Category Archives: Skedaddle HQ Staff

Our team in the office is an enthusiastic bunch and alongside efficiently organising our vast range of cycling holidays they enjoy escaping for fun on their bikes too. Read on to discover their expert advice…

Your data matters: A responsible approach

Here at Skedaddle, we’re all about living life to the full on two wheels! As the cycling holiday experts, we’re dedicated to making sure everyone who joins us has the best experience possible, both out on the bikes as well as at every other stage of the holiday journey.

So, with data laws changing, we wanted to take a few minutes to share our unwavering commitments to our extended Skedaddle family and the data you share with us…

We only gather essential information
All the details we ask for are important for enabling us to help you have the very best holiday possible! Some are necessary to keep you safe and secure whilst on the bikes and others are needed to make sure each stage of your Skedaddle experience is the very best it could be.

We won’t share information with anyone we don’t have to
Rest assured, we won’t be sending your details off to any external 3rd party companies to hassle you further down the line. Any data we share is with official service providers we work with closely and who would process the data to help us deliver you a great holiday and excellent customer service.

We only send you relevant information
It is our personal aim to make sure our marketing materials are as fun and informative as possible and these come jam-packed with fascinating trip features, expert advice and the latest Skedaddle offers. For those signed up to our newsletters, you also have the chance to tell us exactly what topics you’re interested in so you’ll only get the stuff that’s most relevant to you.

We’ll always give you the option to unsubscribe
Because we know minds are made to be changed! You have the right to update your preferences at any time and we have made sure unsubscribing is as easy as possible. Simply head to your account to do so or give our friendly team a call and we can guide you through the process.

We only keep your data for as long as is necessary
Saying goodbye is never easy but we know it is an inevitable fact of life! For those of you that don’t want to keep coming back for more Skedaddle fun, the day will come when we no longer need your personal data and after a certain period of time we securely delete from our system.

Good vibes and good values have always been at the heart of what we do at Skedaddle and we want our data policy to reflect that! As Elizabeth Denham, the UK’s information commissioner, the lady in charge of data protection enforcement, wisely explained, the new GDPR law is “an evolution, not a revolution” a statement we very much agree with. For more details check out our Privacy Notice.

Pedalling pilgrimages fit for the bucket list!

Pedal one of the world’s best-loved pilgrimages, a unique way to experience an inspiring ancient journey! Having cycled both the Camino de Santiago and Via Francigena, Marketing Manager Fran Wilson gives us the lowdown…

Trip: Camino de Santiago, Spain
The basics:  5 days cycling | 144 miles
Trip highlight: The Camino’s popularity is evident by the number of pilgrims walking the trail. This, combined with the almost constant Camino arrows counting down the mileage to Santiago city, adds an extra special dimension to the journey.
A note on the cycling: Expect a route packed full of surprises, from a challenging mountain pass, to peaceful valleys and fairytale-like woodland trails.
Top tip: Use the phrase, buen camino when passing fellow pigrims en route – it’s a great ice breaker.
Watch the video | Read Fran’s full review: Buen Camino! 

VS.

Trip: Via Francigena (Tuscany to Rome), Italy
The basics: 7 days cycling | 227 miles
Trip highlight: Welcome to Europe’s historical treasure trove! Whether exploring ancient amphitheatres or winding through medieval streets (not to mention the final ride into St Peter’s Square) the ancient wonders en route cannot fail to impress.
A note on the cycling: Idyllic landscapes make up for a few cheeky climbs along the way. Expect to be gliding past plenty of cypress tree-lined trails and endless fields of golden corn.
Top tip: Don’t be afraid to try the local dishes, this fresh food is delicious and just as good as the pizza.
Watch the video | Read Fran’s full review: Top 10 highlights.

The Verdict…
For me the pilgrim package is hard to beat and both holidays featured above have provided rewarding adventures that will be hard to beat. Time to get them on your bucket list!

Meet the Team!

Our team in the office is a passionate bunch and alongside efficiently organising our extensive range of cycling holidays for you, they enjoy escaping for fun on their bikes too.

Read on to discover more about some of the amazing folk that help make the wheels turn here at Skedaddle…


Name: Adam Walker
Job Title: Head of Sales and Customer Experience

1. Your history at Skedaddle…
Although you may not guess from my youthful looks I have been at Skedaddle for 11 years. I have looked after every type of cycling we do at one time or another and now my main focus is making sure the experience we provide our customers is top notch! I have been lucky enough to try quite a few of our trips both close to home and far flung but I always enjoy going to visit our teams in Sardinia and the south of Spain because they know the best sites and places to eat and drink.

2. What is your bucket list cycling destination?
I have always wanted to go to Japan but never got the chance when it was in our range a couple of years ago so I am really excited that we are offering it again in 2018. Being a bit of a glutton I also have my eye on our new trips in Piemonte as the food and wine are supposed to be incredible.

3. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Getting up hills are as much about practice as fitness or strength. Get out on your bike as much as possible before your trip so you get used to looking ahead and deciding how you are going to tackle each climb, either sprinting up short sharp ones or selecting a lower gear and spinning your legs up longer hills.

4. If your ride was a movie, what would be your soundtrack?
I like the quiet hum of tyres on tarmac! But if I need firing up a bit, something like Legend Has It by Run the Jewels is a go to.


Team Leisure and Family

Name: Kay Cliffe
Job Title: European Leisure Cycling Product Manager

1. Your history at Skedaddle…
I’ve been with Skedaddle for 6 and a half years. Starting as a complete novice, having only really ridden my bike as a kid, and in and around town, coming into the world of cycling mad Skedaddle was certainly an eye opener! Since then I had a chance to experience Holland, Croatia, Denmark, Spain, UK, Azores and also Slovenia from the saddle. There’s really nothing better than waking up in a morning knowing a new destination awaits your wheels!

2. What is your bucket list cycling destination?
South America – specifically Colombia, but I don’t think I’d manage the 50 odd mile climb. So since I’m more suited to gobbling up plates of pasta, Pisa to Florence please!

3. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Get up early. You’ll see everything in a new light. Whether that’s the light from the sunrise across some misty landscape, or seeing a city before it awakes, either way, you’ll get to see what the masses don’t.

4. If your ride was a movie, what would be your soundtrack?
Tina Turner – Proud Mary!


Name: Ruth Long
Job Title: European Leisure Cycling Travel Consultant

1. Your history at Skedaddle…
I’ve been here a month and a half now and have previously loved the Sardinia Island Flavours trip!

2. What is your bucket list cycling destination?
Slovenia – Capital to Coast. I’d love to explore this lesser-visited country – to explore the capital Ljubljana and then cycle west, stopping for coffee in Italy, and on to Piran where I’d treat myself to an outdoor spa treatment at the Salt pans.

3. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Always pack your swimming costume in your hand luggage – if your luggage gets lost and you have no clothes, at least you can swim.

4. If your ride was a movie, what would be your soundtrack?
Chic and Nile Rogers live from Glastonbury 2017 – legendary!


Name: Alison Marsh
Job Title: UK Leisure Cycling Product Manager

1. Your history at Skedaddle…
Having a background in travel and tourism and a great outdoor enthusiast, I joined the Skedaddle team in 2010 specialising in UK Leisure cycling holidays and have never looked back! I absolutely love the variety that working for Skedaddle provides and literally going that extra mile to make sure that everyone has a fantastic holiday.  If I had to pick my favourite trip, then it would have to be the Coast and Castles route from Newcastle to Edinburgh. Stunning coastal landscapes and masses of ancient castles and pretty villages. Totally biased of course as I live in Northumberland.

2. What is your bucket list cycling destination?
Got to be the new Romans, Reivers and Ancient Castles trip that we’ve introduced for 2018. It’s a wonderful, varied trip that covers 290 miles combining the Hadrian’s Cycleway and Coast and Castles routes.

3. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
There’s no shame in walking (especially up that cheeky climb).

4. If your ride was a movie, what would be your soundtrack?
The Chain – Fleetwood Mac.


Name: Lizzie White
Job Title: Family Cycling Product Manager

1. Your history at Skedaddle…
I’ve been at Skedaddle over 12 years and have joined trips in Asia, Africa and South America with many fantastic memories! Always love discovering somewhere new, whether it’s a hidden gem close to home or a new adventure further afield.

2. What is your bucket list cycling destination?
I’ve always wanted to try out our Asturian Coastal Ride, great scenery, culture and a refreshing glass of local cider waiting at the end of each day.

3. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Always carry a spare inner tube.

4. If your ride was a movie, what would be your soundtrack?
Tamacun by Rodrigo y Gabriela!


Team Road

Name: David Hall
Job Title: Road Cycling Product Manager

1. Your history at Skedaddle…
I’ve been at Skedaddle product managing since 2004 and during my time here I’ve guided in excess of 120 trips in over 40 destinations. Too many highlights to mention but I’m at my happiest when I’m on my bike looking down from the summit of some mountain we’ve climbed – always amazes me how quickly you forget about the struggle once you reach the top!

2. What is your bucket list cycling destination?
I don’t have a bucket list but of course I’m looking forward to trying out all the new trips we have on offers this year, especially some of the Hidden Gems because they’re basically a compilation of the favourite off-the-beaten-track roads of the Skedaddle guiding team – you just know they’ll be taking us to some special places.

3. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Once in a while deactivate Strava, switch off your Garmin and forget about numbers and competing with people you’ve never heard of. Do it like we did when we were kids and ride for the sheer joy of it.

4. If your ride was a movie, what would be your soundtrack?
Black Betty by Ram Jam.


Name: Kerry Ashberry
Job Title: Road Cycling Travel Consultant

1. Your history at Skedaddle...
Joined after seeing the Skedaddle van out on the road!  Sent in my cv and voila!  I was actually in Tarifa boarding the ferry for Tangier when I got the good news. 5 years later here I am liasing with our man in Tarifa, Dan the man!

2. What is your bucket list cycling destination?
I would love to ride Ventoux one day – may as well pedal all the way through France to get to it, so… St Malo to Nice!

3. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
There ain’t nowhere in the world you can’t explore by bike!

4. If your ride was a movie, what would be your soundtrack?
Tour de France by Kraftwerk.


Name: Jacky Drummond
Job Title: Road Cycling Sales Coordinator

1. Your history at Skedaddle...
I’ve been a part of the road team here at Skedaddle for 2 years and I’ve been off riding my bike on the North Wales UK weekend (the weather was cracking!!) and the Italian Puglia tour. I’m now getting muddy with the odd Mountain Biking trip too and I’ve had a great time in Ullswater, and I guess this was one of my best memories, I just couldn’t stop smiling! Another favourite memory and also the one thing I look forward to each year is ‘Guides Week’ – getting together with the full team in a fun environment. Bike riding, lots of laughter and a few cheeky drinks. 😉

2. What is your bucket list cycling destination?
My bucket list trip is the Italian Dolomites, of course this needs no explanation! The challenge of the epic Zoncalan and the Dolomites peaks are a huge draw.

3. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Keep an open mind and enjoy the full experience. From the social aspect of a group trip, through to the cycling and the enjoyment of the different cultures and destinations, soak it all up!

4. If your ride was a movie, what would be your soundtrack?
I could ride my bike and belt out Aerosmiths Crazy all day long!


Team Long-haul and MTB

Name: Andrew Straw
Job Title: Co-founder and Cycling Adventures Product Manager

1. Your history at Skedaddle…
Been here forever and looking forward to my knees surviving till I’m 80!

2. What is your bucket list cycling destination?
Japan – loved developing this one and can’t wait to share some sushi and cycling with some Skedaddlers.

3. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Always check opening times of the café before you set off on a ride…especially in Winter. After washing your cycling kit at the hotel sink wrap it in a towel and ring it out to get rid of the excess water. This works best with someone else’s fluffy towel.

4. If your ride was a movie, what would be your soundtrack?
Fleet Foxes and Keaton Henson if feeling mellow, Christine and the Queens if in France, Jon Grant and Foo Fighters if I need to get a wriggle on and anything that does NOT include Bicycle Race by Queen.


Name: Matt Cain
Job Title: Mountain Biking Product Manager

1. Your history at Skedaddle…
At Skedaddle 5 years now, primarily looking after our Mountain Biking and long-haul Cycling Adventures. I also do a significant amount of guiding, which I enjoy immensely. I’ve ridden most of our UK tours as well as a good selection of our European destinations. Every trip is different and it’s the people that create the lasting memories, both colleagues and customers.

2. What is your bucket list cycling destination?
Anywhere that I’ve not been before, so right now my next new destination is a bespoke trip through the High Atlas mountains of Morocco. I’ve not travelled in Africa so our new Swaziland trip is also very much on the list.

3. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Just do it! You hear a lot of mentions of being so ‘lucky’ to be able to have great travel experiences, but in reality we make our own luck. If a trip looks good to you then go for it, whether you are a solo traveller, a relative newcomer to cycling or after a big challenge you’ll have a great time!

4. If your ride was a movie, what would be your soundtrack?
I love the soundtrack of cycling; tyres on dirt, heavy breathing, wind in the trees! But if I had to choose then some good old fashioned guitars and drums rock: Foo fighters, Green Day!


Name: Mark Oliver
Job Title: Travel Consultant

1. Your history at Skedaddle…
I joined Skedaddle/Meet the People team earlier this year in February. I had previously guided on a Way of the Roses trip a few years back for Skedaddle. I’ve also spent 5 years cycle guiding across the UK and Europe. I very much look forward to sampling any of the many holidays on offer – specifically Road cycling as this is where I feel most at home.

2. What is your bucket list cycling destination?
Cycling in the Azores looks and sounds pretty amazing – idyllic scenery, fantastic climbs and great roads. Heaven!

3. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t ever underestimate your fellow cyclists (especially some of the old boys out there). You can always learn from each other. Plus… “Nobody ever died of tired legs!”

4. If your ride was a movie, what would be your soundtrack?
Riders on the Storm by the Doors. Or maybe Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin.