Why Escape by Cycle
Our cycle tours have been carefully designed to be fun, safe and stress-free. You don’t need to worry about anything – we provide the best bikes, the best food and the best accommodation. We do all the organizing for you and leave you to relax and enjoy the experience. We have developed each itinerary over many years of trial, and the occasional error! We balance the cycling, meals and some time for rest and recuperation to give you the best overall experience, without any of the hassle.
There’s a lot of confusion about what is meant by “fully-supported” and “self-guided”. We provide the perfect balance of both. Before your tour we fit the bikes to each person and explain how to use them properly. On the first day of the A2O and ATM, where there is no road access, one of our tour guides rides at the back of the group to ensure you don’t have any problems. But generally we do not ride with you on the trail. Instead, we provide clear briefings before each section of riding and let you enjoy the trail at your own pace. Your tour guide drives the van in support, setting up drinks breaks and picnics at key points along the way.
Vehicle support is hugely important and frequently overlooked. If anyone gets tired or needs a rest, they can simply jump in the van and skip a section. Or in a more serious situation, our staff are first-aid qualified and are on hand to provide rapid assistance. We also monitor the weather conditions and can reverse ride certain sections to avoid having to ride for hours into a big headwind! And we can often adjust the daily itinerary to suit the weather conditions and needs of the group. If it starts pouring with rain and you’d rather ride that last 15km the next morning, no problem! These things can mean the difference between an amazing experience or a serious ordeal.
A bike can make or break your cycle tour. You need to be sure it rides well, fits you properly and won’t break down! You’d be amazed at the number of people we come across in the middle of nowhere with a broken bike and nobody to call.
We are extremely proud of our bikes. They are top quality, well maintained and perfectly adapted to the trails we ride. We have them serviced after every tour by the best bike mechanics in Queenstown. Our bikes are of a higher standard than anyone else on the trail. This is exactly where we want to be. People love our bikes so much we often get asked if we will sell them at the end of the week.
Ebikes, in particular have evolved hugely in the past couple of years. They are now lighter, more agile and ride much more like a real mountain bike. Forget the old upright, hybrid ebikes using out-dated technology. Times have moved on!
We have a new fleet of 25 of the best ebikes available, in a full range of sizes. They are state-of-the-art, German engineered , equipped with the latest Shimano technology and a battery that lasts all day. We provide full instructions how to use your ebikes on every tour.
If you’ve never tried an ebike, you absolutely must! They let you zip up the hills and glide along the trails like your floating on a cloud! They are super easy to use and fun to ride and take all the hard work out of riding long distances. If you want more of a workout, you can simply turn down the level of support. No longer do you have to be a hardcore cyclist to come on a cycle tour. Anyone who can ride a bike with even a basic level of fitness can now enjoy our cycle tours. For most people – both serious cyclists and novice riders alike – once they try an ebike, they never look back. If you have any concerns about riding one – please see our testimonials (below).
Our cycle tours take you off-the-beaten track to explore remote parts of the real New Zealand. There are no luxury resorts or 5-star hotels in these areas. Having a small group allows us to stay in boutique bed & breakfast, country cottage and luxury lodge accommodation. They are always immaculate, comfortable and provide a sense of the local character and charm.
All rooms are either double or twin-share. Generally all rooms have private en-suite bathrooms. However there is one exception. On the first night of the A2O, we stay in a truly unique location at a remote high country station cottage overlooking the lake and mountains. This one location has shared bathrooms. All other rooms on all other tours have private bathrooms.
Food is one of the most important parts of our tours. We go out of our way to take you to the best restaurants and cafés, catering to the highest standards. We love great food, made from fresh local produce with lots of variety and we cater to all dietary requirements. People frequently tell us the food on our cycle tours far exceeded their expectations.
We are famous for our make-your-own picnics which we set up at beautiful places along the trail. These typically include a selection of fresh bread, wraps, dips, cheeses, cold meats and salad. Drinks breaks include a selection of teas, plunger coffee and bottled water. We also have unlimited snacks on tour – fresh fruit, nuts, oat and muesli bars, sweets, liquorice and chocolate-coated coffee beans to keep you powered up. When other cyclists see our picnics on the trails, suddenly everyone wants to join the tour!
Being one of our tour guides takes a special kind of person. It requires expert knowledge of the cycle trails and the surrounding area. They can tell a good story and share interesting commentary on the places you visit. They must be organized, fun and entertaining as well as patient, kind and supportive. They can manage complex situations, set up amazing picnics and have excellent problem solving skills. They work long days, have amazing attention to detail and are trained to deal with any situation which may arise. Above all, they are committed to exceeding your expectations and help you have the best possible New Zealand cycle tour holiday.
Do not be fooled! Not all cycle tours are created equal. Some offer a lower price for a basic package and then add on lots of additional costs for bike hire, meals, hot tubs, helicopters, transport… and you end up paying much more than you thought, without the quality. Others provide the basics – a bike and shuttle for your luggage – but without an experienced guide or vehicle support. Which is fine until something goes wrong and you’re left stranded in the middle of nowhere. Beware cheap bikes – they can ruin your whole trip!
We offer one all-inclusive price for everything you need to have the best possible experience – we’ve been perfecting our cycle tours for over 10 years and we take pride in delivering the “wow” factor! We don’t compromise on quality. If you look carefully at what is included, you will find our price is very reasonable. And you can rest assured that you’re getting the best cycle tour on the market. Without any hidden costs.
Please see a comparison of our Alps 2 ocean cycle tour, with all of our major competitors: