- What kind of bike?
- Do I bring my own bike
or rent a bike?
- How do I prepare
and what personal belonging should I take?
- Do I carry my own gear or
is there a support vehicle? What happens if I get tired?
- How difficult is the
program? How far do you ride?
- How is the route picked?
- Is this program sensitive to the culture
and the environment?
- What kind of accommodation are used?
- What is the food like?
- Who participates on these programs?
- How large are the groups?
- How do I sign-up?
- When should I sign?
- What does the program price cover?
- What doesn't the program price cover?
- Where can I read the
complete "Terms and Conditions" for the Ibike?
- Ibike A to Z
Answers To Most Frequently Ask Questions On Ibike
Choice of Bikes: Mountain-bikes
work on all the programs. Some programs use
predominately paved roads where touring bikes are suitable. Detailed information
and setting up your bicycle and equipment is sent in the pre-departure
information packet. Most participants prefer to take their own bike.
This is practical because
bicycles are carried as accompanied baggage on international flights.
On some airlines this service is free, but some charge a hefty fee so it
is good to check the baggage
regulations before you make a final decision about an airline.
As the airline reduce their baggage allowance and increase their baggage surcharges, good quality folding bikes become a serious
Bike Friday “World Tourist”, which
fits in a suitcase, has been used by the program director and participants on all
of the programs; through the sands of Mali, rutted roads of Ecuador and
mud of Cameroon, without failure and with great overall satisfaction.
There are some compromises: the small wheel can drop further
into holes and alter the inertia of the bike, and the shorter wheel base changes
the center of gravity to be much more over the front wheel. This is
likely to catch up with you going downhill on a rutted gravel road -- but
also can be mitigated with strong cycling skill. If you are considering taking a folding bikes and have
questions, please contact us.
are only available on a few programs. There are several factors
that interfere with our ability to provide rental bikes for our programs:
Really suitable bikes (and accessories) are
generally not available for rent in the local bike markets in
most parts of the world. (Though in a pinch you can make do -- see "
The uncertainty of long term storage of our own bikes (most
programs run only once or twice a year.)
Problem with logistics and the cost of moving the bikes across
program to program.
The unknown of what sizes of bikes and how many
to have available.
Very low demand for rental bikes because, in fact, most
people still want to use their own bikes for tours that do as much cycling
as ours do.
Generally the people who have been most interested in rental bikes are
those who wanted to do additional travel after the program without a bike
or are try to avoid the
airlines hostility towards bicyclists.
The most common solutions have been to beg or buy a modest used bike at
home for the trip, pay the airlines one-way, and
then donate it or sell it at the end. It is possible, and sometime cheaper, to
buy a bike locally, but you have to be prepared to be challenged by the
quality of the bike (see "
Level of Difficulty:
The bicycling difficulty is moderate and designed for generally active
people. There have been a lot of participants on the program who have
never cycle toured and never done international travel before who have
thoroughly enjoyed the program. It is an active program, but it is not an
iron man competition. The bicycling is meant to be a means to cultural
immersion. If you are in descent condition and curious about the
destination you should be able to do the program, regardless of past
experience. Daily distances average less than 40 miles (65km) per day,
are usually between 30 and 50 miles (50-80 km) per day, but may range from
20-80 miles (35-100km) per day. It is good if you can work up to
averaging 10-12 mph (16-20 km/h) on rolling terrain. The daily plan is
linked to road conditions, terrain and points of interest. We try to start
programs with lower mileage and let it increase as people get in better
shape and adjust to conditions. If the roads are rough or ascending the
mileage is usually lower. If the roads are smooth or descending the
mileage may be more.
noted the bicycling portions of the programs are “self-contained,” which
means there is no support vehicle carrying baggage
(local transportation is generally available if people get
tired). For “self-contained” tour participants
carry their own gear on their bikes
using a rear rack and panniers. Individual gear usually averages about 20
pounds (10 kg).
If an Ibike program will be your first exposure to self-contained bicycle
touring you are not the first. The pre-departure materials provide tips
and guidance for packing for self-contained bicycle touring and the office
is available to help you and answer your questions.
(Where identified, programs have dedicated support vehicles to carry gear
and assist cyclist.)
