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…

Meet the team! Travel advice from our expert…

Say hello to one third of our lovely leisure cycling team, our expert Kay Cliffe! Having been helping travellers find their dream cycling holiday for many years now, we wanted to share some of her expert knowledge and top travel tips:

Tell us a little about yourself… 
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! It didn’t take long before I was heading off to Amsterdam for my first experience of place to place riding … hooked ever since would be an understatement. There’s really nothing better than waking up in a morning knowing a new destination awaits your wheels!

Are there any trips in the range you have your eye on?
The Lofoten Islands are always in my sights, they’ve been top of my list since walking through the door! Whilst waiting for Norway to warm up next Spring however, I’d like to be spending warm September days, meandering my way through sleepy French villages on any of our self-guided routes.

What do you think is the lure of a cycling holiday with Skedaddle?  
Our passion for making people happy. We want our customers to be on the right trips, at the right time, in order to create memorable and unforgettable experiences. With this in mind, we take care to only offer trips of the highest quality, finding the most interesting routes and working with dedicated, knowledgeable and experienced local staff and guides.

Having been on a few trips now what advice do you have for active travellers?
I’ve been lucky enough over the years to have jetted off to the likes of Denmark, Portugal, Spain, Croatia and the Netherlands … and all have offered up completely different views, vistas, people, cycling and experiences. My advice is to make sure you savour every moment. Take your time … stop for that coffee, take that dip in the river, take that silly photo, this is your trip so enjoy it.

Cake, coffee or sweets? 
Delicious, icy coca colas are always my preferred pick-me-up on holidays. Nothing beats it!

5 tips before your autumn biking adventure

Hopefully you’re coming out of summer with a decent number of miles in your legs, but with our busiest month of the year approaching there is always scope for some last minute preparation. Here are a few tips from our very own mountain biking guru, Matt Cain, for making the most of the last few weeks before your big trip…

  1. Make sure your bike is sorted. Get it serviced to make sure everything is good to go. Fresh tyres and brake pads are a great idea. Just don’t leave this to the last day or two before you go.
  2. Stay rested. Ride your bike and keep your legs active but don’t overdo your training at this late stage. I tend not to focus on big miles, but instead try to ride regularly and on as many consecutive days as possible. Commuting by bike is a good way to achieve this.
  3. Retail therapy. Get those last few items you need well in time. Check you have tubes, brake pads and suitable chain lubricant. Some new riding shorts can make all the difference once you are into days 3, 4, 5 of your tour!
  4. Prepare for everything. Late summer and autumn in the mountains can dish up any weather. Think about sunscreen and a hydration pack, but also waterproofs and baselayers!
  5. Pace yourself. Take it easy on the first few days of the trip as suffering an injury or minor accident early on can ruin your whole holiday. Your guides will give you plenty of info on what to expect each day so you can adjust your efforts accordingly.

Still haven’t decided on your autumn mountain biking destination? Don’t worry, there’s still time! Check out our range of MTB holidays for inspiration.

Cycling Puglia: Italy’s best kept secret

Starting in Ostuni, in the heart of the Trulli region, before heading to Lecce, the ‘Florence of the South’, our cycling holiday explores the best parts of Puglia. Our very own road cycling expert, Jacky, was only too happy to head here for herself and share her thoughts about this new road tour. We guarantee that you will also fall head over heel (pun intended) for this lesser known, but just as spectacular, part of Italy…

‘It was my first European trip with Skedaddle, I’d previously enjoyed a long bank holiday in North Wales which I can highly recommend if you enjoy a challenging climb and are looking for a short weekend getaway. This one was also my first ‘place to place’ cycling holiday – yikes – what was this going to be like?

I knew I had a passion for cycling, and I enjoy fresh faces and new company, so my plan was to go with the flow and absorb each aspect of the experience from start to finish. I kept my mind open, my face friendly and made sure my legs were well oiled…

It would be easy to write a daily detailed tale of all the wonders and challenges that I experienced throughout those 8 days, but I don’t want to give too much away, so I’ve narrowed down my holiday highlights. There were many, but I think the many images below captivate the moments that made it special to me.

I had set off for Puglia filled with a joyful excitement and intending to have a good cycling trip. Throughout the 8 days I was opened up to fresh new experiences that ticked many of the boxes my senses enjoyed… from the smells of the wild flowers and strong espressos;  to the tastes of the rare grape wine; cakes with my morning cappuccinos and the fresh seafood from our coastal restaurant in Gallipoli; the wonderful sights (including the suave Italian men and captivating women) and the sounds that were all around…  as we rode together as a group, sharing the joy with a sense of fondness amongst us that developed throughout the week… it was, as I had hoped, a memorable experience.

HOLIDAY HIGHLIGHTS

The Guides and the Skedaddlers
An interesting group of individual cyclists all coming together and sharing a unique holiday experience, each adding their own speciality. I was lucky many of them were well experienced Skedaddlers, and I was able to enjoy their thoughts on previous trips, fuelling me with plenty of inspiration for my next trip choice…

The Accommodation
They say variety is the spice of life! No hitting the snooze button here…  and when you have coffee and cake waiting for breakfast and a day in the saddle ahead, well, why would you. An interesting selection of accommodation, each one with it’s own unique style. I enjoyed the delights of exploring a new abode each evening…

Grub! Fuel! The Naughty & Nice Tasty Bits!
The legendary Skedaddle picnics, the espressos, the cake… and the wine! Not forgetting the ‘Strawberry & Coffee’ ice cream choices! Fresh seafood, pasta and of course pizza… mouthwatering delights were savoured each day.

The Cultural Wonders
We took this trip during Easter and were able to witness some great religious services. The three UNESCO areas were amazing. Lecce with the Baroque architecture carved from soft stone. Alberobello with the dainty Trulli houses and agricultural landscape. Matera was my sweet spot!

My Crescendo in Southern Italy
We reached the final destination, Matera…. And it was breathtaking. The cave town, with a visible history. Here we were perfectly located, overlooking trails running up the cliff sides. There is no time for trail running though, too much exploring in the town is to be enjoyed, every corner you turn brought new ‘pleasure for the eyes’… it certainly leaves you wanting more and I am keen to return and venture up that trail with my running shoes on.

My Final Thoughts…
Travelling by bike… Exploring on two wheels… Being able to soak in the surroundings, from place to place… For me it was great, when I got home I took some time to reflect… I’d just spent 8 days with some lovely people; doing what I loved.’

Feeling inspired? Jacky cycled The Heel of Italy guided road cycling holiday in Italy, be sure to take a look at our holiday page here for full details and to experience for yourself!