Who benefits from the proceeds from the GREAT GAP Ride? The proceeds from this event provide funding to the Allegheny Trail Alliance and the groups that make up the Great Allegheny Passage.
How do I sign up for this tour? You must fill out an On Line Application Form and make a deposit to reserve a spot. Reservations cannot be made over the phone, nor can we hold spaces without the application form and deposit. You can fill out an application form and put down a deposit by clicking this link: Sign Up Now!
What is the deposit amount for this tour? We ask that you put down $250.00. Should you choose to cancel more than 75 days prior to departure date, all except $100.00 is refundable. The full deposit is non-refundable for any cancellation made less than 75 days before departure.
What is GAP Rides cancellation and transfer policy? Should you need to cancel your reservation for any reason, you must notify GAP Rides immediately in writing via US mail or e-mail: email@example.com Note: See deposit policy above..
GAP Rides cancellation policy is as follows: Cancellations 60 days or less before a trip: loss of full trip cost.
No refunds will be given: For maps, books received by participant; For a participant's late arrival for a trip If a participant chooses to leave a trip for any reason after the trip start date. Once a trip has started, for food, services or overnight lodging for which a participant paid but did not use.
GAP Rides reserves the right to cancel or combine trips. If this results in a revised departure date unacceptable to a participant, the participant's payments will be refunded. In addition, the number of participants on a tour may be adjusted in response to demand or facility availability.
Transfers between tours are allowed within the same calender year with a transfer fee of $100.00 fro each participant transfers are not permitted once a tour has begun.
In order to maintain reasonable trip prices, GAP Rides does not make exception to the above policy.
NOTE: Avoid purchasing non-refundable travel tickets before confirming through GAP Rides that your trip is a definite go 60 days prior to the trip start date.
Does GAP Rides recommend travel insurance?
Our sincere wish is for every trip participant to attend and complete their chosen trip. In an effort to plan for the unexpected personal emergencies, health issues, weather, and transportation problems that may cause you to cancel your trip, travel insurance is strongly advised. Please consult your insurance agent about cost and coverage.
Who goes on a GAP Rides tour? The average age of our participants is typically around 50, and we also have folks in their 20's and even some in their 80's. People come from all walks of life- from all over America and the world- to participate in our tours. For some participants, this is their first tour, others may have ridden many over several years. Most people come to see new things, meet new people, and challenge themselves.
What kind of riding conditions can I expect? The trail surface is a vehicle free packed limestone and firm. We select our of trail routes to avoid high traffic and metropolitan areas, though groups may choose to take side trips into urban centers. One participant likened our routes to a stringing together of each area's best day ride. However, you will sometimes ride in rain, sometimes ride in brilliant sunshine, and most likely will experience headwinds and tailwinds during a tour. It may get very hot, sometimes cold, extremely dry at times, and incredibly humid all in one tour, especially on our longer rides.
What will my tour leader/staff members be like? The goal of GAP Tours Tour Leaders/Directors and Staff is to make your trip the best experience possible. They attend to the logistics of your tour and ensure that the day runs smoothly. All are certified in first aid and CPR, and many are trained bicycle mechanics. Supported tours are complete with roving mechanics who patrol the route in order to assist you if you have a problem, as well as staff members who’ll provide you with snack breaks along the way.
The staff can’t do absolutely everything for you however. Their purpose is to facilitate your touring experience. They will provide leadership and support, but in some ways you must rely on yourself. On our tours, even a novice will learn how to read a map and repair a flat tire. We believe this enhances everyone’s sense of accomplishment, adventure, and enjoyment.
When is indoor lodging available? The GREAT GAP Ride is double occupancy B&B accommodations.
The EFI Tour is a camping tour with indoor lodging available as an option each night at designated facilities. A list of lodging facilities will be include with your trip packet info.
What will the food be like on the EFI Ride? Catered meals with generous portions will be provided on the EFI Ride. There will be a hot breakfast and evening meal. You will make your own lunch from a buffet in the morning before you leave camp. There will be one rest stop each day providing snacks and drinks.
What will the food be like on the Signature GREAT GAP Ride? We fully realize the importance of food on your Signature adventure of the Great Allegheny Passage.
