1. Organization THINKBIKE srl, headquartered in Milan, is the brains behind the Italian VeloTours brand, which it owns, and it also manages the athletic and logistical aspects of the cyclotourism and bike trips organized under the Italian VeloTours name and brand. The technical and tourism aspects of Italian VeloTours are handled by the travel/tour operator Melville srl in Reggio Emilia, which is also the exclusive distributor for Italy.
2. Bicycle Italian VeloTours are designed for recreational bicycle touring. We recommend a racing bike or a cyclo-touring hybrid for these trips, including those with mountain bike handlebars. Compact crank (34-50) or triple crankset (30-42-53) and 8-10 rear sprockets (13-27). Baggage will be carried in the minivan following the group. We recommend a small bag on the handlebars, or rear panniers (3 kg max), for the essential equipment you need on the bike, like your camera, puncture repair kit, energy bars, windbreaker, etc.
3. Traffic, road network, and obeying traffic rules Italian VeloTours follow roads that are normally open to traffic, so Italian rules of the road apply. We will mostly travel on secondary roads, bike paths, sections of unpaved road, and a few sections of country road. In these sections the group will ride single file, in accordance with traffic law. Special care is required near urban centers, obeying one-way streets, restricted traffic areas, and all signage and indications provided. Helmets are mandatory. Every participant must abide by the instructions provided by the organization and behave appropriately in various situations.
Every participant must comply strictly with the features of the route and the corresponding traffic rules, and must also be aware that the route is open to normal traffic and does not offer any system that protects or separates the riders from other users (pedestrians, other cyclists, all types of motor vehicles, etc.). More particularly, purely by way of example, each participant must be aware that:
every intersection must be approached with complete respect for traffic laws (stop signs, right of way, entry to roundabouts, abiding traffic lights), because there is no form of protection, control, or facilitation for the passage of cyclists;
crossing through towns and cities requires the proper attention and prudence with respect to all other users, as well as compliance with traffic laws and any systems or instructions adopted on the local level;
along the route, and especially for example along bike paths, on small country routes in poor condition, or along any unpaved sections, there may be unmarked fixed obstacles or other dangers (poles or crossbars put up for example to prevent or limit access to vehicles); there may be potholes or other dangers (such as roots that have grown through the pavement, branches, puddles, etc.), and especially along bike paths or unpaved sections of road, the cyclist's speed, attention, and behavior on the road must be modeled on all customary and adequate standards of caution;
any systems designed to accommodate or regulate traffic that are adopted on the local level, including those under the responsibility of the individual Local Administrations (such as protected intersections, 'all-clear' signals, the presence of officials who announce the presence of obstacles or dangers, or who facilitate your passage), are exceptions to the rule, and must not create any sense that similar procedures will exist in subsequent sections of the route.
The participants must follow and observe all the instructions provided, from road signs to road safety officials.
Participants who need to stop for any reason must alert the group and the guide. When cycling in a group, it is appropriate to signal in advance your intention to stop to those behind you by raising your arm. Avoid abrupt braking. Instead, slow down and move to the side of the road, or even better, to the side off the roadway. This will prevent problems for the people following you.
3.1 Support vehicle Over the course of the tours there will be a support vehicle for carrying the luggage, organizing rolling meals, and generally as technical support during the individual stages. As and when needed, the vehicle can be used to carry people during the stage, or for short transfers over the course of the trip. The support vehicles are rented from a well-known car rental service, with the corresponding insurance coverage as required by law.
4. Technical details The traveling group will assemble in the departure town. Details on the meeting point and/or transfers, if any, will be provided once the group has been finalized. The same is true for the return. Various other optional services can be requested and agreed with the organizer's office.
A minivan is provided to support and pick up anyone who needs a ride to complete the stage due to rain, fatigue, or feeling unwell. The minivan is equipped to transport six people and their bikes (as well as two assistants to accompany the group).
The list price for the tour includes the following services: presence of a minivan with a bike rack and driver for round trip transfers and to follow the riders for the entire trip; the travel days and corresponding nights, in a double room, with dinner and breakfast as indicated in the schedules for the individual trips; a cycling guide; road-book and GPS tracking of the tour.
The following are not included:meals while cycling, extras at dinner, two "own-choice" dinners when scheduled, any additional options requested from the organization, and anything else not explicitly included above.
Accommodations will be provided in 3/4 star hotels or equivalent facilities (farm stay, B&B).
The included dinners are generally provided in the facility where the group is staying the night, or in restaurants linked to them on a half board basis. Breakfast in the morning will be gauged to meet the needs of a recreational cyclist.
5. Level of preparation, physical preparedness, responsibility. In order to put together a group of participants with similar levels of preparation, we ask everyone to complete the cycling self assessment form below.
Every participant declares, under their own sole responsibility:
5.1 to be in good health and to be physically prepared for the practice of cycling and to tackle the trip on a bike;
5.2 to have no serious illnesses that constitute a risk to yourself resulting from your participation;
5.3 to have not contracted and to not have been made aware of illnesses or infirmities that disable you from the practice of cyclo-tourism.
In any event, participants relieve the organization of any responsibility regarding their own ability to complete the routes and/or stages anticipated. The pleasantness and safety of the group depends entirely on the behavior of each participant. No one assumes responsibility for the behavior of others (except for the presence of any minors accompanied by a parent or guardian). Each participant is responsible for his or her own behavior during the trip, and in that sense each person should consider themselves, and will be considered by the others, to be on an independent personal excursion. The sole task of the guides is the logistical coordination of the trip.
