Precarious castles and prehistoric cave art, gourmet food and great cycling
Bike in southwest France: Frequently-Asked Questions about Truffles and Cave Bears
Bike along France's Dordogne River, through thousands of years of history. Prehistoric cave art depicts the rhinos and cave bears that once lived here, while magnificent chateaux attest to the years of struggle between England and France. And every evening, we enjoy the region's legendary cuisine, including truffles and foie gras.
This FAQ page is intended to accompany other pages about this trip and about our company (see links at left). Some of the answers below may include links to other other sites; please use the BACK key of your browser to return to this page.
This is called a 7-day trip. Exactly what does that mean?
Our "7-day" trip thus consists of 6 full days and two partial days. Some companies promote a trip of this length as being 8 days since it includes pieces of 8 different days. We feel it's more accurate to refer to this as 7 days.
When does this bike trip start and end?
Each trip ends after breakfast. There are no group activities on that day, so if you have tight travel connections, you can get up and leave as early as you wish. When your schedule allows it, you'll probably want to spend some time sightseeing in town, with others from the trip, before departing.
Where do I catch a train when the trip ends?
I'm traveling alone. Will everyone else be in couples?
Our website includes a full page of comments from past travelers. Most of them have volunteered to talk about their experiences with future potential travelers. Please call for the names and phone numbers of references in your area.
What kind of bikes do you use?
This trip looks fun, but is probably too hard for me. Is it okay to come anyway and ride in the van some days?
However, this is a bike tour, not a van tour. The van's route and itinerary are set up to accommodate cyclists, not van passengers. You'll miss some of the sights, and some of the fun, if you're in the van.
We offer trips in a variety of terrains; you should be able to find a bike trip on which you can complete each day's biking. (They're summarized on our biking tours page.) You'll have a much better vacation if you select a trip that's right for your abilities.
I want to bring a gel seat cover for my bike trip. What size is best?
How does the van support work for cyclists?
The specific van schedule varies day to day, based on a number of factors: the route, whether there's a picnic that day, and whether riders are all likely to be on the same road, or off on different options. Typically, the driver stays with or behind most of the group until about lunchtime (or earlier, if there's a picnic to set up), then drives ahead to deliver luggage into your rooms.
If most of the group is likely to be on the same road, the driver may then circle back to see if anyone needs the van. However, we suggest various optional routes each day, and many people on our trips like to explore independently. That means cyclists may be spread out over many miles, and over several routes. In most cases, we find that a cyclist who needs help will get it fastest by calling the driver at the hotel or calling their cell phone, rather than waiting for the van to patrol all the spots where cyclists could be riding.
We'll go over the details in more depth at the briefing when the trip starts. On paper (or on a computer screen) the system can seem uncertain because so many variables are involved. In practice, it works out well. There are many weeks when no one ever needs the van. If you do need assistance, generally you're able to get to a cafe or other comfortable spot while you wait for help.
Is a stationary bike a good way to get in shape?
I'm visiting Paris after the trip. Can you recommend a hotel there?
What's the train schedule from Paris?