B&B BIKE TOURS - FAQs - OUR RIDES & EQUIPMENT.

B&B BIKE TOURS - FAQs - OUR RIDES & EQUIPMENT.

OUR FAQs:

OUR ANSWERS:

Isn't it a bit restrictive staying in just one place?

We don't think so. On the comfort front, with a single base tour there is no daily packing, unpacking and all the boring logistics of moving to the next hotel.
There is also no luggage restriction, which is no mean thing when you need both cycling and normal holiday equipment.
You'll also hopefully benefit from the personal touch and our local knowledge when you stay in just one place.
On the cycling front, we have more than enough great routes to keep you busy for the 5/6 days, with 30+ superb, self guided bike rides that start and end at our farmhouse. We have great cycling in every direction, so there's no need to ride the same area twice. And if you want to we can also design and load rides to the GPS especially for you.

My partner doesn't like to bike as much as me - how would that work with your tours?

Our self guided bike tours are designed to be flexible. You really can strike the balance between biking & relaxation that you want.
So maybe a small ride in the morning for both of you taking in the beautiful village of Oppede Le Vieux, then in the afternoon, the pool and a short ride to Gordes for the more serious biker.
And a dip in the pool & a book for the less serious biker followed maybe by a car ride to meet up in Gordes for a coffee.
The options are endless.
And remember, we also have electric bikes available for hire, if you want to make the cycling easier (at €168 per person for your stay) - please enquire at the time of booking.

Does a GPS tour mean I'm on my own?

Not at all.
First of all, it's pretty hard to get lost with one of our GPS systems. We haven't lost anyone yet...
But should that happen or should you suffer a rare mechanical problem then vehicle back up is just a call away.

Fitness - what level of fitness is needed?

You don't need to be super fit to do our tours, as you choose the rides to suit you. To make it easier our rides are rated by difficulty - Easy, Moderate, Hard & Hardest.
We would recommend, however, that you do not come new to cycling and to exercise - you'll enjoy it more that way!
Ideally preparation for a tour would involve 1 or 2 rides per week over different terrains (for 4 weeks prior) of at least an hour each. This will get you used to riding and being comfortable on a bike, whilst used to providing a decent level of effort.
Note that our rides often take the least hilly option to get to a destination - but of course if you want hills and hundreds of lovely kms, we can do that too. If you have any doubts here - please just contact us.

I'm not a very strong rider - can I still do one of your tours?

You can choose the difficulty of your ride with the lowest kms and the easiest routes up any hills. But if this still seems too much, we can provide you with an electrically assisted bike. It's a €168 extra charge for your stay - Please enquire at the time of booking.
With the Ebike you get to select the amount of assistance you want & the level of effort you give. The bikes are easy to ride, highly autonomous with a minimum range of 60kms to a max of 100kms.

Where are your tours based?

We are based in the countryside, within a 10 minutes walk of the great little village of Coustellet, which, for a little village, has loads of useful amenities. Coustellet is in the departement of Vaucluse, Provence, in the beautiful and renowned Luberon valley, in the south of France - an hour from the Med.
The vast majority of roads that we use are quiet countryside back roads. The terrain is best described as flat (an extension of the Rhône river delta) to rolling, low altitude hills (along the Luberon valley). There are, however, steeper, longer hills (the Vaucluse mountains) to the north that we can take you to if that's what you want.
Coustellet is set at the entrance of the Luberon valley, between Avignon & Apt running West / East, and Gordes & Cavaillon running North / South. We are in a beautiful countryside setting close to the valley's famous hilltop villages. There is more than enough loads of great cycling!
Click here to access our Location page.

Can children do your self guided tours?

As a general rule, and as with most tours, our holidays tend to be suitable for kids of 15 and over.
Our tours are, however, flexible so you can make the cycling as easy as you find suitable for you and your family. With some guidance from us, you can choose the right rides, distances, amount of climbing & attractions that you are comfortable with.

How do I choose my rides?

Our ride directory (with its 30+ rides) is the tool that we have designed over the years to help you choose the right routes for you.