6. Itinerary The course for the daily ride the cyclists will follow is set in advance, and participants will be given all the information they need, both electronically and on paper, to help them identify the route.
Anything unexpected that may occur along the route (such as road closures, mandatory detours, etc.), will be addressed by each cyclist under his or her own responsibility in accordance with the spirit of the independent excursion mentioned above.
Therefore, in no way for no reason will the presence of a guide constitute a reason to delegate to the guide or any other person any of the other obligations and precautions that each cyclist must normally observe on their own behalf during a free and completely independent cycling excursion.
7. Photos and videos Photos and videos will be taken during the tour that may also be published on the internet. All participants will be asked for authorization. Those who do not wish to be photographed can decline all photos or may decline web publication only.
8. Baggage transport The van following the group is equipped to carry participants' luggage. In addition to their bicycle, each participant is allowed a maximum of 15 (fifteen) kilos of luggage. In the final stretch of each stage, the van will leave the group in order to arrive at the destination before the riders and unload the baggage, which will be held at reception. The next morning each participant must return their bag to the driver at the van.
9. Meals while we ride While cycling, there may be either a brief lunch break or a mobile meal on the bike. The preferred method will be chosen on a day-to-day basis. The cost of these meals is not included in the price of the trip.
10. Medical care and insurance In collaboration with Mondial Assistance, Melvill has agreed an insurance policy on behalf of all the participants in its trips, and its cost is already included in the registration fee for the trip. The guarantees provided are “24/7 Interassistance” and “Baggage”. All of the conditions are contained in the Insurance Certificate, which will be given to each participant before departure. Optional policies are also available: trip cancellation insurance, and/or health insurance that increases the maximum insurable amounts in the basic policy, recommended for people who have selected destinations outside Europe. The Melville offices can provide detailed quotes and conditions.
Tours will run with a minimum of 6 adult participants. Minor participants can be included. Please enquire. Accommodation is on a double-room dual occupancy, single occupancy is available with a surcharge. Please let us know if you book for you as a single or a couple. For a group booking you may consider the opportunity to create your own Tailor-Made Italian VeloTour.
The price list for the VAN & GUIDED tour includes the following: airport transfers, minivan with driver in tow, double room accommodation (dual occupancy) for all nights indicated (single occupancy with surcharge), dinner and breakfast, an experienced cycling guide, refreshment break (fresh local food bought on a daily basis, water, energy product), GPS tour tracking, an Italian VeloTours technical jersey and travel insurance.
The price list for VAN SUPPORT tour includes: airport transfers, minivan with driver in tow, shared double room for all nights indicated (single occupancy with surcharge), breakfasts, dinners, refreshment break (fresh local food bought on a daily basis), GPS tracking, travel insurance .
The following are not included: flights, lunches, extras at dinner, specific requested guided visits, cancellation insurance, tips/gratuities and anything else not explicitly included above.
Accommodations will be provided in 4 star hotels or equivalent facilities (farmstay, B&B). Dinners are generally offered in the hotel where we're staying or in restaurants linked to them. Gluten free food available upon request.
Italian Velo Tours are recreational cycling trips – advanced athletic performance is not required, just familiarity with the saddle and medium-range distances (60-120k avg/daily). You can ride your own bike, or quality Italian racing bikes (Cinelli) are available to hire. Some distances and hills can be demanding, but always at a “contemplative and conversational” pace. A minivan totes the baggage, gives mechanical support, and offers assistance to anyone whose energy runs low. Five or six hours of daily average cycling with plenty of time to enjoy Italy "beyond the bike".
THINKBIKE srl, headquartered in Milan, is the brain behind the Italian veloTours brand, which it owns, and it also manages the athletic and logistical aspects of the cyclotourism and bike trips organized under the Italian VeloTours name and brand. The technical and tourism aspects of italian VeloTours are handled by the travel/tour operator Melville srl in Reggio Emilia, which is also the distributor for Italy.
3 colour categories to indicate the levels of difficulty: 2 sub-levels have been created -within first 2 categories- to help identify your best fit.
Some trips are presented with more than one price , the difference is due to the different kind of service :
We organise two different kind of tour:
EXPERIENCE is not a travelling tour. With our Experience guests will enjoy the same accomodation for they whole stay, but will cycle on different road each day. This offer cyclists the perfect bend of sporting challenge with relaxation.
VELOTOURS are point-to-point trip with a different stage every day.
A short list of items and infos to make your ride as safe, comfortable and fun as possible.
1. BIKE GEAR
- 2 pairs of cycling shorts with chamois lining
- 2/3 jersey
- cycling shoes & pedals (in case you hire one of our bike)
- waterproof wind breaker, or rain jacket
- light weight jacket or vest
- spare bike parts (inner tubes, repair kit)
2. OFF THE BIKE
- 2/4 evening outfits – our style is very casual and comfortable; jacket & tie not necessary;
- 1/2 lightweight sweaters
- 2/3 pairs of shorts or slacks
- comfortable shoes for evenings in town
3. PERSONAL SUPPLIES
- passport and photocopies of your passport
- airline tickets/e-ticket information
- camera and charger
- cell phone
- electrical adapter
- prescription medicines
Remember to give to the tour leader your contact for any emergency
4. TIPS & BAGS
To make things right, we advise you to have 2 bags during your cycling days:
- Your travel (night) bag where you keep all your items and belongings that resides in the van while you cycle;
- your travel (day) bag where you keep somenthig that you can need during your
- Your bike bag where you keep spare parts, rain/wind jacket or vest and some power snacks.
Lorenzo e Marzia