Tour Life

What does a typical day look like?

5:30 AM – Wake Up/Breakfast

6:00 AM – Group Chores/Clean Host Church/Pack up Campsite

6:45 AM – Group Devotion

7:00 AM – Depart

7:00 AM – 4:00 PM: Cycling or Running or Hiking

Have an adventure! Take a break! See cornfields! Eat Lunch! Have great conversations with teammates! Eat ice cream! Change a flat tire! Have dance parties! Take a break! Take lots of pictures! Stop for water at a gas station! Talk to people about the cause you are supporting! Eat lots of Oreos!

4:00 PM – Arrive at final host destination

4:30 – 6:00 PM Group Chores, Showers, and Cook Dinner

6:00 PM  – Dinner

7:00 PM  – Group Devotional & Day’s Reflections OR Church Presentation

8:00 PM  – Start getting ready to go to bed!

Will the whole group run/ride/hike together?

On cycling trips: we try to stay in a group, but people will naturally separate into smaller groups based on pace. We require that you stay with at least one other cyclist at all times.

On running trips, you will typically run at the same pace as your 3 – 4 team members each day. We require all runners to stay with at least one other runner at all times.

On hiking trips, the entire group will stay to together for the duration of their hike.

Who will lead my trip?

All tours are led by 2-3 experienced Venture Tour Alumni that have gone through an extensive application process. Each leader is CPR & First Aid Certified. In addition, they receive 7 – 8 months of leadership training and development with our Tour Manager. Each leader is also required to attend a 3-day leadership training in the spring. Many leaders come back to lead multiple trips year after year.

Where do we stay at night?

On cycling and running trips, you will stay at churches most nights; you can expect to camp in a tent at least 2 – 3 times on a cross-country cycling trip. You may also sleep in high school gyms, community centers, or host homes while on your cycling or running trip.

On hiking trips, you will camp in a tent in the backcountry most nights, and you may sleep at a church 1 time at the beginning of the trip. You will be at least 5 or 6 miles from any roads, buildings, or civilization for the majority of your trip.

You will receive a list of hosts approximately 2 weeks before the start of your tour.

Will I have chores or responsibilities on the road?

Yes, you will be expected to participate in daily chores and tasks while on the road. Your trip chores may include but are not limited to: laundry, cooking, packing and unpacking gear, cleaning, as well as engaging with our hosts and participating in the events that they organize.

What will I eat?

Mornings will typically consist of a hearty continental breakfast: Bagels, peanut butter, jelly, cereal, milk, orange juice, yogurt, fruit, berries, and most days, coffee or tea.

Lunches are generally the same picnic-style setup every day: bread, deli meats, cheese, hummus, avocado, peanut butter, jelly, potato chips, Oreos, cookies, apples, bananas, various berries, trail mix, and granola bars.

Unlimited snacks include granola bars, trail mix, Gatorade, string cheese, and fruit snacks.

Dinners vary every night, but you can expect to eat a lot of easy-to-cook, simple, and high-carb meals. You and your teammates will be responsible for helping shop for and cook dinner, so the variety is up to you!

Do you accommodate dietary preferences?

Venture can easily accommodate vegetarian, gluten-free, and/or dairy-free diets. Severe and/or life-threatening allergies to common food ingredients are harder to accommodate. If your preferences are non-life-threatening, we will do everything to accommodate you; but please understand that you may need to be flexible with your preferences, especially in very tiny towns that don’t have very many grocery shopping options.

What kind of road conditions can I expect?

Road surfaces and shoulder widths vary greatly along our routes, but most of the routes are through rural American countryside. We select our routes to avoid high traffic, although at times we go through metropolitan areas. You may also rarely experience gravel roads.

You will sometimes ride in rain (and rarely, snow), and you will definitely experience intense headwinds (and intense tailwinds) during all trips. It may get very hot, very cold, extremely dry, and incredibly humid all on the same tour – especially on our longer trips. In the case of severe weather, lightning, or dangerous road construction, we will wait it out, shuttle the team in the van to the next location, or reroute. This will be at the discretion of your trained leaders.

