FAQ: What can I expect if I travel with your company?
First of all, you can expect to benefit from our 20+ years of experience developing and leading tours. You can count on a level of professionalism that ensures everything is taken care of, so you can maximize your precious holiday time. You will also benefit from our mantra: "We create experiences that you could never have had if you travelled on your own". We are very aware that we need to add value to your travel experience. Over and above the inclusions noted in your itinerary, you can expect to have a whale of a time! Our guides are accomplished individuals in their own right; many have multiple degrees and come from a variety of walks of life, including former university professors, business consultants, successful artists, actors, translators, authors, bike racers, and are all-round great people! Their primary desire is to create a fun, enriching, informative, and intimate travel experience that our guests couldn’t have had if they travelled alone. For this reason, many of our clients choose the same guide to travel with time and time again. We’re all about the personal connection and we love sharing “our backyard” with our guests. Indeed, travellers often remark at the end of a tour how they really connected with the guides, and that it didn’t feel like they were being guided, but rather that they were travelling with a good friend and sharing wonderful moments together.
FAQ: There are many bike tour companies out there and I'm getting a bit overwhelmed. Why should I travel with you?
Rest assured, you’re in good hands with us! We’ve been operating guided holidays for the past 20+ years, and we are proudly a small company. Our close-knit community of European and North American guides all live in Europe and have an intimate knowledge of the regions we visit. Brett, our Canadian-born & Tuscany-based leader, has a very hands on approach to the business and personally develops and leads many of our tours. He takes great pride in his company, and because he often personally leads the tours he has “skin in the game.” How many other companies can say that?
FAQ: What support backup do you have in place if things go awry while on tour?
We always have at least one fully bilingual guide on tour so they are capable of contacting emergency services in case of need. All of our guides have first-aid training and carry first-aid kits with them. Previously we have had to cope with medical emergencies and we have always managed to do just that, cope with the situation and ensure that the afflicted client is looked after as best as possible. Furthermore, since we have an office in Italy we can always follow up and help the client deal with insurance issues (which is why we request everyone's insurance policy number and contact details, as well as a contact in case of emergency), or rebooking of plane tickets, etc. Needless to say, having professional bilingual guides looking after you can be of great benefit.
FAQ: I have specific questions regarding the tour. Who can I speak to or correspond with that has an in-depth knowledge of that tour and the area you’re going to?
Your initial inquiry goes directly to our owner/manager Brett Naisby, who is available to answer any and all questions. Every tour has a Tour Manager who is available via email, Skype, or telephone to reply to your questions. The Tour Managers also guide that particular tour so they have first-hand knowledge of the day-to-day operations. If you have special requests or just a million questions, they are there to assist you.
FAQ: Can you tell me a bit about the guide for this trip? Who are they, where are they from, what experience do they have?
First of all, all of our guides absulutely love their work. Many have multiple degrees and our ranks include former university professors, business consultants, successful artists (mosaicists, painters, and ceramicists), actors, translators and interpreters, authors, bike racers, and a master sommelier. They all live in Europe, and many are native to the area where they guide. The guides are there to look after you, entertain you, inform you and generally enrich your travel experience. Upon making your booking inquiry, you will correspond with your Tour Manager and guide and will be able to see their picture and read their bio on our "About us" page.
FAQ: How large are your groups?
We cap our bike tours at 16 participants and usually have groups between 6 and 12.
FAQ: How small are your groups? What is your minimum group size?
We will guarantee a departure for only two people, but a small-group fee may apply. Please see our Guaranteed Departure Policy for more information. Happily for us, we don't have too many tours that run with just two people. We usually manage to get at least 6 participants on tours, and indeed many of our tours sell out.
FAQ: How many guides accompany a tour?
Our bike tours always have two guides. One guide is always in the van, sweeping the route, and the second guide is on the bike. Participants on the bike tours have detailed written route directions which allows everyone to ride independently and at their own pace.
FAQ: How many people do you need for a private trip?
We can do a private trip for one person, if that is what you want to do, but of course it will be more expensive. Usually a good number is between six and twelve people. This means your private group benefits from sharing the cost of the trip, while remaining small and flexible. Of course we can also do trips for large groups too! We have done many private tours for groups of 20 - 24 particpants.
