How big is a typical group?
Customised group pricing is based on a minimum of six persons. Open groups are capped at a maximum of 20 pax.
What type of people join Jacqtours? Will I be too young/old/slow/fast?
Jacqtours was set up to introduce biking enthusiasts of ages & fitness levels to the beauty & warmth of Taiwan cycling. While we do our best to align cyclists of similar experience level according to the nature of the itinerary, some variation in group standard is to be anticipated. We can assure you that no one will be left behind! You can expect people in their 20s and upwards joining the tours, of all races & nationalities, based in Singapore and from abroad.
What is the typical riding pace like?
A riding tour is not a race. Everyone rides at their own pace and no one is pressured to have to keep up with the front pack. There will be a sweeper and a leader to show the way so that no one gets lost. On the flats, you can go as fast as you wish, but do remember to pace yourself for the entire tour. On the climbs, depending on the itinerary, gradients can be steep so you will likely be climbing at single digit speeds. Feel free to stop to catch your breath, have a drink or fuel up from the support vehicle and remember to enjoy the view/ take pictures!
How fit do I have to be?
Our tours comprise a mix of flats and climbs. While Taiwanese roads are generally smooth and well-paved with minimal traffic, the terrain can be challenging especially if you are used to riding in Singapore where there are no mountains. The fitter and more prepared you are, the more enjoyable the experience will be. If you are concerned about your fitness level, feel free to speak to us and we can customise an itinerary to suit your requirements, e.g. cutting out the more challenging climbs and descents, or reducing the daily mileage.
Beginners: we would suggest that you ride at least once a week, starting easy and building up to 2 hours of continuous riding at a pace that you can sustain. You should commence training at least three months in advance. We highly recommend resistance training (e.g. gym sessions) to strengthen your quads, hamstrings, calves, back and core. Strength and stretching sessions are important in injury prevention. Feel free to speak to us for more ideas on how to optimise your trip readiness.
Intermediate riders: if you have been biking regularly for at least a year and are looking to challenge yourself with tougher itineraries, you should include climbs (Mount Faber, NUS and NTU are the limited choices in Singapore) in your route to prepare for the hilly terrain. Do note that when engaging in hill training, you will want to cut down on your gym work to prevent injury. Do let us know if you have any questions on how to train for your trip.
Advanced riders: if you race regularly, keep up your training and embrace the challenges that Taiwan’s breath-taking (in all senses) terrain can offer! Feel free to speak to us to discuss your specific requirements if any. For example, we can customise an itinerary in preparation for your upcoming race or even sign you up for a local race!
Will I get to meet the group before departure?
Yes there will be at least one pre-trip training session for all open groups when all participants will get to meet and ride together. You are strongly encouraged to attend this session. Details will be included in your pre-trip brief.
For private groups, Jacqtours can arrange & conduct training rides, subject to availability. Contact us for more details.
Can I ride my MTB or foldie?
Yes you may if you are on a private tour and your group members are agreeable! Fixed departure open groups are strictly for road bikes only. Ensuring that everyone rides the same type of bike is a way to ensure that the group level is as uniform as possible, avoiding drastic contrasts in riding speed & ride completion times, and possible itinerary delays. Speed aside, the same type of bikes allows for more efficient packing & loading on/off the support vehicle, avoiding unnecessary delays & time wasting.
What equipment do I have to prepare?
- Bike: Jacqtours recommends that you travel with your own bike as you would be familiar with the setup and comfortable with its handling. Service your bike before the trip and ride at least once upon servicing to ensure it is in good working condition. Don’t spoil your holiday with an avoidable setback.If you do not have a bike box, you can rent it from most bike shops at a weekly fee of about S$100. There is also the option of simply packing your bike in a cardboard carton box easily requested from your nearest bike shop. Feel free to talk to us if you have questions about bike packing.
- Helmets: bike helmets are compulsory.
- Bike gloves: gloves are essential to protect against road rash if you fall, and offer better grip in wet weather.
- Front & rear bike lights: you will not be riding after sun down but riding with lights at all times increases your visibility and are recommended.
- Spare inner tubes (for clinchers) or spare tires (for tubulars): full technical support is offered but why not be self-reliant and optimise your holiday?
- Bike gear: in addition to your jersey and tights or bib, a waterproof windbreaker that you can roll up into your bike jersey pocket is essential, and full length bibs or leg warmers are recommended if you are climbing mountains or visiting in winter. Speak to us to arrange discounted rates at our gear partners. A full packing list will be emailed to you upon registration.
