UPDATED May 23, 2024

BY The TDA Team

IN Cycle Touring Advice

no comments

UPDATED May 23, 2024

BY The TDA Team

IN Cycle Touring Advice

no comments

Thinking About Joining A TDA Tour But Not Quite Ready Yet?


Maybe our world map of bike tours has caught your attention and maybe you love to ride, but have never joined a group cycling tour, let alone some of the longer, more ambitious routes we offer in far flung destinations. Maybe it’s something you are considering for the near future, or when you retire. Whatever it is, start here. This blog lays out 5 things we find a lot of people ask about when they first hear about our tours and get captivated by the idea but can’t quite imagine this as a real possibility yet.

If you are ready to sign up you can choose a tour here. If you are in the I’m just browsing phase, this blog should be very helpful, but as always please feel free to reach out to us anytime if you have other questions.

1. Can I do it?

The big question with a simple answer – yes. Yes, you can.

Maybe your big concern is your age or your fitness level. There are men and women from many countries across the globe that participate in these tours. They are just regular people like you – we proudly promote and encourage everyone to give these adventures a try. You will surprise yourself at what you are capable of.

We recently shared a series of videos with some motivational messages from our participants as they pedalled on one of our tours. Take a look, and maybe you could imagine yourself in their cycling shoes some day.

While a tour is often long and full of challenges, we provide excellent support to help you achieve more than you thought possible. The key is to come with the right attitude and some determination. Of course it is also important to prepare yourself physically and to take advantage of all the support TDA provides you before the tour begins too. Remember, we carry your bags, arrange the route and accommodations and have world class staff to support your journey.

“You can do this. I didn’t start cycling til I was 42. I didn’t go on my first tour until I was 59!” Hear more inspirations from our riders here.

>>>RELATED: You Are Never too Old to Cycle the World

2. Do I have to ride the whole day?

It’s important to remember that these are supported tours – we are there for you and our support vehicles have space to carry bikes each day.

“This is a common concern for someone who has never done a tour with us before – there is a natural fear of being too slow or being left behind. Rest assured, our staff do regular attendance to ensure everyone is accounted for and are ready and willing to give you a ride in the support vehicles if needed…Of course everyone’s goal is to cycle as much as possible – it is a cycling tour after all. We know that the people who are happiest on tour are usually the ones that don’t try to grind out every last inch, but instead they are more strategic and save some energy and save their body for the days ahead. Sometimes pushing too hard means you end up having to take more time off the bike to recover from fatigue or overuse injuries.” Read more.

>>>RELATED: What to Expect on TDA tours

3. What type of bike do I need?

A durable versatile bike is ideal. Something with wide tires and a wide gear range – typically a touring bike or gravel bike work really well on most of our tours. We have an excellent blog with detailed information on choosing a bike – you can find it here.

We don’t recommend bringing your finest high end racing bike but something that can take its knocks and be a sturdy companion for you throughout the tour. So carbon fibre road bikes are not recommended – neither are full suspension mountain bikes. Having the right equipment means you will get the most out of the experience and give yourself the best chance of success.

>>>RELATED: How to choose a bike for the Tour d’Afrique

4. Is it hard to travel with a bike?

If you have never travelled with your bike before, it might seem like a big hassle. What we have learned over our 20+ years in business is that once you arrive, everyone agrees that it isn’t as bad as people thought and (more importantly) it is well worth it.

“People often wonder if their bicycle will get lost or damaged in transit or how they’ll move two bags and a bike box through the airport. In this blog, we demystify the process and help you feel assured that it is very doable– with the one day of transiting rewarded by weeks or months of cycling adventures on the bicycle you love and know best.” Read more.

And don’t forget, we have a bike mechanic on every tour and they will be there to assist with reassembling the bike once you arrive at the start location.

5. How much time do I need to prepare?

We recommend registering 6 to 8 months in advance to take full advantage of all the pre-tour support we provide. You pay a non-refundable US$150 registration fee. Once you are registered, you will receive a series of email bulletins to help you and your riding colleagues prepare for the tour – we cover everything you might not have considered – entry requirements for each country, items to pack, safety and weather related topics and so much more. Then two months before the tour starts, we host a live video info session (also recorded if you can’t attend live) with TDA’s operations team and previous trip leaders who can provide extremely valuable and specific info about your trip – no question goes unanswered and we do everything we can to arm you with knowledge as you make your final preparations.

In the meantime, we also have this excellent series of blogs on many of the key aspects to consider when preparing for a tour. Check them out here.

>>>RELATED: How to Find the Tour That’s Right for You

So that answers some of the most common questions we get. Do you have others? Post them in the comments below.


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