We classify our tours as either Local or Epic. Our Local tours are open to all levels of cyclist since the routes we choose can accommodate non-cyclists as well as offering a challenge to stronger riders who can do the daily extra routes on offer. Epic tours, on the other hand, are more geared towards riding longer distances and taking on more challenging terrain. The frequent changing of hotels and the ‘expedition’ focus of these tours makes them less suited to the novice cyclist.
Our grading levels compliment this distinction by providing a more detailed breakdown of the sort of rider that you are. This breakdown corresponds to the way that we classify the difficulty levels of each tour and are based on distance, terrain and time in the saddle. In some cases, this grading incorporates two levels as the tour can contain a mixture of terrain which makes it hard to place it into one classification.
The visual symbol we use to present our grading system is the espresso cup. Our logic is that the harder the tour the more coffee shots you will need to complete it and thus by design our easiest tours are denoted by a single cup – in reality, a cappuccino cup would probably be more apt. Where a tour is deemed to suit participants from 2 levels – if it sits somewhere in the middle – we use a half cup grade. For example, our Provence tour is classified as 1 ½ cups, somewhere between a Cappuccino and a Due espresso!
Distance: 30-50km (18-30miles)
Altitude gain: 200-500m
Time in the saddle: 1-3 hours
Terrain: Flat to undulating
Distance: 50 -70km (30-45miles)
Altitude gain: 600-1000m
Time in saddle: 2-4 hours
Terrain: Undulating terrain, with hills up to 2 km in length.
Distance: 70-115km (43-71 miles)
Altitude gain: 1000-2000m
Time in saddle: 3-5hours
Terrain: All terrain, with hills averaging 3-4km, but up to 10km in length.
Distance: 100-160km (60-100miles)
Altitude gain: 1500-4000m
Time in saddle: 4-8hours
Terrain: Whatever is put in front of me!