We could all use a little stress relief, some fresh air and laughter at this point, those are the things that are at the heart of a biking vacation and they are all still happening and awaiting your arrival. Bike touring uniquely lends itself to a vacationing style that fits these times, small groups and big open spaces. Although we understand that traveling at this moment is not for everyone and is a personal decision, our goal is to minimize the risks where possible and make traveling as comfortable as possible.
During 2020 and 2021 we operated hundreds of tour departures across the USA. We thank everyone who trusted us to conduct these trips. Although quite challenging, and different, our travelers were happy with the modifications and safeguards that we instituted in 2020 to get us all traveling. In 2021, we remained flexible and updated and adjusted our protocols to reflect the current situation in each part of the USA at any given time. Read the thoughts of some of those who traveled with us in 2020 and 2021.
We have been very busy implementing new procedures and protocols for how we conduct our tours, modifying our facilities and vehicles and setting expectations for those who adventure with us! Social Distancing, increased cleaning, and generally reducing opportunities for transmission. We can’t wait to see you on a bike tour with us! Read on for more details of the measures that we have put in place.
Our New Normal
As always, the safety of our guests and our staff is our primary concern, please take necessary precautions to protect yourself before your trip and when traveling. Prior to arrival if you meet any of the criteria for our enhanced screening for COVID-19, please contact us immediately.
First and foremost, please do not come if you are not feeling well or know you have been exposed to the Coronavirus. We’ll be conducting enhanced screening protocols for staff and guests. These will include a temperature reading at the beginning of the trip and a health declaration. If you have a temperature of 100.4 or higher you will have to leave the tour immediately, on the first morning or if you develop a fever at any point on the tour. In the event of this situation, we have protocols in place to minimize the difficulty of you returning to the point of origin of the tour.
Negative Tests for Unvaccinated Travelers: As of September 2021, we require negative Covid tests for unvaccinated travelers. Vaccinated travelers must show proof of vaccination. Thank you for your understanding as we work hard to keep all our guests and staff safe, in the midst of rapidly evolving covid conditions in many parts of the country.
Face Coverings: We request that everyone arrive with a face covering and use it when in close proximity to others. These coverings may include a cotton face mask, a disposable face mask, a bandana or a neck gaiter (Buff style). Wearing of one (and wearing it correctly) is absolutely required when in a vehicle or a building. There are various rules in place in various municipalities, these are our rules for keeping you and our staff safe and healthy. Please respect your fellow travelers and our staff when asked to comply with this rule. This simple act of respect will increase our odds of being able to continue to travel.
Personal Distancing: Per CDC recommendations, we ask that everyone practice social distancing as much as possible during your vacation with us. Visitor centers, attraction entrances, may be busy so please help us by staying appropriately apart from others not in our group. As hard as it may be, we request that you do not shake hands or hug with your guide staff or other guests on the tour.
Personal Hygiene: You will be provided with your own personal container of sanitizer at the beginning of the tour. Larger bottles of sanitizer will be everywhere, yep everywhere. Hand washing stations that we custom built for the Support and Gear trailers will be available in the mornings at the start of the ride and at the support and lunch stops throughout the day. We request that riders keep their gloves and helmets and other personal biking gear contained in their personal bags when not in use.
Transportation: We have restricted the number of participants per tour to 9 individuals, allowing for additional space inside the van. This number will fluctuate based on vaccinated guests and/or those who have recovered from COVID-19 within 6 months of the tour departure. Face coverings are required any time we are in a vehicle, and windows will stay open during transport to promote air flow. Staff will clean and disinfect transportation nightly.
Sag Stops & Lunches: Lunches will be prepared by the guides and handed to you. There will be no self-serve lunches. All support stop snacks will be individually packaged and more along the lines of a plated experience. Water bottle filling, yes we are even going to manage this detail, will be conducted by staff only to further minimize high touch areas.
Dining: We will monitor how meals go – based on the situation at the time in the location of your tour. It may mean we take a break from the traditional large group table, and we toast from afar. When possible, dining will take place in an outdoor venue, absent that option, additional separate tables will be utilized.
Lodging: We partner primarily with smaller and unique lodging partners, the benefit, is we know these folks and we know how seriously each property is taking the guidelines and measures required to keep us safe. We have also had to make some changes to itineraries as some lodging properties have chosen to not operate or are unable to meet our needs.
Equipment Care: Please limit contact with equipment you are not personally using. Our Team has put extra cleaning procedures in place and will instruct you to the individual protocols within the specific tour vehicles and areas where you are riding.
Plan to be flexible as things are changing quickly with the hotels and restaurants that are our partners. As we have seen across the country, what is open one day, may be closed tomorrow. We anticipate longer lines and wait times since restaurants are operating at a reduced capacity and are constantly having to adapt to new challenges. We are continually adapting our itineraries and operations to take into account these evolving challenges.
Thank you in advance for your patience, understanding and flexibility. Together we can ensure that Wilderness Voyageurs will be around to help guide you to a new destination, a trail or a river, discover a new favorite place, and enjoy special moments with your friends and family.