Step 1 - First you choose the zone that you would like to visit that day. We have 6 different zones around our single base B&B, all with great biking, beautiful countryside and pretty villages. And we have so much excellent cycling that there is very little repetition from one day to the next.
Step 2 - Choose how hard you want the ride to be. Our rides are categorised from: Easy, Moderate, Hard through to Hardest. The level of difficulty is a combination of the distance and the amount and type of climbing.

Once you have chosen your tour from the Directory, you simply select the ride number on your Garmin GPS and off you go!
And should you want a specific trip that you can not find - we will use our knowledge of the roads to design it, our software to draw it, with a final upload to your GPS unit so you can ride it.

What does an average day's cycling look like?

Well, it depends!! Here are examples of 2 days' cycling for the 2 extremes of cyclists (remember most of us are somewhere in between the 2).
Of course these itineraries are not written in stone, they are just an idea of what a couple of your days riding could look like - it's up to you, and of course we will point you in the right direction so you make the most of your time.
1. Click here to see an example of a small amount of bike time with more of an accent on Tourism
2. Click here to see an example where the biking is more important.

Roads - What are they like?

We are based in the countryside, our rides use the smaller, less busy back roads and the purpose built bike routes, wherever possible, making for memorable, relaxed cycling... Use of busier roads is extremely limited & really is kept to an absolute minimum.
On the car front, you should find that those that you cross, tend, on the whole, to be respectful of cyclists.

What is the terrain like?

The terrain around our farmhouse is a varied one and really does cater for all needs, as we are able to select the GPS rides that have the terrain that we want. The local terrain is best described as flat to the West (an extension of the Rhône river delta) to flat and rolling, low altitude hills to the East (along the Luberon valley) & to the South. There are, however, steeper, longer hills to the North where the climbing gets harder (the Vaucluse mountains) that we can take you to if that's what you want.
Our 30+ rides take in all of these different terrains, so you really can find the type of ride & effort that you want.

Mont Ventoux - Can I cycle Mont Ventoux whilst at yours?

Yes you can - there are 2 start points for Mont Ventoux that are easily accessible - the villages of Bedoin (the official Tour de France start @ 320 metres) & Sault (an easier starting point @ 760 metres). Both are an easy 50 mins' car journey from the farmhouse.
From the base, it usually takes anywhere from between 2 & 3 hours to get up to the top @ 1912 metres.
It's important to plan for the weather, and we can help you with this. The temperature difference between the start and the summit is often 10°. Plus the Mistral wind can blow very hard in the final few kilometres, so a wind or winter jacket is a must, you'll also be glad of it on the way down - it's a long way!

Mechanical breakdowns - what happens if I get one?

In the unlikely event of a breakdown, we are just a call away. We'll either mend your bike on the spot or bring you back to the B&B. So please do remember to bring a suitable mobile phone with you.

Equipment supplied - What equipment do I get on arrival?

We use the afternoon of arrival to get you set up so you can get off riding as soon as you want:
Bike allocation & set up: Your hybrid bike will be adjusted to fit you. Along with your pedals & seat if you want to bring them (we can supply gel seat covers).
Bike equipment: Crash helmet & pump, small under saddle back (inner tube, mini tool, tyre levers), bar ends, bottle cage and bottle, combination lock, and a large rear pannier removable bag.
Ride directory: Paper based directory of our 30+ rides. We'll show you how to use it in order to select the rides that are right for you.
Ride info cards: Each ride has a small carry card to be taken with you which includes a map (though it's not for navigation, that's what the GPS is for), tourist information & the good places to eat, cafes etc.
A Garmin GPS each: And we'll give you a full briefing on how to use it.
GPS cheat sheet: As back up we will give you a small plastic carry card with all the basic functions of your GPS clearly indicated.
Our own Provence guide: We have put together a comprehensive guide of what there is to do in the area, which should help you organise your day's biking and sight seeing.
Restaurant guide: A list of our guests' and our favourite restaurants and cafes.

Garmin Bike GPS systems - how do they work?

