FREQUENTLY ASKED NIAGARA CYCLING QUESTIONS

Please browse our FAQ's for the answers to some of questions we hear often. If you don't see your answer here, please give us a call and we'll be happy to answer any questions you may have!

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Here Are Answers To Our Most Common Cycling Tour Questions


Q What type of terrain will we be cycling on?
A Niagara on the Lake is host to Canada’s best cycling trails and bike paths. Although we cycle on all types of terrain it is mostly flat terrain and intended for all ability levels; beginners to intermediate alike and are ridden at a leisure pace by our experienced, local tour guides! You will enjoy cycling along country roads, through vineyards and various trails.
Q How difficult and how long is the cycling duration, what level of fitness do I need to be in?
A Each tour has a different length of time and distance offered. Typically cycling from one vineyard to another is about 10-20 minutes, stopping at each. You should be prepared to participate in light to medium exercise without pain or discomfort, we route our tours so that guests are on and off our bikes throughout the day, usually 15-20 minutes at a time.
Q Arrival Location
A All cycle tours begin and end at our Cycle Touring Centre located at 443 Butler St. @ Mary St. along the Waterfront Trail, located in Old Town in the Heart of Historic Niagara on the Lake. If you are travelling from the GTA area please allow yourself enough travel time to arrive safely to Niagara on the Lake. Busy weekends can take up to 3 hours! Our tours do depart on time; late arrivals will be caught up to the group.
Q Is there parking close by?
A YES! We have both street parking and parking lots located across the street in both directions from our location. We suggest you choose a parking lot; parking is enforced by the town and can be paid at automated parking stations by either coin or credit card.
Q I have a dietary restriction, can this be accommodated?
A Yes! Please make us aware of your dietary restriction in advance so we may make our best effort to respect these. Due to the nature of the tours, not all dietary accommodations can be made at all stops for full meals and other culinary experiences.
Q Do you operate your cycle tours daily?
A Yes! We do operate our cycle tours daily, we recommend reservations prior to tour departure date to ensure the tour you would like to book is running that day.
Q Are reservations in advance required?
A

Yes! We do require reservations in advance so we may prepare for guests arrival.

We require full payment of our tours and rentals by credit card at time of booking and accept both Visa and Mastercard.

Q Can I just show up to the tour centre?
A You may, however, reservations guarantee you on the cycle tour you would like to participate in. Tours may be cancelled without notice when reservations for certain tours are not made in advance.
Q What is the best time to book?
A There is no best time! We cycle May to mid-October when the weather in generally comfortable and suitable for cycling. May, June and October typically have cooler nights, and October has cooler days too! Our Fall, Harvest season is a beautiful time of year with the changing of the leaves and autumn colours. July and August can be hot and humid but may be tempered by the rushing air and close proximity to the surrounding lake and river.
Q How soon do I need to book my tour?
A If you have set your date for arrival into the Niagara area, advance recommendations are recommended. We typically book 3-6 months in advance of tour dates.
Q What happens in the event of rain or other inclement weather?
A

We did try negotiating a deal with Mother Nature this year; however, we could not get her to agree to perfect cycling weather every day this season!

So … regarding weather, our tours go rain or shine, it is all part of the wine country experience! In the case of rain, we do have rain ponchos available for sale in our Touring Centre. If it does begin to rain hard, our groups just hold up in the winery a little longer!! We usually don’t have any objections to this!

Most of the time, even if rain is forecast, it doesn't rain more than an hour or two; If it is a light rain, and deemed safe conditions we will ride- but recommend you wear a light rain poncho or waterproof outer layer.

Niagara-on-the-Lake is a micro-climate with less volatile weather than surrounding areas. Safety is a priority for our guest’s; cycling tours do not proceed in lightning. We typically have wonderful weather. If we are forced to cancel a tour, we do our best to accommodate same day with a similar tour by vehicle, we may rain check for a future date.

Tours that are cancelled after departing, that have begun participating in a partial tour receive our best efforts to accommodate everyone by vehicle for the tour. We have a saying like the West Coast, “just wait 10 minutes and the weather will change”. All this said; we have never had to cancel a tour.

Q How to Dress
A

Layering is always the best approach! We suggest guests bring along light weatherproof jacket and dress appropriately for both the weather and comfort. “You can always take it off but can’t wish it on!” We do have rain ponchos available.

We do recommend that you check the Niagara on the Lake region forecast 1-2 days prior to your trip and plan accordingly. Comfortable, athletic breathable clothing is the best to cycle in. Feel free to wear cycling gear; please note our pedals are not interchangeable to allow for shoe clips.

Q What is Included?
A

Each tour offering indicates the number of wineries we visit and the type of culinary stop. All touring and tasting fees are included. Each winery offers a minimum of 3-4 tastings and ice wine is also included on each tour.

Your Tour Guide will mark all of your individual purchases throughout the tour to keep each organized for you and /or your party for distribution at the end of your tour.

Q What is not included?
A Many of the fine wines tasted on our tour are only available for purchase at the wineries making it an extra special experience! Any wine purchases would be extra. Applicable taxes are extra (13%) and any wine purchases you make are not included in your tour rate.
Q Are gratuities expected or included?
A

Individuals booking our daily tours do not have gratuities included in our daily rate. Private hosting or groups of 6+ guests are typically charged prior to tour departure to make their experience more enjoyable; with less to be concerned about, the day of the tour.

