FAQs

What is Alpine Cycles About?

Alpine Cycle Tours has been established so that Australians, as well as others from around the world can travel to Europe, Canada and New Zealand to undertake guided tours in those alpine regions with experienced Australian guides who know and understand the alps and can yet make them feel quite at home by being native English speakers themselves.

Who is Alpine CycleTours for?

Our prices are set at reasonable levels and are therefore pitched anywhere from the university-aged rider who may well have part-time employment to the middle-aged business person who has enjoyed cycling for quite some time and has been able to gain and maintain a reasonable level of bike fitness over the years. Our tours are graded to suit the needs of most riders. Riders need to be able to demonstrate a reasonable level of bike fitness and be experienced in terms of bike handling and ideally be prepared to attend one of Alpine Cycle Tours’ familiarisation rides prior to the tour. In cases where this is not possible due to location etc, some indication of your riding ability would be helpful. A familiarisation ride and/or an indication of your riding ability and overall level of fitness, allows tour leaders to assess riders to a degree and be in a better position to offer some guidance and support prior to the tour.

How old do I need to be?

Riders must be at least 18 years of age.

When can I go on an Alpine Cycle Tour?

Tours are run each European summer between the months of June, July and September for between 5 and 8 people each tour, not including the staff members. It is intended that the tours be of approximately 12 to 13 days duration with two one-day breaks on each tour. More detailed information concerning the tours can be obtained by e-mailing us direct.

Is airfare included in the tour price?

The tour package price does not include airfare. Ex-Australian airfares are approximately AUD$2,200 return, plus taxes, and are payable directly to your preferred travel agent. The exact cost of the airfare is finalised at the time of booking. Tour members are expected to take out their own personal travel insurance. The exact cost of the personal travel insurance is dependant on the person themself and and the length of time anticipated to be abroad.

For those people joining the tour from overseas, proof of payment of fares, taxes, insurance and the advertised tour package price must be forwarded directly to Alpine Cycle Tours.

Is Alpine Cycle Tours a registered business?

This name Alpine Cycle Tours is a registered business name.

How many people can go on an Alpine Cycle Tour?

Group sizes must be at least 4 with the maximum being 8. Staff members are in addition to this.

Who can go on the tour with me?

We do allow non-riding customers to participate in the tour provided they have a spouse, relative or friend who is riding with the group. The same costs and conditions apply to non-riding customers and these people travel exclusively in the support vehicle.

Who will run the tour?

Chris Varcoe - Tour leader

What about travel insurance?

1) Personal Travel Insurance - Is required to be taken out on behalf of each rider. Alpine Cycle Tours will ensure that this is done on a group basis through individual rider application forms or where the rider prefers to undertake this on their own behalf, documentation will need to be produced by them authenticating that this has been done.

(2) Public Liability Insurance - Will be arranged for and by Alpine Cycle Tours in a Broadform Cover which will cover Alpine Cycle Tours for Crossed Liability, Product Liability and Directors Liability.

(3) Professional Indemnity Insurance - Will be arranged for and by Alpine Cycle Tours.

What about the support vehicle?

A nine-seater people-mover will be the support vehicle for the tours. It will carry baggage, spares and riders who are in need of a break. It will also be the medium for transferring riders to and from the airport or railway stations should the need arise. During inclement weather, when it is decided that conditions are too severe to continue by bike, riders will be ferried to the next destination via the support vehicle. Because of the tight and twisty nature of some of the passes that we encounter, any vehicle larger than this will be difficult to manoeuvre through these particular places.

What about First Aid?

A full first aid kit as recommended by St John’s Ambulance Service Australia will be carried on the support vehicle at all times. The tour leader is qualified as a St John’s Ambulance volunteer.

What if the weather is inclement?

The tour leader, in consultation with the driver and riders, may decide that the weather is too severe to continue the tour on any given day. Should this occur, the support vehicle will be used to ferry riders to the next destination, as outlined above. This will occur in two groups. A secure base will be established for the riders in the second group while the first group are being transferred.

What if the riding conditions are too difficult?

Where difficult riding conditions are encountered such as roadworks and tunnels, the Tour leader will make a judgement as to the safety of riding through such conditions. As a guide, tunnels with insufficient natural light over a distance of one kilometre will not be ridden through. There may however be exceptions to this under certain circumstances.

Are the drivers of the support vehicle licensed?

The driver of the support vehicle has a licence sufficient for this purpose as does the tour leader should the need arise.

What about payment of Country Taxes?

Completed at time of final payment and are included in the tour prices.

What about payment of departure taxes?

Completed at time of final payment and are included in the tour prices.

What is the baggage limit?

As space is limited in the support vehicle, baggage is restricted to 1 bike contained within a bike bag or container approved by the airlines for travel within the baggage section of aircraft, one small suitcase and a small rucksack of no more than 60 litres capacity. Should riders wish to bring baggage in excess of these guidelines then they need to make their own arrangements for its storage whilst on the tour. These guidelines are set at a reasonable level given the weather conditions for the time of the year that tours are conducted in.

What about accomodation?

Accommodation is all pre-booked and is either in the form of large quality guesthouses or small hotels. Twin share is arranged except by prior arrangement with a particular rider and at an agreed premium.

What about meals?

All meals are catered for except in the case of ad hoc stops for morning and afternoon teas, time permitting. Breakfasts and dinners will be provided by the accommodation providers. Lunches will be prepared fresh each day by Alpine Cycle Tours staff. This will be done by the driver of the support vehicle who will ensure that fresh provisions are bought prior to setting out each day from the town being departed from.

What about transfers?

In the event of injury or emergency, riders will be transported by the support vehicle to the nearest railway station connecting them with Zurich at Alpine Cycle Tours’ expense. The rail ticket to Zurich will be covered by travel insurance. All other transfers such as those arranged to and from Zurich airport from the accommodation in Zurich at the beginning and end of each tour are by way of the support vehicle and at Alpine Cycle Tours’ expense of course.

What if I don't have a bike?

Riders who do not wish to take their own bikes with them can rent a quality racing bike through our Swiss supplier for between AUD$350.00 and AUD$450.00 per 13 day period.

Can I take my mountain bike?

Mountain bikes are permitted but must be lightweight, shod with slick road tyres and be ridden at a pace compatible with other riders on road bikes. In other words, riders opting to use mountain bikes need to be a little above the average fitness level of the riders on the tour on road bikes.

What are the bike transportation requirements?

As outlined in the section above pertaining to Baggage Allowance on Tours, bike transport is by way of a soft, collapsible bag or rigid bicycle container as approved by the airlines.

Can I use my mobile phone on tour?

Mobile phones are permitted to be used by riders but not whilst pedalling. The tour leader and the driver of the support vehicle will be in contact via mobile phone at any given time and these numbers will be made known to riders prior to leaving Australia should riders without phones need to be contacted in an emergency.

What if I miss the departure time for the tour?

Should any rider not make the departure time for the tour due to circumstances beyond the control of the tour operator, then the tour operator is not bound to assist as outlined in our terms and conditions. However every effort will be made by the tour leader and the support vehicle driver to have that rider rejoin the tour provided it does not jeopardise the well-being and enjoyment of other riders. In cases where an attempt is made by Alpine Cycle Tours to have the rider join the group after missing departure, it will be done so at the rider’s expense.

What if I find I can't keep up on any given day or the terrain is beyond what I can handle?

In the event the going gets a little tough just for you for some reason, you are able to rejoin the support bus at any time throughout the day. The bus is never more than a few minutes away from any rider and a pick up is quick and easy. You can rejoin the group later on in the day of course or just sit out the rest of the day and enjoy the sights from your bus seat!