It's just like using maps on your phone, or using a car's GPS (it's just smaller), in that it uses clear colour maps and directions for navigation. On top of this you get all the bike stats that you could possibly want.
Our rides are preloaded into your GPS, you simply select your chosen ride number, and then off you go following the highlighted chosen route and the clear visual instructions.
Sight seeing on foot is easy too. Simply turn off the GPS, and then restart when you are ready, following the map to rejoin the route.
For peace of mind the GPS fixes solidly to the handlebars and can be taken off quickly and easily for sight seeing.
You can rest assured that our GPS system really is easy to use, and to make sure, we'll brief you on how to use it on arrival. No more paper maps, no more stopping and no more wondering where you are!
Please click here to go to the page "Our GPS systems"

Bikes - which kind will I use?

We use new, quality Trek FX3 hybrid bikes. They have aluminium frames and carbon front forks. Our hybrids combine the comfortable riding position of a mountain bike, and the speed of road bike frame geometry. With narrower tyres (35mm) than most mountain bikes, you'll get the most from your effort with maximum comfort and a good sense of stability when riding. Handle bar ends are also fitted to make any climbing easier.

Please click here for more info on Our Bike Equipment

Equipment to bring - What biking equipment should I bring?

It's important that you be comfortable on your bike, so here's what we recommend you bring:
Clothing: Padded bike shorts, a hot weather light weight bike shirt, a normal weather bike shirt, fingerless bike gloves, sunglasses, a light weight wind/rain jacket, bike socks.
Others:Sun protection cream, Camelback style water carrier (particularly in Summer), a suitable mobile phone (for back-up & emergency calls).
Optional kit - if you have your favourites: Bike helmet, Pedals, Shoes & Saddle (if you're worried about a sore back side we can always lend you an extra gel seat cover that fits over any saddle).
Early Spring & Autumn - If you come at these times, it would be sensible to bring wet & cold weather clothing (long legged bike pants & cold weather jacket). Very rarely is it a show stopper, but you could be unlucky and hit some bad weather.

Pedals & Seats - Can I bring my own?

If you prefer your own, just bring them along and we will fit them. If not we'll supply a standard seat & flat pedals. We can also supply Shimano SPD M520 or M540 pedals (the mountain bike variety - note not the road SPD SL variety ) which are great for touring, as the cleats are recessed into the shoes, making visiting on foot easy.

Bike Helmet - do I need to wear one?

It is not law in France for adults to wear a cycling helmet when biking. We do, however, highly recommend that you wear the helmet that we supply for safety. It is law, however, that children under 12 wear a helmet.

Can I use my own bike?

If you want to bring your own bike that's no problem. We'll simply fit a small GPS mounting to your handlebars when you arrive so you can use the GPS.
Regarding travel - travelling with bikes on the TGV (high speed trains) trains is possible - you just need to be organised. Bikes can be taken without the need for a reservation, but they must be dismantled and stowed in proper bike bags. They can then be placed with the oversize bags near the train doors.
A word of warning though, bags in this area can get bashed around a bit by other passengers, and you need to get there early to get a place.
Your other choice on the TGV trains is to prebook a place in a bike carriage - though the choice is limited as many trains don't have them.
Please click here to access the raileurope website.

Can I hire a road bike or an electric assistance bike?

Yes you can.
Electric assistance bikes are great for giving less able bikers, or less enthusiastic ones, an authentic taste of the beautiful Luberon by bike. By selecting the amount of assistance you require you get to manage the level of effort you give. The bikes are easy to ride, highly autonomous with a minimum range of 60kms to a max of 100kms. With all the equipment you could need, and with one of our new Garmin GPS you are set for an easy carefree tour.
Road bikes or electric bikes can be hired at an additional 168 € for your stay. Please enquire at the time of booking.

Locks - How do I secure my bike when out and about?

We supply you with a sturdy combination lock which should be used whenever you're off the bike.
It fixes solidly and out of the way under the bike saddle when riding.

Bike size - How do I get the right sized bike?

1. You give us your height. 2. You measure vertically from between your legs down to the bottom of a foot. This gives us the size of the bike required.

Water - Can I drink the local water?

Yes you can - as you can many of the fresh water fountains dotted around the countryside here. If it's not potable they must tell you, either "Eau non potable" or "Eau non controlee".

If you can't find the question that you want to ask here - please email or call us.

