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If you haven’t already heard then the Tour de France starts on the 5th July in Leeds. Stage 1 takes the riders from Leeds to Harrogate in a 190km race. Stage 2 starts in York and heads to Sheffield which is 201km in length. Then the last stage that takes part in England is from Cambridge to London which is 155km. If you are heading down over the weekend make sure you are planning your travel in advance as many roads will be closing for many hours. You can find more information on the Grand Depart Yorkshire Website.
Our office will be closed on Friday 4th July 2014. We will have limited access to emails on that day. Any phone messages left on the phone will be picked up on Monday 7th July. Our office will reopen on Monday 7th July at 9am.
Sorry for any inconvenience
The UK can offer the cyclists a great deal for a cycling holiday. The weather might not be as hot as southern Europe but this can be ideal when cycling but what you do get is wonderful lush green scenery and fabulous historic sites to visit. One such cycling holiday in the UK is our Lake District and Hadrian’s Wall bike tour. This bike ride takes in the most famous National Park in the UK, its Lake District followed by a ride across the Pennine Hills passing England’s highest market town before looping back alongside Hadrian’s Wall on the England/Scottish border. Read more
Phone: +44 (0)1506 635399
So your holiday is about to start, you have arrived at your first hotel and anticipation is growing. Your rental bikes will be available in a few different ways depending on the tour. On some tours there is a welcome meeting and someone will meet you at the first hotel at a designated time for that tour and handover the bikes, this is normally evening of day 1 or morning of day 2. On other tours the bikes might have been pre-delivered to your first hotel.
We suggest the following procedure
BEFORE STARTING OUT ON THE TRIP
Make certain you are in good health and in sufficiently good physical condition to handle the exertion required by the trip. A check up with a doctor a few months prior to your trip is advisable.
Bikes are delivered so..
Do a bike check each day
Conduct a quick check before every ride:
Wear brightly coloured clothing, and consider strips of reflective tape for your clothing to make yourself visible to motorists. For your own safety it is always better to wear a helmet. Shoestrings must not be too long. You can tuck the ends of the laces into the shoes or your socks to prevent them from getting caught in the chain or spokes. Avoid wide leg/boot cut pant legs.
At Hooked on Cycling we do not hire out helmets. This is for health and safety reasons, and also for hygiene reasons. This is because you wouldn’t know if the person before you had dropped the helmet – which if you then wore it and crashed it may not protect your head and you could be seriously injured. If you wish to wear a helmet on tour (which we advise you to do so) then please take your own with you. Please also make sure you check the laws of the country you are visiting, as in some countries it is illegal if you do not wear one or even high visibility jacket is needed.
Bike Bags & Map Carriers
On some tours a handlebar bag or map carrier is included but you may wish to buy a map carrier from your local bike shop and take it with you, it makes reading a map or route instructions easier and safer. You can always use it again when you return home.
Be aware of possible changes in weather and pack accordingly each day.
Now you are out on your tour
Remember to always ride on the correct side of the road
Sharing the road
Obey traffic laws: laws that apply to motorists apply to cyclists as well. Ride on the right-most (or left-most in UK) lane that goes in the direction that you are travelling.
Signals and signs
Obey all stop signs, traffic lights and lane markings. Use hand signals to indicate your intention to stop, turn or change lanes.
Slow down before intersections and check for oncoming traffic. Although our trips mainly follow quiet country roads you will inevitably have to cross some major roads. If possible dismount and find the nearest pedestrian crossing. If you are used to riding/driving on the left then please remember to turn on the RIGHT hand side of the road when you cross a junction. It is easy to forget after a long section on your own in the countryside.
Use both brakes at the same time; gently; never stab at them. On downhill, brake before a curve and pump both your brakes. Do not apply them continuously, for this can cause them to overheat and stop working. Beware of rain and wet road: water on the rims could lubricate your brake system making it hard to stop. Apply the brakes lightly to clean off and dry the rims before you need to stop and allow a greater distance for stopping. Be aware that in Europe brakes are on the opposite wide to the UK, if you always use 2 brakes this is never an issue.
