Here are the answers to a few of our most frequently asked questions:
How hilly is the riding?
Napa Valley and Dry Creek Valley are very flat, with only a couple of very mild inclines. The Russian River Valley has a few more……..are suitable for beginner bicyclists.
What is the mileage like?
We usually bicycle a total of 10-16 miles. The distance between wineries can range from 3 to 7 miles.
What is for lunch?
Lunch consists of a selection of artisan meats and cheeses with a selection fresh breads. Lunch is served with a variety of fresh hand crafted salads, a green salad a legume salad and a pasta salad.
What time do we get back to the city?
The tour usually finishes at 6pm. We leave the valley at around 4:30, and depending on traffic, are usually back in SF between 5:30 and 6:30.
What wineries are we going to?
The wineries we visit vary from day to day. We generally go to a variety of smaller and larger wineries so that our guests get a taste of the large range of different wineries in the valley- from large to small, and family run to corporate.
How fit do I need to be?
The biking portion consists of a moderate 10-16 miles of biking. The biking is at a very casual pace. It is suitable for all fitness levels. Our bikes have sophisticated shifting systems to help guests use their range of gears and most easily pass through the terrain. Most regions are very flat with little to no elevation gain. The Russian River Valley has mild rolling hills, while Napa and Dry Creek Valley are almost completely flat. Guests are welcome to bicycle as much or as little of the ride as they'd like.
What do I need to bring and what should I wear?
We recommend that guests wear clothing that they are comfortable biking in. Cycling attire is not necessary, but if guests would rather wear cycling clothing, they are welcome to. The tasting rooms expect people to be dressed in casual attire, and will welcome you whether you are wearing spandex or jeans. We recommend that people bring sunscreen and sunglasses in the summer and jackets and a change of clothing in the winter. We provide guests with helmets and water bottles.
Do I have to bike the whole way?
Guests are welcome to bike as much or as little as they would like. At any point during the day, guests are welcome to take in the ride on the support vehicle.
How much should I tip the tour guides?
Our tours do not include gratuity, and you may individually decide how much you appreciated your tour service and the assistance of your guides. Most of the guides' income is based largely on gratuities. Like fine dining, we recommend anywhere between 15% and 20 % as a common gratuity. Our staff strives to go that extra mile for every client, and truly appreciate any generosity that you extend them.
What is your cancellation policy?
To Cancel a day trip and receive full credit or refund, guests must do so at least one week before their departure date. Cancellation or rescheduling between 7 days and 48 hours of a scheduled tour will result in a $40 rescheduling fee. Cancellation within 48 hours of your tour will result in forfeiture of any tour credit.
What do you do about weather?
Tours operate rain or shine. In the instance of inclement weather, we advise guests to wear appropriate gear and bring a change of clothing. Gears and Grapes reserves the right to cancel trips as we see fit. We make every attempt to run tours as scheduled. If, however, due to extenuating circumstances a trip is cancelled we will make every effort to accommodate everyone's rescheduling needs. If guests are not local and cannot reschedule, credits will be awarded towards a future Gears and Grapes tour.
We've already been on the tour, can we do something different?
We offer 3 different tours to wine country. The Russian River, Dry Creek Valley and Napa Valley. No two tours are alike. Our itinerary varies and even tours to the same place vary from day to day. Please check with your booking agent if you have a specific question.
Can I bring my own bike?
You are more than welcome to bring your own bike, but be sure to let your reservationist know that you are doing so.
Should I wear my cycling shoes?
If you are bringing your own bicycle, you are welcome to wear the shoes that you see fit. If you are planning on using our bikes, we recommend that guests wear closed toe shoes or regular tennis shoes. We do not offer special pedals for specific bike cleats.
Are children allowed?
Guests under the age of 21 cannot consume alcohol. Children are allowed to come along as long as they are competent cycling without the assistance of an adult and can obey all traffic rules. We do bike in roads with traffic, and only children who are old enough to do so and large enough to ride an adult bike are allowed to come along. We do not offer child seats on our bicycles.