We’ve included the questions that we are typically asked.
If you have other questions, don’t hesitate to message us at “Contact” on the tab Contact/PMT/RSVP
Lodging is a mix of B&B’s or small inns or hotels, depending on tour selection. We have selected your lodging because of their comfortable rooms and gracious hosts. We reserve rooms with private baths. When the rare exception of a shared bath is the only availability, our cyclists are informed before reserving with us. The inn may have a common room or broad porch where you can make yourself at home. Many hosts will have a supply of books or games to borrow to make your stay enjoyable. Since they are experts on the area they will happily give you recommendations for restaurants or things to see and do. Some host will shuttle their guest to dining too.
Most of the inns have complimentary WIFI service.
In some cases, at a cyclist request, we will reserve lodging not on our list.
We have designed most tours to be moderate in length and difficulty. There is no need to sprint or set land speed records. Your cycling day is an integral part of the tour. Take your time and enjoy it.
We suggest that you ride a bicycle at home with some frequency before starting your cycling vacation. Generally, if you can ride 60% to 70% of the expected distance without a problem at home, you should be just fine on our tour. Walking and other general exercise is also suggested.
Your cycling day is an integral part of the tour. Getting to your evening destination is at least half the fun. Most tours average 35 miles per day (60 km,) and you should plan on 4 to 6 hours depending on how many stops you make. You may want a leisurely lunch or like to stop at antique shops or take pictures along the way. We can often make a custom tour with shorter or longer daily distances if you like.
If you are uncertain about your ability for these tours please contact us with your concerns. We will be happy to advise you
We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and PayPal.
On our website select “Contact/PMT/RSVP” tab select “Reservations” on the drop down menu and follow the directions to complete the form which will take you through to the end, the payment page. We use Stripe as our credit card processor. You will receive an auto email response from Stripe and Independent Tourist separately. If you have any problems or questions please contact us at
(309) 264-4514 or (866) 269-9913.
Personal checks drawn on US banks will also be accepted. Payments by check must be received at least 45 days before the beginning of your tour.
Yes, just call us with your credit card number (309) 264-4514 or toll free (866) 269-9913 (US or Canada). Please complete the reservation form on our website first and select the form that states you have a question before paying.
Yes, if it is drawn on a US bank in US currency. Checks cannot be used for payment of tours that begin in less than 45 days before the tour. Please indicate on your reservation form and/or call Bob Grace at 309-264-4514 for any questions before hand.
We will move your luggage during the day, but we recommend bringing some sort of pannier or bags to hold your day’s gear such as camera and rain gear. Bike rentals generally include a helmet and lock. Also, you can usually rent panniers and handle bar bags from our preferred bike rental shops.
When staying at hotels, separate beds are usually no problem, though depending on availability, some hotels may have a king or queen room with a pullout sofa area. At most of our B&B’s, rollouts are used for separate bed requests and the number of rollouts per B&B is limited. In some cases, depending on the number of cyclist staying at the B&B, we may be able to provide a separate room at minimal or no added cost. We will work hard to accommodate your request with no additional cost and will keep you informed so there are no surprises.
We work with local bike stores and rental shops with good reputations and service and we will refer you at the time of your reservation. A deposit is usually required and you will pay the remainder directly when you pick up your bicycle. Rental cost vary, depending on the type of bike. Examples: Standard hybrids are about $40 CD per day – $210 CD per week. $25 USD per day – $130 USD per week. E-bikes are about $75 CD per day – $390 CD per week. $80 per day USD – $360 per week.
Keep in mind that no matter how well maintained and sized for you a rented bike will not be guaranteed to be the same as what you may be used to at home. If you have a particular fondness for your own bicycle you may want to seriously consider bringing it with you if that is practical.
We recommend more of a hybrid bike tire, but our road bike customers tell us they are happy with the hard packed surface of the trails. Usually a size 28C diameter road tire, or larger is best.
