If you enjoy travelling with a group, meeting new people, and having a guide and structured daily schedule, then a guided group bike tour is probably the best fit for you. These bicycle tours provide the convenience of having everything planned out for you: hotels/hostels/camping, rental bikes, routes, meals, luggage transfers, sightseeing tours and so on. The guides point out places of interest, organize excursions and activities and are there in case of breakdowns (mechanical or human).
Support and personnel vary, but one guide typically rides with the group, while a second guide drives a support van with your luggage. The van also makes it possible to bridge less attractive or more challenging sections of a route.
You usually bike in a group of 3 to 20 people, typically from several different countries, which makes for new acquaintances and international friendships. Most tour operators provide you with a comprehensive information package with tips on sights, cultural highlights, and scenic stops.
The short answer is “almost everything.” Here’s a general list of what you get on a guided bike tour:
Support SUV & Airstream
Informed travel guide riding with group
Luggage transport from town to town
Tour description, travel materials
Detailed route planning
Riding with group
Advertisement of your company
*All meals will be prepared by the participants and any dietary needs will be limited to the local markets’ supply
On our tour, you’ll have the added bonus of a knowledgeable guide who will point out sights and landmarks along the route. The guide will also act as a mechanic in case of any bicycle maintenance issues.
If you’re riding with a large group with 2 or more guides, you can expect to have one guide in the front and one in the back, riding different speeds to give riders the option to go faster or slower.
When riding with a group, we recommend the following etiquette:
- Be flexible. You’ll most likely be eating most meals together, so be flexible.
- Be social. You’re with a group, so make the most of your new friendships.
- Ride safely. If you’re riding in the middle of a group, don’t make sudden stops without letting anyone know.
- Don’t race. Remember it’s not Tour de France. Don’t be that guy/girl that has to show everyone how strong he/she is.
All bookings are subject to our full booking conditions below
In booking a trip you do need to be healthy enough to participate in the trip. Although we do not have age limits (except you must be 18 or over – apart from family trips), you do have to be able to physically and mentally cope with the lifestyle of our cycling trip. When you read the booking conditions, be especially aware of your responsibilities for your own health and suitability to this kind of travel. Just so we are very clear, we would like you to also read the paragraphs below, which are extracts from our trip notes.
Booking Conditions & Jurisdiction
If you book a No Limit Trip, you must agree that the Law of Texas (and no other) will apply to your contract and to any dispute, claim or other matter of any description which arises between yourself and No Limit. This is the case even if the booking conditions of a specific agent say otherwise. Please do NOT book a trip if you cannot accept this.
Adventure Itineraries & Risk
No Limit is an extreme sport and adventure travel operator & we run unpredictable overland & cycling adventure journeys. These are off the beaten track trips often in areas without western infrastructure. As many of the areas do not adhere to western safety standards & may have political or economic instability, there will be higher risk & un-predictability associated with this form of travel, than you would find in your usual life or other forms of travel. This is the nature of grass-roots overland travel. Please do NOT book a trip if you cannot accept this.
Cycling Lifestyle & Flexible Itineraries
This trip can be quite demanding & you must be prepared to participate. This may involve demanding physical activities, such as lifting, pushing vehicles, digging, collecting wood, etc. The more you put in the more you will get out. We will often camp & when wild camping we rely entirely on our own provisions. If we are camping you are expected to put your own tents up & to participate in all forms of camp life including cooking for the group on a rotation basis. If you don’t have any previous knowledge or experience in camping we will teach you. The hotels, hostels & homestays/couchsurfing we use can vary greatly in standards as we try to use locally run accommodation where possible & often western style hotels are unsuited to cycling travel or are unavailable or unaffordable in many of the areas we visit. Please do NOT book a trip if you cannot accept this.
We intend to follow the route and map that we publicize; however we might have to change itineraries. That is the nature of real travel, the ups & downs, the joys & the frustrations; itineraries are an intention only & will change depending on circumstances. Vehicles can develop mechanical issues and we may have to change to use other forms of transport, such as buses, trains, etc. Mechanical issues, unexpected border closures, roads get blocked, adverse weather and others can all affect the running of a trip. Equally, a local wedding, a festival or maybe just pure hospitality will mean we spend a night unplanned. Please do NOT book a trip if you cannot accept this.
