What support will I get during the ride?
Our support car will be close by throughout your rides, carrying spare parts, drinking water and emergency food supplies as well as a few spare bikes. The support car will be driven by a qualified mechanic & first aider with detailed knowledge of the local area. Any spare clothes can also be carried in the support car for when you need it.
If you break down, we will help you with a roadside repair or provide you with a temporary replacement bike while your bike is being repaired.
If you have an accident, you will receive first aid support and any further help that may need to be arranged.
If you get lost, our support car will find you and get you back on track.
If you are having a bad day and need a little help in getting home, our support car will be happy to give you a lift.
Although we won’t provide lunch during the rides, we will point out the best lunch stops.
What are my travel options from UK/IRL?
Plane: there are many direct flights to Lyon airport from UK and IRL airports (budget as well as mainstream airlines), and the number of budget flights from the UK to Grenoble airport are increasing rapidly. We will collect you from Lyon or Grenoble airport as part of the package.
Train: The TGV runs from Paris to Lyon, with good onwards connections to Grenoble. We will collect you from Grenoble station as part of the package.
Bus: There are cheap international bus services running between London and Lyon, with onward train connections to Lyon airport or Grenoble. We will collect you from Lyon airport or Grenoble station as part of the package.
Car: Our base at Villard de Lans is approx. 8h drive from Calais
What should I bring along?
Your bike (unless you prefer to rent one)
Anything you’d normally carry for a day ride (puncture repair kit, bottle, cycle shoes, helmet etc)
Lights for your bike – you will be cycling through some unlit tunnels, so light is important
Bike clothing for all weather – it can be cold at the top of the mountains, and hot in the valleys and you may be unlucky and get some rain.
Energy bars and gels if you are particular about these – you may not be able to buy the exact same brand here.
Small backpack to carry your overnight things for our trip to the Alps.
What not to bring:
Tools for Shimano groupsets, track pump, spare parts, lube etc are all available at base and there is a good cycle shop in town
Bedding, sheets, towels are provided
Lots of clothes – we have a washing machine, dryer, iron etc at base
What level of fitness do I need?
If you can manage a 50 mile ride with your friends or club at home, you’ll be fine for the tour. Each group can select the routes that match their ability and desired challenge, and shortcuts are available on most routes if you happen to have a bad day. We aim to provide a tour that provides a challenge and a great holiday at the same time.
What gears do I need on my bike?
You’ll need an wide gear range to get you through the long climbs – it’s much better to have a gear in reserve than being one short. As a minimum, we recommend a compact chainset and a cassette with a 28T ring.
What are the facilities like?
Our base is Gite du Col Vert; a large 5 bedroom house with everything that you may need: wifi, washing machine/dryer, secure garage for servicing & storing you bikes, fully equipped kitchen, large dining area, garden and decking where you will be served your breakfast and dinner. For more information, visit Gite du Col Vert. The gite will be adapted specifically to the needs of the cycle tours in terms of set-up of the bedrooms, a stretch/massage room, Jacuzzi, garage with bike stands and tools, and the provision of meals.
Do I have to share a bedroom?
The standard package is based on 2 people sharing a room. The rooms are large double rooms with twin beds.
Do you arrange sports massage?
Yes, we have an arrangement with a qualified physiotherapist who can a provide sport massage at base at short notice. The charge for this is Eu 25 per session (approx. 20 mins).
What are the rental bikes like?
Our own stock of rental bikes are Giant TCR Advanced 2 carbon bikes with Shimano 105 groupsets (weight approx. 8.0 kg). The bikes are set-up with compact double chainsets and a 11 speed cassette including 32T, to provide a range that is equivalent to a traditional triple set-up. If we don’t have your size bike available, we can source a suitable bike for you through local rental companies (prices do vary, so we will provide a quotation in that case).
What else is there to do in the Vercors?
There are many things to do and explore in the Vercors, if you fancy taking a day off or extending your holiday. Here are some suggestions: things to do in the Vercors
What type of meals do you provide?
We serve breakfast, aperitif and dinner every day. All our meals are typical French Alpine style and home cooked each day, using local produce from the Vercors as much as possible. Valerie is a fantastic cook and we put a lot of emphasis on the quality of the meals, as they are key to your enjoyment and will provide you will all the calories that you need during the tour. During the aperitif session we particularly enjoy serving local specialities that you may not have tasted before, and provide local wines, beers and spirits to complement the experience. We are always happy to cater for any specific dietary requirements that you may have – just let us know in advance of your trip and we’ll look after you. For information, here is a sample menu from one of our tours: sample menu
Are you linked into Strava?
Yes, we have our own Strava club and know the Strava segments within each route proposed. We can help you download your data from our GPS devices onto Strava after each ride.