How it works FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is this suitable for?

Rides are designed for everyone, not just experienced cyclists. We welcome solo travellers, groups, couples, families and anyone with a social, outdoorsy or adventurous mindset. You will need to be at least 16 years of age.

How fit do I need to be?

Rides vary in length and elevation. On all rides we aim to limit mileage to 35-45 miles per day so we think it's sufficient to be moderately fit and able to ride a bike confidently. A guide will always cycle at the rear with the most casual riders so you'll never be without support and there is no minimum expected pace. The ride is supposed to be enjoyable! We've also given each ride a 'Difficulty Grading' to help you make sure it's suitable for you. Most rides are 'Easy' to 'Moderate' but it's best to check before you book.

How fast will we ride?

This is very much up to you. One of our guides will cycle at the rear with the most casual riders and will maintain a slow and steady pace. Those who wish to ride more quickly are welcome to race ahead. All riders will be given smart phone friendly, turn-by-turn directions and a GPX navigation file so you don't need to stay with a guide if you don't want to.

I am travelling alone. Is this a problem?

No! Our rides are fun, social and great for solo travellers. Our friendly guides and support staff will be there to ensure the group is looked after and there will be plenty of opportunities to meet and chat to others whilst cycling and, on multi-day rides, in the evenings at the pub or around the campfire.

Are families welcome?

Yes, families are welcome to join rides. However, you'll need to be at least 16 years of age to join a ride and we ask that anyone under the age of 18 is accompanied by an adult. If you have any questions about accommodating families please get in touch. If non-riding or younger family members are travelling to the festival by alternative means (e.g. by car) they are welcome to join riders at designated campsites along the route.

Are there age restrictions?

The minimum age for riders is 16 and riders under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. In certain circumstances we can be flexible on this and if you have any questions about the age requirement for members of your party please get in touch.

Do I need to bring my own bike to take part?

In 2018, yes. You will need to bring your own roadworthy bike to take part in a ride. We recommend that you have recently had your bike serviced, ideally no more than 6 months before the ride. If you do wish to hire a bike we are happy to advise on what kind of bike would be most suitable but we can't currently organise bike hire for you. We'll gladly take a hired bike back to the ride start point in our support van, but please note we cannot do this until the final Monday after the festival.

What kind of bike is suitable?

Through route testing, we believe all of our rides are suitable for road bikes, hybrid bikes and mountain bikes. On some routes, there will be stretches of river- and canal-side riding. These stretches can be slightly more challenging for a road bike if the weather is bad. If conditions are really bad, we will make a judgement in advance of the ride and may choose to take an alternative route to ensure the riding is comfortable for evreryone. On a lighter note, we would absolutely salute you for doing the ride in adventurous ways such as on a recumbent bike! If you have any concerns about suitability of bikes please get in touch and we'd be happy to advise..

What if I change my mind after booking?

If you change your mind once you receive our booking confirmation, that’s OK. Provided you let us know within 7 days of receiving your booking confirmation, you will receive a full refund. However, if you change your mind 60 days or less before the ride start date, cancellation fees apply. If you need to cancel please let us know as soon as possible. We will always try to be reasonable. The terms you agree to be bound by as part of your booking are:
- If you cancel more than 60 days before the ride start date we will provide a full refund.
- If you cancel between 30 and 60 days before the ride start date, you will lose 50% of the money paid.
- If you cancel less than 30 days before the ride start date, you will lose 100% of the money paid.
We strongly advise you to take out adequate travel insurance to cover this.

Do you do refunds

Our policy is as follows:
- If you cancel more than 60 days before the ride start date we will provide a full refund.
- If you cancel between 30 and 60 days before the ride start date, you will lose 50% of the money paid.
- If you cancel less than 30 days before the ride start date, you will lose 100% of the money paid.
We strongly advise you to take out adequate travel insurance to cover this.

Is my money protected?

