Frequently Asked Questions - Our helpful guide
Colconquerors

Frequently Asked Questions

The view from hotel Alivi in Bastia

Top Questions

How can I contact Colconquerors?

You can contact us at any time via our contact details page. If you prefer you can call us on +33 6 85 12 18 29 or +44 1245 791911 to discuss any aspect of your exciting road cycling trip with us. 

Am I fit enough for this trip?

It’s one of our most asked questions and it’s perfectly normal to have this thought. With the right training and motivation mountainous terrain is accessible to most keen road cyclists. We are always here to support you and provide advice before and during your trip to ensure you have the best possible experience. We have many years of helping cyclists not only achieve their goals but exceed them. Our trips are designed so that there are options based upon how you are feeling at a given point and with our full support you can always ride with confidence.

We are always on hand to discuss your current fitness and training before any trip. Feel free to contact us directly we're here to help.

Am I too strong for this trip?

If you are a strong and experienced rider you’ll know that you can ride many routes at various intensities to make them harder or easier as you choose based on your goals for the day. We are always able to recommend ways of adding additional challenges into any given day. This could be using our local knowledge to add in additional climbs or using our coaching skills to recommend how you can add challenge into the days itinerary based on your goals.

Typically we have found over the years that there are always people at a level above or below for you to ride and share experiences and knowledge with making for a great blend and atmosphere.

How do I know this is the right trip for me?

Firstly it’s best to select the trip that you are really interested in. Once you have had a good look through the trips itinerary on its dedicated page you will have a great idea of the type of challenge involved and also the terrain and scenery that you will encounter along the way. Once you’ve had a think about the challenge you can then contact us for any additional information and seek advice or answer any other questions you may have about the trip or levels of fitness required.

How do you manage groups of mixed ability?

This is without doubt one of our most frequently asked questions from many different levels of riders. We have nearly a decade of experience of riding with cyclists of many different abilities and are set-up with our guides and support vehicle to manage many eventualities.

Over the years we have learned that everyone has their own climbing pace and it’s hard or even at times impossible to ride at someone else pace. Go too fast and you blow up quickly and go too slow and you don’t feel like you’ve challenged yourself or are on the bike longer than you would like. Once on the climbs riders self select pace and grouping and there are always clear target rendezvous points ahead where reconvening for lunch etc is possible (or not if you just want to head on). We’ll ride between the group all day ensuring that everyone gets what they need from the day. We want you to be able to enjoy your riding without worrying about anything else.

What’s included in your trip cost?

Typically the following is included:

 

  • Accommodation for the duration of the trip
  • Breakfast and evening meals
  • Guided and vehicle supported cycling from our expert and passionate team
  • Fresh fruit each day and top up sports nutrition in support vehicle
  • Luggage transfers between stages on point to point trips
  • GPX route files & detailed route plans & itinerary’s
  • Daily briefings
  • Private airport transfers
  • Access to British Cycling Level 3 coaching advice to help improve any aspect of your riding.
  • Use of all of our tools and skills for the duration of the trip.

Each of our detailed holiday pages includes a section on what’s included and not included for each of our trips.

What’s not included in your trip cost?

Flights, insurance for yourself or your bike are not included. Lunch or drinks and tips on the road or at hotels are not included in any of our trips. Single supplements for trips are also not included but could be available, you’ll need to ask about these as they’re dependent on availability. (see specific holidays pages for full details.)

Can I share with someone else if I travel alone?

Yes you can. Many guests travel alone and we always aim to pair you up with another guest of the same sex if you wish to share. 

Is it possible to have single occupancy?

All of our trips have the possibility of single occupancy for an additional supplement subject to availability.

What’s the typical group size?

Our trips have a maximum of 12 guests. We like to keep to small group sizes to ensure you have a very sociable and personable experience.

Trip Selection

How do I find out more details about a specific trip?

Each of our holidays has a dedicated page containing much useful information. In addition to this you are always welcome to contact us to ask any questions or request further details about any aspect of the trip(s) you are interested in. We always want you to have everything you need to ensure you select the perfect trip.

Are you available to discuss a trip in person?

Yes! We are always happy to have a chat on the phone about a trip. You can contact us and ask us to call you back or call us directly via the details on our contact page

Are all of your trips fully supported?

Yes they are. Every trip that we run offers guided and supported rides to ensure that you just enjoy the ride. You can find our more about the high quality support we provide on the dedicated support page.

Can I bring a non riding partner?

Not all trips are suitable for a non riding partner and can vary depending upon your exact needs. If you are considering travelling with a non riding partner please contact us so we can chat about your exact needs and provide details specific to these needs. As a general guideline centre based trips are more suitable than point to point trips for non riding partners as there's no driving to be done each day and more time to enjoy the local area.

