How do I pay for my entry fee?

Your entry fee to secure your place in this event needs to be paid by the due date included on the main tour event page and must be paid in person at Hanoi’s Helvetas office at 298F Kim Ma, Ba Dinh District.  The office is a couple of gates east of the Family Medical Practice on Kim Ma, and can be identified by the large mural on the outside fence.

If you are not based in Hanoi and are unable to pay your entry fee in person then please contact Reece Guihot on vrt-cycling-tours@guihot.com and alternative payment arrangements can be discussed.

Daily Stage Briefings

There will be two short briefings each day, no more than 10min.  The breakfast briefing will cover the day’s ride stage and particular sections you will need to take extra caution with.  A dinner briefing will give you all the details on the departure time and arrangements for the following day.  Be sure to pay attention during these as they contain important information.

Bike Wash

At the end of each day’s ride you are welcome to take advantage of our bike wash service.  The price is 10,000 VND.  This is a small amount for many of us, but a great contribution to the local economy.  Please pay the local / homestay owner the fee directly on each day’s stage.

Luggage

Please limit the size of your luggage to a bag that you could carry on a plane (cabin luggage size).

How do I know if I am fit or skilled enough to do this tour?
The descriptions of the Target Market and Trail Types Ridden offers a good guide to the level of skills and fitness you will need to complete this tour.  You are expected to complete each stage under your own steam, but never fear – while some of the stages on our tours are up to 60km, we will stop at regular intervals along the way to allow ourselves to refuel.  If you do find yourself physically unable to go on then at certain points along most stages you will have the opportunity to stop for the day, put your bike on the truck and get on the bus.

Note that there are some sections of the route where the bus and truck cannot go, and once you begin the section it may be quite a distance before we meet with the bus again.  In these cases the guide will help individual riders assess their ability to complete the stage.

In the case of emergencies we will be accompanied by support motorbikes.
How will the ride be organized?  

There will be a group start for each day’s stage, and the group will be encouraged to ride together particularly if there are sections up ahead requiring changes in direction – we don’t want to lose anyone.

But what if I am a slower rider than the rest of the group?  I don’t want to hold everyone up.
Our tours are for those who want to stop and smell the roses, not for those who want to beat the land-speed record.  We will have a guide at the start and end of the group and will regularly regroup along the way.

What if I want to test my legs and break a sweat?  Can I go ahead?

While we will stay together as a group along the route, there will be plenty of opportunity to push yourself on some of the longer climbs and sections with limited wrong-turn opportunities. We only ask that if you get to a section of the route where you are unsure of which turn to take, WAIT, and we’ll show you the way.  Having to find lost riders is not anyone’s idea of fun.

Will there be maps or route markers?

There will not be any route markers in place along the way, although participants with smartphones can download the MapMyRide app to their phone and load up a copy of each day’s route before they depart.

Note that MapMyRide needs to be loaded with the daily routes using a PC or desktop (this cannot be done using the phone app).  We will be looking at ways to share this with participants using link-sharing.

Note that the maps provided of the daily routes are guides only, and may include small deviations from the standard route.

Will there be a Bike Mechanic?

We will have a bike mechanic accompanying us on the tour BUT riders should note that bikes will not be serviced during each day’s stage unless in case of an emergency.  Riders should carry with them spare tubes and a basic tool kit, with the expectation that they will need to get to the end of each day’s stage under their own steam. Make sure you have a well-maintained bike BEFORE you join the event, as there will be limited opportunity to access spare parts in Cao Bang.

In the event that your bike suffers damage and is unable to be ridden then you should call the emergency number on the back of your race plate and we will organise a motorbike or vehicle to pick you and your bike up from the closest suitable point to your current location.  The entry fee gives you access to a replacement bicycle if yours is no longer able to be ridden (subject to availability).

What are the transport arrangements for my bike?

Participants are required to drop their bikes off to the following address by no later than 4pm the day before tour departure:

  • Address: #10, ngo 175, Hong Ha street, Hoan Kiem.
  • https://goo.gl/maps/3uYaMQu1MUN2, it’s just very near the Long Bien fruit market.
  • Contact person: Mr. Trung – 0912410562

DO NOT bring your bike to the bus pickup point on the day of departure, as there won’t be enough space on the bus for your bike and the wine/post-ride evening snacks.

Where do we leave from?

The bus will depart from the CRED Office at 298F Kim Ma, Ba Dinh District at 5.30am.

We also offer a pickup and drop-off service for people living in the west Hanoi or Tay Ho area.  The pick-up location is the Highland Coffee Fivimart on Vo Chi Cong, next to overpass at the southern end of Nhat Tan Bridge.  Pickup time for this stop is 5.45am.  If you wish to take advantage of this service please let the tour organisers know so we are not waiting for you at the CRED office on the morning of departure.

How will my luggage be transported each day?

Your luggage will be transported between homestays by bus, so you only need to take with you the things you need for the day’s ride.

What happens after each day’s riding?

After arriving at the homestay and settling in you are welcome to explore the local area (by bicycle or by foot) or sit back and relax with a cold drink and snacks.

What do I need to bring?

Your choice of clothing will be dictated by the weather, so keep an eye out on the forecasted conditions a few days out from departure.  You will need:

  • Towel
  • Usual travel stuff
  • Spare tubes and tools to fix basic mechanicals (flat tyres, multi-tool)
  • Mobile phone (mandatory) including charger – there will be power outlets available to charge.
  • Your own drink bottle for the bike and/or hydration pack.  We are doing our bit for the environment by using single large water bottles that you can use to refill your own, rather than disposable plastic bottles.
  • Head lamp or small torch.
  • Snacks to eat along the way (e.g. muesli bars).
  • Bicycle helmet.  These are MANDATORY for this event, and riders will not be able to participate without one.

In addition to a mobile phone it is highly recommended that riders purchase a Vittel SIM card if they do not already have one.  Vittel is the carrier of choice in the remote regions of Vietnam, and offers coverage in areas where some of the other carriers don’t.

Be sure to bring an “emergency” kit – there are no bathrooms along the trail for the most part.

What are the conditions in the homestays where we will be staying?

Homestay tourism in our tour locations is still at its very early stages, so in many of the homestays the bedding is very simple, the meals are traditionally cooked, and the amenities (while western in design) are very basic in style.  We can though guarantee great home-cooked food, cold drinks on a deck with amazing views and a good night’s sleep at the end of each day. The homestays are clean and all bedding comes with mosquito nets for the comfort of guests, and while still working to improve their offerings to tourists the owners are very proud of their homestays and are looking forward to welcoming you.

Does the trip include insurance?

No it does not includes any insurance, so please make sure you have your own insurance.  You will be required to sign a waiver form before the departure of the trip.