FAQ’s

A resource for everything Cinghiale

Guides

How many guides are present per guest?

Our on the bike guide to guest ratio is typically 1 to 4 or 6 guests, plus a follow van.

Is there a support vehicle on rides?

Yes, we have a follow van with us each day. Our driver is also a mechanic and the van will be equipped with spare wheels, tools, food and water, and emergency first aid.

Gratuities for guides?

Gratuity for guides is always appreciated and completely at your discretion. The guides pool and share all tips among themselves. The industry standard is each guest contributing 4-8% of the tour cost to be split equally between the guides. We’ll pass an envelope around the table on our last night for the guides if you would like to contribute.

Bikes

Can I rent a bike?

Yes, bike rentals are available for 250 euros. Our local bike shop rents a fleet of BMC Gran Fondo bikes equipped with compact cranks to feature a low gear of 34 x 32 cog, tires are road hugging 25 or 28 mm.
[reserve a bike rental now]

Do I need to bring water bottles?

There will be water bottles available for purchase but we recommend bringing your own water bottles.

If I’m renting a bike do I need to bring a helmet?

Yes, there are not helmets available for rent so please bring your own. Helmets are required on our rides.

What gears should I have?

We like the saying the more the merrier! Compact gearing is great with a 34 x 27 cog, but lately we’ve enjoying 34 x 29/30/32. Do not skimp for our mountain tours. There are no heroes on our tours and we encourage you to have enough gears to make the terrain enjoyable.

Can I ship my bike to Italy?

No. We do not recommend shipping a bike to Italy due to Italian customs seizing bikes traveling without owners to verify them. We’ve seen bikes tied up in customs, not arriving in time for a tour, or not arriving at all. Save yourself the worry and check your bike on your flight, or rent a bike. Shipping your bike out of Italy is easier.

I hear you make bikes, how do I find out more information about Hampsten Cycles?

Hampsten Cycles makes custom steel, titanium, and carbon bicycles. One of our favorites for travel is a S&S coupled titanium bike that fits in an airline regulation travel case. Find out more by contacting Steve Hampsten at www.hampsten.com

Cancellation Policy

What if I need to cancel my trip?

If you decide not to come or cannot come for any reason, the amount you have paid so far is fully refundable up to 91 days before the trip. This means that if you cancel 90 days or less before your tour start date you will forfeit the full amount you have paid so far.
We reserve the right to cancel your spot if we have not received your balance payment within one week of your balance due date.

Cancellations on customs trips have a non refundable deposit. This is because we can not look for a replacement within a private group.
We do not overbook and strongly recommend TRAVEL INSURANCE. Please purchase travel insurance that covers an unforeseen trip cancellation or misadventure to you or your luggage while in Italy.

Visit www.insuremytrip.com for an insurance quote and
www.hthtravelinsurance.com for a travel health insurance quote.

Communication

I sent in a booking form, what should I expect next?

We will respond to your booking form within a day confirming if there is space on your requested tour. Once we confirm your booking we’ll instruct you to send a deposit.

When should I send a deposit? Please do not send a deposit until we have confirmed your booking. Once we have confirmed your booking we expect a deposit within the following week.

What form of payments do you accept? We prefer checks or money transfers. We do have the ability to accept credit cards and pass on the 3% processing fee to each transaction. Separate invoices will be provided for those wanting to pay with a transfer or credit card.

When is my balance due? Your balance will be due 91 days before your tour start date. We will email a payment reminder prior to the due date.

Is there more specific tour information I should expect? You will receive specific tour information one month prior to your tour. This will include meeting locations and transportation information, specific packing requirements, medical and release forms, and hotel and guide contact information. The really fun stuff like our specific routes and sights we will give to you when you arrive in Italy. We encourage our guests to call or email with any questions about the tour or travel at any time.

When should I send a deposit?

Please do not send a deposit until we have confirmed your booking. Once we have confirmed your booking we expect a deposit of $1,000 per person within the following week.

What form of payments do you accept?

We prefer checks or money transfers. We do have the ability to accept credit cards and pass on the 3% processing fee to each transaction. Separate invoices will be provided for those wanting to pay with a transfer or credit card.

When is my balance due?

Your balance will be due 91 days before your tour start date. We will email a payment reminder prior to the due date.

Is there more specific tour information I should expect?

You will receive specific tour information one month prior to your tour. This will include meeting locations and transportation information, specific packing requirements, medical and release forms, and hotel and guide contact information. The really fun stuff like our specific routes and sights we will give to you when you arrive in Italy. We encourage our guests to call or email with any questions about the tour or travel at any time.

Fitness

How fit should I be for the tour?

