What happens when you arrive?
Starting Off on your cycling holidays...
Many people ask us what happens when we arrive, so the following will give you some idea...
First you have to get to our base in Gouarec but once there you are in our hands. However you travel to us you must plan to arrive during the Saturday (or for some - Friday) afternoon, sometime between 2.00pm and 6.00pm - any other times or days need special arrangements. This means we have time to do a lot of sorting out in the afternoon, generally we can give you your bikes then so you can have a wobble round the area and so get a head start for the morning. All hotel customers will have a short ride that Saturday afternoon/evening, so arriving too late to do this will need special arrangements. Depending on room availability it is possible that your hotel. With people arriving spread-out like this we have time to show you how to use equipment etc so that it doesn't have to be done in the morning - this 'spreading of the load' means that although Kate and I will be dealing with perhaps 40 people, we still have plenty of time for each of you. In all cases bags and cars can then be left behind and we lock them up at our base - though we cannot guarantee security the crime rate in Brittany is vanishingly low and to date no-one has had anything stolen or damaged. If you have particular valuables, cameras, jewellery, we take them back to our house for safe keeping.
Generally most people choose to camp their first night at Gouarec giving them a chance to play with their gear and have a relaxing evening. Then at 9.00am on Sunday morning we come down to the campsite and help you pack up, this can often take a couple of hours - there's no rush and it's much better to solve any niggling worries then than later when you are flying solo!
Once you arrive we kit you out and then send you off to your first hotel. This first ride will take a maximum of 1.30 hours though for most people it will be much less than this. Many routes begin at Bon Repos which is only 4 kms down the canal towpath, but depending on route and when you book it can be up to 20 kms though you will always be warned of this. After your luxurious bed you eat breakfast at the hotel and then set off on your adventures. Though we are always ready to come out to sort out last minute panic/tweeks/adjustments it is obviously best if this can be done on Saturday afternoon when you arrive.
At the end of your holiday you return to Gouarec and we meet up on the Saturday anytime before 5.00pm, normally you are near on Friday night and this does allow an early 'escape' if you need it! Then you tell us your stories and return all equipment. We don't charge an equipment deposit as we consider all damage to be 'wear-and-tear' - our philosophy is that if you give people good, well looked after equipment, people will take good care of it and any damage is unavoidable - so far our trust in our customers has proved well founded. In return we do ask you to point out any damage. Last year someone returned and said nothing - on inspection I found a dent in the frame that was obviously caused by a fall - normally my inspection will find such things but if I know a bike has been involved in an accident I will inspect the bike very carefully to find hidden cracks and the like. Don't worry I won't go mad if you've totalled a bike, I just need to know for safety's sake.
Then lastly if you like you can send us any articles, web links etc that I can link to on the site so that other people can have an idea what to expect.