If you’re still unsure about whether you should book a mountain bike tour or plan a DIY trip, here are a few of my top reasons for opting to go with a small tour when I travel for mountain biking:
- Getting to and from the airport. One of the biggest hassles about traveling with a bike is transportation to and from the airport. Not many taxis will be able to fit a large bike bag (or two) in their trunk. If you choose to go with a mountain bike tour, though, transportation to and from the airport is (or at least should be) included.
- Supporting local guides and trail builders. This is one of the biggest reasons to travel with a mountain bike tour company, especially if you’re going to less-developed countries like Nepal or Peru where guides really depend on tourism money. Booking through a tour company (as opposed to doing it yourself) supports local communities and may even help them build or maintain local trails.
- Having mechanical support. If you get a mechanical on the trail or your bike arrives damaged, it’s really nice to have mechanical support from a tour guide or company. While they might not have every spare part, they usually have connections at local bike shops and can get your bike in for an early morning repair so you’re ready to rip the trails.
- Staying in bike-friendly hotels. While this isn’t a huge deal-breaker, it is nice to stay in hotels or other accommodations that are bike-friendly. This could include a large, open outdoor space to build bikes, a bike wash station (or at least a hose), and large enough rooms to store your bike inside at night or secure bike storage on-site.
- Not having to figure out which are the ‘best’ trails to ride. Even in your local trail network, it takes a lot of time and energy to discover the best mountain bike trails and how to link them up. This is another big reason to go through a local tour company – they know the area and can take you on the best of the best and skip the less fun terrain.
- Transportation to and from the trailheads (and shuttles!). With a mountain bike tour, transportation to and from the trailheads will be provided, so no need to pedal extra miles just to get to the trailhead. Many tours are also shuttle-based, so you can get multiple laps in per day.
- Meeting rad new mountain biking friends! Mountain bikers are a fun-loving community, so you’re sure to meet some rad new friends on any trip you go on.