Tag Archives: Guides

Fondly referred to as the superheroes of our team, our guides know how to juggle a large workload incredibly efficiently. To discover more about these charismatic souls we suggest you read on…

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!

Join a group! How to get the most out of your ride

Cycling as part of a group can be one of the most enjoyable and pleasant experiences for any cyclist, not least because you get the unrelenting wit and charisma of our guides en route! But joining a group ride is more than just a chance to make some new friends – it’s a very rewarding experience all around! But don’t just believe our words, hear from our amazing guides why cycling as a group will help you get the most out of your ride…


Greater support…
It’s good for encouragement and confidence boosting. Also, in a group you share loads of good tips, mutual support and skills like maintenance and style of riding. You will definitely share some great conversations.  And it’s also safer to travel as a group.   – Suzanne Clark

Fun multiplied and accomplishments validated! – Dawn Rugman

It’s always easier with friends. Support and encouragement are vital when you’re taking on a cycling challenge. – Tim Carpenter

 Making new friends…
It’s not rare for a group of people to become great friends on a group cycling holidays. As a guide, I often hear people planning future trips together while still on a trip. And problems are easier to deal with as a group too. – Doug Hyde

Meeting new people who enjoy cycling and sharing knowledge and travel experiences is so rewarding! Usually with such support you get the best out of your cycling. Also, it helps to avoid the insanity of talking to yourself! – Tony Stoddart

We are all in this together…
At the end of the day you’re all on a journey riding a bike: where you come from and social status is not important. – Isobel Riley


Feeling inspired?
Why not experience all the benefits of cycling in a group yourself by joining us on one of our guided holidays? We have more than 100 cycling trips for you to choose from! To see our full range click here.

Bike maintenance tips from our expert

We’re always eager to help you make the most of your holidays, so, if your trusty steed hasn’t seen the light of day for a few months now, fear not! We have caught up with our chief guide, Steve Woods, to find out his top tips for getting your bike pedal-ready:

Clean your bike
Advice: Cleaning your bike is a very important start to the season and helps you get to know your bike again. It will help spot any problems that have built up over winter.
Top tip: Cut off the top of a plastic water bottle. Fill it with a water-based degreaser, like Green oil bike cleaner, and place it in your seat-tube bottle cage (for easy access). Use a paintbrush to apply the degreaser to the chain. Finish by holding a soapy sponge around the chain and turning the cranks. Hose off the excess and let it dry.

Checking the tyres
Advice: Tyres bear the brunt of the action when cycling so it’s essential to keep them well maintained.
Top tip: First deflate the tyre and nip the side walls together with your fingers; this will help to see perishing, which is a typical first sign of wear on a tyre’s sidewall. Ultraviolet rays in sunlight and the chemicals in cleaning products are just two factors that can cause the sidewall to degrade. Don’t forget to reinflate to the correct tyre pressure, which can be found on the side walls.

Check for debris 
Advice: Most punctures are caused by debris – thorn, glass, flint – and if you don’t find and remove this object, it will pierce a tube.
Top tip: Complete a visual check of your tyres after the winter season and before every ride, looking for small slashes that may allow a small stone or a piece of glass to work through the carcass of the tyre to the inner tube. The offending items can be removed by any pointed object, but take care to ensure you do not cause further damage to the tyre.

Take care of the chain
Advice:  The chain is one of the most important parts of a bicycle, but it’s often overlooked.
Top tip: Too much lube will attract dirt and grime, which wears out your drivetrain. A good test is to wipe your finger on your chain. It should come away with just a small amount of oil.

Take care of that frame
Keeping your frame in tip-top shape doesn’t require a ton of work, but likely a little more than you think.
Top tip: Every third or fourth wash, give your frame and fork a layer of car wax. I like Meguiar’s Cleaner Wax. It restores the paint’s luster and keeps road tar, bugs, and muck from sticking.


Some final wise words from our chieftain…
Ride new roads once in a while, bust out a map and go explore! The variety will help you stay engaged and may lead to some exciting new discoveries. And take your mind off those “cheeky climbs”.

Remember, the pro-cyclists you saw swooping around France in July didn’t always have those wiry calves and ninja-like reflexes. At some point, they all had to learn how to train smart and even how to shift gears. While only a select few of you will ever take in the view from a top podium, we can all rejoice in the fact that no cycling skill is impossible to master. So just start steady and enjoy your cycling.

Keen to join us on two wheels this year? Click here for our full range of exciting cycling holidays.