Yes. We have what is known as Financial Failure Insurance. Your money is protected in the event that Red Fox or one of our suppliers becomes insolvent. We've included the legal bit below as provided by Zurich Insurance PLC, our insurer:
Red Fox Cycling Ltd is a company committed to customer satisfaction and consumer financial protection. We are therefore pleased to announce that, at no extra cost to you, and in accordance with ''The Package Travel, Package Tours Regulations 1992'' all passengers booking with Red Fox Cycling Ltd are fully insured for the initial deposit, and subsequently the balance of monies paid as detailed in your booking confirmation form. The policy will also include repatriation if required, arising from the cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Red Fox Cycling Ltd. This insurance has been arranged by Towergate Chapman Stevens through Zurich Insurance PLC.
Claims
In the unlikely event of Insolvency, you must Inform Towergate Chapman Stevens immediately on +44 (0) 1932 334140 or by email at tcs@towergate.co.uk . Please ensure you retain the booking confirmation form as evidence of cover and value.
Policy exclusions: This policy will not cover any monies paid for Travel Insurance or any claim relating to Air Flights. Please ensure the Company you have booked with has the appropriate CAA / ATOL Bonds in place.

I want to book but don't yet know if friends can take me back. Can I book now and add return travel at a later date?

Yes, you can book now and add return travel package at a later date. Our website doesn't currently enable you to do this, but we expect this to be in place by the end of April 2018.

I am booking a multi-day ride. Can I book now and upgrade my accommodation at a later date?

Yes, you can book now and upgrade your accomodation later. If you contact us at richard@redfoxcycling.co.uk at least 2 weeks before the ride start date then we should be able to make changes to your accommodation (availability dependent with 'comfort' accomodation).

We are a large group. Do you do custom group tours?

Yes, if your group is 8 or more please contact Richard on 07525 371 579 or at richard@redfoxcycling.co.uk and we can talk to you about organising a custom group tour. We'd be happy to propose a plan even if not all of your group is cycling.

Which festivals do you organise rides to?

In 2018, we will run guided rides to up to 10 music festivals across the UK. Visit our Book a ride page to find out more. Looking forward to 2019, we would like every music festival in the UK with an audience size of over 5,000 people to partner with us to offer a viable cycling alternative. If you would like us to run a ride from where you live to a UK-based music festival please tell us. If there is enough demand, we'll set up up a ride for you!

You don't run a ride to the festival I am attending and from near where I live. Why not?

Like you, we want cycling to be a viable travel option for every music festival in the UK and for it to compete with travel by car, rail and coach. We can only run a ride if we have at least 10 people traveling from the same start location. We will add more festivals and more ride start locations in 2019 but there's no need to wait until then. We'd love to hear from you if you would like to suggest a new route to us!

Where do the rides start?

From London, we start at a railway station well connected to the rest of London by London Overground and, where possible, National Rail. These services allow non-folded bikes outside of peak times and enable you to travel between different parts of London fairly quickly.

From Bristol, we typically start at Bristol Temple Meads Railway Station. The station is well connected by National Rail into the South West of England and wider Somerset areas. In all other regions, we select the ride start point on a case by case basis but always with ease and convenience in mind.

Is the ride guided?

Yes! There will always be a dedicated support team, with at least one ride leader, to help make the experience run smoothly and ensure that everyone has a fantastic experience. All of our guides are first aid trained, competent bike mechanics and experienced ride leaders. We also have a great team of volunteers who support the ride leaders. That said, if you prefer to self-navigate or cycle at a fast pace, there is no obligation to stay with the guides and ride leaders.

How do I get my bags and camping equipment to the festival?

We will carry your bags, tent and camping equipment in our support van. You'll have access to all of your gear when we arrive at the festival or, on multi-day rides, when we stop at our accommodation each evening.

If the ride takes more than one day where do we stay overnight?

As part of the standard ride price for multi-day rides, we book you a basic pitch in a pretty, remote, rural campsite. Campsites are always 'full service'. That means toilets, hot showers and washing up facilities. We'll hand you your tent as you arrive and you'll pitch it yourself. We offer two upgrade options. The first is 'Camping Plus'. This means we provide a tent and pre-pitch it for you so it's waiting for you when you arrive at the campsite. We also take it down for you in the morning. For those who prefer a little more comfort, we will book you into a B&B, yurt, shepherd's hut, bell tent, guest house, country pub or hotel. This will usually be located near to the campsite but we cannot always guarantee this.

