Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to book/make a reservation?

No you don’t NEED to. It is possible to just turn up, however It is best to drop us an email to let us know you’re planning on coming to avoid disappointment as if we have no-one booked on a quiet Monday as an example it is possible that we might cancel this tour and we don’t want you hanging around thinking it’s on. SEND US AN EMAIL, TEXT +44 (0)7598 925 243 OR CALL +44 (0)1223 366 868.

What are the safety issues?

Our tours are as safe as we can make them. Safety is our priority above all else.

We follow carefully planned routes, which are virtually entirely in parks, bike lanes and large pavements. Many of the small streets in the City are one-way and only one lane.

Helmets are provided and come in a range of sizes. You are not currently legally obliged to wear a cycling helmet; however it makes good common sense. Suitable clothes for cycling include shorts as trousers/long legged ‘pants’ (for you Americans) can get tangled up in the chain. Comfort is also a safety factor.

We have a range of bikes with comfortable seats; however it is up to you to make sure the bike you use is suitable. If you are uncomfortable and want to change your bike that is no problem at all, just let us know.

Although our public liability insurance is up to date each participant is responsible for their own safety and actions. I’m sure if you initiate some common sense you should not get into any difficulties. Regardless you will be asked to sign a full disclaimer. If you are unsure as to what one of these are please let us know and we will do our best to explain it to you. A disclaimer will be provided to all our customers’ right at the beginning of the tour and you will be given plenty of time to read through it and sign it before you are given a bike and start riding.

We shouldn’t have to remind parents that they are responsible for their children.

How do we find your garage or meeting point?

Click on the Meeting Point page.

Can I bring a bag with me or leave it in the garage?

You are welcome to bring a bag with you. Some bikes have baskets where you can put your bag, which is much nicer than wearing a backpack. We also have little bags to put a few items in that tie to the front of the bike that are very useful. You are also welcome to leave your bag locked in our office while we are out for the day (left at the owners risk of course).

What days are you open and what’s the season?

We’re open every day except Tuesdays throughout the season. Our 2016 season will run from the 12th March to the 6th November 2016. Private Tours are available all year round by appointment only.

Do I need to wear/bring a helmet?

The short answer is no you don’t. However for your information we do provide helmets. Parliament has yet to legislate them to be worn, however the Highway Code Rule 45 states they ‘should’ be worn. Given that the Post Office has insisted on postman wearing them since 2003 that’s a pretty good indication that they are a good idea.

What happens if it rains?

This is a good one ... we actually provide cheap ponchos and go anyway. Unless it’s so miserable we can’t conduct a tour, in which case we act in the traditional British way and ‘go to the pub’ and you are welcome to join us if you get the first round in (!)

What if I am the only person who shows up for a tour?

If you've booked and we are expecting you, your guide will be with you at the designated start time at the meeting point.

If you are the only person for the tour (which happens very rarely and only at quiet times of the year) we can provide you with a bike, helmet, lock and map for the discounted rate of £5 for the day.

Is the tour conducted in English?

All our tours are entirely in English as standard; however we are able to provide tours in other languages including Mandarin upon request.

If you struggle to speak or understand English you are still very welcome to join us and meet other interesting people from around the world. We can even provide you with some written information in other languages if requested.

If you’re a large group and want to bring your own guide/interpreter that would be fine and indeed we’d let your guide come free of charge.

Do we go inside the museums, monuments and colleges?

Not all of them ... that would take too long. We do manage to put our heads inside Trinity even if it’s closed as we know a door round the side which is often left open but there is no guarantee. It is possible to take a walking tour of some of the colleges or just pay for your own entry. St. Johns college is £5 for admission and Trinity is between £1 and £2. Kings College Chapel costs £7.50 to go in for adults. Our recommendation is to go to Evensong in Kings College Chapel at 5pm every day except Sunday when it is at 10am and 3pm, which is completely free of charge and is sung by Kings College students and their choir boys. This is a seriously top tip!

Can I come and work for Cambridge Bike Tours?

That depends on whether you’re an outstanding person. There are various roles available so just come on in to the office and introduce yourself.

How big do the groups get?

Normally around 10 to 15 persons at the weekend but less during the week. Our limit is 25 unless it is a private tour or a pre-arranged school trip, in which case we can be more accommodating. If you’d prefer a more exclusive tour one can be arranged for you so just drop us a line.

Are these tours appropriate for children?

If your child can cycle by themselves and can maintain a leisurely pace, they certainly are! In fact we find that children probably gain the most from our tours because they learn some interesting stories that we hope they will remember and they get to hang out with young adults rather than just their ‘boring’ parents.

