Frequently Asked Questions

If you are scratching your head about any aspect of your holiday you should be able to find the answer either on the specific holiday page, or – importantly – in your booking email which has lots of details about the specifics of your trip. However, if you still aren’t sure you can find answers to many frequently asked questions about mountain bike holidays below. Also please, of course, feel welcome to contact us directly at Singletrack Safari – we are always more than happy to help!

Booking and Costs

  • How do I check Availability?
  • How do I book?
  • Can I speak to someone directly?
  • How much deposit is needed?
  • When do I pay the full balance?
  • What’s included in the price of the holiday?
  • What Isn’t Included in the basic price of the holiday?
  • What happens if I need to cancel my booking?
  • Do I get a group discount?
  • Is there any way to reduce the cost of my holiday?

Transfers and Travel

  • What if we all arrive at the pickup point at different times?
  • What if our journeys home are booked at different times?
  • Are transfers included in the price?
  • What are the pick-up/ drop-off times?
  • Where do you meet me?
  • Is there a number I can call if I can’t find you at the pick-up point?
  • How do I find you?
  • How long are the transfers?
  • How is my bike and bags transported?

Accommodation and Facilities

  • What sort of accommodation can I expect?
  • Are there bike storage facilities
  • Can I have my own room?
  • Are the rooms en-suite?
  • What facilities are there in my room?
  • What is there to do in the evenings?

Food and Drink

  • What food is included?
  • Where do I eat?
  • I am a fussy eater!
  • What happens if I have specific dietary requirements?

Bikes & Equipment

  • What sort of bike do I need?
  • Can I hire a bike?
  • Do I need to bring bike spares?
  • What gear do I need to carry on rides?
  • Do you carry bike spares?
  • Do you have tools?
  • How should I pack my bike for flights?
  • Are there bike storage facilities?
  • Is there somewhere to work on/ wash my bike?
  • What happens if I have a mechanical problem?
  • What gear do I need to bring with me?
  • Do I need pads and body armour?

Fitness, Ability & Tuition

  • How fit do I need to be?
  • What level of skill do I need?
  • How much experience do I need?
  • What if I can’t keep up?
  • How do you deal with mixed abilities?
  • Do I have to ride up hill?
  • How long are the rides?
  • Can you provide tuition?

Guiding & Routes

  • Is the riding fully guided?
  • Are the rides graded?
  • I have heard that British Guides can’t work legally in France?
  • Do you guide in France?
  • Are your guides qualified?

Out on Rides

  • Do I need insurance?
  • What gear do I need to carry on rides?
  • What happens if I have a mechanical problem on a ride?
  • Do I have to use lifts?
  • Are lift prices included?
  • How much do the lifts cost?
  • Do we ride from the door?

Entertainment & Days Off

  • Is there a day off?
  • Can you recommend places to eat?
  • Is transport included in the evenings and on days off?
  • What can I do on my day off?
  • Can I have an extra day off?
  • Can I ride on my day off?

Booking and Costs

How do I check Availability?

Checking availability is very simple – simply consult the chart on the Prices and Booking Page, which shows availability and is kept up to date daily. However, we can sometimes squeeze in extra availability if required, so please get in contact with us by email or telephone even if it seems your preferred week is fully booked! We’ll be happy to call you back if you prefer.

How do I book?

Once you have identified where you want to go on holiday with us, and we have confirmed the dates are available, we can take your reservation and confirm the total price. You will then receive a booking form by email or post, which we will need you to return within  48 working hours, along with your deposit of 20% of the total price. If you do not confirm your booking within 2 working days your reservation may be cancelled.

Can I speak to someone directly?

Of course you can – we’d love to hear from you! We’re happy to discuss whatever you need to know – please see contact us or request a call back.

How much deposit is needed?

In order to confirm your booking we require a deposit of 20% of the total price for your group. If you are making a reservation less than 6 weeks before your holiday starts full payment will be required at the time of booking.

When do I pay the full balance?

The full balance of your holiday is due 6 weeks before the commencement date, and is shown on your invoice. If you are making a reservation less than 6 weeks before your holiday starts full payment will be required at the time of booking.

