How fit do I have to be for a GCH?
It is a frequently asked question when people are enquiring about our holidays, and one that is pretty difficult to answer succinctly, but that won’t stop me trying….
The answer I generally give is “it depends”
So, to elaborate a bit. It depends on what you hope to get out of a holiday with us. Everybody’s expectations and aims on a cycling holiday are different and given the format of our Open weeks and Ladies weeks it is highly probable that each person on each week will have different levels of fitness and also different aims. Being villa based we don’t have the definite need to be anywhere at any time like on an A to B touring holiday. This gives us and you the flexibility to change the itinerary at very short notice. Did too much yesterday and fancy a day at the beach, no problem. Loved the switchbacks up Dirfis and want more of the same? OK lets do Parnitha.
With clever route planning and strategic use of the GCH van to deliver guests to different start and end points, we can tailor the rides to suit people of all fitness’s. It is also often the case that by using the van, groups of differing abilities reconvene at selected cafes and tavernas for lunch or the end of the ride. This keeps the group together helping to foster the relaxed and social atmosphere our weeks are known for.
Time in the saddle
Obviously, a cycling holiday without any cycling is just a holiday so the fitter you are the more you will get out of your time with us and the more you will enjoy your time with us. Before your holiday we recommend that you be comfortable spending 3 hours minimum in the saddle. We don’t stipulate speeds or distances, but 3 hours minimum allows you to get a feel for beauty and culture of Evia.
For those a bit more masochistic then you need not fear, our queen stage comprises of approx 3600m in 120Km and is a big day out by anyone’s reckoning.
What about the hills
There is no doubt Evia and the nearby mainland is hilly. With Evia’s highest peak, Dirfis on one side and Mount Parnitha on the mainland on the other it would be hard to argue on the way to the Villa from the Airport that you won’t be pointing your bike uphill at some point. When this happens the climbs tend to be of a different nature to those encountered in the UK. Generally the climbs are long and shallow unlike the short sharp nasties of the UK’s national parks we are all so fond of (Honest!) so it’s a case of settling in and enjoying the view. There is also no shame in walking or calling for help in the event that they get too much.
For the months of May-July, with the summer season in full swing you may want to opt for a more leisurely week. With the rides done and dusted by midday you will have plenty of time for other activities such a enjoying the beach or the garden, wine tasting or just relaxing!
With the help of some stats here are some typical weeks with us for those who like numbers…