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Helpful Hints

  • Butter cleans road tar from bicycles.
  • Identify your stuff with a complete itinerary (the places you will be on specific dates, with the reach phone numbers and include you home contact information)
  • Dry sacks can be used as impromptu washing machines.
  • A magnetic key holder is helpful for shared cars.
  • In France 12 to 2pm is " déjeuner" when you sit down and eat. Outside of those hours youprobably won't find lunch but can get a coffee or a snack. Between 12 and 2, no coffee of snacks.   C'est la vie!
  • When you return, review and modify your packing list to prepare for your next tour.

Transporting a Bicycle

Taking your own bicycle has advantages and disadvantages.
  • You'll have exactly the bike fit and features to which you are accustomed.
  • Certain locations may have limited access to rental bicycles.
  • It may cost more to fly with your bicycle.
  • Transporting a bicycle case in cabs or rental cars becomes a consideration.
BYT has compiled the following sites containing information about cases, packing your bicycle into a case, shipping bicycles, airline considerations and travelling in vehicles with a packed bicycle.

Acquire a Bike Shipping Box or S&S Bicycle Case through one of these sites or check with your favorite shop or online source.

View the Packing a Bicycle or Packing a S&S Coupled Bicycle video and review the Variety of S&S Packing Examples (instructions and photos).

Consider Bicycle Shipping or a parcel service (for example, DHL, UPS, FedEx) to send your bicycle in advance.

Start with Airlines - from Bicycling magazine for a general discussion (with blog links) about travelling with bicycles on airlines and visit airline sites for each airline, for each leg of your journey. 

Request mini-van cabs and rent "full-size" or larger special vehicles. For two singles or a tandem, you'll have at least twice as much luggage and people so increase the vehicle size appropriately.

Luggage Transport 

If your tour involves more than one, single base location, you'll have luggage with clothing and toiletries you'll want at each place. In other words, you will want your luggage moved.  

Luggage transportation is a key benefit of organized group tours.  Similarly, "pre-packaged" self-guided tours often include a luggage transportation service.

On a BYT Tour, luggage transportation is achieved using:

  • panniers, bicycle bags or trailer on your bicycle;
  • a rental car with a member of your group driving the luggage;
  • a service to transport your bags.

Using panniers, bicycle bags or a trailer allows you to cycle an entire route from one point to the next.  Similarly, a service (for example, taxi cab) also allows you to cycle an entire route from point to point. 

Using a rental car to transport bags, allows all but one member of your group to cycle point to point.  If the driver is also a cyclist, consider the possibility of the designated driver riding "out & back" sections during the transfer day.  A rental car also offers the benefit of a SAG vehicle for road emergencies.  Don't forget a magnetic key holder to be placed on the underside of the car  while everyone is riding or hiking.

Rental Car 

Your selection of the particular car model depends on driver/”rider” arrangements; loop ride or point-to-point; decisions on bike cases and bike racks. Car rentals are available at the Geneva airport and at most For example, in France, four adults with one large suitcase each, one carry-on item each and two 26x26x10 bike cases, a 7-passenger Renault Espace Grand (or similar) should accommodate all the people, luggage, bike cases and (if necessary) bikes.  The Peugeot Boxer vans are used by organized tour groups and may also be rented in France.  Another View of Car Rental by Pedal Dancer.

Car Racks for Bicycles 

A smaller car with a bicycle rack may also suit your needs. Buying a strap-on rack in France is fairly inexpensive at local Decathlon stores.  If this option is a possibility for your tour, let BYT know and we'll search for bicycle shops in the vicinity of your starting location.

Transporting Bike Cases 

A loop tour benefit is returning to your beginning location.  Many hotels and lodging facilities will graciously store bicycle cases in their facility, especially when you have a room reserved at the start and end of your tour.  

In a point-to-point tour, you probably want your bicycle case waiting for you at your end destination. Logistics for transporting the case from start to finish are similar to shipping your bicycle to the start point.
Look for:

  • Local or in-country shipping services (for example, in France,  SNCF baggage service Sernam (http://www.sernam.fr/en//) will transport your bicycle and/or case door-to-door.)
  • Global or international parcel services (for example, DHL, UPS)
  • Taxi services often transport luggage or cases, but usually at a premium cost.

Attending a Grand Tour

You're excited to join the "tifosi" at the Giro d'Italia or the "schloogs" at the Tour de France.  Prepare for long days full of fans, traffic jams and the excitement of the tour.  Start by visiting the "official" web site of the tour and learning as much as you can about the stage:

Once you've determined the stage route details, decide where you want to stake your territory for the day. One of the best places is on a climb near an intersection.  The climb slows the peloton to a more viewable pace. The cross-road intersection allows later arrival time and reduced traffic issues.  

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