Why book a tour with me?
I take pride in everything that I do, and taking like minded bikers across Europe is absolutely no different. I have a love of anything on two wheels, and have traveled thousands of miles around Europe. To be able to take motorbike tours around some of the best biking roads Europe has to offer really is the icing on the cake for me. You can trust me to take you on some of the best roads and routes and to find you a comfortable spot to relax at the end of the day.
How do I book a tour?
Currently, all of the tours I run are by invite only. Therefore, you can't book a tour through the website. However, this may change in the future.
Is the guide always available?
I will be the tour guide on all the tours and will make myself available if you have any questions or problems.
I've seen some tours noted as 'Recce Tours' - what does this mean?
A Recce tour is one that I haven't run before or may be an existing tour with significantly modified routes. Because of this, the route, coffee/lunch stops and daily mileages are untested. I will still lead the tour, but the pre-tour information will mostly be limited to just the hotel locations. I usually recce tours on my own or with just one or two other bikes, but depending on the area, I may open the tour up to more.
A Recce tour is best suited to easy going bikers, who don't mind longer days on the bike to seek out & try the best looking roads in the area. Anyone coming on a Recce tour should ride each day fully prepared with drinks & snacks as coffee/lunch stops are often taken at the side of the road, whilst checking the map for the next good looking road!
How does room allocation & pricing work?
Despite all best efforts to book twin bed rooms, many times I've been checked into a room I intended to share with a mate only to find it has a double bed. Oh, and am then told - 'sorry sir, it's the only room available'. We bikers may be a friendly lot, but there are limits!
For this very reason, I only offer two options - single rooms or double rooms. If you request a double room, and your pillion is not your other half, don't say you weren't warned!
All tours will show up to three price options, as follows;
Single: One rider, on one bike, with their own room.
Pillion: A rider and pillion, on one bike, with their own double room. (Room may have twin or double bed).
Couple: Two riders, two bikes, with their own double room. (Room may have twin or double bed).
Cancellation of tours
I fully appreciate the trust you've placed in me by booking a tour. Therefore, a tour will only be cancelled as an absolute last resort.
Coming along by yourself..?
Have no concerns, everyone on the tour will be just like you - a biker! By the end of the tour your will have made some new friends, having enjoyed a tour with a group of like minded people. Everyone fits in, we all have motorcycling in our blood.
What information will I have before travelling?
You will be sent out all your travel information prior to leaving. This includes any EuroTunnel or ferry crossing information and a link to enable you to download the sat nav files that you can upload to your own devices (except on Recce tours). The information pages on this website provide a wealth of information around the dos and dont’s of travelling the roads of Europe, suggested kits to bring along, and any further useful information I can provide.
Each tour page gives you general information on tour. No two riders are the same but you need to be comfortable with the amount of miles required per day on each tour. The roads of Europe are said to be better quality and less traffic so this does make it often easier to get around. There is nothing like gaining experience and the only way you can do that is by giving it a go.
It is also essential that you are familiar with the legal requirements, rules of the road, road signs, etc, when driving abroad.
I'd recommend looking at the Drive France website (drive-france.com) where you'll find a wealth of information.
They also have a handy checklist that's well worth a look. (drive-france.com/checklist)
How far will I be travelling each day?
Mileage can vary day by day and trip by trip. Don't get too hung up on daily mileages, as it's more about riding time - meandering up hillsides and sweeping down into the valleys can take quite a time, without actually travelling many miles! You should expect to be riding your bike for around six-ish hours a day, maybe be up to eight hours on longer tours. It is generally expected that we leave each hotel at around 8.30am and arrive at our next hotel by 18:00 ish. During the day we will be taking regular breaks, riding for between 1 to 2 hours, before stopping for coffee, lunch or photos.
Must I have a sat nav to come on a tour?
To be honest, you'll find it a much more relaxing experience if you have a means of navigation on the bike. It doesn't have to cost hundreds of pounds - many use a cheap car sat nav in a waterproof case/mount. If you have a smartphone (who doesn't these days!) there are many navigation apps available. Be careful though, as many apps rely on a data connection (which can be expensive abroad on some mobile plans) and strong mobile signal. Look for ones which allow you to download offline maps.
Never been on a tour before?
This is a tour and not a race to the finish line. With any tour you will always get a wide range of experience and riding ability. You are always encouraged to ride within your own capabilities. The style in which we ride allows for every rider to travel at their own pace. My best advice would be - don't worry about it, just do it!
I've never been on a tour or ridden abroad, will I be ok on a tour?
Yes! If you can ride a bike in the UK, then you can ride a bike abroad. You'll soon become accustomed to riding 'on the wrong side' and you'll find European roads are generally far better quality.
I'm still nervous of booking a full tour, having never ridden abroad. What can I do to prepare?
It always makes sense to read up on foreign road signs and some rules of the road that may differ - for example; the Priority to the Right' rule (Priorité á Droite), which is common to France and is being used more & more in Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and other countries.