What’s included in the price of the holiday?

Our GUIDED holiday prices are inclusive of all of the below:

  • Choice of multiple scheduled Airport Transfers, no long waits on our trips!
  • High quality en-suite accommodation as described on the holiday pages
  • All Breakfasts
  • Van Uplifts + Travel where stated and available
  • Drift HD helmet camera hire (subject to availability)
  • Fully Qualified Guiding on all days except rest/changeover days
  • Coaching from qualified staff
  • Après-ride advice and support (“evening guiding”)
  • Access to our workshop facilities
  • Technical support – such as suspension tuning and bike setup
  • Mechanical assistance from our staff
  • Labour costs on repairs undertaken by our staff (we help when we can!)
  • Photography (taken by our guides) from your week published in hi-res on Facebook

Our BIKE PARK holiday prices are inclusive of all the below:

  • Choice of multiple scheduled Airport Transfers– no waiting around at the airport!
  • 4* en-suite accommodation as described on the holiday pages
  • All Breakfasts
  • Lift passes for every day of your stay other than changeover days
  • Pre-Arrival Info Pack full of advice and support for the local area
  • Dedicated, english speaking Emergency Contact

What Isn’t Included in the basic price of the holiday?

Can be arranged at Extra Cost (if required):

  • Additional days guiding = £30 per person + any costs incurred (fuel, lift passes etc)
  • Additional Uplift Services beyond the normal scope of the trip
  • Evening meals in your hotel where available
  • Day Trips – priced by journey
  • Bike Hire via our recommended partner- see Bikes section
  • Downhill Bike, Full Face Helmet and Armour Hire –see Bikes section
  • Camelback Hire – £15 per week (limited availability)
  • Single Person Supplements

Our holiday prices do not include the below

  • Flights/ Train Journeys/ Travel Costs
  • Evening Meals outside your hotel
  • Insurance – see Insurance section
  • Lift Passes are included on Bike Park Holidays ONLY
  • Helmets

What happens if I need to cancel my booking?

If you unfortunately have to cancel your booking we have a set policy, as do most reputable companies offering these types of holidays. It may be possible to amend your booking to an alternative week depending upon availability. If this is not possible, please see our full Terms and Conditions for full information of the sliding scale we apply to your cancellation refund – effectively the later you cancel the smaller your refund will be.

Do I get a group discount?

Whilst we would love to offer large discounts for group bookings etc, we believe that you would prefer holidays which are genuinely priced, rather than offering reductions on inflated prices like other companies do. We operate on slim margins, as our unique format is not cheap to run! However, we do recognise that group bookings offer us some savings, and groups are often swayed by price – so now try to recognise this by having a set discount scale* for groups of 4 or more:

4 – 6 riders: 5% discount on standard prices, 6-8 riders 7.5% discount, 8 or more riders 10% discount

If you have any queries please contact us for further information. It’s worth following our Facebook page for news of Special Offers, which we also publish on the website.

*- we cannot offer these dicounts in every week of the season, so when we do have discounted weeks available they will be advertised on the Prices sections of the destination pages.

Is there any way to reduce the cost of my holiday?

If you really need to try and save some money whilst experiencing our amazing holidays please see our Budget & Custom Options section and see if you might prefer an alternative way of riding with us. This area has details of our “Arrive and Ride” package and our “BASiC” options, both of which can save you a lot of money in exchange for a few home comforts!

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Transfers and Travel

What if we all arrive at the pickup point at different times?

Due to our substantial growth over the years we now use a contractor for all airport transfers – so we have multiple transfer departure times every day of the week. This means that unlike nearly every other mountain bike company you can be very flexible with flight choices, and you are unlikely to have much waiting time at the airport! We get you to your resort quickly and with the bare minimum of fuss… We send out info at the time of booking to help you choose flights too.

What if our journeys home are booked at different times?

As mentioned above; we now use a contractor for all airport transfers – so we have multiple transfer departure times every day of the week. This means that unlike nearly every other mountain bike company you can be very flexible with flight choices, and you are unlikely to have much waiting time at the airport! We get you to your flight quickly and with the bare minimum of fuss… We send out info at the time of booking to help you choose flights too.
Are transfers included in the price?