Educational value, cultural
sensitivity, environmental impact, safety, road quality, riding difficulty,
the availability of goods and services,
and climatic norms are considered in route selection and scheduling. Each
program is unique. While safety is a factor in planning the program and
most roads are low volume, because the program involves bicycling on roads
shared with motor vehicles and, in part, routes are selected because they
go to desirable areas, we make no claims as to the safety of the
itinerary. It should be understood that bicycling and travel are
calculated risk activities.
subscribes to the International Bicycle Fund's
Conditions: Most of our
programs are in non-western countries. We primarily stay in towns and
villages. Accommodations vary according to opportunity. Sleeping
arrangements range from local housing, dormitories, simple
hotels, tourist class hotel and tented camps, as available. We endeavor
to select locally owned, carbon-lite, clean, friendly and secure accommodations. Rooms are generally,
but not always, double occupancy. Will try to match people with
roommates, if they wish. If you don't have a roommate, or don't want
a roommate there will be a single supplement charge.
This represents the actually difference in the cost to the program.
Single rooms cannot be guaranteed. Some facilities are rustic. Plumbing,
electricity and modern services are not always available.
Meals are provided at or
above the local standard -- by western standards the variety is often
limited. The diet is wholesome and the quantity is sufficient.
Food for certain restrictive diets may be limited. By western standards,
choice of beverages (i.e soft drinks, beer, liquor) is sometimes limited.
Participants: It is
very hard to identify an "average participant" or
the "average group." Past participants have ranged in age from 9
to 73 - most are between 25 and 55. But, in fact, the groups are
quite "age-less" once we get going -- everybody's working on a common
project and "age" falls by the wayside. There have been
more women than men, but some groups are all women and some groups are
all men -- we have no way to predict the mix.
No aim is put on age or gender of groups. Most, but not all,
participants sign-up alone, some of these people are single and some are
married traveling without their spouse (both men without their wives and
women without their husband -- we know the program doesn't appeal to
everyone.) Participants have originated from every continent.
Ibike programs involve physical activity. For the safety
and enjoyment of everyone, good physical and mental health are key to the
enjoyment of these trips. We travel in areas remote from modern medical
facilities. Participants may be required to furnish a doctor's statement
of good health. Vaccination and prophylactic medicine may be recommended
or required. Ibike provides information and guidelines to help
participants stay healthy, but is not responsible for participant's
physical or mental health or for medical advice prior to or during the
program. Ibike reserves the right to refuse acceptance of anyone whom it
deems unsuitable for a trip. We will make reasonable accommodations to
enable people with special needs to participate. Under no circumstances do
we refuse acceptance based on nationality, national origins, race, creed,
color, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.
by sending your name, address, phone number, the name of the program
and a deposit of $300 ($100 is non-refundable.) We will send you a waiver
form or you can copy it from the website. This need to be read and signed
and sent in. Early
registration is encouraged due to limits on group
size (usually 10-12); visa and vaccination requirements; and to give
yourself an opportunity to explore the reading list.
information: When your registration is complete, we send a pre-departure
information packet. This packet contains visa application forms and
instructions (if necessary), packing list, medical and immunization information,
cross-cultural information, a reading list, etc.
Payment: Full payment is due no later than sixty
days prior to departure. Registrations received less than sixty days prior
to departure will be accepted subject to availability, full payment and a
late fee of $50. Unless special arrangements are made, all payments must
be in U.S. funds.
Price: Costs quoted are based
on at least six participants. (For groups of less than six people their is
a small group supplement of $100.) Fares are in U.S.
currency and based on itinerary, tariffs and exchange rates at the time of
publication. Unless otherwise stated, the price
includes: all leaders, accommodations, two meals a day, transfers, and
park, monument and museums fees, on the itinerary. No revisions are
anticipated; however, fares are subject to adjustment in the event of
alterations in currency exchange, inflation, the imposition of surcharges
or changes in the itinerary, with the understanding that any additional
expenses will be paid by the participant. No refunds or credit are given
for unused services.
Not included in the price,
unless otherwise stated, are: airfare, accommodations, meals and transfers
in route to the start of the program, accommodations, meals and transfers
not included in the program, visa and passport fees, vaccination, drugs,
medical expenses, beverages, airport departure taxes, insurance and items
of a personal nature.
Ibike and associated companies act only in the capacity
of agent for the participation in all matters relating to transportation,
lodging, meals and/or all other related travel services and assume no
responsibility, how-so-ever caused, for injury, loss or damage, to person
or property, in connection with any services.
Please express your individual interests. It is not always
possible to make changes in itineraries, but we want you to be as satisfied
as possible about overall arrangements. We want everyone to have a great
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