Category Archives: Customer Stories

Stories from our trips written by customers

Customer Story: Repeat Offender

Having recently returned from yet another Skeddadle guided cycling holiday, Nick shares a few thoughts as to why he keeps on coming back for more and what makes our holidays uniquely enjoyable…

Easy to organise.  I’m sure we’ve all thought about organising a cycling holiday somewhere warm and sunny but then when it comes to the logistics it starts to get complicated. So where do you want to go? France, Italy, Spain, on or off road? There’s plenty on offer. Personally that’s the great thing about Skedaddle, they only ‘do’ cycling holidays, nothing else and run their own trips with their own dedicated guides. Rest assured they know their stuff and go out of their way to ensure everything is perfect, leaving you to concentrate on what really matters, enjoying your cycling and having a relaxed time.

Just Ride – The great thing about a Skedaddle leisure guided trip is that you can ride at your own pace, with your partner or friends. It’s not a race and with guides at the head and tail of the group you’ll not get left behind, so you can soak up the scenery and enjoy the ride. There are always opportunities to stop for have a coffee, grab a cheeky gelato or chat with the locals. Just as if you’d organised your own trip but without the hassle.

Whether you’re taking your own bike or hiring one locally (including e-bikes) it’s good to know there is full back up en-route.  On my recent trip in Italy I had a problem with my gears which meant if I had been on my own it would have been impossible to continue the day’s ride. However a spare bike was promptly pulled from the support vehicle and I was back on the road within 10 minutes, my original bike being fixed and back in full working order before I’d had my second beer on arriving at our destination! That’s service.

Great Accommodation – No, make that amazing accommodation! You’ll not be billeted in faceless large and impersonal hotels. You’ll be staying at a small local boutique hotels where you’re treated like a valued guest not just a room number. Perhaps you’ll enjoy an agritourismo where you’ll be hosted like you are extended family. Breakfast on the terrace, a cheeky beer after a day in the saddle, a splash in the pool or supper under the stars, you won’t be disappointed wherever you stay.

Delicious Local Food. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy my cycling but I also enjoy my food. It’s an integral part of my holiday to savour flavoursome local dishes made with fresh ingredients, not to mentionappreciating a selection of the regional wines. And there is nothing more enjoyable than sharing such delights with your fellow cyclists and guides. A perfect opportunity to relive the day’s highlights and wonder what tomorrow’s route has in store. Almost forget – Skedaddle lunches are legendary. They are prepared daily, usually served in the cool shade under the trees along your route and you certainly won’t go hungry.

Making New Friends. I don’t consider myself a person that needs to be in a group, in fact if you’d have suggest to me to go on a group holiday I’d probably say ‘no thanks’. But having overcome my initial reticence I’d say in general your fellow Skedaddlers are usually like-minded, engaging individuals who share a passion for cycling and will enjoy sharing their week. In fact I made several new friends on my initial trip to Sardinia over 11 years ago and I have stayed in touch ever since, not to mention those I’ve acquainted more recently.

So if you are thinking about booking your first Skedaddle trip or perhaps never enjoyed a guided or perhaps a leisure type trip then I’d urge you to do so. Hopefully you will enjoy it for all the same reasons I do and you’ll be left with wonderful memories and a huge smile.’ Nick

Nick is our July winner of the Customer Competition. His journey from Tuscany to Rome inspired him to send us this entry and we absolutely love it. Thanks Nick!

Customer Story: Biking the Camino

Our Ruta de la Plata holiday is ultimately Spanish wilderness biking at its best, with long climbs, thrilling descents and new challenges every day.  It also follows an ancient trading and pilgrimage route, making it quite a unique spiritual experience. This Spring Jan experienced it all firsthand, keep reading to learn about his journey…

‘The adventure started with a tour of Seville and eventually, behind the cathedral, we picked up the first Camino sign. After approximately an hour we had a coffee break opposite the entrance to a Roman archaeological site. Our next destination was Almaden de la Plata.

The next morning we cycled past the Roman aqueduct, and amazing three tier structure covered with stork nests. The next stop was the reservoir which supplies the city with water, also Roman.

