All our cycle tours have a full time support vehicle. We use a variety of vehicles from smaller Toyota hi-ace vans to larger 22 seat coaster buses. Just which vehicle we will use is dependant on group numbers and location. For example, in Shikoku we use the smaller vehicle as our groups are smaller and the narrow roads make navigating a coaster bus a whole adventure in itself!
Our support vehicle has one very important role. That is, to support you on your ride. Within the constraint of each day's ride and spread of cyclists the vehicle will ensure that all luggage has been delivered to that night’s accommodation prior to the arrival of the first rider. This allows you to settle in at your pace and enjoy the delights of that night's inn. The vehicle sweeps the route regularly keeping an eye on you and ensuring back up in the event of breakdown or to provide snacks. The vehicle can also be used if you want a break on any of the big climbs and each day during the ride briefing, specific climbs will be highlighted as vehicle optional climbs.
Our tour leader will give you a detailed breifing on each days ride. This is usually in the morning but if we have a very early departure then the briefing may be the evening before. You will receive detailed maps for each days riding and GPS route data is also available for those that require it.
Our guided tours are all accompanied by a skilled bicycle mechanic. They will help assemble your prize posession on arrival, repackage at the end of the ride and keep it going in between. This inlcudes adjustments to gears, brakes and other issues that you may encounter, as well helping you with any flat tyres that may occur. Although on that point, the roads are mostly free of broken glass as the Japanese tend not to throw stuff out the windows of their cars, so flat tyres, although they do happen, are a rareity.
Although our tour leaders can fix most bike problems, some modern electrical gearing systems are difficult to field service so for this reason, as they are new on the market we don't recomend you bring bikes with this equipment. Some other bike repairs also may require specialty equipment which we may not carry.
Those moments between when you get off your aircraft in Japan and finally get on your bike are the in between bits, the almost forgotten bits. And if you are using public transport they can not only drag out but can become tedious and difficult. For this reason we use private coach transfers both on arrival and departure for all our guided tour schedules. For example, we use a private limousine coach from the airport hotel at Kansai airport, Osaka to the start of our ride in Shikoku.
For our guided Hokkaido ride, we meet you on arrival at the airport in eastern Hokkaido. Having your own private coach roll up to the front door of your hotel or meet you at the airport is a great way to relax into your Japan cycle holiday. Please note that small groups and small private groups may have the option to use public transport organised, arranged and escorted by one of our bilingual leaders if it meets their requirements and budget.