B&B BIKE TOURS - FAQs - OUR RIDES & EQUIPMENT.

OUR FAQs:

OUR ANSWERS:

Isn't it a bit restrictive staying in just one place?

We don't think so. On the comfort front, with a single base tour there is no daily packing, unpacking and all the boring logistics of moving to the next hotel.
There is also no luggage restriction, which is no mean thing when you need both cycling and normal holiday equipment.
You'll also hopefully benefit from the personal touch and our local knowledge when you stay in just one place.
On the cycling front, we have more than enough great routes to keep you busy for the 5/6 days, with 30+ superb, self guided bike rides that start and end at our farmhouse. We have great cycling in every direction, so there's no need to ride the same area twice. And if you want to we can also design and load rides to the GPS especially for you.

My partner doesn't like to bike as much as me - how would that work with your tours?

Our self guided bike tours are designed to be flexible. You really can strike the balance between biking & relaxation that you want.
So maybe a small ride in the morning for both of you taking in the beautiful village of Oppede Le Vieux, then in the afternoon, the pool and a short ride to Gordes for the more serious biker
And a dip in the pool & a book for the less serious biker followed maybe by a car ride to meet up in Gordes for a coffee.
The options are endless.
And remember, we also have electric bikes available for hire, if you want to make the cycling easier (at €168 per person for your stay) - please enquire at the time of booking.

Does a GPS tour mean I'm on my own?

Not at all.
First of all, it's pretty hard to get lost with one of our GPS systems. We haven't lost anyone yet...
But should that happen or should you suffer a rare mechanical problem then vehicle back up is just a call away.

Fitness - what level of fitness is needed?

You don't need to be super fit to do our tours, as you choose the rides to suit you. To make it easier our rides are rated by difficulty - Easy, Moderate, Hard & Hardest.
We would recommend, however, that you do not come new to cycling and to exercise - you'll enjoy it more that way!
Ideally preparation for a tour would involve 1 or 2 rides per week over different terrains (for 4 weeks prior) of at least an hour each. This will get you used to riding and being comfortable on a bike, whilst getting used to providing a decent level of effort.
Note that our rides often take the least hilly option to get to a destination - but of course if you want hills and hundreds of lovely kms, we can do that too. And remember, of course, if you wanted to make the cycling easier with an Ebike we can organise that for you (at €168 per person for your stay). If you have any doubts here - please just contact us.

I'm not a very strong rider - can I still do one of your tours?

You can choose the difficulty of your ride with the lowest kms and the easiest routes up any hills. But if this still seems too much, we can provide you with an electrically assisted bike. It's a €168 extra charge for your stay - Please enquire at the time of booking.
With the Ebike you get to select the amount of assistance you want & the level of effort you give. The bikes are easy to ride, highly autonomous with a minimum range of 60kms to a max of 100kms.

Where are your tours based?

We are based in the countryside, within a 10 minutes walk of the great little village of Coustellet, which, for a little village, has loads of useful amenities. Coustellet is in the departement of Vaucluse, Provence, in the beautiful and renowned Luberon valley and Regional Park, in the south of France - an hour from the Med.
The vast majority of roads that we use are quiet countryside back roads. The terrain is best described as flat (an extension of the Rhône river delta) to rolling, low altitude hills (along the Luberon valley). There are, however, steeper, longer hills (the Vaucluse mountains) to the north that we can take you to if that's what you want.
Coustellet is set at the entrance of the Luberon valley, between Avignon & Apt running West / East, and Gordes & Cavaillon running North / South. We are in a beautiful countryside setting close to the valley's famous hilltop villages.There is more than enough great cycling to be had!
Click here to access our Location page.

Can children do your self guided tours?

As a general rule, and as with most tours, our holidays tend to be suitable for kids of 15 and over.
Our tours are, however, flexible so you can make the cycling as easy as you find suitable for you and your family. With some guidance from us, you can choose the right rides, distances, amount of climbing & attractions that you are comfortable with.

How do I choose my rides?

Our ride directory (with its 30+ rides) is the tool that we have designed over the years to help you choose the right routes for you.