Transfers are free, and are available at no additional cost.

What are the pick-up/ drop-off times?

This varies from location to location – however, in Andorra our scheduled transfers generally run every 2 hours between 10am and 8pm inbound, and from 0400 to 1400 on the way home. Transfers are selected for you by the transport company based on their experience, to allow sufficient travel time to and from the accommodation allowing for delays, check-in times and time to clear arrivals etc.

Where do you meet me?

We will provide full details of meeting points once you have booked you holiday – but all of our pick-up locations are very clearly marked and described. The transfer pick-up point will be nearby when you arrive, and you will be met by a member of the transfer company’s team as soon as the vehicle gets there.
Is there a number I can call if I can’t find you at the pick-up point?

Absolutely – we are contactable on 07818 085590 at all times.

How do I find you?

We will provide full details of how this works once you have booked, but generally the vehicle will be waiting for you at the designated meeting point.

How long are the transfers?

This varies dependent upon the holiday, and sometimes whether you are inbound or outbound. Generally they are between one and 2.5 hours.

How is my bike and bags transported?

Our contractors have a huge range of vehicles, from small minibuses to full-sized luxury coaches – so they allocate a suitable sized vehicle depending upon how many people they are collecting: that is why we ask you how many bikes your group is bringing in the booking forms!

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Accommodation and Facilities

What sort of accommodation can I expect?

We have personally vetted all of the accommodation which we use to ensure that it meets our quality standards and represents the best value for money we could achieve on your behalf at each location. Hotels vary widely across Europe, so we have inspected many to ensure that you have good accommodation! Generally speaking our hotels are 4 star level or above. Overall, all standard holiday accomodation is very clean, well equipped, high quality, tidy and offers good bike-friendly facilities and service. In a nutshell it is generally higher quality accommodation than you find at the vast majority of MTB holidays! In the case of our special cost-saving options the accomdation may be more basic, but the standards of cleaning and service will still be high.

Are there bike storage facilities?

We have storage facilities at all of our locations – in all of our standars accomdation there is highly  secure bike storage.

Can I have my own room?

All of our prices are based on two people sharing a twin room – if you require a room to yourself you will need to pay a single supplement – please see Prices and Booking for full information.

Are the rooms en-suite?

All of our standard holiday rooms are en-suite with showers and good facilities – our 4 star hotels are positively luxurious! Our budget options (by their nature) aren’t always en-suite, but the bathrooms are only shared between a limited number of rooms normally. If you want en-suite accomadation guaranteed then our standard holidays are probably more suitable for you!

What facilities are there in my room

This varies between accommodation, but all hotel rooms are en-suite as a minimum. Other facilities are based on location – in all accomodation you can expect TV and Wi-Fi (not all rooms can always be guaranteed of wifi, but all of our sites have it). On the continent you don’t often get tea and coffee facilities – but the hotel bar will be open late if you need a pre-bedtime espresso! Please contact us if you would like specific information.

What is there to do in the evenings?

This varies depending upon your destination, and sometimes within each holiday and teh time of year. Clearly, more remote locations, or very low season weeks, have fewer options for evening entertainment – but all of our holidays offer a degree of nightlife! There’s always the ability to spend a few nights out at local bars and restaurants – and some holidays (especially those in Andorra) offer lots of “après-bike” options to keep you busy in the evenings – from bars and restaurants to live music and nightclubs. We pride ourselves on being very aware of local live music and events, so if there’s something special happening nearby we’ll let you know about it. Please see Why we are so Unique

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Food and Drink

What food is included?

All of our rates are quoted on a bed and breakfast basis. Packed lunches are available for a small charge at all hotels. Evening meals are not included, but our hotels usually offer a special rate on meals for Singletrack Safari clients who choose to eat in. Alternatively we know a vast array of places to eat to suit every pocket – it is definitely possible to eat cheaply in the evenings with a little local knowledge!

Where do I eat?

