Cycling the Icefields Parkway

Group cycling holidays: all you need to know

When you are cycling the Icefields Parkway, you will want to ensure you have thought of all the things you need to think of when you are enjoying your friends or family, sunny days, and the beautiful sceneries you will see along the way in your rides. If it is you, or whoever is planning the trip… appointed as the leader or lead rider, some responsibilities need to be thought of on your trip. I will share with you some pointers and things you should think about when you are about to embark on a holiday trip while enjoying laughs, good times with your group while enjoying the stunning beauty of Alberta and the Icefields Parkway… or anywhere else you might be planning to ride.

Here is all you need to know about your next group cycling holiday.

The first part is the planning… The planning must consider the budget and consider what the budget is for the whole group, where is the destination, who is the leader, planning to book restaurants in advance, is your tour self guided or a guided trip?… Remembering to book transfers, understanding what technology to use and consider, communication, positioning, checking the local rules, consideration for other riders, consideration for other traffic, and your safety.

Biking Icefields Parkway
Biking Icefields Parkway

1 – Agree on the details.

  • Your riding group will need to understand how much the trip will cost and all that included in those costs. Will you need to pay park fees? Will you need to pay someone to transfer the group, your bikes, or equipment to, from, or during the ride? What is the eating budget? Some restaurants are way more expensive than others.
  • What hotel or AirBnB are you staying in?… Sometimes renting a bigger house with many rooms could be better for your pocket. A large group could get a pretty nice place and all pay next to nothing with the money added up. If you decide to stay at an Airbnb and want to make dinner for the group or have drinks it is generally best to agree on a meal plan, split the cost, and have each person buy their drinks.
  • If you have someone else guide and lead the trip, you will need to budget for that as well. Touring companies that do this are experienced in understanding how to make the best of these trips and understand how to make the riders comfortable and enjoy their time.
  • Agree with your whole group on the budgets everyone is willing to pay and then you can plan your trip. Be sure you collect a deposit before you book so that you can make sure the group members are committed and don’t back out. Also mention to the whole group that if anyone backs out, it will ruin everyone else’s plans.

2- The leader has a checklist of responsibilities they need to be willing to and able to handle.

  • Once a leader is appointed, that leader has several duties to fulfill and if it feels like too much for one person to handle, the leader could always team up with someone else to co-lead. The tasks that need to be looked after… are as such…
  • Organizing booking and holding onto any transfers, passes, and reservations with hotels, Airbnb, travel agencies, and booking tours. Booking restaurants and checking and buying the group food, snacks, water, and supplies check. The leader should have a budget from everyone set aside for this or have it that each person individually pays for themselves.
  • The leader… or leaders, need to know how to properly guide the trip. Having a capable guide will make the trip fun and a stress-free time for everyone. They need to know where the trails go, where the rest stops are for regrouping, rest and washroom breaks, timelines, and be able to confidently communicate all this with the rest of the group and keep them updated.
  • If the leader is using technology and the group is a larger one, make the leader and someone in the middle of the group has shared technology for the ride. If the leader and some of the riders get ahead and the group gets split up, have ways for the leader middle rider to be able to communicate such as walkie-talkies or some type of communications system that does not rely on cell towers to bring the group back together. Where you may be biking may not have a cell signal.
With all, there is to go with riding, make sure everyone has rider etiquette and safety tips to follow along with understanding the local rules. Safety and proper riding by everyone can make the trip that much more enjoyable. This guide about all you need to know about riding will make your trip that much more enjoyable if followed. Happy riding! Don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers and enjoy some amazing views!… or even, a waterfall or two!
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