A full hot breakfast will be provided each morning before we hit the trail.
We will generally stop at a nice restaurant for lunch. We have a catered trailside lunch planned on one day.
A gourmet dinner with a trip related program will be provided each evening at our overnight location.
Snacks will be provided at rest stops twice each day. It is suggested each rider bring along a snack to enjoy at the location of their choice.
Please let us know of any special dietary needs you may have.
WARNING! The quality of meals may lead to weight gain!
When can I buy an airplane ticket? When is the trip a guaranteed “go?” When GAP Tours determines whether a tour is a guaranteed “GO” 60 days before the start of the tour. We do not recommend buying non-refundable airplane tickets until a tour is officially a “go."
If you can’t wait to purchase your plane ticket, please contact the Tours office or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org We can probably tell you if it is safe to buy a plane ticket or if you should wait until the official “GO/NO GO” date.
What are my chances of getting on a fully booked tour? That really depends. Our rate of attrition on tours tends to be around 20%, so if you sign up for a “full” tour early on, your chances are relatively good. We’ll put you on the waiting list, and we won’t charge you anything. Then, if a spot opens up, we’ll contact you, and, if you’re still available, you can take the available space. If you’ve already made other plans, you’re under no obligation.
What is a fully-supported tour? We will transport all personal and group gear by van for you each day. After breakfast you can ride at your own pace and enjoy a rest stop about half way to the lunch time trail side catered meal. There will be another rest stop mid afternoon before we reach our destination for the day. Your gear will be delivered to your B&B and waiting for you when you arrive. Any minor maintenance to your bike can be taken care of by our tour mechanic after dinner each night. In a nutshell, you can enjoy the ride and we'll take care of the details!
Am I physically prepared to go on a cycling tour? The GREAT GAP Ride is a beginner level tour. The van is available at rest stops for anyone who feels they've had enough riding for that day. The route is a gently sloping rail trail and nearly level in many places.
On our trips, every rider is allowed to ride at his/her own pace, so you'll generally have all day to complete the distance. Slower riders (or those planning on lots of photo ops!) can plan to leave earlier in the morning, while those expecting to zip through the miles may linger over coffee. Typically, folks who ride at a similar pace end up as riding buddies, sharing each day's ride.
How can I get in shape to go on a GAP Tours self- contained tour? Start Early Four months before the start of your tour you should be riding a bike: whether it is inside on a trainer, on the road or on a mountain bike. If you have had a long lay off from riding, work on riding at least three days a week, even if it is only for 30 minutes at a time.
Build Gradually Check out our tours to find out what the longest day of your trip will be. Over the course of the next four months include a longer ride once or twice a week. Build your long ride mileage so that it is eventually 5-10 miles longer than the longest day you will ride in your tour. You should be built up to that mileage two weeks before your tour.
Spice It Up Our tours often contain many different kinds of terrain. Training on short steep hills, flat windy roads and long sustained climbs will help you prepare for anything you might encounter on a GAP Tours event. Don’t be afraid to tackle the biggest hill or windiest valley then turn around and do it again, in reverse.
Consistency Matters Try to ride as often as you can. You may be surprised, but riding for 45 minutes a day six days a week will leave you in better shape than one six hour ride a week. You may not have your legs used to long rides, but you will be accustomed to getting on a bike every day, and that’s what touring is all about.
Other Options Don’t fret if you can’t get on a bike for some time; staying active is key to a fun tour. Hiking, elliptical machines, swimming, stair climbing, cross-country skiing, and running can all help you maintain your fitness while away from the bike. While biking is always the best choice, these alternatives are much better than resting on your laurels, waiting for the chance to get on the road again.
What type of bike should I use on your off-pavement tours? We recommend a mountain bike with 26-inch wheels, front suspension, and knobby tires. It is possible to use a hybrid bike (700c wheels) or even a cyclocross bike in certain areas, but a mountain bike is the most versatile choice. For more detailed information about equipment selection, check out the article titled "Choosing a Bike for the Great Divide."
On trips that include rail-trails and/or bike trails, we recommend at least a 700x32 tire with an aggressive tread.