FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Do I need to bring my own bicycle?
A: Your choice! We have a great fleet of high quality rentals that are the ideal fit for the Kootenays. Please see our Bicycle Rentals page for details and rates.
Q: How do I get to Nelson?
A: There are lots of great options. Most people drive from a city like Calgary, Vancouver, or Seattle, which takes 6-8 hours. Spokane is a 3 hour drive from the south. Daily flights are also available to Castlegar, just 35 minutes from Nelson and with a shuttle service to bring you right downtown. Note that bus service is limited and there is no train service. See the Getting Here page for more info.
Q: What happens if it's raining?
A: Our tours run rain or shine. Generally the weather is warm, but we can get periods of rain – the mountains make for unpredictable weather conditions. The weather can also change on a moment’s notice and rain often comes and goes quickly. We recommend that you pack clothing for all conditions just so you’re prepared. Our sag wagon will always be nearby and there are lots of places to take cover. You can always hop in the vehicle if you’re tapped out for the day too.
Q: How many people are in the group?
A: We pride ourselves on our small group sizes. We have a maximum of 8 participants per tour, keeping the experience intimate with a superior level of customer service. We respond to all your needs quickly!
Q: How many guides are there? Do they ride with us?
A: We are proud to offer a highly personalized service with one guide. Each tour is led by the owner/operator, who drives the support vehicle and sets up rest stations along the way. This lets each participant cycle at their own pace while receiving consistent support along the way. The route is very easy to follow so you won’t have to worry about making a wrong turn! From time to time your guide might hop on a bike and join you for short segments. It is spectacular, after all!
Q: Are trips guaranteed to run?
A: Yes, we guarantee that we run trips with 2 participants or more.
Q: Should I purchase trip cancellation insurance?
A: We highly recommend that all participants purchase medical and travel insurance in case of illness, circumstances beyond control or otherwise.
Q: Do I have to carry anything on the bike?
A: Only what you want to! We carry all your luggage, leaving you free to enjoy the riding. We recommend that you bring a couple of bottles of water and a rain jacket. Cycling jerseys are great for this with their back pockets.
Q: What are the accommodations like?
A: We’ve chosen to work with accommodation partners that provide the most distinctive experience available.
The Signature Tour (Nelson to Revelstoke) and Lake Tour (Nelson to Kaslo & New Denver) feature deluxe rooms at charming hotels and inns. They are consistently well reviewed by guests (see for yourself online!). Star ratings may be a bit less than you’d expect in a city – that’s often just because it’s based on amenities like valet service, spas, banquet facilities and salons. Rest assured that the quality of these accommodations is superb regardless of their official “star” rating.
The Wild Kootenay (Nelson to Trout Lake Loop) tour offers more basic accommodations. You still get a private room and usually your own bathroom but without the glamour of the other tours. These inns range from comfortable hotels to historic inns.
Q: How fit should I be to participate?
A: Participants should have a moderate fitness ability and able to cycle at least 50km per day. Being familiar with road biking is helpful but not necessary. Beginner to advanced cyclists are welcome – if this is your first cycling trip we’ll help you discover your inner Tour de France abilities!
We generally cycle about 55km-85km per day (depending on the tour), and offer rest stops along the way. If you find your energy fading you’re also welcome to ride in the sag wagon. We’re here to support you every pedal of the way!
Q: How busy are the roads?
A: By the nature of our geographical “inland island” setting, traffic is very light where we ride. Your safety is our first priority. We have chosen routes that are very safe and ideal for cycling.
Q: Is the wildlife dangerous?
A: Part of the excitement of cycling here is the opportunity to see some wildlife. Grizzly bears are uncommon, but you might see black bears or deer. Incidents with wildlife are rare but it’s important to keep your eyes open and a safe distance if you spot a wild animal.
Q: Is there mountain biking involved?
A: No. Our tours are almost all on paved roads. Our Nelson to Revelstoke tour and Nelson to Kaslo and New Denver Loop offer a short 12km optional detour on hard packed dirt to a ghost town (if your own bike isn’t suitable, you can hop in the sag wagon for the brief trip). Our Nelson to Trout Lake Loop features a hard packed dirt road section, so we strongly recommend renting one of our bikes or bringing a bicycle with wider tires (not a performance road bike).
Q: What is the elevation gain and steepness of the hills?
A: Daily elevation gain is generally about 500m-1000m (1650 feet – 3300 feet), spread out over 50km or more. Hills are mostly gradual, although there are a couple of very short (less than 2km) climbs of over 7% grade. With our sag wagon you’ll be travelling light, but you can always hitch a ride if you like. Check out the elevation profile on the trip pages for more details.
Q: What should I bring with me?
A: We recommend the following items:
– Wind/rain jacket
– Cycling arms & legs
– Cycling socks
– Water bottles
– Wool shirt
– Padded cycling shorts (and chamois butter for extra comfort!)
– Cycling shoes and pedals (if you have them)
– Cycling gloves
– Sunscreen, lip balm, medications
– Comfortable clothes and footwear for off the bike
Q: What about safety?
A: Your safety is our number one priority. We have back up plans and alternatives in case we need to make any changes during the trip. Guides are First Aid certified. We carry an emergency communication device (for areas without cell coverage) and a mobile phone. Although the areas we cycle in feel remote at times, we are never more than an hour’s drive from a town.
Although we take every precaution to ensure you have the safest cycling experience possible, road cycling by its very nature has its risks. Cycling on winding roads with vehicle traffic, no matter how light, has certain unavoidable risks. All participants are required to wear a helmet and use rear lights (provided).
We ask you to take full responsibility for your safety. All participants will be required to sign a waiver before joining the tour.
Q: I'm driving to Nelson. Where can I leave my car?
A: Contact us for details, we’ll make sure your car has a safe home while you’re cycling.
Q: Do I have to cycle the entire time? What if I'm tired or don't want to ride the rest of the day?
A: No problem! You’re welcome to jump in our support vehicle at any point. We’ll always be nearby. If you need to take a day off, bypass a hilly section, or just shorten the route, we’ll look after you.