Coolpedals biking holidays, fun bike ride, nice biking trails

Q. Why are there two prices quoted for each holiday tour?

A. We offer two levels of accommodation, our 'Luxury B&B' and our 'Character Hotels' options. Our minimum quoted price applies when all overnight stops are in our 'luxury B&B' establishments. Our maximum quoted price applies when all overnight stops are in our 'character hotel' establishments.

Q. What's included in the standard quoted price?

A. Our standard tour prices assume that all party members share either twin or double bedrooms. (For single room supplements, see the Customised Tours FAQ tab). The tour price includes overnight accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis, bike hire for all party members, daily trail guide packs plus one Satmap GPS hire unit per party, and daily luggage transfer service. If required, we also include a free pick up and drop off service at the start and end of the tour, up to a 1 hour car travel time from Langham ( which would include Stansted Airport or Harwich International Ferry Port). Our prices include emergency on-road support in the event of any bicycle problems, including punctures should you wish (although you may find it quicker to repair these yourself using the repair kits we provide).

Q. What if I want to mix and match from the two accommodation types?

A. This is perfectly acceptable and will result in an intermediate price between the two standard options. Please specify your night by night accommodation preferences when you submit your request for an availability check. We will advise you of the resulting tour price when we reply to you.

Q. What if some or all party members prefer to bring their own bike?

A. No problem. Each party member bringing their own bike will receive a discount of £10 x the number of tour nights (for example, a £30 discount for one of our 3 night tours).

Q. What's not included in the quoted standard holiday prices?

A. Our prices exclude your travel to and from Langham except for our complimentary pick-up service from local airports, ferry ports and railway stations. Our prices exclude all meals except the breakfast provided at your overnight accommodation. Our prices exclude the small passenger ferry charges incurred on some of our tours. Our prices exclude your individual personal holiday insurance, which we ask you to arrange for yourself.

Q. How fit do I need to be?

A. Not very! Our eastern tours are pretty flat. On our western tours the hills are sometimes steep, but they're never very long, and our lightweight 27 gear hire bikes make easy work of them in bottom gear. Our highly flexible daily touring distances cater for most people, but if you're really worried about your fitness level, then make sure you choose one of our 4 Beginner Tours.

Q. What sort of roads do the routes use?

A. We've taken meticulous care to avoid all A and B roads (other than the occasional inevitable crossing), seeking out the quietest and most scenic routes, rather than the most direct. The meandering nature of our routes has the added advantage of making it easy to provide several options each day for short-cuts and extensions.

Q. What sort of off-road trails do the routes use?

A. Bridleways, byways, disused railways and plenty of the local "green lanes"...in short, whatever we can find to give you the maximum opportunity for a little off-road adventure!

Q. I'm considering my first ever cycling holiday. What preparations should I make?

A. There's no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It depends on many factors including your background fitness level, cycling proficiency, existing outdoor clothes wardrobe and temperament. If you're tempted, but nervous, give us a call and we'll try to offer honest advice to suit your circumstances.

Q. I'm a keen regular cyclist. Are these tours just "cycling for softies", or is there anything of interest here for me?

A. We certainly hope to interest you. If you look at our About Us page, you'll see that one of Coolpedals' owners is delighted to be counted as a cycling "softie", the other aspires to be a cycling "hardnut". If you select our longer route choices, particularly with lots of off-road, then you should get a decent daily workout. If you're a really serious long-distance road specialist, then you'll probably only be interested in our Stour Challenge ride.

Q. Are there any age or group size restrictions?

A. There are no specific limits, but securing suitable accommodation can become problematic (particularly if you choose our B&B rather than our hotel option). Please also be aware that we only currently provide hire bikes in L, M & S adult sizes, so you will need to bring your own bikes for smaller children. The best advice for larger groups is to book as early as you possibly can.

Q. Can I add an additional non-cycling rest day into one of your standard itineraries?

A. Yes, no problem. Please advise us when you make your initial holiday availability enquiry, and we'll advise on availability and cost.

Q. Can I skip one or more overnight stops by travelling faster round the tour route?

A. We don't generally recommend this unless your name is Lance Armstrong, but please call or email us if you wish to discuss this. For some of our tours, if you plan to arrive at Langham very early on day 1, then it may be possible to omit the Night 1 stop and proceed straight on to the Night 2 stop.

