A Day On Tour With ExperiencePlus!
Michael and Therese from HITravelTales.com joined ExperiencePlus! this summer. They shared a few of the many photos and videos they took while Bicycling the Danube from Germany to Budapest.” Click here to read their full account and view all the photos from “A Day in the Life Bike Touring in Europe
While no two tours or experiences will ever be identical, this glimpse into a day on tour will give you an idea of what to expect while bicycling and traveling with ExperiencePlus! in Europe.
Join us as we take you through a day on one of the most famous bike routes in Europe – the Danube River. This classic transportation and cultural corridor has an incredible history (read more about that on our blog post about the History and Geography of the Danube), and cycling is the perfect way to experience it. Picture-perfect villages, impressive cathedrals and culinary treasures are explored on your bicycling journey across 4 borders – Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary.
The big hello
ExperiencePlus! prefers locally-owned boutique hotels, centrally located with easy access to a post-ride beer, city sights and restaurants to make exploring easy.
On Day 1 of the tour, it’s all about meeting the Tour Leaders and fellow riders as well as an orientation, safety talk and bike fitting.
You will have selected your bike type before arriving and your assigned bike arrives fitted to your measurements. Tour Leaders will fine-tune the fit with you at the bike fitting. They will also install your pedals and saddle if you choose to bring your own. Head out on your test ride and let the Tour Leaders know if your bike needs any adjustments.
All bikes will come with a spare tube, pump, patch kit, rear light, a rear rack and an expandable pack, lock, and a water bottle that is yours to keep!
WELCOME: In the evening of Day 1 riders and Tour Leaders gather for a celebratory welcome dinner at ExperiencePlus!’s favorite local restaurant. Enjoy a delicious meal with wine included as excitement builds about your first “real” ride tomorrow. Most dinners on tour are included but ExperiencePlus! makes sure to keep some nights free and offer suggestions so you can explore on your own.
A DAY IN THE LIFE: Each evening on an ExperiencePlus! trip includes a briefing about what to expect the next day. You will be given detailed Daysheets describing the next day’s ride including an elevation profile, cultural information, lunch spots, a language lesson, Tour Leader phone numbers, the country’s official emergency number, and other essential information you’ll need to keep handy. You will also learn about special sights along the way or where to best get lunch and coffee. Or secret tips on where to find the best pastry!
An important part of the briefing is safety, so each Daysheet also includes cycling and safety information and your Tour Leaders will make sure you aware of traffic laws or signs that might be different than what you are used to at home.
The briefing is also an excellent opportunity to ask questions and talk about what to expect the next day, be it a challenging climb, potential construction along the way, or weather updates. On ExperiencePlus! trips, guided independence is the motto: The route will be chalked with arrows each day, which will give you the freedom to linger a bit longer and not lose your way or feel you have to keep up with the group. If you feel you need a break from riding, the briefing is your opportunity to suss out the challenges the next day holds, and to see if you might like to make use of the support van.
Heading out on your ride!
Make sure to enjoy a nourishing breakfast! Breakfast buffets at most European hotels include a buffet with various meats, cheeses, vegetables, fruit, bread, pastries, cereals, juices, local specialties and more. ExperiencePlus! will make sure there is proper sustenance available to start your cycling day, and will supplement with eggs or fruit, if they are not offered.
On most ExperiencePlus! tours, you will encounter a variety of lovely local cafes and shops for refueling and lunch along the way. If your tour happens to take place in more remote regions, ExperiencePlus! will offer a packed lunch or a picnic. The support van carries snacks, so don’t be shy about grabbing some goodies in the morning to have a snack handy during your ride – although a local grocery store visit to discover a new personal favorite is always encouraged. You will also be able to refill your water along the way, either when the support van comes to check on you or at one of the towns and villages. Don’t miss the opportunity to stop, take in sights, and mingle with the locals!
Each morning as riders are enjoying breakfast and are getting ready, one of the Tour Leaders – who rotate this task – bikes the route and marks it with chalk dust arrows. This way, any possible changes and necessary adaptations can be managed and built in on the spot, and the Tour Leader will have seen and checked the route just a few moments before the riders start out on their ride.
The chalk arrows allow each rider the freedom to set their own pace and explore at their leisure. More tech-loving riders who use GPS tracks can request them 30 days prior to their tour departure.
Many ExperiencePlus! bicycle tours will involve some “alternate” means of transportation to get you and your bike where you need to go. Here is a cyclist waiting the arrival of a special “bike ferry” across the Danube River! The skipper works this ferry half the year and loves the chatter with guests.
On ExperiencePlus! tours, experiences are a specialty! Cultural activities like guided city tours, pottery visits, and interaction with locals are always included. The concept of guided independence and the ability to follow arrows at your own speed gives travelers a sense of empowerment that goes above and beyond.
For instance on the ride along the Danube you’ll dive deeply into Austrian-Hungarian history, follow famous bike paths – many taking you directly to your hotel! Be wowed by a visit to the spectacular baroque Abbey of Melk, or nibble your way through the historic and delicious offerings at Vienna Naschmarkt.
After all these adventures, it’s time for a relaxed evening at your next destination! Your luggage will be waiting for you in your room and your Tour Leader team will check your bike over, and safely store it so you’ll be ready to head out again the next morning.