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Bike tours can vary hugely in terms of riding expectations, what bikes you’ll be riding and what gear you’ll need, how well you’ll eat and drink, and how tired you’ll be at the end of every day. 

And booking a bike tour can be nerve-wracking if you’re not sure what to expect. So, we wanted to bust a few myths that you might believe about bike tours. We asked people who’ve been on our inGamba tours what they wish they had known ahead of time—and it showed us that a lot of people have misconceptions about bike tours before they come ride with inGamba. In fact, the most common response was a simple: “I just wish I did this trip sooner!”

So, what were they worried about?

cycling in switzerland

MYTH: “You need to be fast to do a bike tour”

“No one cares how fast or slow or how much you ride on your tour, they just want you to love riding your bike,” says one inGamba rider. It’s true. The inGamba tours are all designed for different ride abilities—very few riders climb at the exact same speed, and that’s why we have multiple guides on each tour and often split into smaller groups and regroup along the route. In fact, one of our favorite guides, Eros Poli, is known to hang out towards the back of the pack, so if you want the best conversation, don’t be the fastest rider up the climb. And definitely don’t let your day get spoiled by wondering if you should be going faster—our guides want you to go at the pace that makes you happy!

MYTH: You need to bring multiples of everything

Some bike tours require you to bring a new kit for every day of riding. Not inGamba. With custom Castelli kits for every rider on the tour, and laundry service every day, you don’t need to bring doubles. That said: If you have a preferred pair of bib shorts, feel free to bring them to ensure maximum riding comfort throughout the trip. We also suggest making sure you double check your packing list for the little extras, like gloves, glasses, rain jackets and armwarmers. “Why? Because having the perfect apparel set up for the day makes every day better,” one inGamba veteran says. “You never know what mama nature may bring!”

MYTH: You should focus on pedaling, not snacking

Our motto is “Mangia, Beve, Bici,” which translates to, “Eat, drink, bike.” We take that seriously, and every meal with inGamba is designed to be as delicious as humanly possible, with only the best wine and coffee to drink. “Eat all the food, drink all the coffee, enjoy all the aperitivos and all the wine!” one past inGamba rider recommends.

MYTH: It’s a race to the finish

Our hectic lives have made us less-than-great at taking time to relax and simply enjoy the moment. Remember, this isn’t a race, it’s a tour. It’s a vacation. It’s a retreat. It’s okay to take a climb a little slower or stop to take a photo or two. “Don’t be intimidated by a high mileage day, or a day with lots of climbing,” says one past rider. “You have all day to do it. Slow and steady works just fine.” This is your time—enjoy it! No matter what pace you ride, you’ll still end the day with a professional mechanic tuning your bike while you get a fantastic massage from an inGamba soigneur before enjoying a delicious dinner where you can swap stories about your day on the bike with fellow riders.

MYTH: You need peak fitness to go on a bike tour

At inGamba, you actually may miss out if you’re too fast on the bike! Spend your day racing to the finish and you’ll miss taking time to take in the stunning vistas and the mountain passes. But if you relax and enjoy the ride at your own comfortable pace, you’ll have the change to soak in the sights, and gossip with our guides—mostly former WorldTour riders—about their favorite moments in racing. (If you’re not sure if you’ve been riding enough to make it through a tour comfortably, check out this article for some training tips so you can feel great about your preparation.)

Molly Hurford

Molly is the author of Fuel Your Ride, and a Precision Nutrition-certified coach. Her writing has appeared in many leading publications, including Bicycling Magazine and Outside. When she's not writing or coaching, she loves ultra-running and racing on trails, riding bikes, or hiking with her mini-dachshund DW.