What’s the weather likely to be like?

The summer in the mountains is usually great but things can and do change in the mountains very quickly and this means that you do need to be ready for any conditions. At the height of summer temperatures can change by 1 degree for every 100 meters of elevation climbed and at the extreme this could mean it’s 25 degrees in the valley floor and zero at the summit of a very high mountain like the Galibier (See our handy kit list) add the wind chill for the descent and it can get chilly although with the sun on your back it sometimes doesn’t feel as cold as it is. May is usually settled after the winter with temperatures in the low to mid 20’s at the valley level, June and July are usually the hottest months of summer with temperatures in the valleys ranging from mid 20’s to mid 30’s. Move into September and the temperatures become a little cooler, think low to mid 20’s although the past few years have been warmer, either way nice long days and great climbing conditions. 

We’ll always update you on the weather conditions throughout a trip to ensure every day goes smoothly.

Do you ever cancel tours once someone has booked?

No. Once you’re booked the trip runs.

Trip Booking

How do I book a trip?

To confirm your place on any trip submit your booking request via the contact page or reservation form accessed by clicking the 'book now' button on the dedicated trip pages. We will then contact you within 24 hours to confirm availability for this trip and let you know how to pay the deposit required to confirm your place. If you make your reservation within 12 weeks of the trip start date the full balance is required on booking to confirm your place.

I’ve booked. What happens next?

We will send you a confirmation email as soon as your deposit payment has been received. One week prior to your arrival you’ll receive an email that provides airport collection information for your transfer to the start location of your holiday. This email will also contain links to itinerary details for your trip including GPX files and road books. If there's anything you need help with before your trip you can contact us directly.

What happens if I need to cancel?

Sometimes plans have to change due to unforeseen circumstances in life. Having travel insurance in place ensures you are protected whatever the circumstances and is mandatory for all of our trips. If you do need to cancel you can contact us we can discuss what works best in your specific situation.

What is double occupancy?

All of our trip prices are per person and based on two people sharing a room (with twin beds). If you wish to have your own room there's a charge for a single supplement. Single supplement charges vary between trips and full details can be found on the appropriate holiday page under the "Options & Prices" section. Single occupancy is subject to availability for the holdiay you are looking at.

What deposit is required to confirm my place?

Deposits vary for each holiday and details can be found in the "Options & Prices" section of each holiday page. As a guide deposits usually range from 400.00 euros to 600.00 euros.

When is the balance of my holiday required?

Balances for trips are due 12 weeks before the day you arrive unless otherwise stated. If you book your holiday within 12 weeks of the arrival date the full balance is due on booking.

Is travel insurance mandatory?

Travel insurance is mandatory for all trips.

It’s very important that you have a good quality travel insurance policy in place to guard against unforeseen circumstances. We have partnered with Yellow Jersey Insurance who provide excellent levels of cover for the types of cycling trips that we run at Colconquerors.

Training & Riding

What level of fitness do I need for the mountains and challenging days in the saddle?

Riding in the mountains by its very nature is challenging but it is accessible to most keen cyclists. If you are planning a trip to the mountains part of the fun is training for the holiday and with some dedication and focus plus our expert help when you arrive you are sure to be able to climb mountains and complete other challenging days on the bike. Because there are so many possible answers to this questions based on where you are with your riding we always recommend contacting us for a chat if you have questions on this front contact us.

Are there coffee and lunch stops planned?

There most certainly are. We always plan for a coffee and lunch stop and these are often is spectacular locations and part of the experience! 

How does the vehicle support and guiding work?

Our expert and experienced guides ride on the road every day to provide guidance, coaching tips, knowledge and motivation to ensure you have a memorable trip. The on road guiding is backed up by well stocked and equipped support vehicles always with a friendly face to ensure that you can ride with complete confidence and have access to your nutrition and cycling kit when required.

Can you provide coaching advice during a trip?

Yes we can!! If there’s any aspect of your cycling we can help you to improve we’re always happy to use our coaching skills to help you be the best you can be. This is one of the main benefits of holidays having small group sizes.

Is it worth hiring a coach in the build up to the trip?

Coaching is sure to take your riding to the next level even if you’re an experienced rider and have been following advanced plans for some time. We can offer various types of coaching in the build up to trips so it’s best to contact us to discuss your exact needs. Our coaching partners are all British Cycling Level 3 qualified ensuring you get the best, most up to date training. You can read further information about coaching pre and post trip on our dedicated coaching page.

Do you provide sports and other nutrition for the rides?

