Frequently Asked Questions
Looking for more information? Read some of the frequently asked questions below or please contact us as 1-800-661-BIKE(2453).
Rocky Mountain Cycle Tours has been in business since 1977 and is a family owned and operated adventure travel company. Director Etienne Labelle is actively involved in guiding trips in Western Canada to provide a first-class wilderness experience for our guests. No other tour company has a longer track record of guided cycling vacations in the Canadian Rockies. Known for our dedication to our product and attention to detail, we also facilitate customized programs for REI Adventures, Experience Plus and Active Journeys. We can truly say we are the experts out here in Western Canada.
More than 3 decades after our first Icefields Parkway trip Rocky Mountain Cycle Tours is proud to offer you a greater selection of cycling and multi-sport adventures in the Canadian Rockies and beyond than ever before. From proven favourites like “Best of the West” to challenging newer trips like our Jasper Banff 500, our goal is to give you the adventure of a lifetime and memories that last forever. Take advantage of our experience out here! Explore with us by bike, on foot and snowcoach.
Our trips are all-inclusive from our meeting point to the finish location except for one or two dinners. Past experience shows that our guests enjoy having the opportunity to sample local fare on their own one night. In particular the following services are included in your trip: 5 or 6 nights accommodation (depending on the trip) in tastefully selected hotels, lodges or B&B’s, All meals except 1 or 2 dinners (depending on the trip) plus snacks and refreshments along the way, Professional guide services, Support vehicle, Luggage transport, All shuttle transportation, All National Park fees and permits, Gratuities at restaurants and inns, Rocky Mountain Cycle Tours water bottle.
Our goal is to offer you the best experience possible. Often a great trip can be spoiled by bad weather conditions. Wildlife watching opportunities are best at certain times of the season, etc. Unlike many competitors we have therefore decided to run trips only at the prime time of the year. We believe you deserve to be there when chances for the perfect trip are best!
Our guests love the outdoors and an active lifestyle and come from all over the world, with the majority from the US and Canada. Usually participants are between 25 and 65+ years old and we have a good mix of singles and couples on our trips. Our Adventure Sampler and Icefields Parkway tours are popular with families with teens. The youngest rider to complete the entire Icefields Parkway tour was 11 years old, the oldest 74.
Our maximum group size is 12 guests per group with two guides. This ratio is unparalleled in the bicycle touring business and allows us to adjust the itinerary to your desires. We like to have a personal relationship with you. Come as our guest and leave as a friend!
We welcome all levels of riders on our trips and we encourage you to set your own goals. With our unique support system and the lowest guide/guest ratio in the business we are able to adjust our trips to different fitness levels within the group. Whether you are looking for a relaxed scenic ride or if you want to test your physical limits, our trips are for you. You choose a Rocky Mountain Cycle Tours vacation to compliment your active lifestyle. To get the most out of your holiday we recommend that you engage in activities that maintain your overall fitness and ride as much as possible. Please do not hesitate to ask us for advice regarding your preparation in advance of your trip.
Typically, we start around 9:00 AM after a good breakfast and we get to our next accommodation between 3:00 and 5:00 PM. In between you will enjoy a great lunch and you will stop many times for photos or simply to take in the stunning views.
Our philosophy is not about riding the most Miles/Kilometer per day, which would do severe injustice to the landscapes we travel through. Breathtaking vistas will make you stop more often than on your usual training ride. Out here you want to ride with your head up! However, additional to the scheduled distances we offer optional hiking or cycling opportunities allowing you to explore far beyond the itinerary. Only your desire for adventure and activity sets the limits! If you are looking for more strenuous road cycling experiences check out our Great Canadian Mountain Traverse, Jasper Banff 500 and Tour de Mallorca trips.
Your luggage will be transported to the next accommodation by our trip leaders. You only need to carry a snack, a jacket, a camera and personal items desired for that day. For storage our bikes are equipped with handlebar pouches or rear racks.
A Support van with a large trailer ensures comfort and safety throughout your trip. On board are snacks and refreshments, first aid, your luggage, and a driver who is never far away, ready to offer a lift, congratulations or words of encouragement. Our trailer is equipped with onboard kitchen and BBQ where we prepare delicious lunches and a variety of refreshments. One guide will be cycling or hiking with the group, pointing out interesting things along the way, giving directions and offering mechanical support.
