The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated an already fast-growing trend in adventure travel, the rise of the self-guided bike tour.
Summer Feet Cycling was a pioneer in self-guided tours, launching our first self-guided bike tour, Pedal the Coast Self-Guided Tour (SG), in 2003.
Here are answers to the five most common questions about self-guided bicycle tours. If you have any questions, please get in touch.
What if I get lost on my self-guided bike tour?
Over the years, we have had several guests creatively route themselves, as we like to call it. Fortunately, technology makes this a more challenging undertaking! We have partnered with Ride with GPS to use their “experiences” product for all our self-guided tours.
The experiences product allows us to load turn-by-turn directions which you can follow using the Ride with GPS app on your smartphone. The best part is that since the app follows a GPS track and uses the GPS built into your smartphone, no cellular data is needed or used.
In addition, we still provide paper route notes and maps to all guests. If the app and map still leave you confused, you can always ask a local for directions – one of the joys of travel is getting to meet new people!
What if I have mechanical issues?
We thoroughly check all bikes before sending them out on a self-guided tour, but sometimes things still go awry.
On every trip, we equip you with the tools you need to handle minor mechanical issues: spare tubes, a pump, tire levers, and multi-tool. On the day-to-day details that accompany your route notes, we list the name and address of any bike shops you might pass during your ride, and in a pinch, you can call our office – often, we can walk you through fixing your bike via facetime.
In the event of a significant mechanical failure (which has happened only a handful of times), we will arrange to get you a replacement bike.
What if it rains?
Like all our guided tours, self-guided tours operate come rain or shine.
In the event of extreme weather, like a hurricane threatening your safety, we will find a way to transport you.
Otherwise, we provide the telephone number of local cabs and transportation companies if you wish to arrange transportation to your next hotel.
What will I see?
Our daily summaries provide you with information about some of our favorite sites on each day’s ride. But one of the great things about a self-guided bike tour is the freedom to explore. Since you are on your own, you can take time to hike a path, linger in a coffee shop, sit by the ocean, or explore a local art gallery.
If ice cream is your thing, stop at every ice cream shop! Like craft beer? There will be plenty of opportunities to stop and sample some tasty local brews – Maine has become renowned for its exceptional craft beer scene in recent years.
Is a self-guided bike tour right for me?
For most people, the answer is yes. Are you an adventurous and independent person? Then a self-guided bike is right for you. You will benefit from our years of living and working on the coast of Maine with the freedom to make it your vacation, stopping at the places that appeal to you the most.
If you are comfortable with the daily mileage, then a self-guided bike tour is a great fit.
Ready to start exploring? Check out our guided and self-guided Maine Bike Tours.
If you have any questions, please get in touch.