Breakfast is served in your accomdation, whilst dinner can either be eaten at your hotel restaurant or we can show you the best places to eat at all of our destinations – we have spent a long time researching the nicest restaurants and cafes to suit any budget.

I am a fussy eater!

Don’t worry – it’s very easy to find a really good selection of food at all of our destinations – we are also close at hand to give you special recommendations….lots of food on the continent is far less intimidating once it has been translated! We are more than happy to help you through the menus to find what you are looking for.

What happens if I have specific dietary requirements?

In most locations it is possible to speak with hotels and restaurants to ensure that intolerances, allergies and dietary preferences can be accommodated. In some countries this can have the affect of narrowing the menu a little (for example Andalucían menus include a lot of pork!) – but we can help you make sure you get the food which suits your needs.

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Bikes & Equipment

What sort of bike do I need?

This is always a big question – so we have dedicated a whole page to this!

Please follow this link to see our recommendations and advice – ultimately it’s about the rider – but being well-equipped is never going to hurt…

UK Holidays – most trails in the UK can be ridden comfortably on a hardtail bike, but you’ll find that some trails – especially in North Wales, the Westcountry and the North of Scotland can be pretty technically challenging and rocky, so are sometimes more fun on a full-susser.

Alpine Holidays– you will probably cope on a front suspension bike, but we’d definitely recommend a full suspension bike with 130mm or more of travel to get the best from your holiday.

Andorran Holidays– The trails in Andorra are similar to the Alps, so similar rules apply – but they are a bit steeper and rockier in places, so we’d probably recommend a slightly longer travel bike, ideally 150mm or so. You’ll cope on a shorter travel bike, but they tend to throw your weight forwards on the steeper sections. If you plan on exclusively riding in the bike parks we’d recommend something with slacker frame geometry and more travel – short travel bikes can quickly feel very out of their depth amongst the tough elements of the DH courses!

Spanish Holidays– the trails in Spain are often harsh, but the mountain ranges we ride in keep things varied. However, the majority of the time you are riding on rock and extremely hard-packed dirt, so a full suspension bike is definitely our recommendation – but remember there are no uplifts here, so some people prefer a hardtail for the climbs, and take it more carefully down the other side! A full suspension bike will generally keep things more fun and less tiring.

Can I hire a bike?

Before hiring a bike ask yourself whether you’d really enjoy your holiday more on your own familiar bike…? People get unnecessarily concerned about taking bikes on flights in particular – it’s actually very easy and cheap to do if done correctly. It takes about 20 minutes to pack a bike for a flight, and in 20 years of flying with ours we’ve not had one single issue or any damage done! If you need any advice on flying with your bike we are happy to help provice some support and pointers.

However, we do have a truly excellent hire partner with whom we work in Andorra: they have a choice of current-season machinery from our sponsors Commencal, and reservations are made via a dedicated website, in English – so it is very clear and easy to do.

Do I need to bring bike spares?

You’ll need to bring basic riding spares for your bike – as a minimum we would recommend some spare inner tubes, spare brake pads, chain links and joining pins, and some lube.
What gear do I need to carry on rides?

We would recommend that you carry a Hydration Pack (ideally with a 3L bladder) containing Inner Tubes, Pump, tyre levers, basic tools such as a multi-tool (and any tools unique to your bike), a waterproof jacket and some food to snack on. If you have a mobile phone please bring it too – but make sure you keep it somewhere it won’t get wet or damaged. Oh, and importantly, don’t forget you camera!

Do you carry bike spares?

We have a few bits for repairs for guided guests – but please don’t rely on these for emergencies – we don’t carry them out on the trail at all times! We usually have some tubes, cables, chains, tyres and lube which you can buy from us if needs be.

Do you have tools?

We have a well-equipped mobile workshop for guided guests, which can provide tools for just about every eventuality other than major failures, We tend to avoid offering to help repair hydraulic/ suspension issues ourselves, due to possible complications with internals – such things can be tricky to diagnose so we prefer to direct you to a shop for paid repairs. However, teh availability of support on the trip is not a reason to not ensure your bike is in good working order and well maintained before your holiday! Lack of maintenance always causes problems and failures midway through a ride, not in the car park! We have a Cytec qualified member of the team (bike shop mechanic level) who holds a DT Swiss Wheel Building qualification – and we will do our very best to help you out if you have problems.