Yes we do. We recommend that you ride with the products and foods that you have used during training as this way there are no surprises along the way. To compliment your tried and tested sports nutrition the support vehicles are stocked with high quality in ride sports nutrition, fresh fruit, nuts and other tasty snacks and treats along the way. 

What type of riding and route information do you provide?

We provide GPX or TCX files for your bike computers for all of our trips plus a detailed daily road book. The road book contains photos, maps and text for every junction along the route and is used for the daily briefing. The high level route map and climb profile are also included in the road books.

How do you update us on weather conditions?

As a part of the daily briefing we always discuss the weather for the day ahead to ensure the group is prepared. We use a combination of tried and tested local forecasts plus local knowledge to ensure we can provide you with the most up to date information.

When do the major mountain passes usually open?

This does vary from year to year and country to country depending upon the severity of the winter and how much snow has fallen. The local authorities do target having the passes open within a certain week range each year. Sometimes passes will be open from one side (usually the south facing) earlier meaning access on a bike is possible and some have tunnels close to the top allowing earlier opening whilst the very top section is still being cleared of snow. We always use our local knowledge and network of connects to assess mountain pass accessibility and safety and update groups during the daily briefing.

How far do you ride each day?

Distance is not a great indicator of effort when riding in the mountains. If you say to us you’d like to ride 100 miles a day yes that’s possible but to get the distance in you’d climb 4000-5000 meters a day which for most is not a reality (even for the pros!). We judge our rides by meters climbed and this ranges between 1500-3500 meters a day for most of the trips with the occasional day just above the 4000m mark. There are usually options to make days more or less challenging at an individual level.

Why do some holidays have a recovery or lighter day?

We have learned over the years that by having 3 days of riding followed by a recovery or lighter day allows riders to complete the final two days of the week strongly without having a huge build up of fatigue. This has allowed us to include some wonderful days at the end of the trips designed so you end on a high and reap the rewards of your efforts.

Bikes & Equipment

Can I rent a bike for the trip?

Yes you can - If you’ve had a bike fit and it’s still valid you can use the information to set the bike as close to your usual position as possible. If renting you should bring your pedals and shoes, some choose to bring a saddle as well but that’s optional. All you need do is let us know your height and frame size and we’ll have a bike here waiting for you on arrival. Each trip page included bike rental details and we’re always on hand to help on this front so just let us know and we’ll help!

Is it best to bring my own bike for the trip?

To be honest yes they do! Cycling in the mountains is challenging and it’s best if you can ride them on the bike that you and your body are used to as this will ensure little niggles don’t creep in from riding in a style and position that’s slightly different to that you’re used to. We do appreciate that bringing your own bike is sometimes not an option for many reasons so we always have the option to rent a great bike from a trusted partner.

What gearing is best for the mountains

compact chain-set 50/34 with an 11/30 or 11/32 rear cassette is absolutely the right tool for the job. We have lost count of the times years back when people have either gone away saying I wish I’d had that gearing or have made an emergency cassette purchase when here! Even though the gradients are often around the 8-9% range (which might be less than you’re used to) in the main having a gear that’s hard to push over say 1.5 to 2 hours on a single climb means you build up a lot of muscular fatigue for no good reason. With gearing as recommended you have the best of all worlds and be as fresh as you can for the next climb or the next day. It’s all about what’s coming next.

Should I have my bike serviced before I travel?

Yes you should for several reasons. Firstly for safety, descending at speed dictates that things must be in full working order and excellent condition - cables and pads should have been checked or changed recently. The mountains are challenging not just for us but also for our equipment and the smallest problems that you’ll get away with at home tend to magnify themselves when under load day in day out in the mountains. Get the bike cleaned fully and then looked at before you set off to ensure it’s in perfect working order before you arrive. There are always solutions to problems when you are here but you don’t want to loose any ride time to maintenance!

What kit should I bring for riding?

We’ve prepared a dedicated page to provide all of the information you are likely to need about kit for both on and off the bike so you have a great trip!

What tools and equipment do you provide on a trip?

We have an extensive tool set that travels with us including torque wrenches, track pumps and bike stands. More details can be found on our what to bring page.

Can you help ensure my bike is set up correctly?

Yes we can! We are qualified bike fitters in addition to coaches so we can help you set-up your bike correctly and help you deal with any bike fit challenges that may arise during your trip.

Can you help build my bike on arrival?

We are always on hand to help you with bike building.

Something Missing?

Have we missed something?

Have we missed something?

If we’ve missed something you need help with please get in touch with us. We’re always happy to help with anything that can add to the enjoyment of your trip.