Category Archives: Guides

Guide Profile: Alex Heron

Alex Heron joined us in 2016 after hearing great things about Saddle Skedaddle from his friends who guided and traveled with us before. And being a Jack-of-all-trades, Alex has since guided a number of Road, MTB, Family and Leisure cycling trips in the UK and France – including the iconic St Malo to Nice journey, which he says is the highlight of his Skedaddle career so far.

In our quest to share our incredible guides with the world, here’s a little Q&A with Alex so you can get to know our brilliant team a little bit better…

Full name: Alex Heron

1. What do you like most about Skedaddle?
Right from my first contact with Skedaddle I felt everyone cared about the same thing; looking after customers. The whole team seem to have the same values which makes  them great to work with. Oh, and it’s fantastic fun! I mean…  when I’m guiding I’m on a bike a lot of the time and visiting beautiful places with folk who are there to enjoy themselves. What’s not to like?

2. Give your best piece of pre-trip advice for customers…
Prep! By making sure you and your bike are ready for your trip all you’ll have to think about  when your there is enjoying the riding, fantastic scenery, culture, food, wine, company… I could go on, but you get the idea.

3. Which trip are you most excited about in our holiday range?
I have yet to guide on a Skedaddle trip I haven’t enjoyed. But for me the best ones are Iconic Journeys, travelling across countryside, poking about old towns and taking in the changing culture. So Lands End to John O’Groats, St Malo to Nice or any point to point trip in the UK or Europe.

4. What would your chosen superpower be?
Now that’s a tough question! I’m pretty happy with the ones I’ve got (I wish) but on balance I’ll go for Atmokinesis, which according to the Oxford Dictionary of Superpowers is “one of the most powerful abilities in existence where one can control and manipulate the various forms and aspects of the weather itself”. Guaranteed sunshine on all cycling trips!

5. What is your favourite power snack and why?
No competition! Peanut butter and jam sandwich. Everything you need for a day out in a handy portable snack!

6. Item you can’t be without on a cycling holiday?
It’s always hot and sunny on Skedaddle holidays, so as a pale faced Brit definitely my Factor 500 sunscreen and a good pair of shades.

Want to know more about our Guides? Check out our Guide section on the blog to get to know our team a little bit better and for some expert advice on everything cycling.

Guide Profile: Laura McAuley

Laura joined Skedaddle in 2014 on a trip to the Scottish Highlands, and since then, she has guided this trip at least once every year with us! You can also spot her in France if you join one of our French road cycling holidays. In an effort to share more about our talented team with you all, we caught up with Laura to hear more about her time at Skedaddle and some of the top guiding tips too…

Full name: Laura McAuley

1. What do you like most about Skedaddle?
The enthusiasm, camaraderie and humour among the staff and customers. Through Skedaddle, I have met some of the nicest people. The staff very much know what they are doing, which helps! The customers really make each trip so unique and interesting.

2. Give your best piece of pre-trip advice for customers…
Don’t forget your chamois cream – generally speaking, people don’t like to share…

3. Which trip are you most excited about in our holiday range?
Mountain Biking in south of Spain – Sensational Sierra Nevada. It looks like a real challenge and is a trip I couldn’t do myself without the expertise of a guide who knows the trails. One year, maybe…

4. What would your chosen superpower be?
Definitely teleporting! Imagine the bike itineraries you could put together… and without having to negotiate Ryanair’s booking system!

5. What is your favourite power snack and why?
Flapjack. With the filthy butter and syrup version, you can kid yourself on that it’s healthy. OR you can actually get healthy ones. Chia Charge are doing an awesome cranberry flapjack containing no refined sugar. Great slow energy, tastes good with plenty of bang for your buck calorie-wise.

6. Item you can’t be without on a cycling holiday?
Paper maps of the route. That’s not to say I don’t embrace technology, I just love the aesthetics of seeing the whole route laid out in front of you. Especially pleasing if the holiday is a coast to coast or a raid. AND folded up and waterproofed, maps can’t run out of battery, break or fall off bike and get lost on descents of super rough bits of Scottish mountains (true story).

Want to know more about our Guides? Check our our Guide section on the blog to get to know our team a little bit better and for some expert advice on everything cycling!

Take on the mountains of Sardinia!

With our classic Sardinian Mountains guided road cycling trip revamped for 2018, we asked one of our local guides, Lieven Loots, about his favourite sections of the new route that you should get excited about right now!

The Coastal Road to Villasimius
23 km of perfect tarmac winding its way up and down through the highly panoramic coastal scenery in the southeast of Sardinia – because one can’t come to Sardinia and not cycle at least a little bit along the coast!

Genna Silana Pass
One of Sardinia’s most panoramic roads winding its way up from sea level to 1017m above sea level, through some truly amazing scenery dominated by soaring limestone cliffs and one of Europe’s deepest canyons – Gola di Gorropu – only to arrive at sea level again 60 km later – all on near perfect tarmac and with very low traffic. A definition of a road cycling heaven!

Climbing Monte Albo
A 13 km climb in two parts, the first seeing you slowly rise along the valley through thick mediterranean vegetation, the second taking you up to the top along barren limestone slopes. Sardinia’s answer to the Dolomites or – dare we say so – Mont Ventoux!

The Descent to the Flumendosa Lake from Sadali
One of Sardinia’s best descents which will take you on an exhilirating 15 km ride through a neverending series of sweeping bends – well off the beaten track and therefore virtually traffic free. With the added bonus of the view on the lake.

Riding the Trexenta Hills
A wonderful rolling road including one longer climb sneaking it’s way through some real unspoilt Sardinian countryside – you’ll be more likely to meet free roaming sheep and cows than cars along this 25 km stretch of cycling bliss. An ideal way to finish your cycling holiday in style.

Feeling inspired? Ready to take on the mountains of Sardinia? Our road cycling classic, Sardinian Mountains, is perfect for riders who prefer a few more miles under their belt each day and don’t mind an uphill challenge!