Is a festival ticket included in the tour price?

No. In 2018, we will not offer a combined festival ticket and cycling travel package. We may partner even more closely with festivals to offer this in 2019.

How do I get myself and my bike back from the festival?

For a small fee, we can organise for you to return home by coach and we will transport your bike back to the ride start point in our support van. You'll collect it from us when you get off the coach. Alternatively, if you have a friend who is driving back and has room for you and your bike, this might be a better option for you. Car sharing helps to protect the environment too.br>

Do I need to train?

We encourage you to make a judgement based on the route distance and guidance we provide, and your own fitness and level of cycling experience. We would always recommend you train, and are fit and and healthy, not just because it's good to be fit and healthy but also so you can spend more time enjoying the wonderful scenery and points of interest along the way!!

Do you provide route maps and directions?

Yes. We provide smart phone friendly, turn-by-turn directions and a GPX navigation file for those with bicycle computers.

I want to bring my Garmin / bike computer. Do you provide a GPX navigation file?

Yes. We provide a GPX navigation file in advance of the ride.

Do I need insurance?

It is good practice always to have the necessary insurance in place to protect against personal accident, loss of belongings and cancellation of your trip. If you are a UK resident, you do not need medical insurance because access to the NHS is universal and this includes any accidents or emergencies that should occur on the ride. Please read our terms and conditions for more information about insurance or get in touch if you can't find the answer to your question or are a non-UK resident.

What do I need to bring for the ride??

Once we start the ride, you are unlikely to have access to your bags and camping equipment until either our lunch stop or the end destination for the day. It is critical you bring a bicycle helmet, a secure bicycle lock, at least one spare inner tube, at least one pre-filled water bottle, front and rear bicycle lights (in case of an emergency), a fully charged mobile phone and at least £20 of emergency cash. We would also advise you to bring a bicycle bell (to alert pedestrians and farm animals), an emergency energy snack, sunglasses and a camera. A small rucksack or saddle bag is probably a good idea too.

Do I need to wear a helmet?

Yes. You will not be permitted to take part without a bicycle helmet.

What should I wear?

Choosing what to wear is, in our opinion, all about safety and comfort. We cannot allow you to participate without a bicycle helmet. We recommend padded cycling shorts or trousers, a breathable t-shirt or cycling jersey, padded gloves and comfortable cycling shoes or trainers. To protect against bad conditions, we also recommend taking multiple layers of warm, breathable clothing, a wind breaker and waterproof outer shell. Waterproof trousers are also a good idea. You may want to apply chamois cream to prevent clothing from rubbing. This can make a really big difference on long rides. Having said that, we understand you are going to a music festival, so even if you choose to do the ride dressed as a giraffe we strongly encourage you to take our advice and pack a spare clothing bag in case conditions turn!

How do I get to the ride start point?

Clearly, we want it to be as easy as possible for you to get to the ride start point. At least one week before the ride, we will provide you with a mini pamphlet to help you plan your journey. Typically we recommend three ways to travel:

By train
The ride starts at Bristol Temple Meads Railway Station. The station is well connected by National Rail to the South West of England and wider Somerset.

By bicycle
You don't need to carry your bicycle if you're riding it! If you have a relatively short journey to make from home to Bristol Temple Meads, and feel you can do it safely, you could attach your tent and any other items to a rucksack and cycle there. We'll provide more guidance on this in our pamphlet.

By car
Bristol has many car parks and park and ride facilities, so you could choose to leave your car in Bristol over the festival weekend. Alternatively, you could ask a friend for a lift or take a taxi. It is easy to book a larger vehicle through Uber (in areas which have access to Uber) and most minicab firms. We recommend booking in advance and will provide more guidance on this in our pamphlet..

How much equipment will you carry per person?

We can take one large bag (up to 20kg) per person and one tent. We'd like to let you take more but we don't want to overload our poor support van. If you need to take other items, please contact us. We may be able to make exceptions and will always try to be flexible.