Our tours are best enjoyed for those who have been regularly cycling in the months leading up. Each tour is ranked from a 1 pig to 5 pig, [read more here] to find your fitness level.

I’m a slower rider, will I be left behind?

Our tours will have plenty of guides to accommodate various riding speeds. Typically, our rides will break up into smaller groups with a guide keeping an eye on each group. We are honest about how difficult the riding is and explain required fitness clearly in our [fitness guide]. Our best advice is to train ahead of time to fully enjoy the experience of riding in Italy.

What if I want to ride more?

We will have plenty of guides to offer extra miles on most days for those needing to stretch their legs a little more.

Accommodations

I am a vegetarian/ I have food allergies, are special diets accommodated?

If you are vegetarian or have other dietary limitations most likely you will be able to feast in Italy. We work hard to accommodate allergies and restrictions. Please note these on your booking form and we will correspond in more detail with you directly.

What type of accommodations do we stay in?

We stay in three- to four-star hotels, inns, or restored farm houses; typically family-run affairs. We have the habit of choosing hotels based on their kitchens… in general hotels in Italy are simple but graciously outfitted. Specific details to your accommodations will be listed on the tour page.

Is wine included at every meal?

We really enjoy focusing on wines of the area in which your tour is based in. Each dinner and lunch (unless we are cycling after lunch) will include wine.

I’m a non-drinker, will I feel left out at the table or on the tour?

Wine and winemaking is an integral part of Italian culture and we do feature it on our tours. On most tours we’ll be tasting local wines with meals and touring farms that make wine. The process is very interesting and we find that everyone finds this time learning about winemaking and farming very enjoyable. Wine is treated like food and will be at the table but consumed responsibly.

Travel

Where do I book my flights to and from?

Specific information of where your tour will start and finish will be on the tour page. Italy is blessed with a functioning train system and it is easy to use other airports and meet at the start point by train.

Can I travel easily by train?

Yes, train travel in Italy is generally very good and we recommend it. It’s an amazing way to see the country between your destinations. See www.trenitalia.com for schedules, or a private fast train company that is very nice to ride with, Italo www.italotreno.it/EN

Should I buy my train tickets ahead of time?

In most cases you can buy your ticket the day of travel at ticket vending machines. We will accompany you to the local station for your travels after the tour and show you how to use the machine. If you are booking a Frecce (fast) train or with the Italo company you’ll need to book ahead of time online to reserve a seat.

Am I able to travel with my bike on a train?

That is trickier as the faster trains have little to no room for a bike or a bike case. Regional trains have a luggage car for bikes, so pay the modest supplement for the bike and put it on the train with the station master’s help. Or if you are traveling in a fast train reserve a first class ticket and put your bike case near your seat.

What attire is appropriate for the tour?

Our tours are casual and your clothing should be comfortable. A few nicer options for dinners is a good idea. We walk quite a bit on our tours and shoes should be comfortable.

How many sets of riding clothes should I bring?

Four to five riding kits would be ideal.

Are there laundry facilities?

Most hotels will have laundry facilities or service. Clothing is typically line dried. It is wise to travel with a small amount of preferred laundry detergent in the event that sink washing is necessary.

What type of cycling shoes should I bring?

Road or mountain bike shoes will do. We like mountain bike shoes to make it easier to walk around on cobbled roads in the villages we stop at. If road shoes are your preference then we recommend a spare pair of sandals or slip-ons to put in the follow van each day.

General

How big is a typical tour?

Our group size will typically be between 20 and 25 people.

I’m a non-cyclist, what should I expect?

If you are joining us for a tour with a non-cycling itinerary you’ll likely experience time each morning for a walk, run, ride, or leisurely breakfast before a cooking lesson. Group excursions, talks, or tastings will take place in the afternoons. We encourage non-cyclists to communicate directly with us about what their ideal days might look like so we can help prepare you for your tour.

Is there a discount for a non-cyclist?

Tours are priced per person for cyclists and non-cyclist alike. We do not offer discounts for non-cyclists or groups.

What is included in the cost of the tour?

Each tour includes transportation from/to starting points (airports and local train stations), accommodation, all meals except one lunch and one dinner, wine with meals, fully supported rides, ride food, admission to excursions and tastings.

Do we need to tip waiters?

Gratuity is included in the cost of food and tips are not expected by Italian staff. Gratuity is always appreciated and to extend a hearty thanks to hotel and restaurant staff we pass an envelope around on the last night of our stay to contribute to.

Does Andy ride with the group?

Absolutely! Andy rides every mile and then some on every tour. Cycling is his passion and he loves showing people Italy. Don’t be nervous—he has had his fill of racing and enjoys riding with all of our guests throughout the week.