Self-Guided Cycle Travel,
Touring Support Services We Offer

We are known for our group trips, organized with ferocious independence and individual choice in mind, and which have nothing of a “summer camp” atmosphere.  Indeed, the principle “group” aspect is the mutualization of three important sources of cost:  trip set-up, a mechanic / sweep rider / cultural interpreter (our Trip Coordinator), and the costs of luggage transfer, should you prefer not to travel self-contained. 

But we don’t go everywhere, and we especially might not go there on your dates.  And we don’t stay in luxury spas or campgrounds:  we use little inns.  In other words, our dream may not look like your dream. 

So what if you have to, or simply prefer to, go it alone?  We help avoid the pitfalls.  Travellers oblidged to spend a night in a ditch cheer themselves up by saying how much better the stories are.  We aren’t so sure.  Vacation time is precious.  We are the first to recognize the value of stories:  creating our routes has led to a certain number of nights in metaphorical ditches.  We just aren’t sure that they improve the overall experience.  Heavy traffic (even the best maps don’t tell you what time the factory shift ends), disappointing towns, awful lunches... are all things you can skip. “Insider’s” guide books are about what was beautiful and interesting before they were published. 

We offer several types of assistance to do-it-yourselfers, à la carte services, subscribed individually.  Most of the links below will take you to other pages, but a couple just jump down to sections of this page.  You can...
  1. License our routes.  We then provide...
    1. ...“Route Sheets” (day-by-day detailed riding suggestions)
    2. ...bicycle-appropriate, road maps
    3. ...our opinions regarding the best en route sights and lunch stops
  2. Rent or buy bicycles (new or used)
  3. Rent or buy cycle accessories
    We also have the Lonely Planet “Cycling in France” guide available for sale in our Paris office, current edition edited by Ethan Gelber, one of our founders.

  4. Arrange for transfer of your cycle(s) to or from Paris airports
  5. Store cycles, cycle cases, or luggage in our Paris office
  6. Ship bikes, ours or your own, between your arrival airport or our Paris garage, and your trip
  7. Get help travelling by train with your bike
  8. Have us forward luggage within your cycle trip
  9. Get our restaurant recommendations for the towns of your night stops
  10. Get our suggestions regarding hotels
  11. Make hotel reservations

At the bottom of this page are indications on how to get started with your project.

If your group is formed of 6 or more people, and you want most or all of the above services, your trip will tend more towards what we call a “charter” trip, even if you do not wish to travel with a Trip Coordinator.  See our page describing the staging of charter trips for details on how we outfit these.

Some of these services are costly for small numbers of travellers.  For example, if a truck moves your suitcase from one hotel to the next, it can carry additional cases for virtually the same price (only insurance and a minor labour component change).  So the cost of baggage transfer for one person, or for four, is close to the same — meaning that the per-person cost is 4 times higher if you are travelling alone.

It is best to be realistic about this:  if you are travelling on your own, or even in a couple, and wish to keep to a reasonable budget, you should plan on investing a lot of your own time in setting up your trip.  And if you don’t want to carry paniers, well, perhaps it’s time to start making some cycling friends who can travel with you and share the costs of the bag movement. 

Details of our different services can be found by following the links.  Some are on this page.  Others, which also concern our scheduled trips, are on other pages.



I.  Licensing our Routes

Our itineraries (map here) can be licensed for a one-time use fee of 400€(uros) per trip week, rounded to the nearest whole week, plus 50€ per additional rider beyond the first (so, for instance, 450€ for two for a one-week trip, 900€ for a two-week trip...).  Single riding days can be licensed for 95€, plus 15€ / additional rider.

For our fee, we provide the following.

  • Our suggested route or routes from town to town.  These are carefully researched to follow quiet lanes and cycle paths.
    Our routes offer scenic beauty, predictable topography, safe riding conditions (in the local context), and our appreciation of the region’s most interesting towns and villages.
  • Our daily, copyrighted “Route Sheets.”  Our Route Sheets offer an overview of the day, including...
    - ...interesting sights...
    - ...route variants, which permit you to lengthen or shorten your ride...
    - ...detailed schedules and instructions for use of local trains that will accept your bike should you tire or get caught in a shower.
    Route Sheets are provided without modification.  That is, they will have been updated for our previous regularly-scheduled trip operating on that route, but may not reflect a train schedule change or recent road construction.  The sheets are delivered by e.mail as pdf documents.
  • Suggestions for en route stops (touristic or scenic), including lunch suggestions.