Will you carry alcohol in the support van?

You are allowed to bring alcohol as long as it doesn't exceed your equipment allowance of one large bag (up to 20kg) per person and one tent. We cannot take separate crates of beer, bottles of wine or spirits.

How many guides will cycle with the group?

We aim to maintain a ratio of 1 guide to every 10 riders. It may be slightly less, it may be slightly more. Of course, those who prefer to cycle alone, at a fast pace or self-navigate may not want or need the services of a guide, and this is also fine. We'll always make sure our guides are not overstretched and can give enough attention to everyone in the group.

What is the maximum number of riders on each ride?

There is no maximum. If you want to ride, we want you to come join us. To keep things organised and manageable, we'll split up large groups into smaller groups, most likely based on pace.

Do I have to stay with the guide and group during the ride?

You can, but you don't have to. Each of our guides will navigate and lead a group of riders from the ride start point to our destination each day. If you'd prefer to ride with our guide and chat to a group of other cyclists, this is fine. If you'd prefer to self-navigate or cycle at a faster pace than our guides, we are happy for you to do so. You should do whatever works best for you..

What kind of routes can I expect?

IRides have been designed to be as scenic and safe as possible and keep us away from heavy traffic. Typically we'll be on sealed roads, primarily national cycle routes and country lanes, but sometimes we will join river- and canal-side paths to reach stunning views or avoid unsafe A and B roads. These can become boggy in bad weather but we will always make a judgement in advance of the ride and, if conditions are bad, we will take an alternative route to ensure the riding is comfortable for everyone

Do you provide water?

Yes. You'll have plenty of opportunities to replenish your water supplies along the way. We recommend setting out with two full water bottles (of at least 500ml capacity each). We will carry a large water container in our support van which you are welcome to use at our snack and lunch stops.

What happens if I get a flat tyre or there is a mechanical issue I cannot fix?

Most of our ride leaders are trained bike mechanics and will be happy to help you with any mechanical issues. In the extremely unlikely event a problem occurs which we cannot fix, don't panic. We'll be able to pick you and your bike up in our support van.

What happens if the weather is bad?

We will run the ride no matter how bad the conditions are. We will, of course, risk assess the route beforehand to make sure it is safe and does not cause any increased risk of injury, and we will make sure we have shelter and the chance to dry off over lunch.

What do I do if I get lost?

We only advise self-navigating or cycling alone if you are a confident, competent cyclist and would not be distressed by getting lost. You'll have a GPX navigation file and smartphone friendly turn-by-turn directions, and should be able to use your smartphone to get back onto the route. If you are still stuck, we will provide emergency contact numbers for our ride leaders who will gladly direct you back onto the route.

Do you provide any snacks?

Yes. We'll have at least one snack stop, served out of our support van. We do recommend you bring something of your own as an emergency energy boost in case you should need it!

Is food included in the ride price?

Lunch is usually included in the tour price for each day's riding, and breakfast is included on every morning following an overnight stay. Each of our rides states clearly what is included. Dinner is not included in the tour price. However, almost all of our partner campsites are located a walkable distance from a local pub and, in some cases, we may even host a BBQ.

Where do we have lunch?

Usually lunch will be served out of our support van, but sometimes we may ask a local pub to prepare and host lunch for the group.

What do we have for lunch?

This varies from ride to ride. You should expect some combination of sandwiches, soup, fruit and sweet snacks but we change things around quite frequently. If you have any special dietary needs (for example you are vegan, vegetarian or have allergies) you'll be able to tell us during the booking process.

Can you accommodate special dietary needs e.g. vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free?

Yes. You'll be able to tell us during the booking process and we'll prepare lunch and snacks accordingly.

What happens when we arrive at the campsite?

Our support van will be waiting for you. We'll hand over your bags and camping equipment so you can pitch your tent. If you have chosen Camping Plus, we'll already have pre-pitched the tent for you.

What happens when we arrive at the festival?

