Frequently asked questions
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT THE HAMBURG BIKE TOURS
Where do we start?
Our shop is located at 89 Bernhard-Nocht-Str in St. Pauli, near the corner with Davidstraße, in close vicinity to the Empire Riverside Hotel. The closest rapid transit stops are [S] Reeperbahn, [S][U] Landungsbrücken , and [U] St. Pauli. If you’re really into Hamburg public transport, the bus stop “Bernhard-Nocht-Straße” (bus no. 111) is right around the corner.
Parking is available in the (expensive!) public underground garage of the Empire Riverside Hotel right next door, at Reepberbahn-Garagen under Spielbudenplatz square, or at Tiefgarage Bavaria Office in Zirkusweg. Trying to find street parking in St. Pauli is a surefire recipe for stress and frustration…
How can I pay?
We accept cash and most kinds of “plastic”, including Visa and MasterCard. In addition, there are at least five ATMs within walking distance.
What is the cancellation policy?
Individuals may cancel free of charge up to 24 hours before the booked activity (tour or rental) was supposed to begin. If you cancel within 24 hours or less, the full amount is due.
Groups of up to 20 people may cancel free of charge with three days’ notice, groups of more than 20 people, seven days’ notice.
Can I leave my luggage with you?
What do I need to bring?
We definitely need to see some sort of government-issued photo ID (passport, driver’s licence, etc.), the number of which we will note on the rental contract. You cannot rent anything without valid photo ID.
Payment is mandatory before the bike hire.
When can I return the bike(s)?
Anytime between 10:00 and 18:00. A safe return outside of our office hours is possible only in the rarest of exceptions in our neighborhood, wonderful though it is in most other aspects (yes, we speak from painful, expensive experience).
Can I extend the rental period?
Maybe — if no one has reserved your bike for the time right after your originally planned return, we can usually arrange for an extension. Please ask us ahead of time!
Do I have to bring my own helmet?
Everything is possible, nothing is mandatory (old St. Pauli saying). If you feel more comfortable with your own helmet — by all means, bring it with you! Otherwise we can lend you one, included in the price of tour or bike. And if you’d rather have your hair tussled by the wind, that is okay too, you’re old enough to make your own decisions!
When can I book?
In season, anytime. Either through our web shop, or you can stop by unannounced and see what we still have available that day.
How long does the rental process take — will I have to wait?
Usually it’s a matter of a few minutes. We fill out a rental contract (yes, even if you have booked online) so we can keep track who is out with which bike, adjust the saddle height, check the tire pressure — and off you go!
On a Saturday morning in the summer, when the line of potential customers wraps around the block, you may have to wait a little longer. We promise that we don’t dawdle more than absolutely necessary!
Guided Bike Tours
Please be at the shop about 15 minutes before the tour is supposed to start, so we can equip everyone with a bike, make any necessary adjustments, and set off on time.
How does a guided tour work?
It will resemble any old guided city tour: we ride for a bit, then we stop and the guide will point out what is worth looking at at that particular spot and why, then we move on to the next stop and so on, until we’re back where we started. This is not meant to devolve into sport of some sort, therefore the speed is pleasantly leisurely. As much as possible we will stay on bike lanes and quiet side streets, but we will not be able to hide the fact that Hamburg is a major metropolitan city with a fair bit of motorized traffic, so it is vital that you actually, you know, know how to ride a bike…
Will there be a coffee break on the tour?
Usually, yes. We certainly plan for a short-ish coffee break on our (nearly) daily Hamburg highlights tour, but not generally on tours shorter than that. For private and group tours, we do what you like — if you want to pay for us to wait while you finish a three-course meal in the middle of a bike tour, that can be arranged! 🙂
Can I bring my own food and/or snacks?
Sure, no problem at all. We usually stop at a bakery or coffee shop for a short break during our tours, but there will always be a nice enough spot nearby where you can just sit and enjoy your sandwich or whatever else.
Are we wearing headsets?
no — while riding, they can present a security risk, and for the stops we seek out sufficiently quiet spots so we can communicate without technological help.
