We’ve been specialising in European cycling holidays for many years and we’re frequently asked ‘am I fit enough for an Alpine cycling holiday’. We know how important it is to feel that our trips are the right fit for you, and this article will explain a bit more about what’s involved in our tours and the fitness levels you’ll need.
We’re a small company run by passionate riders. We understand how important cycling is to you, because we feel that way too. While you’ve been training, we’ve been preparing our routes, tweaking our tours and making sure that everything has been done to ensure your cycling holiday is fun, challenging, breathtaking, enjoyable – everything you want it to be.
Our cycling holidays provide what we believe are unique biking adventures and training opportunities in some of the world’s most spectacular and challenging mountains. But our trips are not just for the experts and hardcore riders – they’re aimed at all levels. We have a long weekend tour this summer, based around Lake Annecy, specifically aimed at entry level alpine cyclists who want to experience the thrill of some small climbs.
You’ll find all of our trips in the riding programme section of our site marked with a Rider Level of between 1 and 5. This allows you to see at a glance how demanding the route will be.
A guide to our rider levels
Level 1: This is our entry level. You’ll be capable of riding 50-60km (30-40 miles) per day with some hills in rolling countryside. You could be someone who enjoys sports and has a good level of fitness and wants to try riding in the Alps for the first time.
Level 2: You’ll be capable of riding 60-80km each day with some small Cols (400 metres of climbing). You might have already done some shorter Sportifs in the UK and are perhaps aiming to train for some longer events. You’ll be comfortable riding for around three hours on the bike.
Level 3: You’ll be able to ride 80-100km a day, with a major Col included (up to 800 metres of climbing each day). You may well be in training for a specific goal like the Etape de Tour or Marmotte.
Level 4: This level is aimed at riders who can manage 100km+ per day, taking in two major Cols (up to 2000m of climbing each day). Again, you might be in training for a specific goal which involves high mountains.
Level 5: This is the big one. You’ll be able to cycle long distances day after day. Speed isn’t as important as stamina for these tours, you’ll be capable of riding over 100km with 2500m+ of climbing every day. These holidays are great for strong endurance riders who like a challenge and perfect for anyone targeting multi-day events like the Haute Route.
What you can expect every day
For more most of our trips, you can expect to be riding for 4-6 hours a day, and much of that time will be spent going uphill. It’s not a race though, and you will have the opportunity to ride at a pace that suits you.
Our maximum group size is 15. We operate a high staff to rider ratio to ensure your safety and enjoyment, so a full group would be supported by three guides and two support vehicles. The vehicles carry first aid supplies, essential spares and tools, extra clothing, snacks and drinks…not to mention the peace of mind that if you run out of steam you’ve can always jump in the van!
You’ll receive the support of at least one of us riding with the group, spending some time with each and every rider to motivate and advise you, observing how you are doing and helping you get the most out of your ride.
We’ll stop for coffee breaks, admiring the beautiful views, and of course for lunch – you’ll be hungry! If we’re back at the chalet afterwards you’ll have the chance to do some stretching and sunbathing and you can even soothe any aches in our hot-tub. If we’re staying at hotels on our route, the minibuses will meet us with your luggage and you can unwind before celebrating our achievements with supper and perhaps some sightseeing. There are plenty of options.
Find out more
You certainly don’t need to have the fitness and stamina of Bradley Wiggins or Lizzie Armitstead to take part in our cycling holidays, but a reasonable level of bike fitness is recommended for you to enjoy the experience and get the most out of it.
If you have any doubts or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch to discuss them, this will allow us to give you confidence in your decision to book with us. We look forward to meeting you!