Will there be a spiritual aspect to the trip?

The adventurous and extreme nature of our trips allows for intense faith-forming and life- shaping experiences. Participants are challenged to identify with Christ’s sacrifice, compassion, courage and character.

Mornings typically start with a short devotion and prayer. Many of our hosts are churches, and we will attend church services and present the trips cause as often as we are invited to do so. The community-building aspect of the team, living in close proximity with one another through extreme physical adventure, creates many opportunities for spiritual growth. Participants are expected to be aware and respectful of spiritual differences in teammates, churches and hosts. We are also aware and respectful that each participant is at a different place spiritually.

What happens when I get to our final destination? How will I get back home?

At the end of each trip we take a day or two as a team to debrief the trip and celebrate our accomplishments. We may spend part of a day doing “touristy” things, depending on trip length and location. The final day we will transport you to an airport or train/bus station to take your flight or ride home.

How far do we travel each day?

For cycling trips, we typically cycle between 60 – 125 miles per day. 95% of your days will be spent cycling around 85 miles. You will take a 10-minute break to refill your water bottle, re-stock on snack food and granola bars, and give your seat a rest every 20 -25 miles, which is about every 75 – 100 minutes.

For hiking trips, we hike about 10 miles per day, with 10 minute breaks to go to the bathroom (in the woods!), drink some water, and eat snacks every hour.

For running relay trips, we typically run anywhere from 14 – 17 miles per day.

Each day, runners are divided up into random groups of 3 – 4 runners. Those groups stay together for the duration of that day’s run.

On a typical day, you may run something like the following schedule:

Run a 6.2 mile segment in the very early morning (and then take a break),

Run a 5.7 mile segment in the late morning (and then take another break),

Run a 6.1 miles segment in the early afternoon, (and then be done running for the day).

The break in between runs last as long as it takes the other 3 running groups to complete their segments, which is typically about 3 hours.

During those 3 hours, you won’t be bored! You’ll help the leaders grocery shop for the day, spend time stretching, and meet your teammates that are running with encouragement, cheers, water, and snacks to keep them fueled while they are running.

What if I have to leave in the middle of the trip?

In the event of an emergency which causes you to leave in the middle of the trip, you would be responsible for covering the costs of your transportation home from that location. Due to our 501(c)(3) status, we cannot refund any money you have raised, and we cannot apply your fundraising amounts to a future trip or to another rider.

Where will we shower?

Some hosts have showers on site for us. In the instance they do not, the team will shower at a local gym.

Will we do laundry while on tour?

Yes! Laundry is done every 2-3 days while on tour at our host location for the night (if they have a washer/dryer) or at a local laundromat.

**There will not be an opportunity to do laundry on the hiking tour, as the team will be on the trail for 6 days.

Team Demographics

What are the age restrictions?

There is no minimum or maximum age to register for a Venture Tour, but riders younger than 18 must have parents sign a notarized minor waiver.

Participants younger than 17 must have recommendation letters and an extensive interview with the Tour Director, and may be required to have a parent participate with them on the trip.

What age are most participants?

Less than 20 years: 10% of participants

Ages 20 – 25 years: 25% of participants

Ages 26 – 30 years: 30% of participants

Ages 31 – 36 years: 20% of participants

Ages 36 – 50 years: 10% of participants

More than 50 years:  5% of participants

How many people will be on my team?

Cycling Trips: 8 – 20 participants

Running Trips: 8 – 13 participants

Hiking Trips 8 – 10 participants

Financials and Fundraising

What expenses does Venture cover? What am I expected to cover?

Venture covers:  food, lodging, transportation during the trip, and community gear, such as tents and cooking supplies through generous sponsors.

Participants are responsible for the following expenses: transportation to and from start and end locations, personal entertainment (such as trips to the movies), personal toiletries, and any extra snack food (such as ice- cream, gels and goo). On cycling tours, participants are responsible for extra tubes and the cost of any bike maintenance throughout the trip.

What does my registration fee cover?

The registration fee covers your two jerseys, a Venture T-Shirt, and the cost of printing and shipping your trip preparation materials. Your registration fee is not included in the fundraising amount.

