Click on the Frequently Asked Questions below to view the answers.
What is the WomanTours mission?
We strive to provide women of all ages and abilities the opportunity to experience the wonders of bicycling by providing a safe and supportive environment. We promote cycling as a means to teach women about other cultures, the environment and themselves.
We’ve been running women-only bicycle tours for 20 years and have the experience to know how to take care of all the details so you don’t have to. The majority of our guests have traveled with us before, so we know that we provide a great balance of support, fun and adventure in a safe environment. We’re always developing new trips to fascinating places to keep you coming back.
Do you offer gift certificates?
Yes! Give us a call at 585-424-2124 and we can provide you with one for any denomination and no expiration date.
How can I work for WomanTours?
We are usually fully staffed. However, if you have experience in guiding bicycle tours or in cooking for large groups of people while on the road, we'd love to hear from you. Send us a resume or letter outlining your experience and we will keep it on file should an opening occur.
Are there coronavirus protocols in place during the tours?
We realize that Covid-19 is a reality that is going to be with us for a while, so our upcoming tours will run differently than in the past. But rest assured, you will still experience great biking, camaraderie and adventure that are the hallmarks of our tours. For details about our policies during the pandemic, please read our blog post.
What do I pack?
You can see our simple packing list here.
Can you help with travel arrangements?
Our literature provides details for you to make your own travel arrangements to our tours. If you do not feel comfortable making airline reservations on your own, we recommend Van Zile Travel Service. The agency charges flat fees to make your air and any hotel arrangements before or after the tour. We send you information about the travel agency in your registration confirmation packet when you sign up for a tour.
For more information please visit Van Zile Travel Service.
I am coming alone on this tour. Will I be the only one traveling alone?
Absolutely not. Most of our participants come by themselves. That is part of the reason for the existence of WomanTours--to provide women with riding partners as well as scenic vistas and interesting tours.
Where can I get travel insurance?
We recommend working with Allianz Travel Insurance. Many of our guests have used them in the past and never reported a problem. Be sure to enter ACCAM code #F027213 to identify yourself as a WomanTours traveler when securing your insurance. The cost will depend on several factors, including your age, state of residence, and ength and location of your tour.
For more information please visit the Allianz Travel Insurance website
Here’s what Susan S. wrote after a fall during our Arizona Spring Training 2012 tour:
"I also want to Thank You for recommending travel insurance! It was essential. I believe my hospital bills will be covered or minimal, but the primary benefit was leaving it to them to arrange my way home with an EMT medic. I couldn’t fly from Tucson because the planes were small and required climbing a dozen stairs. They arranged a comfortable car to Phoenix, 1st class seats and a comfortable car to my home. All in all, life is good."
How do I attach the luggage tags you sent me?
We receive this question a lot, so we created a short video.
How do I sign up?
You can Register / Sign-up for a Tour online. Or call our office at 585-424-2124 to do it over the phone, Monday - Friday, 9:00-5:00 Eastern Time. We’ll need a Visa, MasterCard or Discover number or a check for the deposit. If you sign up within 30 days of the start of the tour, we require payment in full. Then we’ll send you a tour confirmation packet with many more details about your trip, including travel arrangements, a packing list and an optional training schedule. Most of our tours fill completely and have waiting lists, so don’t wait too long before deciding to join us!
How do I know if I can do it?
If you can ride 5 miles on your bicycle today, then you can do our tours marked as leisurely. If you can ride 10 miles on rolling terrain, then you can do our moderate tours. If you can ride at least 20 miles on rolling terrain, then you can train to be able to tackle our advanced tours. Remember that our support vehicle is always available to pick you up if you get tired. That’s what we’re there for.
If you're still concerned about being able to do it, then consider renting an e-bike. These electric-assist bicycles flatten out the hills and increase your speed. They make more challenging tours available to more cyclists.
How do I know if a particular tour is suitable for my riding ability?
We will be happy to discuss what tour would best suit your skill level. However, because our groups are small, we are able to offer van support to shorten the miles or flatten the hills on any tour.
Can I bring my daughter with me?
Yes, we’d love to have your daughter on tour with us, as long as she’s at least 14 years old.
What does the trip price include?
All lodging, most meals, van support, luggage transfer, supportive leaders, maps, GPS route files, gratuities for restaurants. Not included are alcoholic beverages, personal expenses, and travel arrangements to and from the tour, such as air fare.
What style of lodging can I expect?