We reached Salamanca, our halfway point! The vistas from the ridge were very impressive, with snow in the distance. We stayed on the edge of the old town and walked across the Roman Bridge to the centre where we enjoyed drinks and dinner. A wonderful city it is.

On our way we caught up with a few Camino walkers, from the US, Ireland, Holland Italy and Spain. A very impressive effort! Some people returned year after year to complete the trip.

Leaving Vilavella, we climbed to the top of the pass on tarmac. The route took us off-road on single track and dirt roads through villages. The views were great! The climb was followed by a long decent into the valley. Before settling for the day in Orense, we visited one of many hot water springs along the river. Two outstanding bridges crossed the river, one Roman and the other ultra-modern and innovative.

On the next day, the trails took us from village to village. 57km to go to Santiago!

We kept following trails between the villages, with plenty of climbs. The route into Santiago was a steep climb but well worth it to reach the square which is an experience. Here we obtained the last stamps for the Camino passport and finished the trip with a great meal and drinks of course!’

Feeling inspired? Find out more about our once-in-a-lifetime journey that will suit those after a challenging mountain bike ride through Spain.

Customer Story: Colombia – El Resumen

Skedaddlers never stop surprising us with the ways they capture their holidays! Here’s quite a unique one and it’s from Karen who joined us to Colombia recently. Check out what a Skedaddle holiday to South America looks like in numbers…

Andrew-and-Karen-climbing-Letras

‘# of riders: 16 (7 from Canada, 4 from the UK, 2 from Trinidad, 2 from Holland and me, the lone American)
# of tour leaders: 1 (Andrew, British)
# of tour guides: 1 (Tomas, Colombian)
# of wives of tour guides who made sure we ate and had a place to sleep: 1 (Juana, Colombian)
# of drivers: 2 (Tito and Oscar, both Colombian)
# of incredible people on the trip: 21 (yes, I included myself!)
% of time I understood the Brits (in English): 80%
% of time I understood the Colombians (in Spanish): 85%
# of days of riding: 10
# of total miles ridden: 615 (approximately)
# of times I laughed nervously when Tomas described the ride for the next day: 17
# of days that I finished the entire ride (generally to my surprise): 10
% of time during the rides that Tito and Oscar offered amazing support (i.e., nutritional, mechanical, emotional and motivational): 100%
# of typical wardrobe changes each day (e.g., arm warmers, rain jacket, vest, etc.): 3
# of times the riders cheered the arrival of fellow riders after a long climb or difficult stage: 5
# of times I pumped my fist and yelled out loud while believing I was the toughest person alive because I had just finished a nearly 1 mile section of a very steep climb: 1
# of times I looked around and saw my fellow riders beaming: 32 (this typically happened after a particularly good descent)
# of times I looked around and saw breathtaking scenery (everything is so green!): 863
# of pictures taken by Christian, a fellow rider: 705 (I only took about 100)
# of miles of the longest climb (Alto de Letras): 52
# of meters climbed: 4,000
# of hours it took me to complete the climb: 10 total hours including lunch and multiple breaks; 8 hours actually riding my bike (very very slowly)
# of times Andrew told me that I was going to finish the climb after I expressed some doubts: 21
# of miles Andrew rode alongside me to make sure I’d finish: 14 (or roughly 3 hours)
# of demonstrations that closed down roads that thankfully we were allowed to ride through: 3 (2 regarding a teachers’ strike and 1 for a community that didn’t have water for 2 weeks)
# of said protests during which two non-Spanish speaking members of our group were given a mic and asked to say a few words: 1
# of impromptu police escorts: 1
# of fantastically unique road signs: 11
# of times people cheered us on as we passed by: 42
# of times I felt so incredibly fortunate to be part of this tour: too many to count

A big thank you to all the Skedaddle staff and my fellow riders. It truly was an incredible and unforgettable trip.’

On-the-way-to-Santa-Rosa-de-Osos

Feeling inspired? Now is the time to start thinking about visiting Colombia yourself. It’s a very popular destination, so don’t miss out!