Our 2018 Schedule: Time to Plan Your Trip!
Welcome to our 2018, pre-season, “schedule your own trip” page. We have an unusual way of creating our annual trip schedule: through January 31st, 2018, you, our riders, do it!
That’s right: we’ll put a trip in our departure calendar, on the dates you want, on any of our routes, because you tell us to.
How It Works
- Tell us which trip you would like to go on, and when you would like to go. Our trips can be viewed here.
- Trips may be scheduled on any of our regular routes. Some restrictions apply.
- Even one person, travelling alone, can put a trip in the schedule.
- Send in a “mini-deposit,” applied to the trip cost if it runs, refunded in full if not.
- As soon as the trip gets 6 riders (or 4, if it gets them by January 31st), it is ON!
You then confirm your participation.
See below for details...
For information on how to create a trip after January 31st, please see Guest-Initiated Trips.
As trips are proposed, they will appear in a list below. When one more person signing up would confirm the trip as a “guaranteed departure,” it will appear in bold. Until it does, don’t buy your plane ticket: the trip is not yet sure to run.
People often ask us about our “best” trips. It is an impossible question to answer: as much about the person asking it as about any objective truth.
But that does not mean we don’t have our personal favorites. Sometimes our choices reflect cultural preference, other times scenery, food, climate... In some cases they simply reflect rarity. Those of us who work at Blue Marble have each been to Provence several times, and have easy ways to return there. Getting to Denmark, much less with a touring bike, requires more effort.
Our suggestion? If you don’t see what you want in the list below, scan the regions we run in, read the descriptions, and see what calls to you. Then schedule a trip at a time the suits you, and watch other happy people join your party!
Current Propositions (full / sold out trips are removed from the list two weeks after they fill):
Bordeaux & the Dordogne, May 5
Gorges of the Cévennes, May 12
A Week in Provence, May 20
Pure Tuscany, May 27
Umbria Unravelled, June 3
Italian Lakes, June 10
Ardèche & the Rhone (new trip), June 23
A Family-Friendly French trip (route under discussion, feel free to contribute), July 1
Danish Biking, July 8
Norwegian Fjords & Glaciers, July 16
Champagne Pedal, July 23
Brittany Biking, July 29
Chardonnay Burgundy, August 5
Austria’s Sound of Music Country, Family-Friendly Departure, August 5.
Basque Biking, September 15
Celtic Spain, September 23
Rivers & Canyons, May 5
Roman Souvenirs, May 12
Lavender & Olive, May 20
Etruscan Trails, May 27
Kingdom Off the Sea, June 3
Scandinavian Sampler, July 8
2 Weeks in France, Champagne & Brittany, July 23
2 Weeks in France, Brittany & Northern Burgundy, July 29
Portuguese Explorer, September 2
Green Spain, September 15
Portuguese Explorer, September 30
(3 and more weeks)
Roman Roads of France & Italy, May 5
Giro d’Italia, May 27
Tour de France, July 23
Atlantic Coasting, September 23
How to Propose a Trip
- Pick your trip, on any of our 20 routes, or a combination.
- Send in a trip application for the trip you want, and a “mini deposit” of 200€ (payable by credit card), or $250 (by check / cheque) per trip week. If you are suggesting a new trip departure (as opposed to joining one previously proposed), we will add the trip to the departure schedule.
• Proposed trips must start on the usual day of the week for the route’s operation.
• They must start at least 6 weeks distant from an existing proposition on the same route, unless the existing trip is full.
• A maximum of two trips can be proposed for the same week.
• If the trip you are joining is already confirmed (that is, appears in bold print on the list), simply use the normal sign-up procedure to climb aboard!
There are no other restrictions. Indeed, even those restrictions do not apply if you have 6 or more riders willing to commit to the departure (4 or more riders prior to January 31st).
- If the trip has 4 people aboard by January 31st of the trip year, it is firmly scheduled, and appears in bold print on the trip schedule, above. After January 31st, 6 people are required to confirm the departure.
Once the operation is confirmed, we request the balance of the standard trip deposit from all of the people signed up. You then have 30 days to confirm your participation, or you are considered to have canceled (your “mini deposit” is lost in that case).
- The “mini deposit” is fully refundable if the trip does not run — but it very likely will.
Once you are notified that the trip is a “go,’ the “mini deposit” becomes non-refundable.
More Details, Fine Print
- If you wish to travel on 2 or more connecting trips, you may make your sign-up conditional on the operation of both or all of the trips you want.
Example: if you sign up for two trips, you can tell us “I want both or neither.” We then refund your deposit in full if both do not run.
Or you can say, “I want either or both.” If trip A then confirms, but not trip B, you get your deposit back for Trip B, but are signed up for Trip A, and expected to pay the balance of the standard trip deposit. If you don't, then you lose the “mini deposit” for Trip A.
- Until we tell you that the trip is firmly scheduled, you may withdraw and obtain a 50% refund of your “mini deposit.”
- You may set a cut-off date for your decision process: if we do not guarantee to operate your trip by your selected date, we refund your mini deposit in full. This cut-off date can only be set when you initially register for the trip, and is not modifiable.
- “Founder's Discounts” (for Guest-Initiated Trips) do not apply to trips scheduled before the season schedule is announced in February of the trip year.
“How likely is my trip to operate?"
In 2015, the first year we offered our “schedule your own trip” program, every trip proposed by our riders operated. In 2016 all but one did, and the same was true for 2017. So, we guess: quite likely. But our visibility is not perfect.