Our tours take you through all kinds of beautiful terrain and usually cover up to 30 miles (50 kms) a day, but the difficulty depends on the landscape. So you know what to expect from any route, we’ve graded our tours and provided a description of each level.
We always get a mix of people on tours, from children in family groups to those well into retirement, including a sprightly senior in their mid-80s one year!
If you’re unsure about which tour might be good for your fitness level, just drop us a line. We know the routes well and can give you advice on which tour is the right fit for you. Tips on Getting in Shape
Perfect if you haven’t done a tour before or want to take it easy. These are flat routes that either cover shorter distances across the day or, for those with the usual mileage, are accompanied by a van that can give you a lift if you need a break. You’ll have no problems if you walk regularly or bicycle a few times a month, but if not, you’ll be fine with training beforehand.
Smooth, flat stretches in the landscape. Routes at this level or higher will take you across 30 miles (50 kms) of ground each day – though it’s worth keeping in mind that even on the flats there’s a chance of headwind. If you’re relatively active and bicycle a few times a month and walk (or run) regularly this will be a breeze, or a little training will easily prepare you.
A nice mixed profile of small hills and stretches of flat. Most hills on these routes won’t be that steep or long – and, if you’re biking, there’s always the option to walk your bike up the short slopes. If you’re active these routes should be fine for you.
Moderate to Challenging
A few flat sections linking together beautiful rolling hills. Some are a bit longer and steeper, so while you could still walk a bicycle, you might want to look at a level below if the word “uphill” makes you cringe.
If you want to take one of these routes, you should be comfortable going up! Some of the hills can also be quite steep – but they make for beautiful and interesting landscapes. For routes at this level you should be fit and exercise regularly, and we do recommend training before you join us.
Tips on Getting in Shape
For any tour, whether you’re biking or walking, it’s a good idea to practice before you join us whether you regularly walk or bike or not. If you are taking a spring tour and snow or icy roads are preventing you from getting out there, go to the gym and get on a stationary bike – your sit bones will thank you!
You’ll enjoy your European bicycle vacation a whole lot more if you take the time to get reasonably fit before your plane lands on the eastern side of the Atlantic. If you get in shape before your vacation you’ll also greatly decrease the likelihood of an injury while on tour. “I’ll just get in shape during the first days of the tour!” is not a great idea! And by all means see your physician if you are overweight or have any other health factors that might make strenuous exercise a risk to your well-being.
Go at an easy pace. 9-12 miles per hour is an excellent sightseeing speed. On your 3 and 4-hour rides, stop at 45-minute intervals that will simulate the relaxed pace you’ll be using during the tour. You’ll be stopping at least that often to photograph a windmill, visit a castle or simply behold a beautiful field of sunflowers. You’ll also be stopping for lunch, snacks or a museum break!