Your Health & Suitability
You need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully in our trip. Please make sure that you have read through the itinerary carefully and assessed your ability to cope with our style of travel. It is your responsibility to ensure that you will be suitable. In some cases you should be prepared for long driving days and limited facilities. We are always happy to give additional advice if you have any concerns. Please note, that if, in the opinion of our leader, you are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to yourself and/or the rest of the group, No Limit reserves the right to exclude you from all or part of the trip without a refund.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information prior to travel, particularly if you have a pre-existing medical condition. We also advise you to declare any pre-existing medical condition to your travel insurer on purchase.
You will be obliged to disclose any medical condition or medication that you are taking to your tour leader at the start of your trip for health and safety purposes. It will be strictly confidential between you and him for the sake of your and the groups’ safety. If at the time of booking you have any concern at all about a medical condition that may prevent you from participating fully in the trip, please let No Limit know as soon as possible. If upon disclosure, our operations team is of the opinion that the trip is not suitable for you, then we reserve the right to cancel your booking or alternatively to limit your participation in certain activities.
When traveling to the Andes you must think carefully about how fit you are and will altitude be an issue. Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatizing to high altitude; please discuss these options with your doctor. For trips that travel to areas of high altitude, the tour leader will issue you with a self assessment altitude questionnaire which allows you to monitor how you are coping with the altitude and informs you of danger signals so that you can reports these as soon as possible, either to the tour leader or a medical professional.
Health & Vaccinations
Yellow fever vaccination is a must. Hepatitis A vaccine is encouraged. Consult your doctor before departing. There is currently no vaccine for Malaria and Zika, only pills.
Passport & Visas
It is your own responsibility to ensure that are in possession of a full passport with at least 6 months validity from date of your return. You will also need to make sure that you have sufficient blank pages for any visa stamps. For more details contact us or scroll down the Facebook event page.
Your clothes and equipment should be appropriate for the conditions you’ll be travelling in, which will vary depending on which part of the world you’re heading to, and when. You’ll need to bring your own sleeping bags and ground mats. Think about the climate and altitude of the areas you’ll be travelling to, there’s nothing worse than being cold at night so it’s worth investing in a decent sleeping bag if it’s likely to get cold. And remember even when it’s warm during the day, it can often get cold at night, particularly in desert regions.
Here are a few things we can recommend bringing:
Sleeping bag – Check the expected climate en route. Nights in desert and mountain regions can be very cold in winter months. A decent 3 season sleeping bag will do the job with a comfort temperature around 0 to 5 degrees Celsius. Click on the link regarding sleeping bag ratings and information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EN_13537
Mattress or compressed foam. Foam is sturdier but less comfortable. If you are taking your inflatable matt make sure you bring a repair kit along.
A day pack is useful for short hikes in the countryside, wandering around cities, etc and also for keeping inside the vehicle for items used during the day
2 sets of comfortable travelling clothes (light, easily washable cotton is warmer and more comfortable on the skin, however synthetic material will dry out faster)
1 set of casual but smart clothes for evenings out. Women should bring a skirt that covers their knees and a scarf for visiting places of worship
2 pairs of shorts
Sun hat or warm hat if trekking
1 pair of sunglasses
1 waterproof jacket with hood
1 pair of comfortable walking shoes/boots (or ankle height canvas jungle boots)
1 pair of sandals or flip-flops
Underwear and socks (thermals are also a good idea if you are travelling to altitude or to the desert as it can get very cold at night)
2 small towels
Washing kit, including a small mirror
Clothes washing detergent, small scrubbing brush & washing line (just a length of cord)
Head torch/flashlight with spare batteries & bulbs (only the 3 standard sizes of round 1.5v batteries are widely available en route)
Passport photos (average of 2 per country for which visas will be applied for en route)
Good water bottle at least 1 liter
A pouch or money belt worn inside your clothing, or unobtrusive pocket sewn into the inside of a pair of loose fitting trousers, is a must.
