FAQ’s and Expectations

In our 6th year, we can pass on some pointers to you,
to make the best of your experience.

Payment terms info can be found here: Payment Terms.

If you have a specific question that isn't answered here,
get in touch with us here: travel@missioncycling.org

GENERAL TRIP QUESTIONS

Q: Is there Internet?                    

A: Limited Wi-Fi is available. 

Do not expect solid, or fast connection. “Facetiming” uses up the bandwidth pretty quickly.

We STRONGLY ENCOURAGE everyone to lift your head up from your devices. Get a drink, sit outside, look at the hills, and get into some conversation.  You’ll be in a unique location that not many people get to experience.  Let everyone else in the world hang out on the Internet for a week.  It’ll be there when you return.

Q: What about linens and towels?

A: Bed linens and towels are provided.

Q: ELECTRICITY: Do I need adapters?

A: Yes. Please bring European adaptors for your devices. You can get these at an airport shop if you forget before hand.

Q: MONEY: How do I get cash?  Will I need much?

A: The easiest and recommended thing to do is to use a card. You'll get the best rates that way. However, it is also recommended to have some Euro with you for sundries.

You can take money out of an ATM machine while on our trips. There are ATMs in most towns.

As to how much cash to carry, keep in mind that lunch on the road is up to you.  We stop in some pretty remote places so it’s good to have some Euros for lunches and snacks.

TIP: Contact your bank/credit card before traveling so you don’t end up with a hold on your account.

IF YOU ARE FLYING TO GENEVA - Do not take out money - they use Swiss Francs!

Q: Do I need formal attire?

A: No, but we we’ll go out to eat a couple nights. It’s casual — jeans are fine.

Q: What's for BREAKFAST?

A: Breakfasts in both Sicily and France will be laid out for us buffet style.  They are “help yourself and share” breakfasts. People have very different pre-ride rituals and we want you to be able to get prepped as you normally would.

Q: Is LUNCH provided?

A: We will stop for lunch along the ride. Definitely bring some cash on rides as we explore bakeries, cafes, small restaurants, and bars. Often, the places we find for lunch are highlights of either trip to Sicily or France. We highly encourage exploring and trying out the food.

Q: Do we eat DINNER at the house?

A: Yes. Dinners in both Sicily and France will be prepared by a local chef. We’ll eat dinner family-style every evening except 2 nights when we'll go into the local villages.

Q: Will there be any “sports nutrition?"
A: Yes, some. There will be a selection of bars, gels and drinks to supplied free at the chalet – but if you have a specific favorite, we encourage you to bring it.

Q: What should I pack?                     

A: Not much. Pack light! Keep it real simple.  Most of our down time will be around our villa in Tuscany or the chalet in France. Shorts, jeans, T-Shirts, sweatshirts and flip-flops are fine. Averages temperatures are 60’s and 70’s.

Q: How many kits should I bring?

A: Bring minimum of 2 (maybe 3).  

Get back from the ride, hand-wash a kit, let it dry for a day, you should make it through the week.

Q: Do you have a list of 10 “oh yeah!” things to bring?

A:

  1. Bathing suit

  2. Helmet and shoes

  3. Wind jacket (or vest)

  4. Rain protection

  5. Cycling computer

  6. Water bottles

  7. Camera

  8. Light sweater / sweatshirt / pants for mornings and evenings

  9. Footwear:
    Flip flops / sandals for the chalet
    Walking shoes for around town

  10. USB power / phone chargers

AND YOUR PASSPORT! Don't forget to triple-check that you've brought an up-to-date, active passport.

Q: What if I forget something?

A: There are bike shops all around. If you forget something you can probably pick it up when you arrive. Don’t forget your helmet and shoes!

 

 

SICILY TRIP QUESTIONS

Q: What is the estate like?  

A: We will have a beautiful, country villa all to ourselves.

The villa is at the base of Mt Etna within distance of the town of Catania and the beach.

Rooms are double occupancy unless otherwise noted. 

Q: Will I have my own bathroom?

A: Maybe. If not, you'll share with one other person.

Q: Is there housekeeping?

A: Not every day. The owners live on property and will provide basic housekeeping but not “turn-down service”.

