This is a lovely trip with great scenery, fun people, cool destinations, too much food...

BUT... when things go wrong for one of our fine cyclists we scrape them up off the pavement with a spatula and then we often hear them say, “But no one told me that...”

And so here it is -- all the bad stuff on one page. For 99 percent of you this stuff doesn’t matter one bit -- you are going to have a blast.  But if you would like to avoid being unpleasantly surprised  (or if you just like to read cranky stuff), this is worth taking a look.

Helmets

You must wear a hard bike helmet at all times on the ride.  No helmet/no ride/no exceptions. 

Really. 

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.


Whiners

Whiners will be dealt with in the harshest possible manner.


Our Incredibly Unfair Refund Policy

If you register, pay our $250 deposit, and then cancel within 14 days you get a full $250 refund.  We regret that you lose the $15 or so in service fees -- the registration company won’t give it back to us so we can’t give it back to you.

If you cancel between 15-29 days after you register you have a $250 credit with us that is valid until the end of our 2018 season.

Thirty days past registration there are no refunds or credits of any kind for ANY REASON EVER.  If you must cancel after 30 days we will try to find someone to take your place, without penalty, after the trip is full.

We strongly recommend that you purchase trip insurance. We like these guys here. Lots of options, and reasonable prices. You can go to that page and get an immediate free quote on-line with no commitment and no collection of your personal info. Figure on a premium of ROUGHLY 10% - 15% of the trip’s cost.


Going Your Own Way

This is YOUR trip, so you get to do what you want! Prefer to skip a ride? Skip it!  Don’t want breakfast? Don’t eat it!  We respect independence.

BUT... we can not refund or credit you for portions of the trip you miss. So if you decide you don’t want to dine with us and would rather head off on your own that’s absolutely fine, but we can’t refund you for the meal you missed.


We Don’t Take Attendance

Similarly... we don’t take attendance.  When we state that we are leaving at 8 a.m., well, that’s when we’re leaving.  If you miss that departure -- on purpose or by mistake -- we will not go on a scavenger hunt to find you; we’ll assume you are enjoying your own adventure and that’s fine. In that case it’s up to you to rejoin the tour whenever you’re ready. We’ll provide everyone with a complete schedule so you know where we’ll be and when. 

NOW... having said that, if you call us and say, “Something terrible has happened and I’m running 10 minutes late,” well, of course we’ll take care of you. But otherwise we tend to run a friendly but Darwinistic trip.  (Repeat abusers of the phrase “something terrible has happened” will be spanked. Unless they like being spanked. In which case we will refuse to spank them.)


Non-Cyclists

We assume that everyone on the trip will be pedaling a bicycle. We have longer routes and shorter routes, but we have minimal support for non-cycling travel companions.  If you have a friend or partner who doesn’t ride they are welcome to explore on their own, but we will not be able to shuttle or escort them away from the bike route. They may wind up in one of the support vehicles for a long day before we can take them to the finish line for that ride.


Roommates

Looking for a roommate for the ride? Just email us before you register and let us know. If we hear from someone else of the same sex looking to share a room we’ll introduce you to each other.  Do not register for the ride until we can confirm a match.


Pets

We love pets too but they are not allowed on the trip.


We Are On an Adventure!

We are on an adventure!  No matter how much planning we do -- checking and scouting and re-confirming-- there are bound to be surprises.  (The restaurant we booked for tonight’s dinner burned down this morning...)  We’ll always work like crazy to find acceptable alternatives, but there are no guarantees or refunds.  


A Brief Word About Illness, Accidents, Death, and Cake

We get lots of emails right before all of our rides: "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.

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 birthday cake.

Then something terrible happens.  You get the flu.  You fall down a flight of stairs.  You get drunk and cracks a tooth on a coffee table. Your mean boss decides that you can’t have time off after all.

Horrible. 

Sad. 

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 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 57 people who EACH order a cake that states Happy Birthday Melvin on it and you get the idea.

Thanks for understanding.

HOWEVER... do DO recommend that you purchase travel insurance if you wish. Details here. It could be a huge financial lifesaver if something happens. (And, yes, we HAVE seen things happen, that the insurance company reimburses for, from illness to accidents...)


S.A.G. (Bike Rescue) -- What it Can and Can Not Do

Our S.A.G. (Bike Rescue) drivers are wonderful people, but most of them are NOT bike mechanics. When they pick you up, they will usually not be able to fix your bike. Instead, they will take you to the next rest stop or the finish line, depending on your wishes and the ride schedule.  (If we are in the middle of the ride we probably can’t just leave to drive to the finish line at that moment).  We’ll have a mechanic look at your bike in the morning.

Of course if you’ve just decided that you’ve had enough pedaling for one day, that’s absolutely fine -- that’s what we’re here for.  Happy to pick you up and give you a lift.


Weather & Route Conditions

If it is hot out you may be hot.

If it is cold out you may be cold.

If it is raining you may get wet.

Yeah, this is painfully obvious to 99 percent of you, but we DO get 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 on ride day: “THERE’S A HUGE POTHOLE AT MILE 33.4!” 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 the pedaling portion of an event 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 due to weather.


The Length of the Ride

The first time I rode a full century (100 miles) I was, of course, exhausted at the end. I was in shock when my odometer hit 100.0, but I wasn’t back at the finish. There was another two or three miles to go. I was tempted to just slam on the brakes right there and refuse to go any farther.

SO... I know the feeling. I do my best to get the route mileages to come out just exactly perfect (on account of our new name is The Just Exactly Perfect Brothers’ Band...) but it rarely works out that way. 

In addition, I got in the middle of a friendly yet heated debate one year over which is more accurate for measuring the route:

A car odometer
Computerized maps such as Google or Ride With GPS
My bike odometer
YOUR bike odometer

I promise to do my very best for you, but as our route sheets often state at the bottom, “Mileage figures are highly inaccurate and are for your entertainment purposes only.”


Food Allergies

WARNING: Our peanut butter may contain peanuts. (Duh!)


Marking the Route

Compared to our other rides, there is a lot less route marking for this event.

Why?

Because when we’re doing an amazing ride like our trip along the rim of the Grand Canyon, the directions are basically, “Go straight for 60 miles.  Then turn left at the first traffic light.”

We’ll put that in writing on a handout you can take with you, and we’ll mark the heck out of that left turn, but otherwise we aren’t going to mark that entire 60-mile stretch.

GPS files for all the routes will be available.


Transporting Your Bike

At several points during the trip we will be transporting your bike.

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? 

Good question. 

Many 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 bicycle.  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




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All the Bad Stuff On One Page