Frequently asked questions
UK based trips
How do I book a guided day(s)?
Get in touch via our contact form, to check on availability of dates and pricing, and to discuss options of where you would like to ride. Prices depend on group size, location, and number of days guiding.
How do I get there?
The Lake District and Peak District are easily accessed from the UK motorway network and major airports. If you are flying from overseas then we recommend flying into Manchester or Liverpool airport. Major car hire companies operate from both of these, should you wish to hire your own wheels. Alternatively, trainlines run to stations well placed for accessing the areas we ride in. Contact us for further info.
Where to stay?
There is a range of accommodation to suit every budget in both the Peak and Lake District. From hostels and bunkhouses to luxury hotels, beautiful self-catered cottages, and friendly B and B's. Many are used to mountain bikers and walkers and will have places to store your bikes, as well as not being too worried about mud! If you're looking to book a place to stay for your trip, get in touch so we can help you find the best option, in the best location for where we are likely to be guiding you.
What to bring?
Apart from your bike and yourself, it's a good idea to carry a daypack on our rides. We'll often be away from villages or towns so you'll need to have space to carry some trail snacks and water for a full day out in the hills, as well as extra clothing like a waterproof jacket. We encourage everyone to bring the normal trail tools, pump, tubes, parts specific to your bike, as whilst we'll always be carrying kit to try and fix most trailside mechanicals, we can't carry every derailleur hanger and set of brake pads for every bike! Warm layers are recommended, even in the warmer months it's been known to be cold on the top of some of the Lakeland fells!
What Level of rider do I need to be?
To get the best out of a guided ride, you’ll want to already be a competent rider. By that we mean used to riding regularly, on red and black graded trail centre trails, with at least a couple of season’s riding experience at this level.
All the trails we ride are on natural, wild “ungroomed” tracks with rocks, roots, rubble, and other features that make them challenging and fun to ride,
Whilst we’ll ensure you know where to go, and show you the best trails, what we’re not doing is skills coaching or instructing, so give us a call or get in touch if you want to check out if the trips are for you. All our guiding is custom and catered to the individuals within your group, but get in touch if you are concerned.
Fitness wise, the day is catered to you, but if you are used to 4-6 hour rides (not those that include a 3 hour lunch break!), and pedalling or pushing up to get to your descents then there is huge potential for some great days out.
Can I hire a Bike?
If you are looking to hire a bike we can put you in touch with local shops who will be able to help. Whilst this is always an option, we do recommend that you bring your own bike. Feeling comfortable and confident with what you're riding is really important on some of the more technical trails we'll ride, and will mean you enjoy the trip that much more.
What about food?!
This really depends on where and what we are riding! There are some great cafes and pubs where it's possible to stop for lunch/coffee on several of our guided days, but sometimes we'll recommend you bring a packed lunch so that we can get further into the hills without worrying about the need to be near somewhere where we can buy food. We'll always let you know about this when we discuss the trip with you beforehand!
We suggest that you use an enduro or all mountain bike for all our trips. A modern 130mm+ 29er, or 140mm+ 27.5" bike would be ideal, with geometry slack enough to enjoy the descents, but capable of some reasonable amounts of climbing too. We would suggest that a full suspension set-up will be a more comfortable choice for the riding, however, if you are comfortable riding a hardtail on technical, natural trails then this will be fine. If you're not sure if your bike is up to this or want to speak to us about it then please get in touch.
We run our tyres tubeless, using Maxxis High Roller or Maxxis Minion tyres. The EXO versions of Maxxis tyres offer a great combination between weight, puncture resistance and durability, and the newer Double Down (DD) offer even more durability for a slightly higher weight. This is worth considering for the rocky trails of the Peak and Lake District, especially if your riding style means you tend to pinch-flat often! We always carry at least two tubes with us as tubeless repairs on the move can be time consuming or impossible, and we recommend you do the same. You can also run a traditional tubes set-up with any of these tyres. Tyre widths between 2.3 and 2.5 inch are ideal. Avoid any narrow, low profile cross country tyres and super lightweight tubes, as you will not have the comfort, control or puncture resistance that you’ll need on the trails we ride. Heavy DH style tyres are probably a little unnecessary too. Regardless of your tyre set-up it is definitely worth carrying some form of sidewall patch, the sharp rocks here have been known to tear holes in tyres with the slightest "kiss"!
