Even if your previous bike ride was in your childhood it is not a problem nowadays. I'll tell about pluses and minuses, new trends and give you review of bike tours.
Tourists ride relaxed; they can stop wherever they like and take photos. The guide is closing the column
Bike tourism is underestimated. There is a popular opinion it is suitable for sportsmen only. That's not true, in fact: there are tours available for unprepared participants. Travelling by bike gives the most powerful impressions.
Season of bike tours on Chuysky trakt is from April till November. It can be like that on the pass in April (exit of the tour base at the Seminsky pass)
Bike tours are balanced. They are faster than hikes (which are slow and boring), but slower and more sensitive than bus tours. Blowing of the wind makes it not so hot. Due to the speed, there is a feeling of moving (in comparison with hikes again). Riding a bike a person can choose the comfortable mode of moving.
Disadvantages come from the pluses - if the weather is bad, the car is more comfortable. And again it is a physical load.
The hardest bike tours are technically and physically hard, going through the mountains and paths, with staying in tents, without an escort car (we carry all the stuff on our own backs).
It gives the great views. But I had to climb that mountain on a kind of goat's path with the bike on my back to see all that beauty. My bike is relatively light (10 kg). But what about the load (25-30 kg)?
Altai paths (Алтай-Тур, 25 000 рублей).
It is a real cycling trip. Fully equipped and loaded bike. Going through the mountains and wild areas. You carry the set of necessary stuff: your things, provision, tents and equipment for overnight stay.
I've experienced this route in a lighter form, and, to be frank, I can't even imagine how hard it would be with the load: I had to carry the bike on my back through some half-vertical mountains along the Katun (here you can estimate the steepness of the ascents).
I wouldn't recommend this tour for beginners; if only you dislike a true hardcore).
The level of difficulty can be different - closer to middle and high. Accommodation in tents, sometimes at the hostels. Usually the route leads to the high areas and it is technically complicated.
All the organizers of such tours use the similar scheme of the work: you join the tour with your own bike, tent and equipment, and the organizer supplies you with an escort car, a guide and a field kitchen. These are mostly budget tours: you ride lightly, with a backpack. Tents and sleeping bags are being taken by car from one overnight stay to another.
I know a little only one organizer of that kind - Ivan and his guides from altayrussia.com. That is the man of incredible energy, he makes active and funny tours; my friends participated - got excited. This tour is mostly attractive to the tourists from Siberia with their own bikes (because it's expensive to transport the bike from afar).
Here is an example of the 4-day tour, costs 6900 RUB. It is not an easy route, big height difference, it will be hard without training (we tried). But it is beautiful and legendary.
Tungur path - with big history
Analogues of such tours are made by AltaiRoute, YouTour (all is similar); for example, tour for 7 days will cost 11900 RUB (analogue from YouTour). There is also Reva, but they can offer only short routes for joining.
Level of skills - beginner. Tourists carry their own things in the special bike bags.
In this field I know only Veloturo. I can speak for hours about them, because initially it had been our own project for three years. The tour was elaborated specifically for beginners - for those who hadn't gone in for bike sport and just could ride a bike, but not even regularly. Anyone could join that tour - ladies, grand daddies, those who were sitting in the saddle for the first time for 10-20 year (the first day is training day.)
The tour goes through the most beautiful road in Russia - Chuysky trakt, on the asphalt. The special bikes are used - touristic, for the asphalt.
Special highway wheels rolling forward, comfortable saddle (there's no need to wear special bicycle shorts), convenient seat, fenders, under saddle pintle with damper. Wide range of gears for riding on the hills.
The advantages of the tours - you can take a shower every day (which is important for a bike tour, because you get sweat easily). You don't have to bring your own equipment, you'll be given everything you need. As for minuses, geographical limitation - Chuysky trakt only. In other areas you're going to need a mountain bike and level-up in skills.
That is another version of Veloturo. Electric bike works in the following way: while you're rotating the pedals, the electric motor is working. It feels like you're constantly moving down the hill. If it's cold, the battery is enough for 30 km. Usually it is possible to charge it in a cafe or just ride as a usual bike (an average day mileage in that tour is 50 km)
So, that is bike tourism - to any taste. Since the city bike rentals appeared, bike tourism started gaining its popularity, as more people went into riding. Soon enough, I guess, there will be a boom of bike tourism - just like in Europe. Time will show).
Equesto CEO (FB)
Chapter 16. Bike tours in Altai
If you are going to visit Altai, you probably started with searching for the information in the internet: how, what, where, how much, what are the routes, reservation, sightseeings and tours. That's a huge work and it is time consuming.
Our mailing is a set of several letters full of concentrated and structured information, links to well-tried sights and sources and answers to questions.