All the Bad Stuff on One Page
This is a lovely ride with great scenery, fun people, wonderful crew, too much food...
But I can guarantee you that someone is going to have a terrible time.
You see, on every ride we do there is a consistent one percent of our fellow cyclists that have a really bad time of it.
When things go wrong for one of our fine riders we scrape them up with a spatula and then we often hear them say, “But no one told me that...”
And so here is -- all the bad stuff on one page. For 99 percent of you this doesn’t matter one bit -- you are going to have a blast. But if you would like to avoid being in that unhappy one percent (or if you just like to read cranky stuff), this is worth taking a look.
Our Incredibly Unfair Refund Policy
Once you register, you can get a full cash refund if you notify us within 14 days.
If you miss that 14-day deadline but notify us before May 18th at noon, you can get a full credit for your $500 deposit only. That credit is valid for any of our rides and has no expiration date.
After May 18th at noon we can not issue any refunds or credits for any reason. Ever.
SO... we strongly recommend that you consider buying trip insurance . That way if something happens where you can’t attend the trip you’re covered. This insurance is offered by an excellent insurance company that has paid out many times to our cycling friends over the years. Every trip we do we get a last-minute plea from a cyclist with an emergency -- trip insurance covers you and gets you a refund.
Prices for the insurance? Depend on the options you pick. Feel free to go to the insurance site and play around -- no commitment or credit card required. No sales pitches or phone calls.
Obscure Trivia Note
I’ve been putting on swell rides for more than 20 years now -- it’s my full-time job, and I expect to do this for another 200 years. But if my poor little company ever goes broke or I die in a horrible ice-cream-and-pie related accident, all ride credits will have zero value, OK? OK.
A Brief Word About Illness, Accidents, Death, and Cake
We get lots of emails right before the ride: "Even though you have a no-refund policy, I need a refund. I can’t ride because I am sick and I have a note from my doctor to prove it -- would you like a copy of the note?"
No I would not.
We believe you (and your doctor) but it's like this:
Suppose I'm a baker and you order a 10-foot tall cake for your birthday.
Then something terrible happens. You get poison ivy. You fall down a flight of stairs and break your nose. You get drunk and crack a tooth on a coffee table.
We understand why you no longer want the cake.
But when you placed your order, I purchased perishable ingredients. I added extra staff. I bought Cake Insurance (OK... just go along with me here...)
I don't need a note from your doctor.
I believe you.
Fate has dealt a wonderful person like you a completely unfair hand for no good reason at all.
But one of us is about to lose the price of the cake, and it's going to be you or me.
And me being the poor and cranky guy I am... it's going to be you. (There must be a MUCH nicer way to say that, but nothing comes to mind just at this moment...)
Now imagine that I have 20 people who EACH order a birthday cake and you get the idea.
Thanks for understanding.
You must wear a hard bike helmet at all times on the ride. No helmet/no ride/no exceptions.
Oh yeah, and while we’re being mean, no earphones or cell phones while you’re pedaling either. If you break these rules, we will kick you off the ride and everyone will laugh at you. No refunds.
Everyone on this trip has one thing in common -- they are on vacation, and they don't want to hear any whining, no matter how justified it may be.
If you are unhappy or have a problem please feel free to contact any of the bike event staff and we will be glad to help.
Weather & Route Conditions
If it is hot out you may be hot.
If it is raining you may get wet.
Yeah, this is painfully obvious to 99 percent of you, but we DO get unhappy emails...
We work constantly to find the best routes, but if there is a pot-hole or a nasty bit of uneven pavement, it is up to you to work around it. We often get frantic screaming phone calls: “THERE’S A HUGE POTHOLE AT MILE 23.4!” We understand your concern but there is remarkably little we can do about this on ride day. (Our personal paving machine and steamroller are both still in the shop, waiting for spare parts.)
The only time we cancel pedaling for the day is if the weather is so bad that we believe that your life would be in danger out on the route. (Lightning, tsunami...) We do not issue refunds if we have to cancel the ride. (Why? See above under Our Incredibly Unfair Refund Policy). Please consider travel insurance.
Transporting Your Bike
If we are transporting your bike during the ride it will travel in one of our private trucks.
We are cyclists with expensive bikes too, and we are gentle with all of the bikes, but even under the best circumstances, bad stuff can happen to you unfairly, so please heed this warning carefully: DURING THIS EVENT YOUR BIKE MAY BE SCRATCHED, DENTED, BROKEN, BENT, OR DESTROYED. WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE TO YOUR BIKE -- LARGE OR SMALL -- AND WE DO NOT PAY FOR BIKE DAMAGE.
In other words, if you see one of our staff jumping up and down on your bike we promise to kill them, and we will pay for damage to your bike. But if your bike gets a flat tire, scratched, banged, dented, bent, broken, or destroyed accidentally, we can not be responsible, and we can not reimburse you. This may be the wrong ride to bring your one-of-a-kind, Dura Ace 25th Anniversary Edition, custom-painted-by-Ernesto Colnago-himself-bicycle.
Why the hard line on bike damage?
Years ago I was the tour director of a ride where a cyclist swore that we scratched the paint on the bottom of his bike. (You know -- the bottom -- where you can’t see it...) The solution that he proposed was that we pay to have all of the components removed from his bike, have the bare frame shipped to Italy where it would be hand-painted, then shipped back to the U.S. and reassembled. Estimated price way back then: $3,000. Were we responsible for that scratch in his paint? I don’t think so, but who knows?
So rather than risk bankrupting our little company every time we ride, we just put this mean policy in place instead.
I’m reminded of our high school drug dealer youth-group leader. He was the first person I ever knew who had a custom-built bike. He had a dream that he dropped the bike and scratched it, and he never rode that bike again.
You are on an adult adventure and adult adventures involve risk.