We get questions both before and after clients book their trips about what they can expect, and the questions span the gamut of everything you can imagine: ride difficulty, technical ability, trip logistics, food choices, and everything under the sun. We’ve tried to spell it all out on our website, but if you haven’t done an all-inclusive trip like ours, then the whole process is new and you don’t know what to expect.
So we’re going to make it easy on you: below you’ll find a step-by-step guide on what to expect once you book your trip with Chasing Epic. From the initial email to the days leading up to your trip, we’re covering it all. We’ll handle the dirty work, you just ride your bike (a lot) in preparation for your trip. Oh, and remember to relax and have fun, because that’s what it’s all about.
Receive Confirmation Email
Within 24 hours of your booking, you’ll receive a personalized confirmation email with a TON of information. Don’t let it overwhelm you- there’s likely plenty of time before your trip actually happens, so you’ve got plenty of time to digest the information we’ve provided. Here are a few important pieces that you should take care of sooner than later:
- Fill out the rider questionnaire. Unless you’re a repeat customer, we don’t know anything about you… and in order to make sure all of our trips are customized and perfect, we want to know all about you. Riding style, ability, favorite trails, height, weight, etc. There are about 10-12 questions for you, and it’ll take about two minutes to fill out; nice and simple.
- Write up a short bio. This is something one of our clients recommended, and we love it. In just a few sentences, tell the other riders on the trip about yourself. Where you’re from, what you do for a living, and why you love mountain biking: it helps with introductions, and it’s a nice ice-breaker on the first day of each trip. We’ll send these out with our itinerary prior to each trip.
- Pick your demo bike. Yep, as you already know demo bikes are included with each one of our trips, and you get to pick what you want. It’s totally up to you; some folks want to ride something similar to what they have at home, some people want to try something entirely different. We’re happy to make recommendations that fit the destination and your riding style, don’t be afraid to ask.
- Sign our online waiver. It’s short, painless, and our lawyers will appreciate it.
Book Your Travel
This one’s on you… but we can help. We get questions all the time about which airport to fly into, how early to get there, and when to schedule the flight home:
- We tried to make it easy by listing the best airport options on each destination page. For example, on the Moab page you’ll see that the Salt Lake City Airport is about 3.5-4 hours away (best option), Denver is a 5+ hour drive (option 2) and Grand Junction is about an hour and a half. In this case, Grand Junction is listed as the third option because it’s a tiny airport, and flights are tough to find.
- We recommend that you don’t try flying in the morning of the trip, for two reasons. First, there’s a really good chance that you’re coming from a low elevation and the trip is happening above 4,000 feet. Altitude sickness is a real thing, and we’ve seen it affect several riders on the first day. Second, flights get delayed, weather happens, and you don’t want to cut it close. If it’s possible, we recommend flying in the day/night before, renting a hotel room, and relaxing the morning before the trip starts.
- If/when you fly in the day before, you’ll obviously need lodging. Depending on the location, we may be able to book an extra night in the same accommodation for you. However, sometimes that’s not possible: in those cases, we’ll recommend a preferred local hotel that’s cheaper, comfortable, and centrally located.
- With regards to leaving: this one’s entirely up to you. We’ll finish on the last day around 2:00pm, which means you can possibly get a late flight out of a nearby airport. That said, we see about 2/3 of our riders stay an extra night (either at the destination or somewhere on the way to the airport) so they can explore a bit, eat a good dinner, and take their time. Plus, who wants to go back to work right away.
Check Your Email
We want to make sure you’re not short on information, so as the trip gets closer expect a lot of communication from Chasing Epic:
- One month out: We’re just touching base to make sure everyone has their flights and is all set with everything you need for the trip. If you’re bringing your bike, we’ll remind you to tune it and get it ready. We like to include a little stoke-inducing content as well, but you’ll have to wait for that.
- 10 days out: You’ll get the full itinerary with initial meetup time and location, planned rides, trip leader information, room assignments, and a whole lot more. Of course the itinerary is subject to change based on weather, conditions, etc., but we try to stick to this plan as much as possible.
- A few days prior: One last email from us with any necessary updates due to weather or schedule changes. If you have any burning questions, now’s the time to reply (to us or to all) and ask away.
Ride Your Bike
We get asked ALL the time about how to train and get ready for our trips… and in simple terms, we say “ride your bike.” That’s really it- ride your bike, and ride it a bunch. Different people have access to different trails, and with different lifestyles we know that time can be limited. The 1-2 months leading up to the trip are most important, when we’d recommend riding at least 2-3 times a week and pushing yourself a little more than usual. But again, remember to have fun.
- For trips like Moab and St. George, the important thing is to have a solid base of fitness and work on your technical skills. We recommend focusing on shorter, more difficult rides but building in the occasional long (~3 hours) ride to make sure the fitness is there too. Moab is most likely the most difficult place you’ve ever ridden, and it’s going to be challenging- but we know that, and we don’t expect our riders to come out and cruise through the tech like it’s their backyard. We’ll help you build up to where you’re feeling confident on just about anything we can throw at you. And if you don’t feel comfortable, there’s always a way around. Here’s a good video from our friend BKXC showing a big ride in St. George:
- Getting ready for a trip to Crested Butte or Angel Fire looks very, very different. These two areas aren’t very technical, but they’re going to push your aerobic limits with big climbs and high altitude. In order to get ready for these trips, we recommend longer rides and interval work. Try to do at least one ride a week that’s easier pace-wise, but where you’re on the bike for at least 3-4 hours. Then for another ride that week, do some interval work on a challenging climb where you push yourself for short bursts, but take a break in-between. Remember, we know about the altitude and it’s a very real thing, so we’ll make sure your transition is smooth and (hopefully) trouble-free. Here’s a good clip from The Singletrack Sampler from a day in Crested Butte last fall:
So that’s about it…. if there’s anything we missed, then feel free to shoot us a note and we’ll do our best to answer any other questions! We’ll see you on the trails!