How should I pack my bike for flights?

People get very over-concerned about taking bikes on flights – it’s actually very easy and cheap to do if done correctly. It takes about 20 minutes to pack a bike for a flight, and in 20 years of flying with ours we’ve not had one single issue or any damage caused! We get very annoye dwith some of the doom-mongering in internet forums – it’s mostly people who either don’t know what they are talking about, or who didn’t pack their bikes properly!

We would recommend using a soft bike bag (hard cases cause lot of problems at airports in terms of additional charges and searches, and are difficult for us to store) – we have uses bags from Wiggle and CRC as they are cheap and well designed. If your budget will stretch to a semi-rigid bag such as an EVOC they are worth every penny, as they simplfy packing …

  • If possible use wheel bags inside the case, as this helps protect the whole bike by adding extra padding
  • If wheels are removed, we’d recommend removing the brake discs if possible, or at least turning the wheels inward so the discs don’t get bent
  • Get some plastic fork and frame spacers from your local bike shop to protect the dropouts
  • Also get some disc pad spacers (or use some thick card) and put them between your disc brake pads to avoid the brakes getting compressed in transit
  • Remove your pedals and put them in a compartment in the bike bag
  • Sometimes you will need to remove the stem and bars– it depends on the brand of bag
  • We’d also recommend removing the rear mech – no need to unplug the cable, just wrap the mech in bubble wrap and tape it to the inside of the rear triangle so it’s out of the way
  • Put some pipe lagging or cardboard tubes around the frame if you are paranoid about scratches!
  • Finally, use some spare packaging materials to take up the spare space in the bag – this stops the bike moving around and adds extra padding
  • Please also see our step-by-step “how to” video on YouTube (we must do an new HD one!)and our photo guide on packing your bike on the blog page

Are there bike storage facilities?

We have storage facilities at all of our locations

Is there somewhere to work on/ wash my bike?

We used to carry portable washers, but all of the locations where we now operate have free bike washing facilities nearby. For example, at Vallnord you will find a bike wash station at the exit of the Bike Park in La Massana near Riders Boutique.

What happens if I have a mechanical problem?

No problem – our Cytec qualified mechanic will come swooping to your rescue! If you are at the hotel you will have full mobile workshop support. Out on the trail we will do everything possible to keep you moving and enjoying your holiday. Barring a complete catastrophic failure there’s little we can’t do to get you home – our aim is always to let you finish the ride with a big grin on your face by fixing problems for you.

What gear do I need to bring with me?

The essentials you will need to have available on your holiday are:

  • Helmet – no helmet, no ride
  • Hydration Pack – please check it’s big enough to carry your gear! We don’t advise using water bottles – they tend to get lost, and are too small for a full day in the wilderness. We’d recommend using a 3L bladder for water
  • Gloves – full finger are recommended.
  • Eyewear – we would always recommend protecting your eyes
  • Riding Gear – jerseys, shorts
  • Waterproof Jacket – yes, even in Spain!
  • Riding Shoes
  • Inner Tubes
  • Pump
  • Any tools specific to your bike

Do I need pads and body armour?

This is a very tough question for us to answer – really it is very much dependent upon your preferences, and where you are riding. We tend to carry a set of soft knee pads on all rides, but we don’t always use them. However, we like to have them available wherever we are.

If we are doing big descents don’t be surprised to see us pad up – but remember that if we hurt ourselves we can’t guide you – so we have to be very careful and take precautions. In Europe we’d really recommend wearing pads ideally – not because of the difficulty of the riding specifically, but because the trails can be very rocky and the ground is often baked hard by the sun – so having a spill tends to hurt.

If you are riding bike parks in Andorra we’d always wear pads – both elbow and knee as a minimum. If we are riding exclusively downhill then we’d also go with hard shell pads on our elbows/ forearms and knee/shins. If you are riding hard then you ought to consider a body armour that protects your back, chest and shoulders, and a full face helmet.

