Safety on your cycling holiday
With over 500 people a year, each cycling hundreds of miles in a week, accidents are inevitable. Your equipment is carefully checked to make sure it is as safe as we can make it, but there are several things that you can do to make it safer.
Helmets and Gloves.
This is a controversial subject. We don't wear helmets and countries that have introduced compulsory helmet wearing have not seen a reduction in road deaths - there are many theories as to why not. However for most of our customers this will be their first ride on a bike loaded for touring, you will be on a bike you are not familiar with, and in a strange country where the rules of the road may well be different to your home country. For this reason we recommend that you take a helmet with you. Wearing it whilst cycling down some canal towpath is probably overkill and so we expect you to use your common sense... BUT - the helmets we loan out have an unknown history and so we cannot guarantee any efficacy and for that reason we also sell new helmets for 20 Euro.
Cycling gloves are something I always ride with. Not only do they stop your hands getting sore, but in the case of a fall, even a minor topple whilst stationary, they will stop gravel being driven into your hands. Some people have had to stop their holiday because of a silly fall that left their hands too sore to ride. We sell excellent cheap gloves for 9 Euro a pair.
90% of accidents on our holidays are caused by the same thing. Riders suddenly stopping so that their fellow cyclists pile into them. If you brake you must shout 'stopping' to warn others - bikes don't have brake lights! The other 10% are people just not concentrating and simply riding off the road or sliding on things like gravel. If you see a pothole, or gravel of course avoid them, but also should to the cyclists behind to warn them - Be careful, be safe...
What to do in the case of an accident.
We are there, on-call to help out. A quick phone call to us will get us out to you immediately and if needed sort out doctors/hospitals etc. That said, generally we find that in the more serious cases the next driver to come down the road will have organised everything before we even get to hear about it! The emergency services number is '18', but normally it's best to do it through us.
Thankfully, since we began in 1990 no-one has been seriously hurt beyond stitches and the odd minor break, but that does end their holiday. In this case there is of course the rest of the group to consider, and we do whatever we can to allow them to continue their holiday even if it means transferring you to a 'Fixed-Centre' holiday so that the non-rider can stay with the group.
It is ESSENTIAL that you have holiday insurance cover for any costs that may be caused through an accident - hotel bills, hospital bills etc. European citizens must also carry their European Health Card.