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   HELLAS BIKE FAQS

HELLAS BIKING A-Z

When do the tours start and when are we back?

Half-day tours which take place in the morning start around 8:30-9:00 depending on your pick-up point. We will return between 13:00-13:30 on morining trips. Half-day tours which run in the afternoon will start from 14:30-15:00 and finish around 19:00. Full day tours commence between 8:00-9:00 and end around 18:00-18:30, there is always a lunchtime break where you may try Cretan specialities and enjoy a swim in the sea.

Where do we meet?

We will pick you up right from your hotel or from a main road close to your accommodation Our pick-up area stretches from Chania in the east to Kolymbari in the west.

What do we need to bring along if we come on a tour?

Shorts and T-shirts are sufficient from middle of June to middle of September, earlier and later in the season a long-sleeved sweater or windbreaker may keep you warm at starting points higher in the mountains, especially on our full-day tours. Simply remember the old rule that you will loose between 0,5 and 1 degree for each 100m of altitude (e.g. sea level 24 degrees could mean 12-18 degrees at 1,200m height). Sandals with heel-straps and trainers are suitable for cycling, please NO flip-flops.

What is the minimum age for tour participation?

As soon as your baby can sit it can join you - for free - in a baby chair (of course with a helmet). Our youngest guest was just 8 month old.

If you feel fit and have no heart problems there is almost no age limit on the other side, so far our oldest client has been 82 years.

How many people are in a group?

Group sizes vary between 6 and 16 persons. We like to take care of you, this is why we are certain that you will prefer the luxury of small, familiar groups as well.

Do we need to bring a pic-nic lunch?

No. During all half-day tours we will stop for refreshments at village cafes which offer soft drinks, fresh orange juice, coffees, beers, ice creams and often sandwiches. You will be back in time to enjoy either lunch or dinner at your hotel.

During all full-day tours we will stop at lunch time in original Cretan tavernas which offer local specialities at value for money. On some tours we can order Greek-style and create a mini-buffet at the center of the table and share the bill. This gives you a chance to test and taste Cretan dishes which you would have never dared to order by yourself.

Do I need to carry a bag when I join your tours?

No, during Bike Trekking Tours the minibus is always at the end of the group so you may leave cameras, additional clothing, baby food etc. in the bus. It will be available at any stop. Only on our medium tour ‘Skines‘ and during MTB tours you have to carry all your belongings yourself.

Do I need to wear a helmet on tour?

Yes. Safety first. We‘ve got plenty of helmets but you‘ve got only one head. We provide you with all sizes ranging from the right one for 9 month old babies right up to „genius“-size headwear.

Do you have footbrakes on the bikes?

No. All our bikes have excellent V-brakes or Disc-Brakes which are most suitable and relieable for downhill rides as are common in the mountainous Cretan landscape.

Do we stop to take photos?

Yes, of course you can stop anytime to take pictures while on tour as long as you are aware of basic traffic laws. We will not encourage you to stop at dangerous spots.

Do you make stops for swimming in summer?

During all full-day tours there is a possibility for a swim either at lunchtime or at the end of the tour.

Do you do the tours in summer when it‘s hot?

We start our tours at the end of March and carry on right until the beginning of November. Even during July and August heat is not a big problem as we mainly go downhill on many tours and the breeze will cool you while cycling. Our morning half-day tours are finished by lunchtime already and on the afternoon trips you will not start cycling before 16:00 starting from shady villages higher up in the hills and mountains.

What if it‘s raining?

Until May 15th and starting from end of September there may be the odd shower usually lasting no more than 10-30 minutes when we can shelter in a café or in our minibusses which always stay with the group. In case of heavy rain at the start of a tour, we consult with all our guests to find an alternative tour date or you may simply take all your money back.

Are there any cycle trails if I just rent a bike?

Unfortunately there are no marked cycle routes in Crete. But of course we have tested plenty of round-trips for you. When you collect your reserved bike we will equip you with a personalised map with route suggestions from 20 km to 100 km and altitude gains from 300m to 1.800m.

Where do I find single trails?

Most single trails are simply sheep and goat tracks unsuitable for cyclists as they will suddenly disappear or end at steep cliff faces. 4x4 tracks are often made by farmers and shepherds, they are difficult to find for the visitor as they are rarely marked in maps and not sign-posted. A guide is highly recommendable if you don‘t want to spend your day chasing dead-end dirt-roads.

What is the best map for Crete?

Unfortunately there are not correct maps of Crete. There are no cycling maps either. Crete consists of a labyrinth of small 4x4 tracks, which farmers have opened to look after their olive trees or their livestock. Those roads often lose themselves after the first few kilometres. The best map we have found so far is by the German publisher ‘Harms‘, Western Crete at 1:100.000, available from www.amazon.com and others.

Do you rent bike shoes?

No. Please bring your own shoes. However we do stock Shimano Road SL pedals as well as Look/Keo for road bikes and SPD-pedals for MTB's if you have the fitting shoes.

Are there luggage carriers on the bikes?

Starting from a rental period of 3 days we can equip all ECO-Class bikes with carriers at the modest fee of 5 euros.

Can I train with you if I bring my own road bike?

Yes. Every Sunday morning Stavros Papadimitrakis, a professional rider in the Continental Team will take you for a 3 hour training session.