Ever wanted to ride an iconic alpine col, challenge yourself on an overseas sportive, or simply go up a gear from your normal cycle commute or weekend ride? Well now’s your chance…
Our drop bar trips are carefully designed to take you over the best roads and most iconic climbs a destination has to offer, but being adventure specialists we also want to make sure you fully experience the culture of a destination too! You won’t find large soulless hotel and piles of plain pasta on an Exodus cycling trip, our small group style allows us to design tours using independent hotels in authentic towns, eating in local restaurants, stopping at small cafés and seeing parts of a country that mass tourism can’t visit.
Our drop bar trips are Exodus road tours turned up to eleven! You get the same great support from our experienced guides, mechanics and local teams, but drop bars means longer distances, more challenges, more ascent and of course, more descent! Weather your challenge is to make it to the top of one mountain or to ride over 10; we have a trip for you.
All our drop bar cycling holidays are fully supported; this means that our local team carries everything you might need for the days ride and are always close by to hand out snacks, water, warm clothes and encouragement when needed. All our guides are competent mechanics and qualified first aiders so should you have a mechanical or an accident we have you covered.
What is a cyclosportive?
Also known as Sportives or Gran Fondos, these are long-distance mass participation cycling ‘events’ typically held annually. Sportives challenge riders to complete a set course, usually between 100km and 200km, within a specific time. The events often replicate professional race routes and there is usually a choice of distances to appeal to a wide audience. Many are fully supported with marshals, mechanic cars and excellent food and water stations where you can rest and refuel. You may find yourself riding with up to 10,000 other cyclists, all sharing the same goal, very much like the cycling equivalent of running a marathon.
All of these trips are designed for drop bar road bikes which are ideal for the challenging terrain. Due to the large amount of climbing on many of the trips, either a compact (50/34 tooth) or triple chainset is recommended. In addition you could consider fitting up to a 28 or 32 tooth rear cassette. Quality road bikes are available for hire locally on most tours if you prefer not to travel with your own bike. Feel free to bring your own saddle and pedals for additional comfort and familiarity.
Fitness and experience
Due to the challenging nature of the riding on these trips, a good level of road cycling experience and fitness is important. That said, the basic routes are manageable for most regular fit cyclists with one or two cols to climb each day. Trips featuring a sportive event will be tougher as they feature a challenging event, whatever your fitness level you should be prepared to push yourself and spend a long day in the saddle on these trips.
The fitter you are before you go, the more likely you are to enjoy the trip and feel confident in your ability to complete the rides. Although it is impossible in the UK to replicate the climbs of the Alps and Pyrenees, with some focus on stamina and plenty of hills you can prepare yourself well. Booking onto a holiday like this is a great incentive to get out, ride on a regular basis and get fitter!
"To me the attraction of competing on a bike is a mixture of things. I ride with girls in a team from all over the world, so it’s a mixture of travel and meeting people from different cultures and then just the challenge of being the best that I can be. Tour of Flanders is my favourite race, it’s definitely a challenge and for anyone to say that they’ve completed the route is pretty special."
Lizzie Armitstead – Team GB Olympic Silver Medal Winning Cyclist
Andy Ross, Exodus Cycling Programme Manager, writes about Riding the Etape du Tour (January 2013).
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