What is the shortest notice for cancelling?
Fundamentally, the same cancellation policy applies: you can cancel free of charge if you give us at least 24 hours notice. If you need to be even more flexible, maybe the flex option (catchy, eh?) is for you: it lets you cancel right until 30 minutes before the tour (!); we refund the price for tour and only keep the flex option surcharge.
What is the shortest notice for booking?
You can book as long as the online shop lets you. 😉 Of course, you can also try your luck and just show up a few minutes before the tour starts. If the tour is actually happening (that is, at least two people were brave enough to book in advance) and not sold out (see below), we’ll be happy to accommodate you.
How large is the group going to be?
For the public tours, we’ve set the max. group size at 16 participants, for private or school groups, at 20. If we know ahead of time that we have more bookings than that, we will assign a second guide and split the group in two (or three…).
Do I have to bring my own helmet?
You can, but you don’t have to. If you feel more comfortable with your own helmet, by all means, bring it! Or you can lend one of ours (included in the price). And if you ‘d rather have your hair blowing in the wind, that’s okay too! You’re old enough to make your own decisions! 😉
What happens when it rains?
We’ll get wet. 😀
Alright, a serious answer: Our tours go on in (almost) all weather conditions, and a reservation is a binding contract. However, our generous cancellation policy offers you a full refund if you cancel at least 24 hours beforehand, which lets you base your decision on a reasonably accurate weather forecast.
For private tours, we can usually improvise an alternative, for instance a combination of public transport and walking tour, with umbrellas.
Whenever Deutscher Wetterdienst, the German weather service, issues a “warning of severe weather” of level three (this could be torrential rain, extreme wind speeds, a particularly strong thunderstorm etc.), there is danger for life and limb outside, meaning we can do neither the tour nor a reasonable alternative. In these rare circumstances, we’ll try to find individual solutions (full refund, rescheduling…)
What should I wear?
We recommend comfortable clothing that doesn’t restrict your movement in any way, but you won’t need any special equipment. It is always a good idea to be prepared for inclement weather, though; the local climate is comfortably moderate, but weather conditions can change quite a bit throughout any given day, and breezy winds along the Elbe river are almost a given.
In the off-season during the winter time, definitely remember to bring a warm hat and gloves or mittens!
Do you offer walking tours as a well?
No, we only offer cycle tours. We like to focus on one thing and do that one thing as well as we possibly can. For us, that one thing is cycling tours in Hamburg.
Booking a cycling tour
Why can’t I book tour x?
The only tour we offer as a public tour for individuals is our highlights tour Hamburg Compact, in English every day from Monday to Saturday at 14:30.
You can book the tours easily right in our web shop.
Can we book a guide just for our group?
Sure! We have a portfolio of ready-made tours, with starting prices between 306€ and 324€ (equivalent to the ticket price for nine participants — yes, even if there’s just two of you). You can book them right in our web shop — or you can drop us a line if you have any questions (or, indeed, are curious about an entirely different topic or neighborhood).
Can the tour start at our hotel?
Probably. 😉 Send us an email with the details (date, location, size of group, etc) and we’ll see what we can do, and at what price.
How can I give away a bike tour as a gift?
You can buy gift cards here (in pdf form).
What happens when a bike has a technical defect?
For everyone’s safety, our bikes are well-maintained by our in-house mechanic. All bikes are equipped with puncture-resistant tires, but if someone gets a flat tire anyway, our guides carry a practical toolkit (and a spare inner tube) so that the tour needn’t stop for long. We also bring along a First Aid kit — better safe than sorry!
Does the bike cost extra?
The listed tour prices always include the use of a bike, as well as a helmet and/or wire basket, if you like. If you want to upgrade your bike to, say, an e-bike (pending availability) — yes, that will cost extra.
Can I use the bike on my own after the tour?
Almost always yes — we offer a discounted rental rate if you would like to explore on your own for a few hours, either before or after the tour.
Can I ride my own bicycle on the tour?
Absolutely! Make sure to use the discount rate on the public tours if you bring your own bike. You’ve just saved five euros!