FREQUENTLY ASKED
QUESTIONS

Frequently Asked Questions

Fourteen nights twin-share accommodation in quality B&Bs, hotels, and condos.
Van transport to and from Denver Airport, and throughout the 14 day holiday.
Full guiding, each group of 7-12 guests is accompanied by two guides.
All breakfasts, and a welcome dinner.
Flights to and from Denver.
Meals, other than those listed above.
Travel Insurance.
It’s fair to say our previous guests have had more than a good time and many rate the experience as one of the highlights of their lives. Check out the testimonials section for more details.
A travel agent will have the most up to date information, but most of the larger airlines like Air New Zealand and Qantas fly from New Zealand to Denver, usually via Los Angeles or San Francisco. In our experience, for getting to the U.S, Air New Zealand is the best to deal with. Prices vary depending on the specials the airlines have on at the time, but you can expect to pay in the order of $2,200 – $2,700 for a return flight to Denver from any of the main centres in New Zealand. Be sure to check how any additional charges that might apply to your bike (often, you’re looking at about $200 each way from end to end).
While you can get a decent burger or burrito for about NZ $12 at a bar, a good healthy meal fit for a hungry mountain biker will cost you about NZ$30. A beer or wine is often a bit cheaper than New Zealand prices and will cost you about NZ$7. Of course it depends on how much you buy but if, like most mountain bikers, you eat like a horse, and allowing for an occasional drink, you could expect to spend in the order of NZ $50 a day on food and incidentals.
If you normally ride your mountain bike a couple of times a week at a moderate intensity for a couple of hours each time, (i.e. if you’re a weekend warrior) then you’ll be fine. You will need to be comfortable riding decent hills though and you may find you’ll want to take the short option on some of the rides during the holiday. If you ride more like three or four times a week and sometimes ride for three to four hours at a time, then you’ll be fine also-but you’ll be faster. Because we have two guides on each ride, we can split the group into a faster and cruisier group. But this isn’t a training camp, so we don’t expect you to be racing or to ride as fast as you can. If you ride at your own pace, you’ll have a much better time than if you try to race the others to the top of every climb. While the numbers don’t tell the whole story, as an indication, the tour is eleven days of riding; during that time we ride approximately 400kms, climb 8,700 vertical metres and descend 11,700 vertical metres.Most of our riding days are between three and six hours, covering between 20 to 50 kms, with altitude gains and losses of between 400 and 1400 metres per day. If you have any concerns talk to us and we’ll figure out if the tour is right for you.
Most of the riding in Colorado is singletrack, so you need to be comfortable riding singletrack. The singletrack in Colorado is often very well groomed  butthere are also lots of rocks and roots, and while there are plenty of technical sections that will have you grinning from ear to ear (or possibly walking sections occasionally), the riding isn’t technical like “North Shore” Canadian riding. If you are unsure about whether you are competent enough on Colorado and Moab’s awesome singletrack, give us a call or send us an email and we can talk about it and help you to figure out if this holiday is right for you.  Some quick-learning road riders have come to Colorado as singletrack novices and left being confident singletrack riders.

Also, we strongly recommend if you haven’t taken a skills clinic with mtbskillsclinics.co.nz, that you take one (preferably at least two) before coming. The difference it makes to the bike handling and ride enjoyment of even riders who have 20+ years of experience is incredible. Our guides are also available for pointers and often full lessons on tour, but such lessons work even better if you arrive with the base knowledge already starting to bed-in.

There can be anywhere between 7 and 12 guests on each holiday. Each group is accompanied by two or more guides.
Passionate mountain bikers. Our past guests have ranged in age from their mid-20s to their early 60s (don’t underestimate, the wise-ones, they more than held their own up and down against the younger generations). A third of our guests are women, often with their biking partners but also on their own or traveling with friends. Some have been mountain biking for more than 20 years, some for just a couple of years. Most are from all over New Zealand, with a few from Australia and some from the United Kingdom. One thing is for sure, no matter where they’re from or how long they’ve been biking, some of the biking on the tour will be a new experience for them!
Without a doubt you will feel the effects of riding at heights of 9,000-12,000 feet (2,700-3,700metres). For most people shortness of breath while climbing and being surprised at how quickly you run out of steam on uphills, particularly in the first few days will be the limit of the effects. Very occasionally people will experience headaches brought on by the altitude. However, there are a number of simple steps, for example drinking more water, that will limit the negative effects the altitude can have. After booking you will receive your pre-holiday information pack which contains these simple steps.
Moab is in a desert, so it’s hot. It is certainly considerably hotter than New Zealand in July! It is common for day temperatures to be in the 40s. However, it is a very “dry heat” and many people find this dry heat easier to handle than a humid heat. Because it’s hottest in mid afternoon, we hit the trails early and we are off the trails by midday, usually as its getting around the low 30s. Getting out early means we’re not riding in the hottest part of the day, and it gives you time to laze under the shade of a tree in Moab’s local park or to cool off in the local pool just down the road from our condos for the rest of the day. Of course, our condos are air conditioned and there is a pool…
There are lots of other activities you can do in Colorado other than riding your bike. For example, in Salida you could go white-water rafting on the Colorado River. Crested Butte is a great town to just chill out with a beer or a coffee and watch the locals glide by on their cruiser bikes. The steam-train from Silverton to Durango is an incredible trip through stunning mountains and a great way to step back in time for a day. In Moab you could take a jeep ride on Slickrock, or an incredible balloon ride over Canyonlands. But be warned, whichever day you take off the bike, the others will tell you that you missed the best singletrack in the world-and they’ll be right!
Most of our guests book around October/November/December the year leading up to the tour or around January/February. But we have taken a booking just two weeks out from the tour departure. Booking early means you don’t miss out (and you get a discount) but talk to us if you’re doing this last minute because we might have a space available.
You need comprehensive travel insurance in the U.S. There’s no equivalent to ACC, and the cost of health care is enormous, so if you are injured, or if you get sick, insurance is absolutely necessary.  Talk to your insurance company or your travel agent for more advice.
We think a dual suspension bike with about 110mm – 160mm of travel front and rear is ideal. We’ve ridden 26ers 27.5ers and 29ers and loved them all but we’re more and more impressed by the new wave of trail-oriented 29ers and 27.5ers. We don’t recommend hard-tails on the tour – they’re far too punishing for multi-day epic riding. You can hire a good quality full suspension bike in Colorado for about $65 a day – talk to us about if you’re thinking about this as it’s not as simple as you would expect to arrange yourself, but we can make it work. Some guests buy new bikes to be there when they arrive – we can help with this if you’re considering it. While this can be a good option if you have other travel plans before or after your tour, we otherwise think it’s a good idea to bring your own bike, because you are familiar with it and you know how it handles.

We like dropper-posts a lot. If you don’t have one, seriously think about getting one before the trip or talk to us about why. The increase in safety and fun (and speed if you’re looking for more) can’t be underestimated.

Single-ring drivetrains are great for simplicity and we’ve sometimes used them guiding. But…you need a small enough climbing gear to overcome the big climbs and the oxygen-sapping altitude. We wouldn’t go bigger than 30 tooth, for either 29ers or 27.5ers. 28 tooth and even 26 tooth rings are valid options…

“It can be hard to find people in everyday life who really “get” mountain biking so it was great to spend time with 12 / 13 people who are crazy about it.”
Kirstie Mackey, Auckland, 2011 tour.