• Where did the Build Your Tour photo book questions go?
    For photobook and photography topics, visit our photobookfan.com site.
    Our cycling oriented content remains on buildyourtour.com.
  • There are a number of tour operators on your site but not some of the “popular” ones. Why not?
    We have toured with other operators than the ones shown but didn’t find the value in the quality of their product. If you want to know more, please contact us.
  • How long has Build Your Tour been planning active travel?
    We have been planning active travel since 1992.  Our tours range from Austria to New Zealand; from multi-day hiking adventures to epic road cycling dreams.  Build Your Tour LLC incorporated in 2012. In April 2016 I turned our focus to photo books, but contact us to chat tour planning!!
  • How long has Build Your Tour been designing photo books?
    Daina started analog photo books back in the mid-1970s. When our active travel around the globe commenced she produced analog versions of photo books for us and many of our friends and travel companions. When the digital age hit photo books, Daina transitioned right into designing digitally. She’s been at the digital variety since the start.
  • I just dropped my camera on the ride and lost all my pictures. What can I do?
    Unfortunately, it may be too late to find your camera or the SD card with your images. Ouch.
    Hopefully, you were backing up your images on a regular basis and have most of them stored safely away. If you’re on a group trip, start asking everyone to share their images with you. Better yet, ask a group to share their images and have a photo book designed – by me!
  • How can I ensure my luggage and bicycle will be delivered on-time with my flight to my destination?
    Pack as light and small as possible. You really won’t need as much “stuff.” Bring cash!
    In over 15 years of travel, we have only left a bicycle behind once due to airline delays when a connection in Frankfurt was reduced to 10 minutes. We have also noticed a trend. The pieces of luggage with a tendency to arrive 1, 2 or more days late are usually heavy, bulky ‘body-bags’ or full bicycle cases. Stay well within standard checked baggage weight guidelines of ALL airlines on your route, usually 50 lbs, to maximize your chances of timely arrival of all checked pieces.
    Also, include a complete itinerary within each checked item (the places you will be on specific dates, with the reach phone numbers and include you home contact information).  We also add our first overnight location on our exterior luggage tag. When time allows, arrive 1 or 2 days early to allow late bags to catch up. For a wonderful, in-depth treatise on this topic see Bill McCready’s Travel Trips for tandems!
  • Where can I find more touring ideas and help?
    You’ll find more on my Blog . In April 2016 I turned our focus to photo books, but the blog contains cycling posts back to 2012. Contact us to chat tour planning!!
  • What are your favorite tour / travel hints?
    • Butter cleans road tar from bicycles.
    • Identify your stuff with a complete itinerary (the places you will be on specific dates, with the reach phone numbers and include you home contact information)
    • Dry sacks can be used as impromptu washing machines.
    • A magnetic key holder is helpful for shared cars.
    • In France 12 to 2pm is ” déjeuner” when you sit down and eat. Outside of those hours you probably won’t find lunch but can get a coffee or a snack. Between 12 and 2, no coffee of snacks.   C’est la vie! So know local customs before you head out.
    • When you return, review and modify your packing list to prepare for your next tour.
    • Keep an eye on your luggage and bicycle when at a train station….helpful travelers have escorted ours off early!
  • I’m on tour and have tar on my bicycle (equipment) and can’t find a store with good cleaner.  What can I do?
  • Butter cleans road tar from bicycles and other hard surfaces.
  • I’ve been on a two-week tour and don’t remember where I parked my car. How do I find it?
    Hopefully you snapped a photo of the parking-lot row signs and where you left your car with your phone. Just pull up the image from your phone.
  • We’re planning a self-supported tour of France. What local resource webpages are available?
    Check out http://www.cci.asso.fr/ for a site similar to Adventure Cycling here in the U.S. And http://www.eurovelo.org/ has routes throughout Europe.
  • Ok, I’ll pack light but I’ll need to have clean clothes.  What can I do?
    Your wardrobe should consist predominantly of fast drying, washable garments.  Wash a few pieces every day as needed and let dry overnight.  Dry sacks can be used as impromptu washing machines and ‘grape stomping’ of your dirty duds in the shower can be relaxing.  We plan ahead to separate newly washed items in luggage / panniers if on a transfer day since they still may be slightly damp. Bring washing supplies such as castile soap or dry detergent (expensive in laundromats), a drying line and plenty of coins if you want to use local laundromats.   Note that even if you plan to use dryers in laundromats, the machines tend to be finicky (easily overheat some garments) and very expensive ($8 to dry a small load of cotton t-shirts).
    When you return, review and modify your packing list to prepare for your next tour.
  • Our group of five are sharing a car and our activities take us in different directions at different times.  How can we all have access to belongings in the car while having it locked?
    The easiest solution is to acquire additional keys to the car.  When that is not possible, bring a magnetic key holder on your trip.  Agree on a location on the underside of the car where the key holder can house the single car key.
  • Friends told me it is really hard to get a quick snack or bite to eat around lunch in France.  What’s the deal?
    In France 12 to 2 pm is ” déjeuner” when you sit down and eat a meal at a table. Between 12 and 2, you usually can’t just have coffee or pick up a quick snack.  So plan your day accordingly and enjoy the French déjeuner.  Also, outside of those hours you probably won’t find lunch (the chef usually leaves) but that is when you can get a coffee or a snack.   C’est la vie!
  • We’re planning a trip to Steamboat Springs and would like to cycle. What’s new there?
    Check out the ski area’s bike park with downhill trails and bike rental (steamboat.com), pick up the Steamboat Springs Bike Guide (at the Visitor’s Center and in many motels) and visit tailwindtours.com or spindle1biketours.com for local tour providers.
  • Is there an organization that supports cycling in Afghanistan? 
    Yes, and they support opportunities from women and girls in many conflict regions. Visit http://mountain2mountain.org/
  • I need Adobe Reader.  Where can I get it?
    You can download a free copy of Adobe Reader from http://www.adobe.com/products/reader.htm