Q. What sort of price premium applies for party members requiring single rather than shared rooms?

A. Our standard holiday price premium for party members requiring a single room is +35% on the standard holiday price. But for low-season holidays and mid-week dates we will negotiate with our accommodation providers to try and secure a lower premium for you.

Q. Can you provide family rooms for more than 2 people sharing?

A. Not all of our preferred accommodation providers can provide this, but if you're willing to be a bit more flexible on accommodation choices we'll be happy to try and make suitable arrangements for you.

Q. Do you offer any guided tours in addition to your standard self-guided tours?

A. Not as a standard offering, no, since our trail guides are so comprehensive and easy to follow! But we're not averse to the idea if you'd like a guide for some or all of your route. Give us a call and we'll be happy to chat things over.

Q. Can you help with additional accommodation bookings at the start and/or end of the holiday tour?

A. Yes, we're more than happy to help by offering locally-informed advice, and if you prefer, we can book this for you too as part of your overall holiday booking.

Q. What sort of hire bikes do you offer and why?

A. We've gone for quality not quantity, and maintain a small fleet of really top-notch mens and ladies mountain bikes. These are far superior to most hire bikes, which we think is important if you're committing several days to the saddle. The idea is to enjoy it after all! Our bikes are light enough to be efficient and comfortable for gentle on-road riding, but strong enough to take the strain if you'd rather let rip on the trails. So, if your own bike is getting a little long in the tooth, do try ours for size. But be warned, you may feel the need to upgrade your own bike afterwards!

Q. What accessories are provided with the hire bikes?

A. All our bikes come ready equipped with 2 bottle cages, a small seatpost bag with puncture repair kit, and a detachable handlebar bag with plenty of room for your camera, phone, snacks and a waterproof. Bike locks and tyre pumps are generally provided on a one-per-party basis to help minimise your load.

Q.What's the procedure for hire bike collection, fitting and familiarisation before setting off on the tour?

A. Let us know what time you plan to arrive at Langham and we'll make sure your bikes are prepared and ready to go. We'll check the fit for you, adjust as necessary, and if you wish, we'll then accompany you on a quick test ride round the village to make sure you're fully comfortable with the bike set-up before setting off for real.

Q. What precautions do I need to take to prevent theft of the hire bikes?

A. All our accommodation providers offer secure overnight storage facilities for bikes. But if you plan to leave your bikes unattended at times during the day, we would recommend the use of a good lock at all times. We can offer a range of locks to meet the needs of different size parties. Please note however, that you remain fully responsible for the safe return of our hire bikes, regardless of whether you use no locks, your own locks, or our locks.

 

Q. How do you ensure that I'll get the right size bike?

A. Our online booking enquiry form requests the height of all bike hirers, and supplemental information for any party members under 5 feet 1 inch or over 6 feet 3 inches. This enables us to ensure that we have bikes available to fit all of your hire group. The supplemental information, where required, is inside leg measurement and "ape-index". Ape-index is simply the distance between your fully outstretched left and right fingertips, minus your height. So long arms = positive ape index, short arms = negative ape index).

Q. I've got very long/short legs/arms (delete as appropriate). Will I still be able to get a good bike fit?

A. See question above. Provided that you're not also very tall or short, it's generally easy to make small bike adjustments to achieve a good fit.

Q. What should I pack for a cycle touring holiday?

A. There are two answers to this question: as much as you like in your overnight bags, but as little as you can get away with on the bike itself.

Our daily luggage transfer service ensures that you don't need to skimp at all when packing for your holiday (within reason anyway - you may still need to pass the partner acceptability test!).

Q. What should I carry daily while cycling?

A. One of the joys of a cycling holiday is the great sense of freedom it gives you, so please try not to weigh yourself down unnecessarily. All our hire bikes come with a small seatpost bag and a larger handlebar bag. We encourage all our customers to try to fit everything into these, so as to avoid the need for a backpack or panniers. Our recommended checklist would be:

Per person: snacks; 2 water bottles; camera; phone; cash & credit card; sunglasses and lightweight waterproofs in summer; plus lightweight fleece and cycling gloves in spring/autumn.

