.
PACING AND ENDURANCE
It’s important to pace yourself throughout the day, so you have the stamina to ride as far and as long as you’d like. Drink fluids often—before you’re thirsty—to avoid dehydration.
CADENCE AND GEARING
The steady rate at which you pedal is called ― cadence. Ideally you should try to maintain a constant high cadence in any gear. This technique not only lets you bike for longer periods without tiring, but also puts less strain on your knees. Shifting to lower gears when riding up hills will help you maintain the same cadence you established on more level terrain and get you up the hills without overextending yourself. Using lower gears also helps you to ride more efficiently against the wind.
One book we really like is the HubBub Guide to Cycling by Diane Lingelbach. Written in a low-key, highly readable style, it offers valuable tips on how to prepare for an organized bike tour, and includes a comprehensive section on choosing the proper clothing and gear.
Visit Bicycling magazine’s Web site, www.bicycling.com, and browse for tips on how to improve your biking technique, as well as advice on proper nutrition, gear and safety, and basic bike maintenance.
Your local bike shop can be an excellent resource too; ask to speak with an employee who is an experienced cyclist.
The following items are included with your bikes. Trip Leaders also have tool kits on hand and are available to do mechanical repairs.
● bike helmet
● handle bar bag
For a self-guided bike tour, following things are also provided in addition to above equipment and materials:
● basic repair tool kit such as allen keys, puncture repair kit, air pump
● Spare tyre and tubes
● First aid kit
If you are bringing your own bike and are comfortable doing minor on-the-road adjustments, you may want to bring a universal tool. If your bike is highly specialized, bring any tools—and extra spokes!—that are specific to your bike. Use the above list as a guide for recommended equipment if you are bringing your own bike.
BRINGING YOUR OWN GEAR
You are welcome to bring your own gear, such as pedals, seat, helmet, toe clips and cyclometer, to use with bicycle. However, please inform us in advance if you choose to bring any of your own things.
RIDING WITH SAFETY
- Wear a helmet. Riding without a helmet is extremely dangerous. Art of Bicycle Trips requires that all guests wear helmets while cycling.
- Ride predictably, defensively and in a straight line.
- When riding with others, ride single file and maintain several bike lengths between cyclists. Allow more distance when riding downhill.
- Do not use headphones while riding; you might not hear traffic coming up behind you.
- Be as courteous to motorists as you would like them to be to you, and get completely off the road when you stop.
- Keep your speed under control on down hills. Use both brakes simultaneously, but be aware that the front brake is more powerful than the rear. Gently pump your brakes on long descents for maximum effectiveness. Check brakes frequently to make sure nothing is loose or dangling.
- Wet slippery roads require extra caution and greater stopping distance —especially on downhills. Wet brakes must be dried by pumping before they have an effect, so start braking early in damp weather.
- When riding on sand or gravel, downshift into low gear so you can spin your pedals faster while still going slow.
- Obey all traffic regulations. Stop at all stop signs and red lights, yield the right-of-way and use hand signals when turning, slowing down or stopping. Ride on the extreme left side of the road, at a safe distance from traffic
- Be cautious around road obstacles. It is safest to dismount and walk your bike across railroad racks and cattle guards. If you decide to bike across them, do so at right angles. Avoid potholes, metal grates, glass, rocks and thorns. Ride at a safe distance from parked cars and watch for vehicles pulling out and/or doors opening in your path.
- You must yield the right of way to pedestrians. Do not ride on sidewalks.
- When making a right turn, it is safest to pull off the road, dismount, look both ways for traffic and then walk your bike across the road. Never follow other cyclists when turning without confirming for yourself that it is safe to do so.
- Listen carefully for approaching motorists. (Look over your shoulder only if you can do so without swerving.)
- We do not cycle after dark on trips. If you decide to do so on your own, you must bring your own bike equipped with a white light on the front, a red light on the rear and reflectors on the spokes and pedals.
- If a dog chases you and you are not able to ride away quickly, stop your bike and walk out of the dog’s territory, keeping the bike between you and the animal.
- Wear appropriate clothing for bicycling. Brightly colored clothes make you more visible to motorists.
- Double-tie shoelaces and tuck them inside your shoes.
- You should wear corrective lenses while bicycling if you use them while driving.