What insurance do I need?
Mountain Rescue and state medical care are services that are provided free of charge in the UK to UK Citizens and EU Nationals. EU Nationals should ensure they have an EHIC (formerly E111) card which proves they are entitled to reciprocal medical care. For non-EU Citizens you must have insurance that will cover you for medical costs, as well as repatriation, and you should check that your provider specifically covers mountain biking, many now class this as an "Extreme" activity requiring an additional premium. We highly recommend that everyone has cover for extra costs and charges incurred as a result of delays, cancellations, rescheduling, repatriation or any other factors outside our control. Dogtag, Snowcard, and the BMC (British Mountaineering Council) are options worth considering.
Should I insure my bike and/or belongings?
We make every effort to ensure the security of your belongings and your bike. However, we don’t under any circumstances accept responsibility for damage, loss or theft. It is up to you to ensure that you are happy with the security arrangements in place at cafes/pub stops, hotels and whilst transporting belongings, including your bike, on vehicles. Please ensure that your belongings and bike are adequately insured during the trip for damage, theft and loss, and that you are happy that the security arrangements provided comply with those specified by your insurance company. We reccommend getting in touch with BIKMO, our partner Insurance company, run by bikers, for bikers. Their comprehensive policies ensure that you are covered for loss, theft and damage whether you are at home or abroad, and they'll also cover your riding kit too.
What insurance do I need?
You must have insurance that will cover you for rescue in a mountainous and backcountry environment in France. Your insurance must also cover you for any medical costs incurred, as well as repatriation. If you have an EHIC card (EU citizens), this is an easy way of proving you are entitled to reciprocal medical care, however, it does not replace insurance and will not cover the costs of any rescue operation. In addition, at the time of writing, it is unlikely that British citizens will be able to benefit from this scheme after Britain leaves the EU in March 2019. It is a condition of booking that you take out insurance that meets the above criteria.
We highly recommend that everyone also has travel insurance cover for extra costs and charges incurred as a result of delays, cancellations, rescheduling, repatriation or any factors outside our control.
For your bike and belongings, please see our recommendations above, which are relevant whether you are in the UK or abroad.
What if I need to cancel my booking?
Due to the high costs we incur to pre-book accommodation, guiding and transportation, your final payment becomes non-refundable 30 days before departure. We highly recommend that you have adequate trip cancellation insurance in place to financially cover non-attendance due to uncontrollable circumstances. Please see our Terms and Conditions of Booking which you will be sent before booking for more information.
What if I injure myself and am unable to continue on the trip?
You should ensure that your insurance policy covers this eventuality financially. You must be insured for transport to the nearest hospital for treatment. We will help you where we can with logistics in the event of a hospital visit, however, ultimately our trip will continue without you and you may need to rely on your insurance cover to provide onward transport to either catch up with the trip or for repatriation.
Can I book as an individual?
Absolutely! Many of our customers do, and you can guarantee you will have made a whole new group of riding buddies by the end of a week.
Unfortunately we cannot guarantee single rooms at the hotels we use as many are too small to have the capacity to do this, so you need to be aware that you will be sharing a room with another group member of the same sex. If this is an issue please contact us on booking and we will enquire on availability with each hotel. There will be an additional charge per night for any single room bookings we are able to make.
Is there a set itinerary?
In short, No. We obviously have a “plan A itinerary” in mind, but in our experience, there are too many variables on a trip such as this to meticulously plan each day and share it with you. Bad weather, group ability and fatigue levels, unexpected lift or trail closures can all play a part in causing changes to an itinerary and leading to disappointment, so we prefer to keep things fluid rather than set. This means we can alter the order of planned days if we need to, and ensure that no matter what, you get to experience the most amount of riding possible, on the trails best suited to the conditions. There are more trails here than it is possible to ride in several months, let alone a week, so rest assured we’ll be taking you on as many of the best trails in the areas we are in as we can!
Please see the recommendations for our UK trips above as these are also relevant for our trips abroad!