FAQs

GENERAL

» Why should I choose Napa Valley Bike Tours?

We’re So Glad You Asked!

  • With two awesome Napa Valley locations and three levels of support to choose from, Napa Valley Bike Tours offers an array of experiences to suit every visitor and every budget. Choose from Bike Rentals, Self-Guided Bike Tours and Guided Tour options.
  • You’ll benefit from our local connections & experience: We’ve been visiting local wineries by bike since 1987 and it’s fair to say that in that time, we’ve developed great relationships and have gotten to know many great off-the-beaten path wineries. We’re eager to share our knowledge to enhance your experience!
  • Reap the rewards of our local knowledge: Our Tour Guides and shop staff reflect a diverse array of local knowledge and expertise. Our team includes an entertaining mix of local history buffs, backyard botanists, ecological enthusiasts and even some garage winemakers! Everyone on our team shares a commitment to enriching your wine country vacation by imparting knowledge that will deepen your appreciation of the world-class wines that are made here. We’re pretty pleased with ourselves when you have a “That’s cool! I didn’t know that!” moment with us.
  • You can choose from a wide range the support options delivered by a great team: A key characteristic of everyone you’ll meet at NVBT is a shared commitment to doing everything we can to make the day you spend biking with us the single most favorite thing you did during your vacation. We love sharing the place we live, work and ride with visitors who want to see and taste the best of what this beautiful area has to offer.
  • You’ll ride on top-notch bikes: We get a brand new fleet of Specialized bikes every year; our rental bikes are professionally maintained by our professional mechanic. We replace all of the stock tires with high-quality, puncture-resistant tires to greatly reduce your chance of getting a flat.
» How long does it take to drive from San Francisco?

Depending on traffic, Napa and Yountville are approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes to 2-hour drive from San Francisco. Friday afternoon (after 3:00 p.m.) is the heaviest commute time with the Bay Area weekend getaway traffic.

» How can I get to your shop from San Francisco without a car?

Although public transportation exists between San Francisco and Napa Valley, it’s not recommended since the trip takes about 3 hours one way. Public transit directions: From the San Francisco Ferry Building, you can take the Baylink Ferry to Vallejo, then take the Vine Bus Route 11 to Napa Valley College and then take Vine Bus Route 10 to Napa/Yountville.

As of April 2016, the estimated Uber fare for the one-way trip from San Francisco is $95-150.

» What are the best options for biking with kids?

The Oak Knoll Section of the Napa Valley Vine Trail (scheduled to open August 2016) is a 7-mile bike path connecting the towns of Napa and Yountville that is perfect for a scenic (and totally car-free!) family-friendly ride. You can rent bikes and access the Napa Valley Vine Trail easily from either our Napa or Yountville shop locations.

From our Yountville shop, families also enjoy our 7-mile “Tour De Yountville” route, which is essentially an out-and-back ride along Yount Mill Road. There is not a bike lane on Yount Mill Road, but most families are comfortable riding single file along this road since it is very lightly trafficked. The Tour De Yountville passes by The French Laundry Culinary Garden, Yountville Park and the resident longhorn cows on Yount Mill Road.

» What is the weather like?
Average Monthly Temperatures

Average Monthly Rainfall


GUIDED BIKE TOURS

» How far will we ride on the bike tour?

On our guided bike tours, you will ride an average of 3 to 6 miles between stops at local wineries for tastings. The terrain is mostly flat to gently rolling. The total mileage is usually in the neighborhood of about 15 miles.

» How much should be budget for wine tasting fees?

Average tasting fees in the Napa Valley are between $25-40. On the Classic Half-Day Bike Tour or Cycling IN the Vineyards Tour, you will visit two wineries. On the Full-Day Napa Valley Bike Tour, you will visit three wineries.

» Why aren't tasting fees included in the price of the tour?

Wine tasting fees are not included in the bike tour price because 1) Tasting is optional (although our tours are wine-focused and most people who sign up for our tours do so with the intent of participating in the tastings) and 2) Your fees may be waived with minimum purchase (fee waiving policies/practices vary by winery).

» How many wineries will we visit?

On the Classic Half-Day Bike Tour or Cycling IN the Vineyards Tour, you will visit two wineries. On the Full-Day Napa Valley Bike Tour, you will visit three wineries.