Please don’t get hung up on the question of protection – some people used let themselves get quite intimidated by the thought of “padding up” – but it’s no different to making sure you wear the right shoes to go for a walk – it’s all about using the equipment that you feel is appropriate to your own needs! These days almost all trail riders are familiar with knee pads as a minimum, and they are in very common use.

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Fitness, Ability & Tuition

How fit do I need to be?

You’ll need a reasonable level of basic fitness wherever you are riding – we offer a degree of uplifted riding on most days in most locations, but you will still need to ride uphill; we don’t use lifts all of the time! The lift systems help us get higher than a normal day’s riding would allow you to achieve, but as soon as you are outside a bike park you are going to have to pedal at some point! So long as you have experience of all-day rides at home you will be fine.

What level of skill do I need?

Anyone who has regularly been riding “proper” mountain bike trails (natural or trail centre singletrack with technical features) for a year or more will be equipped to deal with most of our trails – but our holidays are not suitable for beginners. We pride ourselves on our routes – they will challenge even the most experienced riders at times – but we plan our week’s riding around the group’s ability as a whole.

We are fully qualified to coach you if you are an intermediate rider who would like our advice and experience, and we can help you understand and clear sections you might not have felt comfortable with previously.

You will be amazed how much your riding will develop across the course of a whole week of riding – so by the end of the week you will be riding more confidently and smoothly than ever before. Please read our Ability and Tuition page for further information.

How much experience do I need?

We’d recommend that our holidays tend to suit people who have been riding for at least a year or so, on a regular basis. You’ll be experienced in riding on singletrack trails, either natural or man-made, and you will be used to dealing with a few technical trail features. Our holidays are not suitable for beginners. Please also see the Ability and Tuition section.

What if I can’t keep up?

Lots of people worry unnecessarily about this – some people are always going to be faster than others uphill or down descents, but it is amazing how most people ride at a similar pace over the length of a day. Please, don’t worry about it – it never causes a problem, and you can rest assured that the guys that fly uphill will be glad of a rest at the top anyway! Please also see our Ability and Tuition page.

How do you deal with mixed abilities?

As we have already mentioned, our holidays aren’t suitable for beginners – but we offer a great deal of support to our guests. Our trails are carefully handpicked to ensure that most people can ride most sections, whilst other sections will challenge even the most skilled of riders. If there’s a section that you are finding tricky we are happy to offer free skills coaching and advice whilst riding to conquer things that you find tougher. Ultimately, even the very best of us have “off days” where we are struggling – and therefore no-one should ever feel ashamed to simply get off and walk a section if necessary! There’s one set of switchbacks in Andorra which has only been cleaned once ever by one of our guides! Please also see our Ability and Tuition section.

Do I have to ride uphill?

If you are on an Enduro/AM holiday, yes, you will have to ride uphill – but often we will be very nice to you and drive to a high point to start a ride – and you then spend the majority of the day descending! Our higher-season weeks are now lift-assisted on a daily basis – but all routes will have some climbs in them even taking a high start into account: some of the finest descents will still require you to put in some effort to reach! We now aim to descend three times the height that we climb when possible!

If you are looking for a 100% gravity-assisted holiday try our Bike Park Holiday options in Andorra, you don’t have to be a full-on downhiller to enjoy a week of letting the lifts takes the strain! Please also the Ability and Tuition page.

How long are the rides?

We generally ride for between 4 and 6 hours per day, and we can tailor this a little to suit the needs of the group – many rides have options to short-cut or extend our routes. We stop regularly and have breaks for snacks and lunch. In Spain we tend to finish mid-afternoon to avoid the most severe heat and sun of the day – this also ties in with Spanish lunchtime which is around 3pm.

Can you provide tuition?

We are fully qualified Mountain Bike Leaders – and this qualification includes coaching and support of riders. We’ve got a lot of experience between us and have ridden most disciplines too. We’re very happy to help you develop your riding skills if you would like us to – whether this is on an ad-hoc basis or over the course of a full week. We can even arrange a specific coaching week for larger groups – please contact us for more information. Please also see our Ability and Tuition information.

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Guiding & Routes

Is the riding fully guided?

