Excellent Bike Tour!
My husband and I had a fabulous time on the Strasbourg, France to Mainz, Germany bike tour September 6-13th. We arrived a day early and loved walking around and exploring the beautiful city of Strasbourg.
Our bikes and information were dropped off the day before our trip and we were off early the next morning. We would highly recommend having a data plan to download the GPS maps offered to your phone. These maps show you exactly where you are at all times! Would also be very beneficial to have a cell phone holder for the handlebars on the bikes.
We rode mostly on bikepaths and trails and occasionally on roadways. The terrain was mostly flat and winding around farmer’s fields, through towns and cities, and along or near the Rhine. Our favorite town was Speyer, Germany the day we were on our way to Heidelberg. The main street had beautiful, colorful buildings, a lovely, church, quaint shops, and a fabulous clock tower.
The hotels provided were clean, centrally located, and had friendly and helpful staff. Silka at Hotel Schwert in Rastatt went above and beyond helping us with all of our questions and requests! Thank you Silka!
After our first day of our Eurobike tour, we were fortunate to have met another couple also travelling on the same tour. We decided to travel together and the four of us spent the rest of our trip biking and having a great time together!
This was our first bike trip and we loved it! The weather was beautiful and the biking experience was fabulous!
Tour instructions were outdated, and hard to follow
The cities we visited were great, and so were the hotels. I was warm, so air conditions would have been nice, but not a big deal. The tour instructions consisted of a generic book with instructions, and a generic set of maps. The maps were not that detailed. When the maps disagreed with the instructions the maps were right. The signage along the routes changed since they made the instructions . We were told to look for a large E along European bike paths, but it appears to have been replaced by a circle with 15 inside it, i guess for the # of countries in the EU. The bikes were great. The luggage was always delivered on time. I downloaded a Eurobike app to help with the directions, but it did not work well. In order to update my positions I had to quit the app, and restart it. The Biketours people did suggest a new app, RidewithGPS, that worked much better. Because they did not have cues the pass could not tell me ahead of a turn, but it did tell me if we go off course.
I think the local tour company, Eurobike, needs to update their instructions. I also would appreciate if they made unique instructions for each tour. The instructions start and end at a city center. When we got close I would use google maps to find the hotel directly, rather than going to the city center and then to the hotel. My ideal would be a unique set of instructions for a tour, with small maps above or below each instruction. We have had that with other tours, but different providers. On this tour I could not mount my instructions and maps so I could see both while riding, I picked the instructions. In some cases they recommend stopping at a certain place for lunch, but you cannot see if from the tour route, and there is no map to locate it.
Strasbourg France to Mainz Germany
Great value. Would have appreciated option for rooms with AC even if it meant a higher cost. Would have appreciated a sticker with the arrow and the E in order to see the actual size. The signage was much smaller than we expected and did not find any until the second day. Also, the instructions need to be rewritten by a native speaker who is actually biking the route. The instructions appear to be translated from another language. Much was lost in translation. The instructions were confusing. We originally thought the instructions were in British English until we met up with couple on the same tour from Manchester who found the instructions as confusing as we did. (There was a brand new app for navigation this year but none of us were able to get it to function on our trip. Once the bugs are ironed out, I suspect this will help a lot. We used Google maps to assist in navigation.) I would suggest giving stickers to actual bicyclists to place over top faded stickers or to add stickers in areas of confusion. Overall, it was a good experience and am very glad we did this tour.
Beer and Wine Along the Rhine with Martin Luther as a Travel Companion
My wife and I have previously done the BikeTours.com tour from Munich to Salzburg as well as the Loire Garden and Chateaux Tour and greatly enjoyed both of those. We invited good friends who are also cyclists to join us on this tour. All of us agreed that it was one of our best vacations ever and having
friends riding with us added to the pleasure. We do the tours "self guided" and enjoy the freedom of being able to explore off route if we want to. For example, on this trip we rode up into the vineyards near Nierstein, Germany which was not on the route but gave us some beautiful views and a wine tasting at the Huff Winery. There were a few days with some light rain but nothing that we were not prepared for. We stayed in the Category A hotels which were all of excellent quality and located close to the attractions we were interested in seeing. The written directions and the "E" stickers on posts along the way were often missing or confusing but the GPS offered by BikeTours worked very well. I would strongly recommend that anyone doing this tour "self-guided" absolutely plan to use the GPS mapping. The local tour company, Eurobike, does an excellent job. We have never had even the first problem with the bicycles or any of the services they provide.
Responses from Biketours.com
We're delighted to have helped you on your third BikeTours.com tour and to hear that it was a great success! Your experience is exactly what we hope to bring to clients on each tour. It's a pleasure to have the time to explore sites, scenery, and of course, vineyards. We think these are some of the best parts of a vacation. We'll be sure to work with our partner operators and improve at keeping you on the right path. Thank you very much for your feedback!