Step 1 - First you choose the zone that you would like to visit that day. We have 6 different zones around our single base B&B, all with great biking, beautiful countryside and pretty villages. And we have so much excellent cycling that there is very little repetition from one day to the next.
Step 2 - Choose how hard you want the ride to be. Our rides are categorised from: Easy, Moderate, Hard through to Hardest. The level of difficulty is a combination of the distance and the amount and type of climbing.

Once you have chosen your tour from the Directory, you simply select the ride number on your Garmin GPS and off you go!
And should you want a specific trip that you can not find - we will use our knowledge of the roads to design it, our software to draw it, with a final upload to your GPS unit so you can ride it.

What does an average day's cycling look like?

Well, it depends!! Here are examples of 2 days' cycling for the 2 extremes of cyclists (remember most of us are somewhere in between the 2).
Of course these itineraries are not written in stone, they are just an idea of what a couple of your days riding could look like - it's up to you, and of course we will point you in the right direction so you make the most of your time.
1. Click here to see an example of a small amount of bike time with more of an accent on Tourism
2. Click here to see an example where the biking is more important.

Roads - What are they like?

We are based in the countryside, our rides use the smaller, less busy back roads and the purpose built bike routes, wherever possible, making for memorable, relaxed cycling... Use of busier roads is extremely limited & really is kept to an absolute minimum.
On the car front, you should find that those that you cross, tend, on the whole, to be respectful of cyclists.

What is the terrain like?

The terrain around our farmhouse is a varied one and really does cater for all needs, as we are able to select the GPS rides that have the terrain that we want. The local terrain is best described as flat to the West (an extension of the Rhône river delta) to flat and rolling, low altitude hills to the East (along the Luberon valley) & to the South. There are, however, steeper, longer hills to the North where the climbing gets harder (the Vaucluse mountains) that we can take you to if that's what you want.
Our 30+ rides take in all of these different terrains, so you really can find the type of ride & effort that you want.

Mont Ventoux - Can I cycle Mont Ventoux whilst at yours?

Yes you can - there are 2 start points for Mont Ventoux that are easily accessible - the villages of Bedoin (the official Tour de France start @ 320 metres) & Sault (an easier starting point @ 760 metres). Both are an easy 50 mins' car journey from the farmhouse.
From the base, it usually takes anywhere from between 2 & 3 hours to get up to the top @ 1912 metres.
It's important to plan for the weather, and we can help you with this. The temperature difference between the start and the summit is often 10°. Plus the Mistral wind can blow very hard in the final few kilometres, so a wind or winter jacket is a must, you'll also be glad of it on the way down - it's a long way!

Mechanical breakdowns - what happens if I get one?

In the unlikely event of a breakdown, we are just a call away. We'll either mend your bike on the spot or bring you back to the B&B. So please do remember to bring a suitable mobile phone with you.

Equipment supplied - What equipment do I get on arrival?

We use the afternoon of arrival to get you set up so you can get off riding as soon as you want:
Bike allocation & set up: Your hybrid bike will be adjusted to fit you. Along with your pedals & seat if you want to bring them (we can supply additional gel seat covers).
Bike equipment: Crash helmet & pump, small under saddle back (inner tube, mini tool, tyre levers), bar ends, bottle cage and bottle, combination lock, and a large rear removable pannier bag.
Ride directory: Paper based directory of our 30+ rides. We'll show you how to use it in order to select the rides that are right for you.
Ride info cards: Each ride has a small carry card to be taken with you which includes a map (though it's not for navigation, that's what the GPS is for), tourist information & the good places to eat, cafes etc.
A Garmin GPS each: And we'll give you a full briefing on how to use it.
GPS cheat sheet: As back up we will give you a small plastic carry card with all the basic functions of your GPS clearly indicated.
Our own Provence guide: We have put together a comprehensive guide of what there is to do in the area, which should help you organise your day's biking and sight seeing.
Restaurant guide: A list of our guests' and our favourite restaurants and cafes.

Garmin Bike GPS systems - how do they work?