Detailed paper maps for the route in question can additionally be requested, for a fee of 40€ including postage.  We strive for a scale of 1 : 150000, but on some routes only 1 : 200000 is available.


II.  Cycle Rental

Follow the title link for details.


III.  Cycle Accessories for Rent or Purchase

Follow the title link for details.


IV.  Transfer of Luggage and / or Cycle(s) to or from Paris Airports or Rail Stations

Follow the title link for details.


V.  Storage of Cycles, Cycle Cases, or Luggage in our Paris Office

Follow the title link for details.


VI.  Shipment of Bikes and Luggage Between Airport(s), or Our Paris Garage, and Your Trip

Follow the title link for details.


VII.  Travelling by Train with Your Bike

Follow the link for details.


VIII.  Shipment of Luggage Within Your Cycle Trip

We can organize this for you, using a variety of local shippers, taxis, and our own personnel.  Confiding this work to us saves you time, and helps you avoid language issues which can lead to misunderstanding and misdelivery.  Our reliability is excellent:  in 20+ years we have yet to lose a single bag.

In addition, we can arrange economical alternate shipments schemes, as compared to an every-night transfer.  For example, if you are willing to carry one or two night’s affairs in saddlebags on your bike, you can avail yourself of a service equivalent to the “Half” service offered on our scheduled trips.  Follow this link to see how our scheduled trip Baggage Transfer Services work.  Or this one for a broader discussion of the issues surrounding luggage transfer.

Per person costs are, of course, highest for small groups or solo travellers.  And, costs are higher if delivery / pick-up must take place in very isolated, rural locations.  To attain the approximate levels of pricing seen for our regular route trips, your group must have at least four travellers, and baggage stops must be in villages and towns, rather than on tops of mountains.

If you wish an approximate quote, please send us your exact itinerary, including the addresses of your night stops, and your dates of travel.   Without this information, we cannot provide a meaningful price.


IX.  Restaurant Recommendations for the Towns of Your Night Stops.

A list of the restaurants we have selected in each town for each of our trips.  There are often several choices per town, described in some editorial detail.  This list will be of most worth to those seeking to hew as closely as possible to the local culture.  Its presentation is informal, and not at all “sanitized.”  It is, essentially, an internal document used by our Trip Coordinators.  Cost is 80€, plus 20€ per additional trip participant beyond the first. So, for example, 100€ for two, 120€ for three, etc.

This service is only available if you are following one of our regular routes.


X - XI.  Hotel Suggestions, Reservations

Follow the title link for details.  You may opt for our suggestions alone, or to additionally have us make the reservations.

If you have us make the reservations, you pre-pay the room charges to us, and we settle the bill with the hotel.

If you prefer, you may make your booking directly with the hotel, and pay your invoice locally, or however the hotel requires.  The linked page explains why you might prefer one or the other system.


How to Sign Up for a Self-Guided Trip

Full payment is required to license our itineraries.  There is no deadline to do so:  we have people license our routes just days before they set out.  And no refunds are available once you do, since intellectual property cannot be repossessed.  So you should be sure that you are travelling before you take the plunge.  But, the earlier you do, the more you can use the information we send you to plan or reserve lodging, and otherwise organize your trip, through us, or on your own.

You may use our Standard Trip Application to give us your data.  As “Name of the Trip,” enter the words “Self-Guided” and the route you are licensing (for example, “Southern Burgundy”).  You may also communicate bike size information by this means, if you are renting our cycle(s).

Accommodation advice / booking must also be prepaid, but the cost of the rooms will be invoiced once known, and need only be paid by your trip’s start date.

Other services must be paid when ordered.  No service is considered reserved (nor is its availability confirmed) until it has been formally requested and paid for.

This is an important detail:  if your trip depends on our cycle rental, order the cycle when you pay for the route license.  This avoids having us give you the route...  only to tell you a month later (when you get around to asking) that we don’t have a cycle available for you!  We do not refund the route license fee in this case.  The same applies to luggage transfer:  if you need us to handle it, order the service when you license the route.  It avoids discovering that we no longer have the personnel available when you finally plan that aspect of things.... 







Independent
Travellers

Individual or Group

Trips You Decide


Individual Travel Assistance


Our Scheduled Trips
Including an overview map of the places we stage trips


Departure Calendar
for our scheduled trips