We guide you at all times on guided holidays, but there are odd days where you might want to do your own thing (e.g. if we have a day in the Bike Park ).

Guiding in France (only) is – amazingly – still a hot issue: due to the idiosyncrasies of their local councils in SOME regions (mostly Les Arcs and Morzine) there is a belief that only guides holding French qualifications can guide on their soil. This discussion has been ongoing for many years, and has caused a great deal of confusion, frustration and ill-informed comments on forums! However, to put it simply, preventing non-French, fully qualified workers from operating in France is generally considered to be illegal under European law – and we have been told by our sources in British Cycling that the official French line is that it is a non-issue. The problems which persist are very localised, and seem to be targetted at specific businesses who work in specific locations, and who are perceived by the local councils to be not supporting of the local economy. This in itself is pretty daft when you think about it – as those companies are bringing money to their local area in terms of tourism, even if they are not employing the locals! We have never experienced anything other than helpful support in all of the locations where we operate, and we are happy to discuss this with you in detail to give you up-to-the-minute-information about our stance on the situation.

Are the rides graded?

Trying to grade natural trails is daft – so no, we don’t grade them! One ride could very well be a “red” graded (difficult) trail overall, but have some technical sections which are “black” (severe), plus long, flowing “blue” (easy-moderate) singletrack descents!

We will always give you an idea of the overall feel of the route – but to effectively grade natural trails is simply not practical. For example, we know trails in Spain where bad storms can completely change the nature of long sections by moving rocks and creating completely new lines! In the Alps we have a ride which uses some incredibly rooty sections – these could change from “red” (difficult) in the dry to “double black diamond” (extreme) in the wet! We’ll always work out what trails will suit you best during our first day riding with you– after all, you are paying for our expertise…

I have heard that British Guides can’t work legally in France?

Guiding in France is – amazingly – still a hot issue: due to the idiosyncrasies of their local councils in SOME regions (mostly Les Arcs and Morzine) there is a belief that only guides holding French qualifications can guide on their soil. This discussion has been ongoing for many years, and has caused a great deal of confusion, frustration and ill-informed comments on forums! However, to put it simply, preventing non-French, fully qualified workers from operating in France is generally considered to be illegal under European law – and we have been told by our sources in British Cycling that the official French line is that it is a non-issue. The problems which persist are very localised, and seem to be targetted at specific businesses who work in specific locations, and who are perceived by the local councils to be not supporting of the local economy. This in itself is pretty daft when you think about it – as those companies are bringing money to their local area in terms of tourism, even if they are not employing the locals! We have never experienced anything other than helpful support in all of the locations where we operate, and we are happy to discuss this with you in detail to give you up-to-the-minute-information about our stance on the situation.

Do you guide in France?

Yes we do, and happily so – and we have never had an issue in all of our many years of operating! Guiding in France is – amazingly – still a hot issue: due to the idiosyncrasies of their local councils in SOME regions (mostly Les Arcs and Morzine) there is a belief that only guides holding French qualifications can guide on their soil. This discussion has been ongoing for many years, and has caused a great deal of confusion, frustration and ill-informed comments on forums! However, to put it simply, preventing non-French, fully qualified workers from operating in France is generally considered to be illegal under European law – and we have been told by our sources in British Cycling that the official French line is that it is a non-issue. The problems which persist are very localised, and seem to be targetted at specific businesses who work in specific locations, and who are perceived by the local councils to be not supporting of the local economy. This in itself is pretty daft when you think about it – as those companies are bringing money to their local area in terms of tourism, even if they are not employing the locals! We have never experienced anything other than helpful support in all of the locations where we operate, and we are happy to discuss this with you in detail to give you up-to-the-minute-information about our stance on the situation.

Are your guides qualified?

All of our staff are fully qualified Mountain Bike Leaders – not Trail Cycle Leaders or equivalent (this is the first module of qualification – and many guides never complete the full qualification). Many qualifications held by so-called guides are not valid to guide above 600m, which pretty is useless in most places – always check that your guide holds a full qualification! Our guides are also ITC qualified in Outdoor First Aid, a qualification aimed specifically at active sports in remote environments.

