Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I use your services?
Bike touring is a great way to see the world. Best Coast Biking creates value by providing a full equipment rental service and a detailed itinerary for your journey. Essentially, we simplify the logistics and planning so that the only thing you need to focus on is having a great experience. Additionally, we offer assistance to get your equipment to the start of your trip and we pick it up at the end, so you don't have to worry about shipping fees and hassles.
How much would it cost to do this on my own?
It is expensive to purchase all the gear and can be complicated to deal with logistics and planning. Typically, it can cost between $3,000-$4,000 to purchase all the equipment per person, and route planning can take weeks to organize. To outfit yourself through other rental services, market prices for just the gear we provide ranges between $150-$250 per person per day. To check a bike on an airplane, it typically costs $200 each way, and airlines require that you dismantle and pack the bicycle.
Are your Journeys guided?
Yes and no. Our Summer Series rides are guided trips. For more information, check out our Summer Series page for details on our two 2020 summer group rides. Our regular outfitted trips listed on our Journeys page are completely self-guided. You will receive bike touring gear and detailed, day-by-day instructions as well as mobile maps to help guide you on your journey.
Do I need to bring my own gear?
No. We provide you with a touring bike, panniers, camping and cooking equipment. You do need to bring your own clothing, toiletries, personal items, sleeping bag, and electronics. You will also be responsible for purchasing and carrying your own food throughout your trip.
If I prefer, can I bring some of my own gear?
Yes, of course. If you have a tent, a sleeping pad that you love, or other camping gear that you would prefer to bring, you can certainly do so. Note that we do not have price breaks should you decide not to use our equipment.
Do you have group trips?
Starting in 2020, we do! Check out our Summer Series webpage for more details on what we have going on this year. Our other journeys are designed as self-guided experiences for just you and your party. Find a group of friends, pick your journey and start date, and we'll get you organized.
Are your Itineraries suitable for families?
Due to safety considerations, we currently do not encourage anyone under the age of 18 to participate on our journeys. We do not provide trailers for infants either.
How do I know that this kind of trip is right for me?
If you are intrepid, active, inspired by nature, and seeking a challenging and rewarding adventure, then bike touring is likely something you'll love. If you are unsure of your physical ability and aren't very comfortable with the idea of camping, a little training and perhaps a night or two of camping with experienced friends may give you the confidence to participate in one of our journeys.
What is involved in the orientation?
At the starting location of your trip, we will personally coordinate a time and place to meet and introduce you to the equipment you'll be using. We'll walk you through the ins and outs of your bike, show you each piece of equipment, and make sure you are prepared to pack and unpack seamlessly before you take off the following morning. This will be the time when you can practice pitching the tent, packing the panniers, and loading everything safely onto the bike. We will help you adjust the bike to fit you just right. We will also show you how to safely do this on your own. Orientation generally lasts one to two hours.
How do I get to the Pick up location?
Depending on where you are coming from, you will have to research the best possible way for you to get to your starting point. Should you have any questions, we can provide you with information on public and private transportation solutions for your specific itinerary.
How do I get home from the drop off location?
You are responsible for organizing your personal travel from the end of your journey. There are several transportation options from the end of each trip, with the exception of Big Sur. For more details on the best transport options, please contact us.
What do I do with my suitcase?
During your orientation, we will happily take your suitcase and non bike tour related clothing items and transfer them to the end point.
How do I book campsites?
You don't have to! As a cyclist, you can simply bike into any state campsite and pay $5-$6 per person for the night. Occasionally, due to limited campsites along some sections of the coast, we suggest that you stay in a private campsite. These tend to have higher pricing ($12-$20 per person), but will accommodate ride-in cyclists.
Do I have to stay in Campgrounds?
No. If you would like to spend a night or two (or more) in hotels, B&Bs, or with friends, you are free to do so. We currently do not provide booking services for accommodation, however, there are several tools we can direct you to use, should you want to organize a few nights indoors.
What amenities do the campsites offer?
Most campsites have a designated hiker/biker area where cyclists can stay. Facilities often include hot showers, flush toilets, lit washrooms, and a camp host who can answer any questions. There are also usually picnic tables, a fire pit and storage box for food. There are a few campsites that we suggest that have fewer amenities, and this is due to the limited number of campsites in those particular areas. Note: we avoid suggesting two campsites in a row with limited facilities. You will receive detailed information about your journey's specific campsites prior to the start of your trip.
Biking & Fitness
What does Easygoing, Moderate, and Challenging Mean?
Our journeys are categorized by difficulty level: easygoing, moderate, and challenging.
This is meant to give you a better sense of what kind of terrain you can expect.
Easygoing: Average 40 miles/day (approx. 4 hours). Elevation gain of 500-1,500 ft/day.
Moderate: Average 50 miles/day (approx. 5 hours). Elevation gain of 1,000-2,500 ft/day.
Challenging: Average 60+ miles/day (approx. 6-8 hours). Elevation gain of 2,500-5,000+ ft/day.
What are the road conditions like?
The routes we've created generally follow the Pacific Coast Bike Route. We have made several changes to improve the experience of biking down the West Coast. Our routes are often on roads with mild to moderate traffic. Road conditions range from new pavement to rough roads with sections of uneven pavement. You should feel comfortable cycling on different road conditions, with varying amounts of traffic.
How fit Do I have to be to go on a trip like this?
The more prepared you are, the more comfortable and confident you'll be, and you'll get more out of your journey. Working your way up to riding 40 to 60 miles twice a week will ensure that you are ready to experience your first bike tour. Practice riding up and down hills and through a variety of traffic conditions. Remember, speed is not as important as strength and confidence.
I have never done a bike tour. What is Physically involved?
Bike touring is different from bike riding. You will be biking long distances each day with all of your equipment stowed on your bicycle. Since you are carrying equipment on your bike, your balance and speed will feel different, as you're biking with significantly more weight than on a regular day ride. At orientation, you will have an opportunity to practice balancing, biking with a fully loaded bicycle, and can ask our representative(s) any questions or advice on how to best adapt your riding. We find it only takes a few minutes for most riders to fully adapt to the bike touring set up.
Can I bring my own pedals, Helmet and seat?
Absolutely. We highly encourage riders to bring a seat they are used to riding as well as pedals for their cycling shoes. Biking with a seat and pedals you typically use can greatly improve your level of comfort while riding. We will help you put these on your bike at orientation and will help you remove them at the end of your journey. Bringing a helmet you are used to wearing is also a great idea.
Do I have to stay on the suggested route?
No. We have prepared detailed, turn-by-turn instructions that we believe reflect the best possible route for your journey. Should you want to explore something off our suggested route, or stay the night somewhere slightly off the designated itinerary, you are free to do so. We ask that you simply keep in mind the amount of time necessary to return to the route so that you remain within the time frame of your journey. Note that we are not operating tours, but rather providing information and outfitting services for your own independent bike tour.
What happens if I can't finish the trip within the Scheduled time?
Whether due to bad weather, injury, you want to take an additional day or more of rest, or any other reason, there is some flexibility with the end of your equipment outfitting. For each extra day that you keep the equipment beyond the scheduled number of days, there is an associated charge of $100 per person per day.
What happens if I can't finish the trip?
Should a situation arise in which you cannot finish the trip, a $250 fee will be deducted from your security deposit to cover the cost of collecting the equipment. Unfortunately, we cannot transfer you and your personal items ourselves, however we will help arrange a transfer service for you should you need.
Still have questions?