It's just like using maps on your phone, or using a car's GPS (it's just smaller), in that it uses clear colour maps and directions for navigation. On top of this you get all the bike stats that you could possibly want.
Our rides are preloaded into your GPS, you simply select your chosen ride number, and then off you go following the highlighted chosen route and the clear visual instructions.
Sight seeing on foot is easy too. Simply turn off the GPS, and then restart when you are ready, following the map to rejoin the route.
For peace of mind the GPS fixes solidly to the handlebars and can be taken off quickly and easily for sight seeing.
You can rest assured that our GPS system really is easy to use, and to make sure, we'll brief you on how to use it on arrival. No more paper maps, no more stopping and no more wondering where you are!
Please click here to go to the page "Our GPS systems"

Bikes - which kind will I use?

We use new, quality Trek FX3 hybrid bikes. They have aluminium frames and carbon front forks. Our hybrids combine the comfortable riding position of a mountain bike, and the speed of road bike frame geometry. With narrower tyres (35mm) than most mountain bikes, you'll get the most from your effort with maximum comfort and a good sense of stability when riding. Handle bar ends are also fitted to make any climbing easier.

Please click here for more info on Our Bike Equipment

Equipment to bring - What biking equipment should I bring?

It's important that you be comfortable on your bike, so here's what we recommend you bring:
Clothing: Padded bike shorts, a hot weather llight weight bike shirt, a normal weather bike shirt, fingerless bike gloves, sunglasses, a light weight wind/rain jacket, bike socks.
Others:Sun protection cream, Camelback style water carrier (particularly in Summer), a suitable mobile phone (for back-up & emergency calls).
Optional kit - if you have your favourites: Bike helmet, Pedals, Shoes & Saddle (if you're worried about a sore back side we can always lend you an extra gel seat cover that fits over any saddle).
Early Spring & Autumn - If you come at these times, it would be sensible to bring wet & cold weather clothing (long legged bike pants & cold weather jacket). Very rarely is it a show stopper, but you could be unlucky and hit some bad weather.

Pedals & Seats - Can I bring my own?

If you prefer your own, just bring them along and we will fit them. If not we'll supply a standard seat & flat pedals. We can also supply Shimano SPD M520 or M540 pedals (the mountain bike variety - note not the road SPD SL variety ) which are great for touring, as the cleats are recessed into the shoes, making visiting on foot easy.

Bike Helmet - do I need to wear one?

It is not law in France for adults to wear a cycling helmet when biking. We do, however, highly recommend that you wear the helmet that we supply for safety. It is law, however, that children under 12 wear a helmet.

Can I use my own bike?

If you want to bring your own bike that's no problem. We'll simply fit a small GPS mounting to your handlebars when you arrive so you can use the GPS.
Regarding travel - travelling with bikes on the TGV (high speed trains) trains is possible - you just need to be organised. Bikes can be taken without the need for a reservation, but they must be dismantled and stowed in proper bike bags. They can then be placed with the oversize bags near the train doors.
A word of warning though, bags in this area can get bashed around a bit by other passengers, and you need to get there early to get a place.
Your other choice on the TGV trains is to prebook a place in a bike carriage - though the choice is limited as many trains don't have them.
Please click here to access the raileurope website.

Can I hire a road bike or an electric assistance bike?

Yes you can.
Electric assistance bikes are great for giving less able bikers, or less enthusiastic ones, an authentic taste of the beautiful Luberon by bike. By selecting the amount of assistance you require you get to manage the level of effort you give. The bikes are easy to ride, highly autonomous with a minimum range of 60kms to a max of 100kms. With all the equipment you could need, and with one of our new Garmin GPS you are set for an easy carefree tour.
Road bikes or electric bikes can be hired at an additional 168 € for your stay. Please enquire at the time of booking.

Locks - How do I secure my bike when out and about?

We supply you with a sturdy combination lock which should be used whenever you're off the bike.
It fixes solidly and out of the way under the bike saddle when riding.

Bike size - How do I get the right sized bike?

1. You give us your height. 2. You measure vertically from between your legs down to the bottom of a foot. This gives us the size of the bike required.

Water - Can I drink the local water?

Yes you can - as you can many of the fresh water fountains dotted around the countryside. If it's not potable they must tell you, either "Eau non potable" or "Eau non controlee".

If you can't find the question that you want to ask here - please email or call us.

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