Pocket calculator if your phone doesn’t have one (useful when exchanging money)
Multi purpose knife
Linen for sleeping bag (or sheet folded and sewn up on 2 sides). It will help keep your sleeping bag clean, and can be used on its own on warm nights.
Mosquito net for your hammock.
“Wet Ones” (moistened tissues) and hand gel
Toilet paper – this can be purchased almost everywhere en-route but one roll is worth packing
Assorted sized plastic bags – protects clothing and equipment from dust and damp
Hammock and/or Tent.
Bike – you can buy it abroad and sell it off afterwards
Bike spare parts (tires, patches, oil)
PLEASE NOTE: Your luggage should not be more than one large rucksack (not counting the bike) and a small carry on bag for your laptop etc.
The nature of a bike tour makes your experience particularly susceptible to the weather. Fellow travelers often call us to ask, “What happens if it rains during my bike tour?” To which we
always respond – “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing choices.”
This trip will be very long and will pass through all sorts of elevation, terrain and seasons.
We will encounter get in personal with the cold, hot, rainy and dry.
We will most likely be present for the raining season in Central America.
Medical travel insurance cover, which includes repatriation, is essential on our trip – and is a condition of booking with us. Without evidence of a valid policy on the first day of the trip, unfortunately we will not be able to allow you onto the trip.
When you are arranging your insurance you must ensure that it is designed for adventure/overland travel. It should cover you for adventure activities such as cycling. The 24-hour Emergency Assistance Company must be experienced in handling situations in developing countries (e.g. they have the ability to arrange repatriation from remote areas such as Central America or in the Andes).
Please double check if you have annual travel and/or credit card policies to ensure they have the cover you require, as many of these policies are not suitable with adventure travel to remote areas. Many credit card medical insurance policies are not valid for travelling outside your country of residence or outside the EU.
We recommend that any policy has the following minimum levels of cover:
– Medical (including repatriation): EURO 5,000,000
– Personal Liability: EURO 2,000,000
– Cancellation and Curtailment: EURO 5,000 (or the full cost of your trip)
– Loss of Baggage, personal effects, money and other inclusions: down to personal choice.
Please note that you should be insured for trip postponement or cancellation purposes immediately upon paying a deposit.
It is all about sharing a great travelling experience with like-minded people on the off the beaten track adventure along rugged roads, experiencing the sights, sounds and smells of the world up close. Your journey will be overland, so some long days spent cycling or driving are inevitable – but these will be interspersed with breaks to explore a destination or enjoy various activities. On an overland journey you are more than just a passenger and everyone gets involved setting up camp. You will have to pitch the tent yourself. As part of your trip you will be assigned a job which could be collecting firewood or water, luggage loading, tidying the truck, organizing food stores, cooking etc. Like all great adventures, the more you put in the more you’ll get out! We are looking forward to welcoming you on our cycling Roll to Rio journey but before we do there are a few things we would like to draw to your attention:
On your trip you could be part of a group of unknown number of people of all ages and nationalities sharing a passion for travel. Accommodation and meals on tour trips are designed for multi-share accommodation, whether camping or staying in hotels and therefore do not involve a single supplement. We will try to camp as much as possible but we will also stay in hostels or hotels. One of the highlights of Roll to Rio is that in more remote areas we will wild camp; this allows us to get far away from the tourist crowds to some beautiful, secluded spots. When camping you will be divided into smaller groups of people and take it in turns to plan the meal, shop for ingredients in local markets or supermarkets and cook for the whole group. Cook groups are responsible for communal equipment but you are responsible for washing your own utensils. When staying in hotels and hostel you will be eating locally prepared food. Your leader will provide practical information about the places you are travelling through and offer suggestions for things to do and see. Whilst not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a general knowledge of the places you visit.
Our itineraries and the map provided are our intention but travel in more remote areas of the world like Central and South America is unpredictable – borders can close, there can be extreme adverse weather, strikes or maybe mechanical issues that affect the running of your trip but equally due to the nature of our trip we can often spontaneously include a local festival, additional time at a beach or a detour to a local school into the itinerary.
You have to be reasonably fit to participate in this trip as Roll to Rio will test both your physical and mental conditioning. Check out with your doctor any pre-existing medical condition or medication you are taking that may affect your ability to fully participate in the trip.