Q: How many feet of climbing can I expect?

A: Though this isn’t the high mountains (if you're looking for that - join us in the Alps!), there’s still plenty of rolling hills to climb.
Expect 3,000 to 5,000 feet on any given day.

Q: How many miles will we be riding?

A: Expect 40-80 mile days. From our base, there are stunning rides in every direction. We’ll want to see as much of this countryside as we can. But remember, this is also a vacation.  We’ll be checking out places to stop, take pictures, and eat - we’re in Italy after all! Roll-out times will range between 7:30 and 9:30 am (depending the day’s ride plan).

There will be planned itineraries for four days with two “rest days” where you can explore on your own or in smaller groups.

Q: Is there a ride schedule?

A: Yep, we'll have that at the estate. 

Q: What do I do in an emergency?

REMEMBER THIS NUMBER: 1-1-2

A: As you know, cycling is a dangerous, potentially life-threatening sport. Keep in mind that we are not only responsible for our own safety, but also those around us. Roadside emergencies may occur. Let’s look out for each other.  

In an emergency, try to remain calm.

Follow these steps:

  1. Protect the rider and secure the area for safety

  2. Do not crowd the rider

  3. Assign tasks to others - for example:

    1. Flag and warn traffic

    2. Pick up equipment

    3. comfort rider

  4. Call 1-1-2 (like 911 in Europe)

  5. Note the location (Route number, intersection, etc.)

  6. Wait for first responders.

  7. Do not move the rider (if possible)

 

ALPS TRIP QUESTIONS

Q: What’s the chalet like?  

A: Grand Rochail is a rustic, lodge-style chalet that’s been in our friend’s family for many years. It’s our home away from home and, for the week, we’ll be living family-style sharing space and responsibilities.  

Q: Will I have my own bathroom?

A: No, each of the 3 floors has 2 shared bathrooms.

Q: Is there housekeeping?

A: There is no staff on-site, but we have caretakers who will be coming through once a day to tidy up. However, it is up to all of us together to make it liveable for the week.  Small gestures like putting your dishes in the dishwasher, wiping a counter, etc, will separate us from the animals. Be proactive.

Q: Is there a ride schedule?

A: Yep, we'll have that at the chalet. 

Q: How many feet of climbing can I expect?

A: You could achieve 30,000+ by week’s end.

Q: How many miles will we be riding?

A: Expect 40-80 mile days.

From our base, there are stunning, historic rides in every direction. We’ll want to see as much of this countryside as we can. But remember, this is also a vacation. Roll-out times will range between 7:30 and 9:30 am (depending the day’s ride plan).

There will be planned itineraries for four days with two “rest days” where you can explore on your own or in smaller groups.

Don’t miss the opportunity to challenge yourself to a PR on Alpe d’Huez. Try it at the beginning of the week and again at the end for a true test of your newly acquired Alpine fitness.

Q: Is there a washing machine?

A: Yes, but ...            

Though there is ONLY one washer, it takes a significant amount of time to run.  It also breaks down sometimes. Combine that with nearly 20 people, do not expect to wash your clothes every day.  

TIP: Instead, bring an extra kit, and embrace the concept of rinsing and hand-washing.  

We have clothespins and plenty of laundry line to hang-dry outside.  

Q: What do I do in an emergency?

REMEMBER THIS NUMBER: 1-1-2

A: As you know, cycling is a dangerous, potentially life-threatening sport. Keep in mind that we are not only responsible for our own safety, but also those around us. Roadside emergencies may occur. Let’s look out for each other.  

In an emergency, try to remain calm.

Follow these steps:

  1. Protect the rider and secure the area for safety

  2. Do not crowd the rider

  3. Assign tasks to others - for example:

    1. Flag and warn traffic

    2. Pick up equipment

    3. comfort rider

  4. Call 1-1-2 (like 911 but in Europe)

  5. Note the location (Route number, intersection, etc.)

  6. Wait for first responders.

  7. Do not move the rider (if possible)

In France, you can not show up to the emergency room on your own.  

You must be brought in by ambulance.  

Emergency numbers from the chalet:

Ambulance (“S.A.M.U.”) : Dial 15

Police: Dial 17

Fire: Dial 18