Per tour party: coolpedals trail guide, handlebar mounted GPS, bike pump and bike lock.

Q. What sort of cycle clothing would you recommend?

A. Whatever you feel comfortable in, is the best advice. Lycra, MTB baggies, or "regular" casual clothes, it's up to you. With casual clothes, we'd recommend avoiding cotton next to the skin if possible. Look for a better "wicking" fabric to avoid getting clammy.

Q. Where is the nearest airport?

A. Stansted Airport is our closest major airport. It's about a 45 minute drive from Langham. If you fly into Stansted, we can offer a free pick-up and drop-off service to save you the cost of taxi transfers.

Q. Where is the nearest continental ferry port?

A. Harwich is our closest major passenger ferry port. It's about a 35 minute drive from Langham. If you arrive from Europe by ferry, we can offer a free pick-up and drop-off service to save you the cost of taxi transfers.

Q. Where is the nearest railway station?

A. Colchester North Station is our nearest station (not Colchester Town). It's a 10 minute drive from Langham. If you arrive by train, we can offer a free pick-up and drop-off service to save you the cost of taxi transfers.

Q. If I come by car where can I park?

A. We have ample off-road parking and you are welcome to park up for the duration of your holiday tour.

Q. When do I need to arrive on the first day of the tour?

A. It's up to you really. Most of our tours start with a short first day to ease you into things, so an arrival anytime between about 9am and 1pm will generally be comfortable and stress-free. But if your travel schedule precludes this, we'll also do our best to accommodate earlier or later starts too.

 

 

Q. How flexible are arrangements on the final day of the tour?

A. Totally! Cycle as far as you want, or laze in bed all morning and do nothing. If you don't want to cycle all (or any!) of the way back to our base in Langham, just let us know where and when you would like to be picked up and we'll be happy to oblige. If you have travel connection commitments, we offer a complimentary drop off service at the end of your tour, up to a 45 minute travel time from Langham ( which would include Stansted Airport or Harwich International Ferry Port if required).

Q. What holiday insurance arrangements should I make?

A. Our tour holidays do not include any personal insurance. We strongly recommend that you take out adequate holiday insurance including medical cover, personal accident, loss of belongings, hire bike loss or damage, & cancellation cover. We cannot be held responsible for your own illness, injury or loss/damage of your belongings while on holiday.

 

Q. Please walk me through the entire booking process?

A. The booking process steps are explained in our Booking Process Overview page.

Q. When does the balance of the holiday cost fall due?

A. The balance must be paid not less than 5 weeks before the tour start date via our secure online payment system. We will send you one email reminder 6 weeks before your tour starts. For holiday bookings made within 5 weeks of departure, the full holiday price must be paid at the time of booking.

Q. How do I know my money is safe?

A. Our online payment system provider, Cardsave, complies with the highest industry standard, PCI DSS level 1. Coolpedals complies with the Consumer Protection requirements of EU Travel Regulations 1992 by means of a trust fund that guarantees security of all customer deposits in the unlikely event of Coolpedals becoming insolvent.

Q. What on-road support do you provide during a cycling holiday?

A. We provide a contact number available 9am-5pm daily throughout your tour. We offer emergency on-road support in the event of any bicycle problems, including punctures should you wish (although you'll probably find it quicker to repair these yourself using the repair kits we provide).

Q. What happens if there is a problem with one of the ferries on our chosen tour route?

A. In the unlikely event that a ferry isn't running please contact us to discuss options. We may be able to suggest an acceptable re-route. If not, we will provide a free road transfer to let you continue with your original route.

Q. What happens if I have to cancel my holiday?

A. If you have to cancel your holiday please notify us by letter or email as soon as possible. You will be liable for cancellation charges from the date of receipt of your letter or email as follows:
More than 35 days before start date: Deposit only (£50 per person)
21 – 35 days before start date: 50% of full holiday cost
Less than 21 days before start date: 100% of full holiday cost

We recommend that you to take out suitable holiday insurance to cover you against these costs.

Q. What happens if coolpedals has to cancel the holiday?

A. In the unlikely event that coolpedals has to cancel your holiday, you will receive a full refund.