WomanTours seeks out the most interesting lodgings in an area. We try to keep our tours affordable and at the same time offer you a unique experience. In the National Parks, we stay in the park lodges and cabins. In other areas, we look for small intimate inns and B&Bs or the best lodging available.
Do I need to pay the single upgrade if I am coming alone?
No, you only need to pay the single upgrade if you want your own room. Otherwise, we will match you with others who have come alone as a roommate. Each day that we change hotels, you will rotate roommates. Women usually enjoy this arrangement, as they get to know each other on the tour. You will always have your own bed.
What time do most tours get started in the morning?
We like to get an early start to avoid traffic, heat, and winds, typically between 8:00 and 9:30 a.m. The time will vary according to circumstances.
What if I cannot keep up with the rest of the group?
Our tours are self-paced. Each woman rides to her own rhythm. The support van or tour leader on the road are available until the last person comes home for the day.
Do most women share a room?
Yes, the majority of our guests choose to have a roommate.
Will I be the oldest (or youngest) woman on the tour?
Probably not! We’ve had women as young as 18 and as old as 86. The average age of our guests is 56 on our shorter tours and 60 on our cross-country tours.
How are dietary issues handled on your tours?
When you sign up for one of our tours, we ask you if you have any dietary allergies, needs and preferences. We send that information to the tour guides so they’ll take everyone’s needs into account when planning the tour’s picnic lunches. We also keep that information in mind when we plan for the breakfasts and dinners at restaurants, where everyone usually orders off the menu. We make sure there are ample choices for everyone.
We cook most of the dinners on our cross-country and epic tours. Our traveling chef accommodates guests with specific allergies and provides a non-meat protein source for vegetarians, but she cannot always adhere to everyone's likes and dislikes. If you require a vegan or gluten-free diet, there is an additional fee of about $50/week on our epic, cross-country, and barge tours.
What type of meals can I expect?
On our shorter domestic tours, we dine in restaurants. You are free to choose from the menu, but we ask that you eat what you order so no food is wasted. If our group is larger, we may have a limited menu to help speed up service. Lunches are usually picnics prepared by our guides.
On our epic and cross-country tours, our traveling chef cooks hearty and healthy dishes from our trailer kitchen served buffet-style.
Is there any camping?
No! We try to stay in AAA-rated motels, such as Comfort Inns, Hampton Inns and Best Westerns. Sometimes we treat ourselves to more upscale lodging, such as an oceanside condo or an historic B&B.
Can I register at the last minute?
Sure! If we have space available, we’d love to have you. If the tour is within 30 days, you must pay in full when you sign up.
What if I have to cancel a tour within the USA?
We understand that personal circumstances sometimes force women to cancel their travel plans. Therefore, we have tried to be as generous as possible with the following domestic tour cancellation policy for our regular tours:
- 75+ days before tour departure: forfeit $150 of your deposit.
- 50 - 74 days before tour departure: forfeit 25% of the complete tour price.
- 30 - 49 days before tour departure: forfeit 65% of the complete tour price
- 15 - 29 days before tour departure: forfeit 85% of the complete tour price.
- 0 - 14 days before tour departure: forfeit 100% of the complete tour price.
- No refunds are possible after the tour begins.
In addition, you may transfer $350 to another trip up to 75 days before departure. On domestic US trips (excluding Alaska,) you may also transfer 50% of the trip price, less $50 up to 30 days before departure. WomanTours will hold any “transfer funds” on account through December 31 of the following year. Any money left on account beyond this deadline will be forfeited.
Please note that our cross-country and epic tours have their own cancellation policies, depending on the tour's payment schedule. The $300 registration fee for these tours is nonrefundable and nontransferable.
What if I have to cancel a tour outside of the USA?
We understand that personal circumstances sometimes force women to cancel their travel plans. Therefore, we have tried to be as generous as possible with the following international tour cancellation policy:
- 120+ days before tour departure: forfeit $150 of your deposit.
- 75 - 119 days before tour departure: forfeit 25% of the complete tour price.
- 50 - 74 days before tour departure: forfeit 65% of the complete tour price.
- 30 - 49 days before tour departure: forfeit 85% of the complete tour price.
- 0 - 29 days before tour departure: forfeit 100% of the complete tour price.
- No refunds are possible after the tour begins.
Will WomanTours cancel a trip?
In the rare case that WomanTours must cancel a trip due to low enrollment, we will do so at least 90 days prior to departure of a tour outside the USA and 45 days prior to departure for trips within the USA. If we cancel fewer days than that prior to departure, we will issue you a full refund plus a $500 credit toward any of our other tours. We've canceled very few tours and have never canceled one less than 45 days before it begins for low enrollment.
