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Guided bike trips – anyone done one

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  sangerasong 1 year, 5 months ago.

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  • #818181

    FastTimes
    Keymaster

    Have any members done a multi-day guided bike tour with a big outfitter such as Sacred Rides or Big Mountain Adventures?

    I’ve always planned my own trip with the help of some locals but there is something to be said for an all inclusive adventure where all the details have been taken care of for you. Specially when it come to remote locations with an unfamiliar language and culture.

    I have a few buddies who have done this trip to Zermatt, Switzerland with Big Mountain Bike Adventures and have nothing but good things to say about it.

    Sacred Rides has some pretty rad destinations such as New Zealand and Nepal.

    #818230

    Atom
    Participant

    I just have this terribly pessimistic idea in my head that some insufferable asshole will be sitting there at home, on his computer, reading “must be an intermediate-to-advanced level rider with good fitness” and think, “I’ve only been on the bike a few times this year…it’ll hurt a bit, but I’ll be fine and they’ll just have to wait if I need a rest.”

    I shouldn’t think like that 🙁

    #818231

    Tom Shaw
    Participant

    This is a nice one to do. Relaxed vibe in beautiful mountains with lots of high alpine ridge singletrack. Warm cabins with a friendly cook. http://tyaxadventures.com/bike/multi-day/


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    #818283

    FastTimes
    Keymaster

    The Tyax trips in the Chilcotins are at the top of my list. I understand they will stock the camps for you, which is pretty mint. I’m trying to get a gang together for a trip this summer. Looks like you had a blast, bummed I couldn’t make it with you last time.

    I have friends who have the place pretty dialled, guides themselves, so if the group thing doesn’t pan out, I plan to simply fly out and ride a few days with them whenever they are going.

    #818284

    FastTimes
    Keymaster

    I just have this terribly pessimistic idea in my head that some insufferable asshole will be sitting there at home, on his computer, reading “must be an intermediate-to-advanced level rider with good fitness” and think, “I’ve only been on the bike a few times this year…it’ll hurt a bit, but I’ll be fine and they’ll just have to wait if I need a rest.”

    I shouldn’t think like that 🙁

    I guess I’m not worried about this as much as I should be, but that could suck big time. That’s why i’d like a full group of riders I know are at the same level. Not sure if for a big mountain ride, like Zermatt, whether you would have to remain behind the guide at all times or whether he would simple say “see you at the bottom” The guide we had in Downieville last spring was awesome but I was faster than him on the downhills. He was fine to send me ahead, I just waited at any intersection. It would have been a bit of a drag if I had to stay behind him and not be able to open it up.

    #818285

    micah356
    Participant

    About the guide and the group speed – an experienced guide will be able to effectively manage that aspect pretty well. On a guided ride, you’ll never have the same freedom and sense of adventure that you get when on your own. However, the bit of structure they provide means that you can just focus on the riding, which is a positive for sure.

    A good guide will usually tell you which sections you can ride ahead – ie. “You can go ahead, just stop and wait when you get to the red fence” or whatever. And in sections with lots of turns, they will take the lead. A lot of remote places have pretty long stretches with no possible wrong turns, so hopefully you’ll get to ride ahead more often than not. Personally, I don’t mind having to stop and wait, but having to spend too much time riding behind someone can get annoying.

    And about the possibility of having a lame duck rider in the group – it can and does happen. But again, an experienced guide will be able to manage this situation. The degree to which they can deal with it will depend on the location. To give a real world example – I was on a heli drop in New Zealand, and this couple showed up where the husband was a beginner mountain biker, and the wife was not even a beginner. The guide asked ‘have you ever used a dropper before?’ and she didn’t even know what a dropper was. Before we even started riding, the guide made a phone call, but didn’t tell us what it was. Half an hour later, this rider actually went into a full on panick attack. The guide made another phone call, and had someone on the way up the mountain in a 4×4 to meet them and pick them up. On that earlier phone call, he had actually already decided to send this two riders back, and his intuition was proved right when her panic attack started. And the rest of our ride was amazing. We met up with them at the end of the ride and had a few beers, and even they had no hard feelings about the experience. A less experienced guide probably would not have had the conviction to send them back down the mountain, and not only would have ruined the ride for everyone else, but also could have gotten them into a pretty dangerous situation.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #818491

    Dent
    Participant

    I’ve never taken a guided bike trip before, but I have done guided climbing trips down in the southern states. I’m also a trained (and working) canyon guide/backcountry camping guide. It’s so nice to just go and have a local expert take care of all the little details. But not just that, when you’re going into a different area that you’re not familiar with, or maybe a different provincial park/country, it’s good to have someone that knows the rules and dangers (i may have stabbed myself with a poisonous agave before meeting up with my guide in Arizona…) . You lose a lot of the adventure aspects when you have a guide though.
    But if anyone is interested, I will possibly be guiding back country bike trips in addition to camping and hiking this or next summer in the rocky mountains!

    #818738

    FastTimes
    Keymaster

    I saw this video when it first came out and earmarked it as a bucket list trip. I’ve been researching all kinds of trips this winter but think this might the year for this one. Six days across three countries through the best in the alps.

    There are lots of guided and self guided options, even some bikepacking routes.

    Seems like the perfect mix of big hut-to-hut rides and high alpine terrain. 360 panos the whole way don’t hurt either.

    #820633

    FastTimes
    Keymaster

    The Mont Blanc trip didn’t pan out for 2018 but it’s still number one on my playlist. Watching the La Thuile stages of the EWS just makes me want it more. 25,000m of descending is dreamy.

    #820656

    sangerasong
    Participant

    How is Mont Blanc 2019 sounding??

    That trip sounds awesome. A group of friends are doing a similar trip. See the link below:

    https://www.benjonesmtb.com/piedmont

    I would go except timing doesn’t work out for me. Being a High School teacher that has a summer off to THEN take the second week of September off to do a mountain bike trip doesn’t go over very well.

    Keep this thread going. I want to hear where people are headed. I’m planning my 2019 Trip right now and am looking for ideas — I’m leaning towards a combined Quebec Trip so I can do some riding with friends AND catch the action at Mount Saint Anne World Cup!!

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