The vast majority of the tour is on dedicated cycle paths but we do go on the road at times, however that is only for a short distance and it’s quite all right to just walk on the pavement if you really feel uncomfortable.

We have stopped doing tours for very small children. If your child can cycle themselves then they are welcome to join us. This is usually at around 8 years old. We have various childrens bikes available to choose from.

Can I park my car or shuttle bus at your office or nearby?

We can provide street parking permits upon request, but a generous donation is expected! There is parking available at the Queen Anne Car Park (to the side of Parkside Swimming Pool on Parker’s Piece), which is the cheapest in the city. We have a Park&Ride initiative in Cambridge, which you are welcome to use, but leave plenty of time as it always takes longer than you expect. You can park in Chesterton and walk over a bridge and through Midsummer Common totally free of charge. Alternatively if you park at the far end of Mill Road it’s free and you can walk into the city from there.

Do you accept credit cards?

CASH ON THE DAY IS FINE. However, we do accept card payments in advance via PayPal by clicking on the links on our Tours page.

You can use any card and you don't need a PayPal account if you press a Pay Now button - but if you'd like to make a general transfer you will need a PayPal account or alternatively you can just make a bank transfer (BACS) to our account directly by asking for our account details.

Can I bring my dog with me?

If you can fit it into a basket in the front of your bike then ... why not! People in basket

Do you hire bikes out?

Yes we do for specific requests, but we are not a bike hire company. If you’d like a recommendation as to where to hire a bike send us an email and we’ll point you in the right direction.

If we wanted to hang onto the bikes a bit longer would that be possible?

It is possible by arrangement and subject to a deposit.

Can I bring my own bike?

That’s no problem at all but we can’t offer you a discount for doing so I’m afraid.

Can I buy a T-shirt?

You sure can! They’re available in the office ... however I think you’d look better in one of our polo shirt to be honest.

Where can I get a shuttle to/from the airport?

Drummer Street bus station is just down the road from Parker’s Piece and our office.

What things do I need to bring with me on the tour?

I’ve listed a few ideas below:-

  • Comfortable shoes
  • Camera
  • Sun screen
  • Cash
  • ID (passport, drivers licence or similar)
  • Hat
  • Sun glasses
  • Jumper (could get cold ... this is England)
  • Raincoat (if you’re really worried it’s going to rain)
  • Energy Bar
  • Bottle of water
  • Packed lunch (if you are so inclined)
  • Shorts rather than trousers (we don’t want clothing getting caught in the bike)

What are the Top 10 things to do in Cambridge?

Some Cambridge locals have put together insider info on Cambridge at which we strongly recommend.
Our suggestions however are as follows:-

  • Any one of our Bike Tours!
  • A Cambridge Blue Punting private tour of the river
  • Evensong at 5pm Mon-Sat 10:30am and 3:30pm Sun at Kings College Chapel sung by the choristers. Totally free of charge. (closed August and September)
  • Have a pint of real ale in The Eagle pub and read some of the comments on the ceiling in the back room. If you’re after a nice place for dinner try The Chop House or D’Arry’s
  • Have a glass of wine at the roof top bar at The Varsity Hotel
  • Eat Crème Brûlée in a college dining hall
  • Do the Great Court Run at Trinity College in under 43.6seconds on the strike of noon on the day of the Matriculation Dinner.
  • Cox an Eight at 5:30am on the Cam (takes 10weeks of induction lessons)
  • Watch a Footlights performance
  • Read AA Milne's manuscript of 'Winnie the Pooh' in The Wren Library at Trinity College. Totally free of charge. 12noon to 2pm during the week.

How many calories will I burn during a tour?

Well a typical City Tour you’re likely to burn in the region of 216 calories (by my calculations), which is slightly less than a Mars Bar at 260 calories. I think the Grantchester Tour burns slightly more calories, but it’s negligible. A pint of real ale in the pub in Grantchester will give you approximately 200 calories so it’s nice to know that it gets entirely burnt off!

What is punting all about?

Punting is actually a Dutch word meaning to ‘push’. This type of river craft was used to transport goods along the backs of the colleges to the mill, however now it’s just a fun touristy thing to do. There’s an Oxford way of punting where you stand in the front and a Cambridge way of punting where you stand on the back. It’s pretty clear, which is the more sensible way of doing it!

Can you plan a romantic weekend getaway for my girlfriend and I?

No ... not personally - however we are entirely independent and receive no commission on anything from anyone and so if you’d like some impartial advice from a local on just about any subject just ask your tour guide or send us an email and we’ll do our best.