If there is a weather event, political crisis or health emergency before a tour that has caused a mandatory evacuation or the closing of our planned accommodations and there are no suitable substitutions, we will cancel the tour and issue a full credit toward a future tour.
In all cases, we will not be responsible for any personal expenses incurred, such as airline tickets. WomanTours reserves the right to make route and lodging modifications as needed.
Bicycles and Training
What about electric-assist bikes (e-bikes)?
Electric-assist bikes - or e-bikes - have quiet, battery-powered motors that add power to your pedalng. They increase your speed and assist you in cycling up hills. Most e-bikes have a range of assistance, so you can choose how much of a boost you'd like. E-bikes make it easier to do all the miles in all types of terrain. We allow electric-assist bicycles on our tours if you'd like to bring your own. We also have e-bikes available for rent on most of our trips -- look for the e-bike symbol. We do not make e-bike recommendations if you're considering purchasing your own. We suggest you rent one on a tour first so you can try it!
How do I train for this tour?
We have a training schedule to help you strive for a better fitness before the tour. Being in shape can add to the enjoyment of the trip. If you don’t have the time to train, our support van is always available to shorten the miles. Everyone rides at her own pace, so you don't have to worry about keeping up with anyone else. Click here for our optional beginner training plan.
Can I bring my own bike?
About half of our guests bring their own bicycles. Cross-country cyclists must ride their own bikes. Upon signing up for a tour, you will receive information for packing, shipping and flying with your bike.
What about the rental bikes?
We have Specialized women-specific bicycles available for rent for $195 for most tours in the U.S. We will need your height and inseam measurement to fit you properly. You can choose a hybrid bike with straight handlebars or a road bike with racing style, drop handlebars. Our hybrid and road bikes have 27 or 30 gears and come with an odometer, back rack, water bottle holders and back bag. There are also electric-assist bicycles (e-bikes) available for rent on most of our tours -- look for the e-bike symbol.
What is the difference between Leisurely, Moderate and Advanced tours?
Tours labeled Leisurely are flat tours at an easy pace on bike paths free of motorized traffic. Tours labeled Leisurely-Moderate are flat tours on a mix of roads and bike paths. Tours labeled Moderate have some hilly terrain. Tours labeled Moderate-Advanced have more challenging terrain with a mix of hills, longer climbs and flat stretches. Their daily mileages tend to be longer than on our other tours.
Why do women want to ride across the country?
Some do it for the challenge. Others to see the country, to get away from home, or to commemorate a 60th birthday. Some feel that cycling every mile is a requisite, while others just want to be able to bike when they want to. Whatever your reasons, you’ll probably meet other women with similar motives and goals.
Can I rent a bike?
We do not rent bicycles for our cross country tours. Everyone needs to bring her own bike that she knows fits perfectly and works properly. You spend a long time in the saddle – you need to know it’s comfortable. After you sign up, our series of Prep Talk newsletters discuss how to get your bike tour ready, or what to look for if buying a new one.
How do I get my bike to the tour start and back home once the tour is over?
We recommend shipping or bringing your bike with you if you fly to the start of the tour. We help you pack your bike at the end of the tour to ship or bring back home with you. We provide more detailed information about packing and shipping your bike before the start of the tour.
Can my friend or spouse visit me while I’m on the tour?
Yes, some women have visitors during the tour. We ask that your guests make their own hotel reservations. We charge a fee of $25 per person if they wish to join us for dinner.
Will the trip fill up?
Our cross-country tours often fill up months in advance. The sooner you register, the sooner you are guaranteed a spot.
How can I train if I live in snowy Minnesota or flat Florida?
After you register, we send you a series of Prep Talk newsletters including training tips. We estimate that most women begin the tour wishing they were in better shape, but they’re all in the best shape of their lives when they finish!
What does the tour price include?
It includes lodging, airport shuttles, all breakfasts, dinners and snacks on biking days, van support, cycling maps and cue sheets, trained guides, a WomanTours jersey and a water bottle. The tour price does not include lunches, meals on layover days, alcoholic beverages, personal expenses, air fare, or guide gratuities.
Is there internet access along the way?
Yes, nearly all hotels offer wifi.
Can you provide references?
We would be happy to provide you with a list of previous guests as references.
How do I get more information?
Call us at 800-247-1444 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be happy to mail you information, put you in touch with women who have gone cross country, or answer your questions.