Tag Archives: leisure cycling

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!

What’s so good about our cycling holidays…

We’ve been travelling the world on our bikes for more than 20 years and what inspired us all those years ago still inspires us today. That travel should move you and that there is no better way to meet a place properly – its people, its culture, its natural wonders – than by bike.

We don’t do passing by, we do pedalling through
You can do something wonderful on two wheels, whether it’s weaving around cobbled city streets or pumping the knees with the hilltop picnic point in sight. Our local guides and their knowledge of the best food, wine and sights, give you an unrivalled opportunity to discover more about the people of a country and their culture; to really meet a place you’ll never want to forget.

A very different kind of ‘all inclusive’
We believe in being outdoors. In the rain and the wind, in sunshine and stillness. We plan for whatever the day has in store for us and look forward to being surprised. Because unlike back home there’s no autopilot or zoning out, we’re here to feel everything we can. All the sights and sounds, the odd bump along the way, just pedalling on and breathing it all in.

Life’s too short to not ride a bike
Medieval towns, rural villages, 
cafés in the harbour; views, smells, endorphins, goat bells and warm breezes, beads of sweat and the best bloomin’ picnics you’ve ever tasted. Meeting new people and sharing your journey with them, makes for the freshest and most enjoyable type of experience.

Whether you choose to go for our small-guided parties of around 6 to 15 people or decide to ride self-guided with friends or family, our hand-picked destinations and routes, led by local experts, are designed to make sure everyone has an incredible time.

7 kit bag essentials – do not leave home without them!

Let’s talk about your cycling kit! Or more importantly about what you should remember to pack with you when heading out for multiple days in the saddle according to cycling journalist Hannah Reynolds. It’s a great idea to use this as your pre-trip checklist!

Spares specific to your own bike…
Obviously you are not going to forget your bike, shoes, pedals and helmet (!) but it is also worth including any spares that are specific to your bike. These include items such as a replaceable rear mech hanger, spokes especially if yours are fancy bladed ones and brake pads. If you are riding a bike equipped with electronic shifting, then remember the charger and importantly the battery!

Chamois cream…
Even the most hardened of behinds (and most Skedaddle guides are in that category!) occasionally needs a little bit of extra soothing. On wet days, long days or even sweaty mountain days’ chamois cream can help provide a little bit of extra comfort and help to prevent saddle sores. There are loads to choose from but we like luxury chamois cream from Muc Off as it is full of natural ingredients, smells nice, is anti-bacterial and washes off your shorts easily at the end of the ride.

Enough socks…
Nothing feels better if you have got wet or cold than putting on clean dry socks. It barely matters what the rest of you is wearing as long as you have fresh socks on. Bring plenty, they take up hardly any space, so you can change them at lunchtime if needed. If you follow cycling fashion then you know that looking down to see socks that are bright, co-ordinate with your bike and show off your tan and calf muscles adds at least 5 watts to your power output –  #sockdoping.

Ear plugs…
Whether it is to drown out the snoring of your room-mate, cut out the laughter from the bar below or silence the cicadas when they are making a racket a set of ear plugs can make a real difference to your night’s sleep when you are staying somewhere unfamiliar.

Favourite ride treat…
Skedaddle guides are great at hunting out ride food in countries all over the world so you will be well-fueled for your ride, but if there is something that you absolutely have to have to get you through your day on the bike make sure you take it with you. We like dried fruit, nuts, marzipan, bananas, cake and Haribo and there will always be plenty of these but if you have a favourite brand of energy gel or sports drink that you like to stick to make sure you bring enough for your trip.

Dirty washing bag…
It is inevitable that you are going to build up a stash of stinky kit by the end of the trip, even if you try to wash it regularly. However, you don’t want it to impregnate the rest of your clean stuff with smells. Rinse your kit and let it dry completely before putting it into a dry bag, such as one of these from Sea to Summit which will keep the smells contained until you can get home. Be prepared to stand well back when opening it again!

Mesh bags…
If you are on tour, moving on to a different hotel each night, then you need to be able to find things and re-pack your bags quickly and efficiently. The more you unpack the more likely you are to leave things behind. Mesh bags are the easiest way to avoid kit bag explosions! Put your daily cycling kit in one, your wet/cold weather cycling gear in a separate one and your off-the-bike casual clothes in another. This way you can easily grab the items you need without having to pull everything out of your bag.  Try these colour coded stretch sacks from Osprey.

And what to put them in….

Big kit bag, small day bag…
Ideally you will have only two bags to think about when you are moving hotel every morning. One kit bag for all your clothes and wash kit and a day bag big enough for the essentials you will need whilst on your bike for example; sunscreen, flip flops and wet weather gear. Make sure you can fit everything in and close it securely so you don’t have any over spill.

If you are cramming all your clothes and kit in your bike bag or box don’t forget to include a lightweight kit bag, so you can keep all of your things together in the Skedaddle van. It’s embarrassing to check-in to a hotel clutching handfuls of carrier bags! Two good options are a nylon duffle bag  weighing just 620g or a super-light large dry bag; both are from Alpkit and won’t take you over your weight limit or take up much space.