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Out on Rides

Do I need insurance?

Yes – this is essential – and we will need to see proof of this before you ride. Please see the Insurance section.

What gear do I need to carry on rides?

We would recommend that you carry a Hydration Pack (ideally with a 3L bladder) containing Inner Tubes, Pump, tyre levers, basic tools such as a multi-tool (and any tools unique to your bike), a waterproof jacket and some food to snack on. If you have a mobile phone please bring it too – but make sure you keep it somewhere it won’t get wet or damaged.  Oh, and importantly, don’t forget you camera!

What happens if I have a mechanical problem on a ride?

Your guide will do everything possible to help – whether it’s assisting with a simple puncture, a broken chain, torn tyre sidewall, damaged wheels, gear selection problems or even a snapped pedal axle, we are well equipped and we’ll do everything in our power to keep you moving.

Do I have to use lifts?

We can reduce lift usage if you prefer but you can bet that the majority of the group will take the easy option and wait at the top for you! In the Alps and the Pyrenees some lift use is required to reach the best trails, or to link certain parts of routes together. If you want to ride big mountains without any lift use we’d recommend low-season weeks on our Andorran or Spanish Holidays – these take in “real” mountains, but we can design routes that remain a bit lower, so the climbs are more realistic for most people!

Are lift prices included?

Guided Holidays – No, they are not, as your lift usage will vary on your preferences and the routes we take.

Bike Park Holidays – Yes, these include lift passes valid for all the full days of your stay.

How much do the lifts cost?

This varies – different places charge different amounts, and if you buy multi-day passes you can save money. Often we’ll only use a single-trip lift during certain Enduro/AM rides in Andorra (we also use vehicle uplifts which ARE included) – a one-way trip can be as little as £5 or so. However, a good example of a full-day pass is the cost of a lift pass iat Vallnord – this covers all of the lifts across the whole park, and costs around 23 Euros. Please see the resources page for links to more lift price information.
Do we ride from the door?

In most destinations we will ride from the door, or very close to it, aa few times during the holiday – whilst we often make use of vehicles we recognise that it’s nice not to have to travel every single day.

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Entertainment & Days Off

Is there a day off?

Yes, all of our guided holidays have a day off built in mid-week – most people rarely get the chance to ride every day for a week solidly, and you’ll be surprised how tired you can get. Therefore a day off makes sense, as you’ll get back on your bike the following day feeling refreshed and enjoy the rest of your holiday more as a result. If you really don’t want a day off it’s usually possible to arrange an extra day’s guiding….see “Can I ride on my day off?” For Bike Park trips you will have a lift pass for every full day of your trip, so it’s up to you how much to use it!

Can you recommend places to eat?

We absolutely pride ourselves on our ability to show you the best places to eat in all of our destinations – and we never recommend anywhere we haven’t eaten previously. We know all types of restaurants and cafes, to suit every taste and budget. More than just telling you where to go, we can normally even suggest the best dishes on their menus – and if you would like our help you can always take us along to provide translations and interpret the menu if necessary.

Is transport included in the evenings and on days off?

The cost of transport (apart from during rides) isn’t included, but if you need a lift somewhere we’ll happily provide support in finding either bus or taxi transport.

What can I do on my day off?

There’s plenty to do on days off – but it all depends on which holiday you have opted for! Visiting cities, paragliding, canyoning, go-karting, walking, climbing, shopping, sightseeing – you name it, we’ll be able to tell you if it’s available. If we don’t know we’ll find out – we’re at your service as guides off the bike as well as on it!

Can I have an extra day off?

If you want an extra day off you are more than welcome to have one – but bear in mind that if we’re guiding the rest of the group on that day it is unlikely that we will be able to give you much support.

Can I ride on my day off?

You can opt to ride on your day off if you prefer – we are normally available for an extra day’s guiding for £30 per person, plus any costs incurred. If we are not available to guide for any reason we’ll happily aim you in the direction of some of the more obvious routes and arm you with a map!

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"...the most perfect sun-dappled loamy singletrack any of us had ever ridden."

MBR Mountain Bike Rider

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