We'll help you lock up your bike in the festival's secure bike storage facilities and hand back your bags and camping equipment. We might trouble you for a celebratory group photo before you leave! We'll work with Shindig Weekender to determine the most effective way to get your hot shower wristband to you. We'll provide more information about this closer to the time.

I've ordered a pre-pitched tent. How does this work?

When you arrive at the campsite, you'll see that we have already pre-pitched one of our tents for you, and have most probably put your bag inside. We'll also take it down for you in the morning. We highly recommend this. It saves you a lot of effort for just a little more money.e.

What facilities will campsites have?

All campsites are what we would call 'full service'. That means they'll have toilets, hot showers, fireweood and electricity. Some will also have fridges and freezers, washing up facilities and a farm shop.me.

What do we do in the evenings?

This is up to you. All of our campsites are located a walkable distance from a local pub where you can have dinner or start the festival celebrations early. We'll ask you in the mornings before the ride starts if you'd like to join the group for dinner, and we'll make a group booking on your behalf. We may also make a campfire or host a BBQ. In most cases, our campsites are in the countryside so if you're not too tired from the day's riding there are plenty of options for walkers! Of course if you'd prefer some privacy in the evenings, you are more than welcome to do your own thing.

What are the general rules on campfires, noise, music and alcohol in the campsites?

Each campsite has different rules on this. We will always be allowed campfires and many of our partner campsites sell or hire fire baskets and firewood. As a tour group, we must always follow the rules of each campsite. As long as we are respectful and show consideration for others, most of our partner campsites have a fairly relaxed attitude towards noise, music and alcohol. If you do intend to stay up late, please infom us so we can reserve you a pitch away from the rest of our group. Please be aware, we reserve the right to ask you to leave the tour if you do not follow the campsite rules or jeopardise the experience for others.

I'd like to book 'comfort' accommodation. How does this work?

If you upgrade to 'Comfort' you'll be staying in a hotel, B&B, guest house, country pub, bell tent, shepherds hut or yurt. We'll try to book you somewhere a walkable distance from the camping group but we cannot guarantee this. It depends on what is available in the local area. As with basic camping, we'll deliver your bags and camping equipment to your accommodation in advance so it's waiting for you when you arrive. Our guides will make sure you find your accommodation each evening, or we'll simply point you in the right direction if you prefer to self-navigate.

When do we arrive at the festival?

We aim to arrive at the festival late afternoon or early evening, but this should be no later than 6pm.

What happens when we arrive at the festival?

We'll help you lock up your bike in the festival's secure bike storage facilities and hand back your bags and camping equipment. We might trouble you for a celebratory group photo before you leave! If the festival has offered any perks or rewards which involve us giving you a pass (such as a weekend wristband for upgraded toilet and shower facilities) we'll give you these as we hand back your bags.

Where will my bike be stored over the festival weekend?

Your bike will be stored in the festival's secure bick lock-up facilities. These vary by festival but every festival provides some facilities to securely lock up bikes. In some cases, the bicycle lock-up area is stewarded. In other cases, festivals provide a container or rack. We'll provide more information about this closer to the time.

Will I have access to my bike over the festival weekend?

Maybe. We'll provide more information about this closer to the time.

How do I get back home after the festival?

This is up to you. If you purchase a 'return travel package' from us during the booking process, we will organise for you to return by coach and we will transport your bike back in our support van. We'll hand your bike back to you as you get off the coach.br>

What time do the return coaches leave?

It depends. Often, where a festival has a preferred coach operator such as Big Green Coach or National Express, riders will travel back on the same coach as all other coach travellers. In other cases, we will put on a private coach for riders. We'll provide more information about this closer to the time.

I've booked a return travel package (coach and bike). How do I get my bike back?

We will transport your bike back in our support van. We'll hand your bike back to you as you get off the coach..

I want to do the ride for charity. Can you help me do this?

Yes and well done! We'll send out a link to a Just Giving page set up specifically for the Shindig Weekender ride. You'll be able to choose which charity you fundraise for.

Which charities should I raise money for?

This is up to you. Get in touch with us if you'd like some inspiration.

I have a different question. How do I contact you?

You can reach us on richard@redfoxcycling.co.uk or 07525 371 579.