Some basic bike mechanical knowledge can make your tour easier. A small tool kit and flat repair items (including a spare tube and small tire pump) are essential on any bike trip. Flat tires are the number one mechanical problem. If you don’t know to fix them we recommend:
If you encounter bad weather or a mechanical breakdown that you can’t fix, we will arrange for help or a pickup. The availability of help and timing will depend on where you are along the route, so we cannot guarantee an immediate response. This service is included in the tour but at times (rarely) there may be an extra cost.
We will also supply you with phone numbers and addresses of bike shops along your route as well as for your next lodging. They may be the best resources for mechanical problems.
Finally, you should carry a cell phone on your tour so you can contact us for help (309) 264-4514 or (866) 269-9913
Yes, you can bring your own or rent. Many people prefer the fit and feel of the bicycle they regularly ride. Plus, you will know for sure if it has all the right features.
Domestic US or Canadian flights and flights between the two countries will charge per bicycle each way. Some other international flights may count your bike as an extra bag or they may have extra charges for bikes. Check with your airline and with your favorite bike shop about flying or shipping. Some customers have their bike shop package and ship to a bike shop near our bike tour where it is unpacked.
Generally children over age 12 are welcomed at the inns. Our only requirement is that all of our cyclists, children included, be capable of riding the daily distance of the tour selected. If you are renting bikes, be sure to reserve well in advance. Most cycle shops keep fewer small bikes on hand.
Please see our Reservation and Cancellation Policy
Our dates can be flexible to fit your schedule. Usually you can start on 3 or 4 different days during the week (pending availability). However, our recommended start days are generally the best for logistics of dining options and lodging availability in each town. Please inquire of your selected start date as we can suggest whether it fits with dinning and or weekend lodging restrictions (B&B’s require 2 night minimums on weekends at high times in the season) After 17 years, we know the best start days for any given tour.
Your pre-paid price includes all:
lodging accommodations, breakfast , maps, route guides, and luggage transfers and unscheduled pickup due to severe weather, mechanical or other problem. See our website and your individual tour for specifics.
Augusta is 31 miles west of St. Charles on State Highway 94. Rocheport is 3 miles from I-70 exit #115 — about 117 miles west of St. Charles. Long term parking is available at either location. If you fly into the St Louis airport, we can arrange a shuttle at a minimal cost to Augusta. It is recommended to drive to Rocheport. Please call for any shuttle arrangements questions. Most all arrangements can be accommodated.
St. Charles is on the western edge of the St. Louis metropolitan area and is easily accessible from I-70 and other major roads. It is a 15-20 minute drive west from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. Shuttles and taxis are available to St. Charles from the airport. Long term parking is available at our shuttle pickup spot in St. Charles. If you are flying to St. Louis and catching the shuttle to your starting point we may be able to arrange an airport pickup that will take you directly to bike rental and outfitting before going west to your starting point. The additional cost will be about the same as an airport taxi, $30 – $40 each way.
Our Katy cyclists all ride eastbound. Our standard tours (#10, #11, and #12) usually start by parking at the eastern end of the trail at St. Charles. We will transport you west to your cycling start point. After an overnight there, you will begin the cycling tour riding east and eventually return to St. Charles where you started.
Cyclists starting in Rocheport (standard tours #13 and #14) will have a shuttle back to their car at Rocheport at the end of the tour. Adjustments can be accommodated with shuttle pick up at various locations.
Extended overnight parking is available in St. Charles, Augusta and Rocheport. You will be able to return directly to your car at the end of the tour (some alternatives end with a shuttle back to your car). If you rent bikes through our recommended bike shop, the rental shop will pick them up. No need to return bike rentals
Yes, we can shuttle any bike! Please note on the reservation form with dimensions and weight in the comment/notes section if bringing a tandem, recumbent, trike recumbent or E-bike and or E-bikes with extra fat tires. Please note that most rail trails have a crushed limestone surface and are better suited to a 28c tire or wider on standard hybrids or road bi-cycles. 32c is best.