Please don't hesitate to get in touch if your questions aren't answered here.
So wait--is this a road bike trip or a gravel bike trip?
It’s both. I got my start riding road bikes, but--like nearly every cyclist in America over the past couple years--I’ve fallen in love with gravel grinding. So I’ve tried to offer a bike tour that would appeal to either type of rider.
Each day of the trip has road bike and gravel bike routes. Typically, these routes parallel one another and criss-cross at multiple points--the picnic stop, the snack stop, etc. The gravel routes try to have 20-50% of the route on the dirt, while the road routes are all-pavement (though there are occasionally crushed gravel ‘bike paths’ we use).
What kind of bike do I need to do this?
If you want to do the gravel routes, you should ideally bring a gravel, cyclocross, or “endurance” bike with wider “gravel”-style tires. (I will note that I’ve ridden a road bike on many of the gravel routes we’ll be using, but I don’t necessarily endorse this.)
If you want to ride the road routes, any type of road or gravel/cyclocross/”endurance” bike will work just fine. (I would strongly recommend 25mm tires even if you're only riding pavement, however.)
How fit do I have to be to do this?
The trip is designed so that one could ride only the shorter options on the three point-to-point days: Truro to Pictou (Day 3); Pictou to Tatamagouche (Day 5); Tatamagouche to Truro (Day 7). The other days are “layovers” with ride options departing from -- and returning to-- the same hotel.
So, you should be someone who can ride 40-50 miles, 3 times over the course of a week.
The good news? When you’re on vacation (as opposed to trying to squeeze in riding among family, work, and domestic obligations), riding 40-50 miles is not that hard to do.
Is this a race? Do we have to ride together? What if I can't keep up?
It is most definitely not a race. We'll have gone over the route and you'll have a map. Ride together if you want. Or ride with one other person. Or don't ride with anyone. Regardless, you should stop often--you’re in an amazing place, and you should take in as much of it as you can. Rest assured that no matter how quickly or slowly you choose do the route, everyone will compare war stories over a beverage at the end of the day.
Where would I fly into?
You'd fly into Halifax, NS, which is a fairly easy place to get to. The airport code for Halifax Stanfield airport is YHZ.
Could I get there early? Could I leave late?
Sure! And there’s plenty to do in Nova Scotia--the Annapolis Valley, Cape Breton/the Cabot Trail, Halifax, beaches, etc. Make the most of your trip to Atlantic Canada!
We will pick you up at YHZ on the official arrival day of your tour, and we will drop you off at YHZ on the day your tour ends. Alternately, if you have a vehicle, you may wish to meet us at Holiday Inn Truro for the start of the tour.
Do you recommend arriving a day or two ahead of my tour?
If you have the time, absolutely! You should take that extra day or two to head to Halifax (via bus, shuttle, or taxi) and explore. It's an amazing city that is about 30 minutes south of the airport. (You could even leave your bike at the "left luggage" facility at YHZ so you'd be freed up from taking a bike with you.)
If I arrive early, can you pick me up at my hotel in Halifax instead of the Halifax airport?
In a word, no.
Here's the deal: we've got a lot of people to pick up on your arrival day, and they are showing up likely in the same state you arrived at YHZ--tired from traveling and ready to get to a hotel. If everything goes perfectly, making a run into Halifax takes us away from picking anyone else up for at least an hour.
I hate to be a downer, but making runs into Halifax hurts our ability to meet those folks who are arriving at the airport and who most need to be taken care of.
What is included in the tour price? What is not included in the tour price?
Included in the tour price is:
- Shuttle transportation for you and your bike to and from YHZ*
- All hotels (based on double-occupancy; if you want a solo room, you’ll need to pay the single supplement)
- 6 dinners
- 7 breakfasts
- 2 picnics
- On-road snacks
- On-road support
- Luggage transfer
- Storage for your bike box
- Use of tools and bike stand
- Routes and maps
*Shuttle transportation from YHZ to Truro occurs on the official "arrival" day for your tour; shuttle transportation from Truro to YHZ occurs on Day 8 of your tour.
Not included in the tour price:
- Beverages other than water at dinner (though of course, you can order these yourself!)
- Lunches (except on the two days we have picnics)
- Arrival day dinner (as people will be arriving in Truro at different times, this makes the most sense)
- Gratuity for staff
- Trip insurance (recommended)
How do meals work?
We will eat at the hotels for dinners and breakfasts.* Dinners will be 3 courses (appetizer/salad/soup; choice of entree; dessert). Vegans and vegetarians will be accommodated; other dietary needs will be accommodated as much as possible.
If you'd like to drink something other than water, you'll order it and pay for it separately. Otherwise, everything is included in your tour price.
*Dinner the arrival night will be on your own and is not included in the trip. (People will be arriving in Truro at different times, and so trying to have a meal together is not practical. As our hotel is within a short walk of many restaurants, you will have numerous options.)
What is the weather like?
I can safely say it will be considerably cooler than most of the eastern US in July. Most days will see highs in the 70s and possibly the 80s. There will be sun; there may be mist, rain or clouds. You should definitely bring rain gear (gloves, hat, jacket and maybe even booties) just in case. But don’t forget your sunblock and sunglasses.
Would I carry my gear with panniers and a rack?
No. Your bags would be schlepped by vehicle from hotel to hotel. You'd carry tubes, bottles, pump, etc. --basically, what you'd carry for a weekend ride, with maybe an extra jacket (in case of wet weather).
Do you provide bikes?
Most people will want to bring their own bikes--let’s face it, cyclists are fussy people and like their toys. We have arranged for bike box storage in our start/finish hotel.
Rental road bikes may be available through a partner organization. Please get in touch for details.
So how does my bike get there?
You have several options.
- You can box your bike and bring it on the plane with you. You should check with your airline about their bike policy, as policies vary significantly.
- You can ship your bike via a service like bikeflights.com or shipbikes.com. As long as it arrives no sooner than two days prior to your arrival, you are welcome to ship it to our start/finish hotel. (You could also ship it to a local bike shop and have them assemble it in preparation for your arrival. Call us for suggestions.)
If you fly with your bike, you and your bike (and bike box) will be transported from the Halifax Stanfield International Airport to our start/finish hotel. There is a room rented in our hotel where you can assemble your bike; that same room will store our bike boxes during the trip.
I am traveling alone, but I am willing to share a room. What do I do?
While we can't guarantee finding everyone a roommate, we're sympathetic to this challenge.
Here's what we propose: if you select this option, you will pay the single supplement rate at registration; if a roommate is found, you will be refunded that single supplement. If a roommate is not found by 45 days prior to your tour, you can choose to do the tour or receive a full refund.