We start with a great breakfast in our hotel to get you ready for a day of activity. During the ride we provide everything you could want from water and sport drinks to fresh fruit and energy bars. At lunchtime we stop in a scenic location and our guide/chef will prepare a gourmet outdoor lunch from fresh produce and other delicatessen. After a day filled with exercise a well-deserved delicious dinner awaits you in a restaurant reflecting the flavour and ambience of our destination. Here is an example of one of our freshly prepared gourmet lunches, for which we received a lot of praise last year 🙂 Focaccia bread with goat cheese and a home-made sundried tomato pesto Salad: Wilted Spinach Salad with warm orange almond dressing Carbs & Vitamins: Rotini Primavera Dessert: Watermelon with Canadian Nanaimo Bars (come and find out what that is)
You will be accommodated in the warmth and security of a selection of the area’s most charming hotels, lodges and B&B’s. In each case, the properties have been selected because they reflect the tranquility and beauty of the region, they are ideally situated, or they have the intimacy of the resident proprietor we have befriended. All rates are based on double occupancy. You can always look forward to a comfortable bed and a warm shower at the end of the day, unless otherwise stated (i.e. some backcountry lodges).
If you are travelling on your own and would not mind sharing your room with another single traveller, we are more than happy to assist you in saving the single supplement fee and we will try to book you together with another guest (of the same gender). Almost half of our trip participants are individuals travelling alone. If you request single accommodations, or if a roommate cannot be found, a single supplement fee applies.
Rocky Mountain Cycle Tours provides custom trips and itineraries to meet the specific needs of groups of seven or more. Accommodations, destinations, activities and meals can be designed according to the desires of your group. Pricing is determined by the number of participants, required support, level of accommodations and meals. This is an excellent option for families, groups of friends and business associates.
All you need to bring is your personal equipment. You will receive a detailed clothing and equipment recommendation with your pre-departure information package.
For carefree travel we recommend renting one of our hybrid Specialized Sirrus comp or Cannondale Quick 2 or if you prefer a road bike, we rent Specialized Roubaix and Ruby as well as Cannondale Synapse. Our rental fleet is turned over frequently so your rental bike will always feel current. If you bring your own saddle and/or clipless pedals, our rental bike feels almost like your own. If you wish to bring your own bike, our pre-departure package contains valuable information on the best ways to transport your bike to the start destination.
The winters in the Canadian Rockies are long. But summers, although short, are spectacular and are blessed with glorious bursts of heat. A typical day in the summer averages in the high 70’s (25C) while evenings cool off to the high 50’s (15C). Higher elevations may see frost in any summer month. Rain showers can occur at any time, but they are generally short and infrequent. In fact, by the time clouds have arrived over the Rockies, their moisture has been spread over the coastal mountains and the interior of British Columbia.
Western Canada and especially its National Parks boast an abundance of wildlife. Frequent sightings of elk, bighorn sheep and mountain goats are almost guaranteed. Black and grizzly bears are often seen in the parks munching on berries along the roadsides. Smaller animals like squirrels and chipmunks or ravens are most often seen, especially when you leave your snacks unprotected.
Valid identification in the form of a passport is required by Canadian Immigration when entering Canada. Citizens or permanent residents of the United States can cross the border usually without difficulty, but should carry identification such as a passport, birth or naturalization certificate as they may be asked to prove citizenship. A driver’s license is NOT accepted as proof of citizenship. Visitors from countries other than the United States must have a valid passport and may require additional documentation such as visas. Check with the nearest Canadian Consulate or your travel agent well in advance of travel, if you are uncertain of entrance requirements.
Western Canada is an outdoor enthusiasts’ mecca with a lot of things to see and to explore. Many of our guests arrive early or stay a few more days to get a relaxed start or to wind down after the trip. If you are arriving early or staying on after the tour, there are many options available to you. We will be more than happy to assist you with further adventure travel and lodging arrangements.
Calgary International Airport (YYC) is the gateway to the Canadian Rockies and is located 90 miles (145 km) east of Banff. Transport from the airport to Banff is really well organised and there are several ways to get to Banff.
Due to the nature of our trips and small group sizes, space on our departures can be limited. Some trips are very popular and fill up quickly. To avoid disappointment, we encourage participants to book as early as possible. In order to confirm your space on any of these trips, we only require a $500 CAD deposit.
If you decide to cancel your trip, the following fees apply at the time we receive written notice of your cancellation: Until 61 days $150 CAD, 31 to 60 days 50% of trip cost, 0 to 30 days 100% of trip cost. We strongly recommend purchasing a cancellation insurance through your travel agent.
Yes! You can purchase a specific trip and give it as a gift, or you can purchase a Rocky Mountain Cycle Tours Gift Certificate which can be applied to any of our trips. Our tours make awesome gifts for many occasions – honeymoon, anniversary, birthday, graduation – or any other celebration.
Signing up is easy! Sign up on-line or call us toll-free at 1-800-661-BIKE(2453) and reserve a space with your credit card ($500 CAD deposit per person). Or you can mail the application with credit card details or a cheque. If you are signing up within 60 days of the trip’s departure, full payment is required. Upon receipt of deposit, we will send you our pre-departure package containing information about the destination, a suggested reading list, a recommended conditioning program, the exact meeting time and place, transportation available to the meeting place, accommodation information, a medical questionnaire and a liability release. The latter two should be returned to our office with the balance due 60 days prior to departure.