Is Venture a registered charity?

Venture is a registered 501c-3 non-profit organization in the United States.

Where does the money I raise go?

We are committed to being good stewards of the money you and your supporters raise.

100% of the money you fudraise will go directly to the cause!

You can check out our latest Annual Report on our financials page for specifics and you can find out more about how we multiply the money you raise.

How much money will go directly to the partner non-profit?

Unless otherwise specified, 50% of all funds raised will go directly to the partner cause.

The amount of money that goes to the partner cause is variable, based on two things:

1. The number of participants that go on the tour.
2. The amount of money the participants collectively raise for that tour.

All funds raised above and beyond individual fundraising goals will also be split 50/50 between Venture and the partner with 100% going directly to the causes.

How much money do I have to raise?

Each trip has a minimum fundraising goal, but you are welcome and encouraged to set a higher fundraising goal!

See the Venture Miles Page for the fundraising goals of each tour.

Will my supporters get a tax deductible letter?

Yes, Venture is a nonprofit organization and has 501(c)(3) status in the United States. Your supporters’ donations, along with your own donations (including the trip deposit and any other payments) are all considered tax-credited donations in the United States. All donations are tax-deductible, non-refundable, and non-transferable to the fullest extent of IRS regulations in the United States. All donors, regardless of nationality, will receive a tax letter for all donations in January of the following year.

How much money should I bring?

Depending on the length of the trip, $5 per day should be sufficient.

Many riders do not spend any personal money at all on a trip. You are responsible for buying your own energy gels (such as Shot Blocks and Gu), gas station snacks, ice cream, toiletries, and fancy coffee.

Experience, Fitness, and Training

Do I already need to own a bike?

No!

In fact, many Venture participants do not own a bicycle before signing up for a tour.  Venture can advise you in finding a suitable road bike for your tour.

We’ve found in many cases, your local bike shop will give you a discount if you tell them about the cause and why you’re going on tour.

Do I need any previous cycling/hiking/running experience?

No! Anyone, regardless of experience, can successfully train for a Venture Tour. We will provide you with detailed training plans that are tailored to your specific level of physical fitness in order for you to successfully train for your tour.

About 90% of our cyclists do not own a road bike before registering for a tour, but we have also had olympic cyclists (really!) and professional cyclists join our trips as well.

About 90% of our runners have never run a 5k prior to joining a Venture run, but we have also have had marathon and ultra-marathon champions join our running relays.

How fast do I need to run/cycle/hike?

You should be able to comfortably go the following paces on your trip:

Running: 9:30 – 11:00 minutes per mile (for 5 – 7 miles)

Cycling: 14 – 17 miles per hour (for 80 miles on a flat road with no headwind or tailwind.)

Hiking: 2.2 miles per hour (on a flat, well-maintained trail with a full, 30 pound pack.)

Will my medical condition disqualify me from participating with Venture?

All participants must get a physical from a doctor, and the doctor will determine whether you are physically capable of participating in a Venture Tour.

Other Questions

Is Venture a Christian organization?

Yes. We work with multiple church denominations, but are not affiliated with any particular denomination. We believe that Christ offers hope and change for all people. We desire to live out the biblical mandate that God called His people to follow in Isaiah 1:17 when it says to “seek justice, encourage the oppressed, and defend the cause of the fatherless.

What if I get sick or injured on the road?

We will make our best efforts to get you to the nearest medical help or resources. If you cannot participate because of a physical injury, you, the leaders, and the Tour Director will determine if it is best for you to stay with the team and ride in the support vehicle, or if it is best for you to fly home. We assess this on a case-by-case basis.

I’m from Canada (or another non-US country). Can I participate?

Yes, absolutely! Most of our trips have at least one Canadian or non-US Resident. However, please know that we are only a registered charity in the United States and not any other country.

How do I apply?

You can fill out the application here.

After a short interview, you are required to send in your registration fee of $200. After receiving your registration fee, your name will be added to the roster, and your team leaders will contact you with training resources, fundraising resources, and information about how to connect with the rest of your team.

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