Private bike tours outside Paris
Overview of French Mystique Tours Private Bike Tours
What is included?
The price indicated for each tour is the price per group, not per person. It includes guiding services and a picnic lunch for up to three tour participants. For tours of four or five participants there will be a small surcharge of 5€ to 10€ .
What is not included?
Tour participants will be responsible for:
bike rental cost: Bike rentals cost either 20€, 30€ or 45€ per person a day. The cost is dependent on which type of bike you select. Included with the bike rental are a helmet, water bottle and rain poncho if needed. If you like to ride with toe clips on the pedals these are also available for some models of bikes.
train ticket cost: The round trip train ticket cost per person will be specified in each tour itinerary.
Where do we meet?
We're going to meet at the bike rental store before each tour to get the rental bikes. The bike store is called Allo Vélo and it is located at 2 rue Beauregard at the corner of rue Beauregard and rue Poissonnière in the 2nd arrondissement. The nearest métro station is Bonne Nouvelle but there are others not far off if it means less transfers for you. Here is the website for Allo Vélo so you can get a map of their location (click on the link that says "Boutique"): www.allovelo.com. Let me know if you need specific instructions on how to get there from your apartment or hotel. You can use the website www.ratp.fr if you want to see a map of the Paris métro/RER/bus system and learn about how to get around in Paris by public transport. Google maps will show how to walk from any nearby métro station to the bike store. Here is a link to an interactive map of the Paris métro/RER/bus network taken from the ratp.fr website:
I suggest having at least a google map of the bike shop neighborhood with you so you can be sure to see street names and get yourself oriented. If you've got a detailed map of Paris, even better. The free maps hotels give you aren't very detailed and don't show all the streets so don't rely on any type of free map.
Selecting your rental bike.
If you look at my website under the ''General Conditions'' tab you'll see a drop-down menu for ''Rental Bikes'' and you can choose your bike. The 20€ bikes are only suitable for my tours that are ranked "Easy" in terms of level of difficulty. For all other tours the most appropriate bikes are those that rent for 30€. If you like to ride a road bike, the rental store has brand new road bikes for 45€ per day.
Cancellations and refunds.
A full refund of your deposit will only be provided in any event where French Mystique Tours has to cancel a tour.
But what if it rains?
My tours run rain or shine. However, normally on rainy days here it's not a day long event but more like periods of rain/showers. In between it's not unusual to have bright/sunny periods and/or cloudy periods. There are no guarantees with weather, however. In the event that the prediction is for guaranteed, day long, heavy rain I may allow for tour cancellation but it is at my discretion. If I do so I'll refund your deposit minus three things:
1) minus 4% of the deposit, which is what PayPal will charge me for their services.
2) minus 50% of the bike rental cost, since the bike shop will charge me 50% for reserving a bike which was not used.
3) minus any expenses I've incurred in tour preparation. One typical expense would be purchase of our picnic lunch (usually 15€ to 25€ depending on the number of riders). The other typical expense would be RER tickets (4€) if I've come to meet you at the bike store the day of the tour. These expenses are usually only incurred in the event of a cancellation within 24 hours of the scheduled tour date.
Does it rain frequently in France?
According to weather statistics Paris has approximately 111 rainy days a year. Generally when it rains it is not a day long event but 3-4 intermittent periods of rain/showers/drizzle lasting anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes. Between periods of precipitation it is common to have bright periods with a mix of blue sky and puffy white or dark gray clouds. Of course, there are no gurantees with weather.
What to bring.
Tour participants should bring a backpack to carry any personal items. If weather appears variable it is advisable to bring rain gear as well. Rain ponchos are provided as part of the bike rental cost but some people may prefer their own rain gear. It is also advisable to have a small, collapsible umbrella that fits easily in a backpack.
What to wear.
You don't need any special biking clothing to do my tours. I wear my normal everyday clothes but if you prefer specialized biking clothing then by all means feel free to wear it. Other than that, we'll keep an eye on the weather and if its going to be hot or cold just be prepared to add or remove layers of clothing.
How to reserve a tour.
Just go to the Contact/Booking tab in the menu and fill in the requested information and then hit the "submit" button.
How/When to pay the Deposit/Balance.
If you are ready to confirm a tour date let me know and I'll send a PayPal link for you to make a deposit. I accept 50% on deposit with the balance payable in cash when we meet. For the rental bikes, I'll accept payment in cash when we meet. If you want to confirm a date but need more time to decide on which tour you would like to do that is not a problem. As long as I have a deposit I can confirm a date, selecting a tour can wait a bit.
About my tours.
Lastly, I'll mention that my tours are about enjoying the ambiance of the places we'll visit and the things we'll see while touring by bike. I'll give a historical overview of what we'll see to put each site into context but the emphasis is on enjoying the scenery and experiencing the atmosphere of the quaint, authentic villages we'll pass through.
Important Questions For You
Once you have reserved a tour I'll need some additional information from you in order to better serve you. I'll request this information after I have received your confirmation e-mail. Please read carefully below and answer the questions when requested to do so.
1) I include a picnic lunch on the ride that consists of baguettes, cheese, paté, fruit and chocolate. Let me know if any of those foods is a problem for you.
2) Please give me your arrival and departure dates in Paris. If you are flexible then let me know if there are any dates during your stay that could be alternate tour days in case the weather is supposed to be better. If I don't have other tours already scheduled during your stay I don't mind being flexible so we can pick the best weather day possible to ride.
3) Please give me your contact info while you'll be here so we can be in touch. The name and phone number of your hotel would be great. Let me know if you'll have internet access so we can be in touch by e-mail. Also, if you'll have a cell phone could you provide me with the number and let me know what country it's registered in so I know what intntl. and country codes I need to dial. My cell phone number is 06 76 27 77 53. It is imperative that we can be in touch for the period of 48 hours before the ride in case of last minute changes in plans, especially in regards to moving a tour date due to predicted inclement weather.
4) I need to know how tall you are and what bike you would like to ride. If you look at my website under the ''General Conditions'' tab you'll see a drop-down menu for ''Rental Bikes'' and you can choose your bike. Let me know if you like to ride with toe clips and I can have them put on the pedals for you.
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