FAQ: Where do your clients come from?
We have a mix of clientele. Our trips are not prohibitively expensive so we get a nice cross-section of people, geographically, demographically and socio-economically. Most of our travelers are from the United States, although about 25% of our clientele is comprised of Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians, South Africans, and Brits.
FAQ: What is the age range of people on the trips?
On average, ages range from early 40’s to mid 60's with the majority in the 45 to 65 bracket.
FAQ: Do you get many single travelers?
There are usually at least two or three single travelers on our regular departures, sometimes more.
FAQ: Do you charge a single supplement?
Yes we do, but it is relatively modest since we only charge the extra fees that are passed on to us by the hotels. We do not penalize single travelers with our own fees, and as a result our single supplements are lower than with most tour companies.
FAQ: What are your clients like?
Many of our trip participants have traveled extensively, while others may be on their first overseas trip. Generally, we get fun and interesting people who are curious about the world and enjoy exploring new cultures and the wonders of nature. Cyclists are often just that way! Of course, there is always the risk that you may not like someone on your tour, but that is a relatively rare occurrence. We recognize that a group is made up of individuals and therefore we design our trips to allow plenty of free time, so you can have time for yourself. And lastly, if there is someone who really is disruptive to the group, our guides have the authority to kindly ask them to leave. Happily, in 20+ years of doing trips we have only needed to do this on one occasion.
FAQ: How does a typical day work?
We design each day to have a balanced content of activity, cultural content, cappuccino and lunch time, short breaks, and then free time at the end of the day, and then dinner. So a typical day starts with breakfast at about 8 a.m, departure at about 9 a.m, bike for an hour or two, have a break, resume, arrive in a village for a snack, another hour of biking, then lunch, then bike a little more, then perhaps a cultural visit/special event, then arrive back at the hotel around 4 p.m., free time, then get together around 7 p.m. for "cocktail hour" followed by dinner. The guides brief you the night before about the next day’s activities.
FAQ: How far do you bike in a day?
We generally cover about 45 – 75 kms a day, with optional extension rides for strong rides, and our support van is there to assist riders when needed. Please see our Activity Rating page.
FAQ: How long have you been doing tours?
Brett guided his first cycling tour in Alsace in June 1990 for a company called Butterfield & Robinson. He established his own walking and biking company in 1996 called Customwalks, and then renamed the cycling division "Mondo Bike Tours" in 2017 to separate it from our walking and scooter tours.
FAQ: Where is the company based?
Mondo Bike Tours is a division of Speranza Travel Ltd, of Christchurch, New Zealand. Speranza Travel Ltd is also the sole owner of Customwalks Italia SRL, which is a limited liability company based in Castellina in Chianti, Tuscany, Italy. Customwalks Italia SRL is a subsiduary of Speranza Travel Ltd and it looks after the administration and operations of our Italy-based walking, biking, and scooter tours.
FAQ: I am not a strong cyclist. Do you think that I can do your Tuscany Bike Tour?
Our Tuscany Bike Tour – Chianti is moderately challenging because of the terrain, but that is mitigated by a variety of factors:
FAQ: What about travel and health insurance?
We highly recommend that you purchase Trip Cancellation Insurance and supplemental Travel Medical Insurance. Should you have to cancel your trip because of illness, injury or death to you or a family member, trip-cancellation insurance protects most of your deposits and payment for both air and land cost. Should you be injured during the course of your travels abroad supplemental Travel Medical Insurance will give you peace of mind and the financial wherewithal to cover the costs of medical treatment abroad and repatriation.
North American Residents: Travel Guard is a long standing Travel Insurance Compnay. Click on the logo below to be taken to the Travel Guard website.
U.K. Residents: Contact your insurance broker. Otherwise, here are some companies you may wish to contact:
N.Z. & Australian residents
For New Zealand residents we suggest that you look at the following company or contact your insurance broker or travel agent.
Southern Cross Travel Insurance
For Australian clients we suggest:
Toll free Canada & USA
please note this will ring through to our office in New Zealand and will be answered between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. New Zealand time.
(+64) 021 0711972
(+39) 0577 749198
Italian operations office
You can also leave a message, but communication by email is more reliable because during the season we are often on tour, and not in the office.