» What is the picnic lunch like (Full-Day Bike Tour only)?

The catered picnic lunch that is served during the Full-Day Napa Valley Bike Tour; includes an assortment of deli sandwiches (selections include turkey-brie, Sonoma chicken salad, roast beef and cheddar with prairie-thyme roasted tomato chutney, and more…), green salad, fresh fruit and accompaniments (e.g. olives, garlic dip etc.). On days when we have four or fewer guests on tour, we most often will offer a box lunch format where each guest individually orders their own sandwich and side.

» How much should we tip our Tour Guide?

The typical range is $10-15 per guest for Half-Day Bike Tours (Classic Half-Day and Cycling IN the Vineyards) and $20-30 per guest for the Full-Day Napa Valley Bike Tour. Gratuity is split between your Tour Guide and Van Support.

» Can I bring my own bike?

If you have your own bike, we’re happy to act as your “touring center” and provide free maps and advice. Yountville is the best place in wine country to start your ride! We do not offer a discount for guests joining a guided tour and bringing their own bike.

» What should I wear on the bike tour?

Cool mornings make layering the best choice for most activities in the Napa Valley. Beyond that, your main focus should be comfort. Casual shorts or cropped pants are recommend. Denim is probably the only fabric we recommend avoiding due to its thick seams. If you plan to wear long pants, tapered legs are advisable, or you may need to roll or cinch your right pant leg to avoid getting a nasty grease stain or getting caught on the derailleur (we have Velcro straps you can borrow, if needed). We recommend wearing closed-toe shoes or sandals that are securely strapped on your feet.

» Can I bring my children?

Many of the wineries we visit do not allow visitors under the age of 21 inside their tasting rooms; additionally, our guided tours are adult-oriented and wine-focused and many of the roads we ride on are not appropriate for younger riders. For all of these reasons, children are not allowed on our guided bike tours.  We find that most families with children prefer the flexibility of a Self-Guided Bike Tour or Bike Rentals, since you can choose your route and decide if/when to include winery visits along your route. While there are most often no kid-centered activities available at the wineries, kids are usually welcome to play outside.

» What happens if it's raining?

On days when rain is forecast, we do require guests to report to the shop at the designated “Meet Time” for their scheduled tour. On days with light/intermittent rain, we can provide rain jackets to keep you dry and comfortable. In the unlikely event of heavy rain, we may offer to convert you to a chauffeured van tour instead and your Tour Guide will go out of her/his way to visit some special wineries that we wouldn’t have been able to visit by bike. We also offer the opportunity to reschedule or cancel for a full refund on rainy days.

SELF-GUIDED BIKE TOURS

» What's the difference between a Bike Rental vs. a Self-Guided Bike Tour?

A Self-Guided Bike Tour is a bike rental package that includes two key enhancements over a bike rental: 1) A delicious box picnic lunch (which we can deliver to a winery along your route) and 2) Wine-purchase pickup service. The value of these additional features depends upon whether you’d like to enjoy a picnic at a winery (especially when you realize that wineries are not permitted to sell/serve food themselves) and whether you plan to purchase wine and might benefit from the wine purchase pickup service.

» Will you help us plan our route and schedule winery appointments?

We are unable to personally plan itineraries for our Bike Rental and Self-Guided Bike Tour guests; however, when you reserve a Bike Rental or a Self-Guided Bike Tour, your email confirmation will include links to both our Bike Route Map (illustrating our signature routes and the wineries located along them) as well our Planning Guide, which lets you know which wineries require appointments, which wineries allow picnicking and further helpful info. Once you’ve had a chance to review these materials, we welcome your call if you need further advice or want to run your plans by someone. We’re happy to help!

BIKE RENTALS

» Do you have a 30- to 60-mile route recommendation for avid cyclists?

Do we ever! Check out our Top 9 Routes for Avid Cyclists.

» Should I bring my cycling shoes?

It depends on your objectives. By all means, if you’re planning to get a good long workout ride in definitely pack your shoes and let us know what type of pedal system you use so we can equip your bike with the appropriate pedals. However, if you’re planning to visit wineries by bike, cycling shoes with cleats can be awkward and uncomfortable for walking around at the wineries. Also consider the other people you’ll be riding with; you may not need to clip in if you’re riding with less experienced riders.