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You need a mechanically sound road bike. Check your bike carefully before traveling or shipping it to us. Install new tires and brake pads and pack a spare set of both with your gear. Bring a spare set of wheels if you have them, a replacement chain, and unless you’re a whippet or a mountain goat we highly recommend compact gearing, 50/34 up front and something like 12-27, 13-29 in back. It may offend the purist to consider riding a triple, but several of the Tour for Kika riders had them, and unapologetically used them to cross the Alps and Pyrenees.
If you decide to join our team, we’ll ask you to complete a detailed rider profile that includes a section on equipment, so our mechanic knows what to expect.
Bike Setup and Shipping
We'd prefer you travel with your bicycle but if you choose not to, Rêve is prepared to receive shipped bikes up to one week in advance. Contact us for more details. We assume no risk for bike shipping, so please pack your bikes carefully in a sturdy bike-specific shipping container and insure your bike with your carrier. Your local bike shop can safely pack your bike for you. Upon arrival our mechanic will assemble and check your bike to ensure it traveled safely and is ready to ride.
Your Travel Case or bike box will be stored at our service course until it’s forwarded to Paris just prior to our arrival. If you are shipping your bike home please talk to our representative and have the return shipping prepaid with the necessary documentation and label per your carrier's instructions.
- Hotels - Thursday night, June 30th through Friday night, July 22nd" - double occupancy **
- All Transfers between stage starts, finishes and hotels
- All Meals - Welcome dinner June 30th; Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner - July 1 through July 22nd; Celebration Dinner Paris July 22nd
- Snacks and riding nutrition: Energy drinks, fruit, sandwiches, water, recovery drinks, electrolyte supplements and a wide variety of snack foods to keep the calorie count high. Most importantly there will be a constant supply of Nutella.
- Rêve Kit - 1 team helmet, 1 team jersey (black), 1 team jersey (lt. blue), 2 pr team socks
- Documentary Photography: A two-volume hardcover set of books recording the team's epic journey through France. Web Galleries. Target date for book delivery is mid October 2011.
- All tubes, C02 cartridges, Sunscreen
- Rider Profile page and private team-only forum to encourage communication before we all meet in France
- Mechanical Service, bike wash station, lube and shift tuning as needed daily
- Advance notice and booking preference for 2012 Giro and Vuelta Tours
*Hotel Accommodation for Saturday, July 22nd is not included in the package with the expectation that many riders will have family joining them in Paris. We'd be happy to arrange hotel accommodations for you. Please contact our representative for rate information and location preference.
** This Tour is based on 2 team members per room. We understand that some of you would prefer single accommodations, but unfortunately here’s where the timing of our Tour works against us. Hotel rooms are extremely hard to come by riding one day ahead of the race. It’s not uncommon for us to be in the same hotels as advanced support for the pro teams.
We’re hoping our team-only forum will help establish a strong rapport between riders before we all meet in person. We’ll do our best to match you up with a kindred spirit based on your rider profile, if you don’t work out a pairing for yourself through the forum.
What’s Not included
- Air Fare to and from France
- Bike shipping to or from the Tour. Please arrange for your bike’s prepaid return if you decide to ship it.
Booking Flights to France
Please refer to the Minimum Rider Condition on the Booking page. If you book your flights before we've notified you we have reached our minimum requirement of 15 registered riders, ensure that you have cancellation insurance for your flights. We'll let all registered riders know the go, no-go status of the tour no later than April 1st, and much sooner we hope.
You’ll need a valid passport to enter France. Given worldwide security concerns you are advised to make sure there are no special visa requirements for visitors from your home country, and please check that there is at least 6 months left on your passport before it expires. Passport offices are often backlogged, if you need to renew your passport please apply at least eight weeks before you travel
Euro Currency and Credit Cards
Bring a few Euros along if you like but you shouldn’t have any need for them except for the odd bottle of water or drink from a hotel vending machine. French businesses accept major credit cards, and similarly debit cards will work at ATMs if your bank is part of a major bank network.
If you’re from an EU country, your cell plan may include service in France. North American and international customers should be advised that it can be very expensive to make overseas calls from France even with a pre-arranged plan. If you do bring your phone, be sure to turn off all data services or you’ll have a frightening bill when you get back home.
In 2010 the majority of hotels had some form of wireless access. About half were free to guests, the other half provided access for a nominal fee. Don’t expect hi-speed service everywhere but with Skype you’ll have a relatively inexpensive way to call home.
The majority of hotels will not have AC, when we do get it, it will come as a very pleasant surprise. France is hot in July.
Photography and Photobooks
Each rider will receive a beautiful two-volume hardcover set of books documenting the team’s Tour adventure. These books are printed landscape format (15” x 11.5” ) on premium heavyweight paper with a photo wrap cover and vellum cover leafs. Riders can purchase additional book sets at our cost plus shipping.
Each participating rider is assured of being in the books, but the story will be told with the best pictures, meaning there’s no specific formula for selection. Based on past experience there should be no problem with everyone being well represented.
Riders can order individual prints of any image in the web galleries from VeloDramatic’s print service at our cost or select up to ten (10) images in hi-res digital form for electronic delivery to a print provider of your choice.
The Rêve signup package will include a VeloDramatic model release. You never know you might just end up in a cycling magazine or two.
Convincing your Spouse
This may be harder than conquering the route itself. Consider having him or her meet you in Paris and stay on for a week in the City of Light. You’ll still be in the hole as far as relationship points are concerned but a week of sightseeing, museum tours and great food can do wonders for your balance. Work can wait.
Medical Travel Insurance
EU residents apply for EHIC card for reciprocal health benefits. US Residents check out www.squaremouth.com to compare rate quotes from multiple insurance vendors. Be sure to add coverage for hazardous sports. Example. Medex $250,000 of coverage, $250 deductible and sports coverage for 1 month in France $146.00
Our transport vehicle can accommodate one large bag for each rider, a big rolling duffle is ideal. Additionally you can bring a personal backpack with laptop, iPod etc. You’ll drop off your bags with our transport vehicle each morning and get them back at the end of the day.
Dress for the Team and the Weather
As outlined earlier you’ll be riding in Rêve team kit. Plain black bibs will coordinate. France is generally hot during the Tour but you can expect one or two rainy days. Mountain summits can be windy and cold, as are the breathtaking descents into the valleys. We recommend a good base layer, a rain jacket, gilet, arm warmers and gloves. If you have fair skin a cycling cap under your helmet is a good idea.
When you get off the bike we highly recommend SKINS compression tights to speed nightly recovery. SKINS suggest you sleep in them.
Finally we were inspired by the successful fundraising efforts of the Tour for Kika team. While it's very unlikely our regular grand tours will raise the substantial sum they managed, we will discuss a common fundraising goal with the 2011 team. Even the sponsorship of friends and family could result in a respectable donation for a worthwhile charity. We'll select a candidate charity and let the team decide if they want to "ride" for others. We hope you do.RETURN > HOME