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Keeping Safe During COVID-19

We are committed to keeping you safe and will take all necessary precautions to do so.

Our Commitment

Update effective October 1, 2021: Due to continued high positivity rates, especially in the Southeast, and out of concern for our clients, staff and communities we visit, Bike the South now requires proof of vaccination for any overnight tour and proof of vaccination or negative test results for any day tour.

We are committed to keeping you safe and will take all necessary precautions to do so. We are  using as our guide the “Activity Guidelines for Adventure Travel” developed jointly by the Adventure Travel Trade Association, the Cleveland Clinic and several bicycle tour operators.

We are also working to be responsive to client concerns. In a recent survey we conducted, top concerns were riding in a van, dining out, interacting with the public, and overnight lodging. Therefore, all programs are designed, whenever possible to avoid van travel (with special protocols when vans must be used), to have picnics or outdoor dining, and to avoid any crowded settings (typically a good reason for bicycle tours anyhow!).

Due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic, we also offer cancellation policies that are especially flexible.

Before Your Tour

Before your tour, we ask that you pay close attention to your health at least one week before the start of the tour. To the fullest extent possible, also minimize your contact with other people outside your household or immediate circle during that period. If you experience any signs of COVID-like symptoms within seven days of departure, please contact us immediately. You may be required to take a COVID test within three days of departure and provide evidence of negative results, or we make work with you to make alternate arrangement for your tour.

At the start of the tour, we will ask you if you exhibit any signs of COVID or if you have been around those who have been or have tested positive. We will also take your temperature. If you respond positively to the questions or have any symptoms, you will not be allowed on the tour. As always, we recommend that you take out travel insurance, as our cancellation and change policies will apply.

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During Your Tour

On guided tours, we will limit group size to eight people unless all participants are from the same household. If more than eight people register, we reserve the right to split the group into two parties, each with its own dedicated guide, support vehicle and driver.

On self-guided and supported tours, since participants typically don't ride together, we will not have group limits. However, we may stagger start times to ensure separation between participants.

Routes are designed to avoid stops in areas of heavy congestion.

We ask that participants keep three bike distances apart when cycling behind another rider and at least three feet apart when riding beside another rider. When stopped, we ask participants to put on masks and maintain at least six feet from others. When entering any public space or when with other riders, we require participants to wear masks and maintain social distancing. On guided tours, we will have hand sanitizer available, but we encourage participants to bring their own on any tour.

If you show any signs of COVID-like symptoms during your tour, you will be required to self-isolate. If you are ill, we will assist you in making arrangements to get home, but you are ultimately responsible for all arrangements and costs. Again, we recommend travel insurance to offset any expenses.

If you show signs within two weeks after your tour, please inform us so we can inform others with whom you interacted.

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Meals, Picnics and Snacks

Whenever possible for guided tours, meals and snacks during rides will be pre-packaged and served outdoors. Guides will wear gloves and masks and will provide hand sanitizer. When we're dining at restaurants, we will eat outdoors whenever possible. In other cases, we focus on restaurants that follow strict hygienic protocols.

Please bring your own water bottle.

Food services generally aren't included on self-guided and supported tours.

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Support Vehicles

Whenever possible, tours are designed to avoid the need for transfers by vans or other support vehicles. However, van use can't always be avoided, either for planned transfers or to support a tired rider, and we will follow strict protocols to ensure the safety of riders and staff.

Vans will not run at full capacity, and we assign seating so that the same person is using the same seat during any given day. We will also assign seating that only members of the same household are in the same row. Windows will remain open. Before entering a vehicle, passengers will use hand disinfectant. Passengers will be required to wear masks when entering, exiting or on board the vehicle.

Vehicles will be cleaned and sanitized each night, with additional cleanings as needed.

We ask the passengers keep their personal belongings with them in their lap or under the seat whenever possible.

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Our staff will disinfect rental bicycles before each ride, focusing on handlebars, gear shifts and brake levers and other high-touch areas. We will provide disinfectant to any rider who wishes to use it, whether it's for a rental bike or a rider's own bicycle. Rental helmets are not available due to hygiene reasons (even beyond COVID!) and to make sure they fit you.

During meals, orientations and other gatherings, we will practice social distancing, spreading seats apart and/or requiring masks to be worn.

We will research and follow local restrictions at all times.  We will only select hotels that have policies in place to minimize the risk of spreading the virus.  Gatherings as a group will be outside as much as possible, or will use the 6-foot rule, or masks as needed.  Similarly, restaurants must have additional precautions in place.  We will expect to separate into small groups for in-house dining, or to get take-out to enjoy our meal outside.

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We will select overnight accommodations that are committed to safety and hygiene protocols as required by local health departments and in line with recommendations from the United States Travel Association. These protocols include but are not limited to:

  • Staff use of personal protective equipment
  • Limited contact with staff through the installation of physical barriers and the use of touch-less registration and payments
  • Frequent sanitization of high-touch services and the distribution of hand sanitizers in public areas and hotel rooms (we encourage you to bring your own sanitizer for hotel rooms to be doubly sure)
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Questions? Drop us a line.