In the countryside you might come across a dog. Do not panic and continue pedalling and ride past the dog. It is sometimes better to dismount and pass by. Yelling at the dog will usually startle the dog enough to get him to disengage, but if they persist in bothering you a more aggressive approach could be required. Physical violence should only be used in extreme cases!
Phone: +44 (0)1506 635399
Are you looking for a cycle tour with stunning coastal scenes, cliffs, secluded bays, and sandy beaches. With wonderful family owned 4 star guest houses and small hotels offering second to none hospitality? … Well if you are there is a small region of the UK that offers just that – South Wales, Pembrokeshire. This is a real get away from life’s stresses tour. Even in summer the roads are not really busy. This region is where the stones as used on the inner circle of Stonehenge came from. Take a closer look at our South Wales tour.
Phone: +44 (0)1506 635399
One of my favourite regions of Spain is Andalusia (or Andalucia as Spanish call it). Inland away from the Costa’s you will soon find true Spain as many like to call it. The region is steeped in history, over the centuries it has had its full share of conflict and this is represented in its towns and villages and fortified settlements. Of course you also have Granada and its world famous Alhambra Palace. We have a few tours in the region, three leisure based tours and two road bike sporting tours. These tours allow you to explore different parts of Andalusia. We have the following tours White Villages, Caliphate, Cycle and Culture, Castles of Andalusia and Andalusia sport tour.
If you are going on a cycling holiday later on in the year and now your thinking about starting to go out more on your bike to get some miles in, then your bike will be in need of a spring check. Especially if it has been hiding away in the shed over the winter period!
Our cytech approved mechanics who work in our professional bike shop in Bathgate put together a Spring Check List. Head across to our Bike Shop website to read more.
We would highly recommend everyone who is entitled to an European Health Insurance Card to please apply for one (Any person who is ordinarily resident in the UK, and is of British, other EU/EEA or Swiss nationality, is eligible for an EHIC). They are completely FREE. That’s right you don’t need to pay for them. We have seen many other tour operators sending guests to sites that charge their guests £25 to receive their card. Well don’t be conned, they are free and you can find out more information on the NHS Website.
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) replaced the old E111 in 2006.
Your EHIC lets you get state healthcare at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. It will cover you for treatment that is needed to allow you to continue your stay until your planned return. It also covers you for treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and for routine maternity care, as long as you’re not going abroad to give birth.
You will still need to get your travel insurance as this card isn’t an alternative to travel insurance. It wont cover any private medical healthcare or costs like being flown back to the UK etc.
We have had experience using our cards while away on holiday and would urge everyone who is entitled to apply for one to go and apply today.
One of the most popular cycling destinations for a cycling holiday is France, not only for the quaint country lanes to cycle along, but of course for the food, wine and history. One of best regions to explore the history and culture is the Loire region. The Loire valley is for certain famous for its castles and grand chateaux. Some medieval and some built during the 100 years war. On our cycling holidays in the Loire Valley you will be able to visit chateaux such a Chambord, Blois, Amboise, Chenonceaux, Samaur, Tours, Villandry, Azay le Rideau and many more. Beautiful rolling countryside awaits you on your bike, lovely cuisine and stylish French wines. Easily reached from Paris, come to the Loire – France and be amazed.
One of my favourite regions in Europe is the Dordogne in south west of France. This region is known to many as “little England” mainly because of the huge number of UK residents whom have moved there to live. Saying this it is still very French. What I like is the beautiful rolling countryside each side of the famous river, forest clad in some regions but covered in vineyards in others. It is the historic villages which make this region so beautiful, sandstone coloured houses, quaint little streets where time seems to have stood still. Our Historic Villages and Castles in the Dordogne really shows the best on this cycle tour. Famous towns like Sarlat and Souillac, historic villages such as Domme and Les Eyzies, not forgetting the pilgrimage town of Roccamadour perched on the cliff side.
We have designed the cycle tour with a couple of loop rides so if you do not wish to cycle you can maybe visit a castle or chateau, or take a canoe down the Dordogne. See you there!