Can sports massage during the tour be arranged?
Massage service for private tours to prevent/minimise muscle soreness is available at request and must be booked at least two months before departure to ensure availability. The service can be extended to open groups as well subject to minimum numbers met. Please contact us for rates and more details.
What about guide support & what is the crew ratio to participants?
For each group of six to seven pax, there will be one knowledgeable local Taiwanese guide & one experienced Jacqtours leader/representative who will ride with the group & be your liaison support throughout your tour. There will also be at least one support vehicle driver/technical crew.
Why should I choose a guided tour?
Many advantages lie in choosing a guided tour instead of going it alone:
- Guide support allows you to discover charming places in Taiwan you would never be able to find on your own, and allow you to experience Taiwan “off the beaten” path”.
- You will benefit from a carefully planned itinerary that takes into consideration the weather, the season, the road conditions and other local factors as well as your riding ability
- Avoid wasting time from getting lost
- Enjoy the best local food (not necessarily the most expensive) benefiting from local knowledge of the region
- Be assured of mechanical support & first aid assistance when you need it.
- With Jacqtours, you are assured of full accountability & follow through, minimising stress & optimising the quality of your experience from a thorough understanding & knowledge of your specific needs & requirements.
If I am too tired can I board the support vehicle?
Of course. Although if you have selected the correct trip for you, it will have been pitched at levels appropriate to your standard, and it will be unlikely you will need to hitch a ride from the support vehicle. However, if you are fatigued, be safe and err on the side of caution than to push yourself to injury or pose a danger to yourself and other road users.
What sort of accommodation & what kind of facilities are offered?
Expect at least 3 star accommodation and up to 5 star hotels in the cities. In remote areas, we also stay at hot spring hotels and local guesthouse. All accommodation will be clean & comfortable.
Accommodation is based on twin share. Single room supplement is available. Please note that for 3 star accommodation, while we will try our best to source and request, occasionally some hotels may only offer double beds instead of twin beds.
3 star accommodation will offer use of washing machines and laundry service will be available at the 4 & 5 star hotels.
Are non-riding participants welcome?
Currently the itineraries are tailored for riders. Speak to us if you have a private group with non-riders and we will do our best to offer something to suit your requirements. Non-biking activities include spa, massage, shopping, sight-seeing and of course, eating.
How about children?
See above. Riders should be at least 15 years old and have adequate fitness & bike handling skills.
What about insurance?
See here for more information.
What is included?
Tours are fully supported and fees are inclusive of everything you need during your trip – accommodation, airport transfer according to tour schedule, land transfers as stated, all meals as stated, local guide/leader/mechanic, driver, support vehicle stocked with food and hydration accessible while biking, technical support, local insurance cover and personalised Jacqtours liaison throughout the trip to ensure your tour runs smoothly.
What is not included?
Air ticket, personal expenses, visas, cost incurred for extensions, bike rental, and travel insurance. Please note travel insurance is compulsory.
How much money should I bring on the trip?
All meals expect one dinner is included in the tour package, you will only need to bring as much money for shopping and night market visits as you deem necessary. As a gauge, a meal at a night market would rarely exceed S$10.
What will the food be like?
Taiwan is renowned for its varied, affordable and delicious cuisine, ranging from hearty street food to fresh and exotic seafood like sashimi and sushi, and much, much more. Each region often boasts a local delicacy not found anywhere else.
On our open group tours, breakfast will be the hotel buffet, lunch will be in a restaurant or local eatery en route and you will have dinner in a restaurant in the area where you will be staying overnight, or at the hotel if the area is remote. Additionally, you might like to enjoy supper at the night markets ubiquitous in most Taiwanese cities, famous for street snacks.
A typical breakfast will be Taiwanese porridge with condiments like barbequed pork floss, braised peanuts, pickled cabbage, omelette, as well as continental breakfast of eggs, toast, cereal and fruit. Lunch and dinner is typically rice- or noodles-based, including meat like chicken, beef, lamb, pork and seafood, and mountain vegetables. If you are on a private tour and would prefer Western meals, or have any other dietary requirements/preference, please let us know. Feel free also to give us your budget as that will allow us to plan better to meet your preference. For Muslim friends, a no-pork, no-lard, or seafood or vegetarian diet may be arranged. (Halal restaurants may not be available in remote areas in Taiwan.)