If you'd like to 'test the water' before committing to a full tour, drop me a line and we can set something up. I've done a number of one & two day trips just across to France. You'll see how easy it is and will become a Euro tour pro in no time!
What is the Drop Off System?
It's a pretty straightforward way to keep a group of riders together and on route, but in a way that everyone can ride at their own pace. You should make sure you know and understand how the system works before coming on a tour, as it will only work if everyone plays their part. If you don't know the drop off system, click here for more info...
What if I get lost?
When done properly by everyone on the tour group, the drop off system is very good. You'll be amazed how far a group can get strung out on a ride, so you may find someone comes past you and you're not lost after all! If you get to a junction where you must make a turn (e.g. a 'T' junction, or roundabout with multiple exits and no obvious straight on option) and you can't see a marker - STOP! Park in a safe place, make a note of where you are, then text (don't call) the tour leader. We can then decide how best to get you back on route.
Do I have to ride with the group at all times?
Not at all! I tend to assume we'll travel together as a group, but you are more than welcome to make your own way. The info you'll receive for each tour will have the route files and locations of our stopovers. Should you wish to find your own way around, please just let me know the night before or in the morning before we leave.
How many people will there be in the tour group?
I prefer smaller groups, so tend to take 5 to 10 bikes, depending on the number of solo riders vs rider & pillions, so expect up to approx 10 people in the group.
Is there a support vehicle?
No. Although we'll always try and help, it's often difficult to fix breakdowns by the side of the road, so please ensure your bike is in tip top condition and you have full breakdown & repatriation cover. I cannot be expected to ruin the rest of the groups tour, by spending hours dealing with an unprepared bike or rider.
What time do we arrive back in the UK?
It varies. We'll aim to be back in the UK by early evening, but please check the tour details.
Are women welcome?
What! Women ride bikes? Really? But seriously - Yes, you are absolutely welcome. It's great that I've met more and more women riding their own bikes and loving it. I've met many women riders who wouldn't even think about going pillion. On my tours, everyone is welcome to come along.
What will the weather be like on tour?
It will be whatever it will be! If only I could book up dry, warm & sunny in advance! Come prepared for whatever the weather may throw at us.
Can I pay by installments?
Sorry, No. A deposit is payable immediately when booking. The balance must then be paid no later than two calendar months before the departure date.
Can I extend my holiday?
If you wanted to incorporate a tour into a longer holiday, that's fine. I find it works best if you book your own Eurotunnel or ferry crossings to suit your plans and I'll adjust the price of your tour accordingly.
Will my motorcycle insurance cover me in Europe?
Most insurance companies do offer European cover as standard these days, but from 1st January 2021 you will need a 'green card' which are issued free from your insurance company. However, we do suggest you ring and confirm this prior to leaving. It is a good idea to keep a photocopy of your insurance with your when you travel.
Do I need breakdown cover?
Absolutely, most definitely, YES! We insist as a condition of booking that everyone has personal EU breakdown and medical insurance that includes re-repatriation. This is essential for repatriation of yourself and your bike in the event of an accident or medical emergency.
How much money will I need?
That really depends on how expensive your tastes are! Currently petrol is a similar price in Europe as that in the UK. Toll roads are kept to a minimum as we prefer to use the smaller roads, but are sometimes necessary to crunch the miles. Food and drink costs will vary per person and does depend on how much you want to eat and drink. As a rough guide you could spend around 20/30 Euros for a reasonable evening meal, lunches are generally local cafes or bars and usually cost around 5/10 Euros. Morning and afternoon breaks for coffee stops are only quick breaks, so around 3/5 Euros for a drink.
How do I pay for things in Europe?
Don't bother with travelers cheques, they can be a real pain to get cashed. For coffee and lunch stops, cash (Euros) is probably best. Cash or a credit/debit card works for an evening meal. For fuel, most of the pumps are automatic and un-manned, so you'll definitely need a credit/debit card to fill up. Just make sure you tell your bank you're travelling before we leave.
A note on credit/debit cards:
Many have had trouble with the pre-paid cards being rejected (myself included), so if you intend to bring one, make sure you have another credit/debit card as backup! Also, American Express cards don't seem to be accepted in many places.
What do we do in the evenings?
The evenings are free for you to do whatever you'd prefer.
Often, everyone gets together in the evenings to catch up about the day and to get to know each other. A drink and something nice to eat with fellow riders is a great way to finish a days riding. It isn’t a holiday without the anecdotes of fellow riders, and general banter among the group! The evenings are a great time to get to know your companions and make some new friends along the way.
However, the holiday is yours and the evenings are free for you to do as you please!
Finally, a note on alcohol
It's almost a given that we'll enjoy a drink or two in the evening, and of course there's nothing wrong with that. Personally, I'm not a beer drinker, but have been known to enjoy a glass of Chardonnay or two (hint, hint!).
However, I'm sure you'll agree that alcohol and bikes don't mix, so I would expect consumption to be kept to a level where one is completely sober by the morning, ready with a clear head for the days ride - be aware that the blood alcohol limit in the EU is much lower than the UK.
It then goes without saying that alcohol at lunchtime should be avoided.