There's lots of information within these pages, but we thought we'd address the most common questions our guests have before traveling with us. If there's anything else you need to know that you can't find within the site - please don't hesitate to drop us a line! Happy trails....
Where are you located and where do you offer tours?
Dirt Gypsy Adventures (DGA) is located in Truckee, California, about a 3 hour drive from San Francisco and 35 minute drive from Reno, Nevada. We believe we're positioned in one of the best mountain towns in the US of A, but encourage you to pay us a visit to make that call yourself! We offer guided cycling trips in the greater Truckee-Tahoe area and also throughout the Western US. Have a look at our itineraries and trips for more details related to specific destinations and tour packages.
Pre-trip booking & the reservation process
After contacting Dirt Gypsy Adventures (DGA) and finding a tour and date you are interested in booking, a deposit will be due equal to 50% of the trip price. We will send you a pre-trip guest information form to complete after receipt of the deposit. The balance for the tour is due 90 days prior to the trip start and a pre-trip packet will be sent to you approx. 30 days before the trip start. For information regarding our terms and conditions, click here.
Shipping or traveling with my bike
DGA is partnered with local shops in the regions we travel to give our guests the ease and simplicity of shipping their personal bikes to use while on tour. Contact our office to make arrangements and for pricing/information. Please allow at least 1.5 weeks to have your bike shipped, received, and assembled. Repairs and major adjustments are not included in the price quoted for bike assembly and builds. Please have your bikes clean, tuned, and in good working order if bringing your own.
Bike, helmet & gear rentals
DGA is happy to arrange for rental bikes and helmets to use while on tour. As we operate trips in multiple locations, the rental bike selected may vary in make/model. Don’t worry; you’ll be riding a current model year demo bike, and based on your preference, the terrain on the tour, and current availability you’ll have a few options to choose from. We strongly recommend renting a full-suspension bike for all of our mountain bike tours and carbon road bikes for our road tours – not only do they make trails and roads more comfortable and the technical sections more navigable, but they’re also more fun! Helmet rentals are included with bike rentals and also available separately.
What to pack
When DGA mails you a pre-trip packet after you've paid the balance of your tour price, it will include a comprehensive packing list. It covers all the items, down to spare cleats, that will ensure you’re not left high-and-dry when you arrive for the trip.
Choosing a tour & ability ratings
We know it can be a tough decision when it comes to choosing a tour with all the options that we have available, so we have a few ways to help out with this. You can reference the Intensity Index listed on each of our itineraries. It gives an average rating for both aerobic and technical challenges so you’re aware of what you can expect. A comprehensive breakdown on our Index can be found here.
Terrain, elevation & distances
While on a DGA tour, you’re bound to encounter a wide variety of terrain, landscapes, environments, and climates. Mountain and road biking are great in that they allow you to quickly and efficiently travel between valley floors and mountain summits relatively quickly, but that means there’s some inherent sweating and exertion. Although our itineraries from one month to the next may change slightly to highlight where trails and routes are in the best shape, we list typical daily averages for distance and elevation so you have a good idea of what you can expect. These metrics and the intensity rating should help guide you onto a tour that is suitable for your ability & level of fitness.
Van support on mountain bike tours can often times be absent for large portions of our rides, restricted by that wilderness factor we’re throwing ourselves into! Don’t be alarmed, our guides are well prepared to look after you and there’s always communication lines in place in the event that you’re ride needs to be called short – voluntarily or otherwise. Rest assured, our guides are well-oiled and orchestrated machines when it comes to supporting our riders at all chances possible. Depending on group sizes and the number of guides present, vehicle support can vary as well, but you're safety and level of comfort are paramount in our objectives. We'll go over the vehicle plan each day before the riding begins so you're informed of what to expect. During our road tours, the support vehicle has an amazing knack of being there quite often so you can travel light.
To maximize the experience for all parties involved (namely to ensure the highest level of safety & quality on your outdoor pursuits), we generally use 2 guides when there are 5 or more guests, and 3 guides when there are more than 11. The guide to guest ratio may vary from one trip to the next, and your Dirt Gypsy trip coordinator will discuss these specifis before the tour begins.
Custom vs private vs scheduled (tour types)
Our custom tours feature a made-to-order trip experience for you and your friends/family/co-workers/you name it. Give us the dates you prefer to travel, some destination consideration, and what you’re looking for - then sit back and let us handle the rest.
Our private tours follow our pre-established offered (scheduled) tours, but are exclusive to you and your group.
Scheduled tours are those listed on our website at the pre-determined (and listed) dates. With all three of these options available, we’re able to put together a Dirt Gypsy Adventure that’s perfectly suited for you and your friends, when you want to travel, and where you want to be.
Ground transportation for guests, their bikes, and luggage is included from the start of our tours until drop-off at trip’s end at a pre-established central location. If transportation to/from airports is required, our staff can assist with making arrangements with shuttles and taxis to get you to our trip start destinations.
Lodging, upgrades & camping
We are periodically asked if we can offer camping-based tours rather than our hotel based itineraries. Although we love spending our days out in the dirt, it doesn’t mean we want to sleep in it! On a week-long tour where you’re riding daily, staying active, and always on the move, it’s well worth the extra money to have a nice bed, clean pool and warm room waiting for you at the end of the day. We’ve elected to offer 3-star lodging as our standard accommodations throughout our tours, with comfortable beds in spacious rooms. We know what amenities matter to our rides, so pools, Wi-Fi, in-room coffee, and A/C can be expected.
We CAN customize your private Dirt Gypsy Adventure on our private and custom offerings. If you'd rather spend your nights camping under the stars in the remote recesses of wilderness or spend your evenings in the lap of luxury at an upgraded hotel or inn with the finest linens and amenities, please let us know! New for 2016, we will be offered a limited number of camping based itineraries so have a look and book!
Breweries & beer
Our craft tours are incredible chances to indulge both your inner beer geek and addiction to singletrack. We take care of all the tasting fees and cover your drinks while at selected breweries throughout the duration of the tour. While we’re all about having you explore the wonderful world of craft beer, we’re not that eager to help you nurse a hangover the following day so please do your best to keep things in control when it comes to the brew. Otherwise, we’ll have to interject and that’s never fun for anyone. If you have a craft brewery or style of beer you’d love to explore that’s not listed, let our office know and we’ll see if we can work it into the trip. And riding a bike while drunk is the same as driving drunk, so don't do it.
Inclusions & exclusions
Dirt Gypsy strives to stay at the head of the pack with our tour offerings and inclusions for our trips. With comprehensive itineraries that account for most of the expenses throughout the tour, we’re offering great value when you look at the bottom line. Each tour has specified inclusions and exclusions so be sure to have a look at your specific tour itinerary before embarking on your travels so you’re familiar with what you’ll need to cover.
Our guides (as you’ll soon come to find out) are singletrack angels in disguise, prophets of the pavé, and essentially human-equivalents of a Leatherman tool. They’re some of the most multi-talented, responsible and well-rounded individuals you’re bound to meet and they work hard – REAL hard – to ensure that you and everyone else are well taken care of and looked after. If you find that they’ve done an excellent job, please feel free to offer up a gratuity to show your appreciation. Industry standards are 5-10% of your overall tour price, which will be split amongst your Gypsy guides.