Gratuities are appreciated by your local, experienced tour guide and may be provided directly or prepaid by credit card or elect to have this added following your tour. Gratuities in Canada are typically based on the pretax amount at a similar rate of other service and hospitality industries; rates range from 10-20% based on guest satisfaction.

 

 

Q Bike Selection for Tours
A

We have a wide variety of bikes guests can both choose to ride and be fitted for. We have over 100 bikes with a variety selection of hybrid touring bikes and cruisers; unisex, male and female. When you call to book, you will be asked the height and gender for each guest participating in our tour. This will assist us to prepare for your tour, prior to your arrival. In particular, we are looking to determine if you are one of our guests are taller than 6.0” or shorter in stature, under 5.2”; we do have special bikes we set aside for guests falling into these categories. If you would like to bring your own bike you are welcome to do so. Simply make us aware you are doing this upon booking your tour.

May we recommend bringing a hybrid bike and not a road bike since we travel on a variety of terrain on our tours; bikes paths, country roads, vineyards, horse trails, please note you would need to support your own repairs, we are not able to provide these on location if required. Seat and saddle switching is not permitted.

Q Can I bring my own bike?
A If you prefer to bring your own bike, road or mountain bike or touring-you are welcome to. Please note, you would be required to support your own breakdown while on tour; please plan to bring a small repair kit with spare tire tube. Feel free to bring your own helmets, cycling gloves and other cycling gear if you wish. Bike seats may not be interchanged. We do offer a discount of $10.00 for your tour.
Q Bike Equipment
A

Each bike is equipped with a handlebar pouch for guest’s valuables. For those guests who have found that may have “over packed” for their tour you are able to leave what you feel you won’t need in our Touring Centre or in your vehicle, we do not have lockers to store your personal items. If you find you need to take it “off” along the way, personal items will be left with our purchases in the wineries and will arrive back when at the end of your tour with wine purchases.

We also have bottle holders or “cages” that will include a complimentary bottle of water to begin with. Your tour guide will encourage you to refill this along the way at each of the wineries.

Q Do I have to wear a bike helmet?
A If you are over 18 years of age in Ontario, it is your choice to wear a helmet. You are required to sign a liability waiver prior to joining our cycle tours or renting bicycles. You are welcome to bring your own bike helmets if you wish. Helmets are mandatory in Ontario for guests under 18 years of age; above 18 is optional. Daily sanitized helmet rentals are extra; at an additional rate of $4.00 each.
Q Do I need to sign a Liability Release Waiver?
A Yes, all our guests are required to sign a liability waiver provided prior to your tour. Cycling is not a dangerous sport; however caution and attention to the road and other cyclists must be paid at all times. It is possible to fall and be injured due to rider error or other hazards on the road or outdoor conditions. Your Tour Guide will review basic bike and road safety for all guests prior to tour departure, this takes place during your check in. Your safety and enjoyment on our tours are our priority!
Q Additional Cycle Touring Information
A

We do not provide a support vehicle that follows our cycle groups. Our experienced, local tour guides are professionals that cycle our routes regularly; they are equipped with First Aid Kits and cell phones. They are certified as professional Tour Guides in Niagara Parks, CPR and First Aid. Our bikes are all professionally maintained on a regular basis; if there is a problem, we always have support for our guests on tour that are just a quick call away!

Once you have been booked and confirmed on a cycle tour you are NOT able to switch the day of to a vehicle for any reason. All of our wine tours have different offerings and routes and are pre-booked into the wineries and restaurant venues.

Q Cancellation Policy
A

Daily Tours for Individuals

Daily tours and rentals cancelled before 4pm, three days (3) days prior to the date of the tour will be fully refundable, less administration fee. Cancellations are only accepted by telephone. Please Note: A $25.00 administration fee, per person, will apply for tours that are cancelled or rescheduled once your tour has been confirmed, after which tours are non refundable. No-shows or late arrivals are non-refundable. A re-booking fee of $25.00 per person will apply if tour is changed, transferred or re-scheduled once tour is confirmed. Cancellations are only accepted by telephone. We reserve the right to change winery or restaurant venues. Please Note: Niagara by Rail Tours are non-refundable.

Private Tours for Groups

Tours and rentals cancelled before 4pm, fifteen days (15) days prior to the date of the tour will be fully refundable. Cancellations are only accepted by telephone. Please Note: A $25.00 administration fee, per person, will apply for tours that are cancelled or rescheduled once your tour has been confirmed, after which tours are non refundable. No-shows or late arrivals are non-refundable. A re-booking fee of $25.00 per person will apply if tour is changed, transferred or re-scheduled prior to thirty (30) days from the tour date. Cancellations are only accepted by telephone. We reserve the right to change winery or restaurant venues. Please Note: Niagara by Rail Tours are non-refundable. Transportation fees are non refundable.

QDo the venues stay the same?
A Routes and venues are subject to change without notice to accommodate local circumstances and ensure safety Please note we pride ourselves on fresh itineraries throughout wine country to ensure a wonderful wine country experience.


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