Q:Who comes on a Nichols Expeditions bike tour?
You can expect a spirited mix of singles and couples in their 20′s to 80′s from all corners of the US and a few international locations as well. Many have accompanied us on numerous tours in the past. Most folks are recreational riders and all seem to share the common bond of an active lifestyle, an appreciation for the outdoors and a love for fun. We will gladly supply references and the make-up of any trip that you are interested in joining.
Q:Which tours will Chuck & Judy Nichols personally accompany?
Each year, Chuck & Judy Nichols, the owners of the company, will personally accompany a selection of approximately 15 of their favorite group / guided tours. They try to finalize their tour schedule for the coming year in the Fall, so if you would like to charter a tour with Chuck & Judy as the leaders, please let us know as soon as possible. CLICK HERE
to see this year’s list of C&J tours!
Q:What is a Charter Tour?
Any of the tours on our website can be chartered. This simply means that we arrange a private guided or self-guided tour for you and your travel companions. Whether you have a group of 2 or 20, this is a great option if you love the tours on our site, but you don’t want to share them with strangers! This is also a great option if you see a guided tour that you like, but the dates don’t work for you.
See all the details here
Q:What is a Self Guided Tour?
A self-guided tour is similar to a Charter Tour in that you choose your group size and dates. Your trip will begin with an orientation and bike fitting with our local partner. At this time you will be given your route notes and all the information and equipment you’ll need for the trip. Your luggage will be transferred to your next hotel lodging each day. A self-guided tour means that you won’t have a guide or vehicle support during your rides. But don’t worry! Our local partner is always a phone call away if you need any type of assistance during the tour. Self-Guided walking/hiking tours are also available, and work the same way.
See all the details here
Q:Should I bring my cell phone?
Yes. We highly recommend contacting your phone service provider, and activating international service during your tour. We also have international cell phones available for you to borrow if your mobile phone is not compatible with international service. Just ask us about it when you book.
Click here to download the full PDF document on “Using Cell Phones Abroad”
Q:Do I need to bring my hair dryer?
This is a tricky one! Every hotel is different. In our experience, you will be provided with hair dryers at 75% of the lodgings where you’ll stay during any our tours. But we cannot always guarantee this. If you need a hair dryer every day, it is a good idea to bring your own.
Q:Do you offer Gift Certificates?
Yes! A credit towards a Nichols Expeditions trip is the best gift money can buy! (Ok, we might be a little biased) Just contact us with the details of the gift you wish to give, and we will create a beautiful certificate for you.
Q:Should I buy travel insurance?
We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance to protect yourself from life’s uncertainties. We even have an entire webpage dedicated to this topic! CLICK HERE
to go there now.
Q:Does Nichols book airfare?
No, we don’t book your airfare. But we are happy to give you tips regarding airfare, and for some locations we can refer you to a great travel agency who can book flights for you. If you are just looking for general tips on making travel plans, CLICK HERE
to check out our page on Transportation Resources.
Q:What is the difference between a hybrid bike and a road bike?
A hybrid bike has flat handlebars and allows you to sit in a more upright position. This bike generally has lower gears to make riding uphill easier, but will be slightly heavier than a road bike. A hybrid bike seat generally has more padding than a road bike seat.
A road bike has dropped or racing style handle bars, meaning that you’ll lean forward while riding. These bikes will be lighter, and the seats generally have less padding. If you ride a road bike at home, this is a great option for you. If you wish to ride a road bike on the tour, but have not ridden one before, make sure you try one out at home to get comfortable with the riding position!
Q:How does an electric bike work, and should I get one?
An electric bike has a battery which assists with pedaling! This is a great option if you are recovering from an injury, have a tough time making it up hills, or just ride slower than others in your group. The electric bike has different settings, and can be explained like this: Do you want one hand pushing up the hill? Two hands? Three? Four? You still pedal the whole time, but the battery assist means that you can change the resistance behind the pedals to be as easy or difficult as you prefer. Electric bikes are heavier that hybrid bikes, so this is only a good option if you know that you want to use the battery assist. Electric bikes are available in most, but not all locations. Just ask us about availability in your desired destination.
Q:Do I need to bring my own helmet?
Most locations have rental helmets available to use free of charge. Select locations charge a rental fee for the helmets. A few locations do not have helmet available, and in this case you will need to bring your own. When you sign up for your trip, we will let you know which category your selected destination falls under. With that said, we always recommend bringing your own helmet if you have the space. Your own helmet will be the most comfortable and familiar option, and will mean that you don’t have to worry about making numerous adjustments to get the right fit.
Q:Should I bring my own pedals?
This depends. All bikes come standard with flat pedals, so if you prefer those, no need to bring your own pedals.
Flat pedals with toe cages are available in some locations. When you sign up for your trip, we will let you know what pedal options are available in your selected location.
If you ride with pedals that clip into your shoes (aka clipless pedals), you will need to bring those (pedals only – not the crank arm) along with your corresponding shoes. For your own personal safety, you must be comfortable riding, stopping and starting in traffic and on hills. Riding in abroad is fun, but it is probably NOT the best place for your first experiment with clipless pedals.
Q:What type of bike shoes should I bring?
If you are using flat pedals or pedals with toe cages, you can wear any comfortable walking / hiking / running shoe you prefer. This is a great option if you’d like to stop and explore a little along the way, or if you know you have a hard time walking in your bike shoes. With cleats on the bottom.
If you are riding with clipless pedals, a properly fit bike shoe will increase your pedaling efficiency and reduce foot fatigue. For bicycle touring, we recommend either a mountain bike or touring style shoe rather than a racing shoe. These styles have a slight amount of flex to make walking easier and, if you use clipless pedals, your cleat will be recessed for safer, quieter walking. Also, if you have custom footbeds or orthotics, try them in your bike shoes.
Q:Do you have any tips on bicycle safety abroad?
Yes! We have MANY tips, and we hope you take all of them to heart. We want you to stay safe and sound during your tour, so that you can enjoy the entire journey! Click here to download our “BICYCLE SAFETY & SAFE RIDING TECHNIQUES
Q:How do I measure my inseam?
To get your inseam measurement, just measure from “groin to ground!” You can send us this measurement in inches or centimeters. This measurement, along with your height is very important to us, as we use it to reserve the correct rental bike for you.