GUIDING - A UNIQUE APPROACH
When you travel with a bicycle you want to relax in the safe knowledge that you are in capable, experienced hands. Whether you’re on a one day experience or a multi-day journey the need for local expertise, combined with industry leading standards of service and safety, remains the same.
The Qualified Cycle Leader
For over 22 years the UK has had the world leading, government sponsored, "Mountain Bike Leader Award, now run by British Cycling” qualifications available for every guide. There are award levels that cover everything from leading on dirt roads and easy tracks, to high level awards for remote environments or multi-day expeditions. Our international guides hold every level.
FACT: CycleActive puts its guides through the highest level of National Governing Body Mountain bike leadership training.
So what does it add to your holiday experience?
A major benefit is the smooth, safe running of your holiday, which is of paramount importance when you’re cycling at home or abroad. This safety comes in many forms:
The Local Expert
A local guide is your connection to the world around you, a vital link that lets you get closer to the culture, the people and the country you visit. For many this element of cycling is the most important part of any holiday – it’s not so much the cycling, but the connection to the world around you that is so enjoyable.
We select our local guiding partners with real care, and the guides we work with are some of the best you’ll find in the world. The enthusiasm for their home country, and for sharing its magic with you, really sets them apart and adds a dimension to your trip that is hard to explain or put a value on. If there are local guiding qualifications then they will have these too – topping up their knowledge on the history, ecology and other interesting topics that can help to enrich your holiday.
If we are running a trip with partners who have all of the skills, training and experience we look for, we do not send guides from the UK as well. However, in many countries around the world we know that running a tour with a local and a CycleActive guide makes a huge difference to the levels of safety, service and cycling flexibility.
One Guide or Two?
Choosing a cycle tour with two guides has a huge range of benefits, including:
If we are running a trip with one guide, we’re careful to ensure that group sizes are kept small, and the cycling level is very clearly shown on this website and discussed at the time of booking. This ensures that we can offer the best possible rides at that level of fitness or skill, with an expert guide who knows what you’ve come for – and how to make sure you get it.
Our approach has been refined over many years, and we’re proud of the enjoyment it brings to cyclists of all ages, abilities and interests. Not to mention the hundreds of “non-cyclists” who simply want to use cycling as a way of exploring and discovering new countries and cultures.
Here are the CV’s of our directors, which guide and instruct:
Rich Barnard (Managing director)
Rich is probably one of the most in-demand cycle instructors in the UK right now. With years of experience on the trails and high in the mountains of the UK, Europe and Africa, Rich’s personal mountain biking skills are very impressive. He has a raft of coaching qualifications under his belt – British Cycling & MBLA Tutor, CTC, MBL and National Standards as well as ML and other mountain/water qualifications from his “past life” as a senior instructor with the prestigious Outward Bound Trust.
As a leader Rich has tremendous expertise, and a great ability to get things done, working tirelessly to ensure that wherever he is in the world he’s running a great tour. His ability to manage, lead, motivate and take care of a group is a real asset to him, our team and anyone who travels with him.
Qualifications: British Cycling & MBLA Tutor & Mountain Bike Leader, Expedition Leader. CTC Skills Instructor. National Standards cycle trainer. British Cycling Level 2 Activity Coach. Mountain Leader Training Board - Mountain Leader. BSc Outdoor & Environmental Education.
Jon Chalmers (Operations director)
Jon began his outdoor career as an instructor with the prestigious Outward Bound Trust, working out of their centre at Ullswater in The Lake District. Whilst gaining an excellent reputation for his relaxed but effective style of leadership and training, Jon picked up a wide range of qualifications and experience with groups of all ages and interests.
As a mountain biker Jon developed his skills on England’s highest and most demanding peaks, combined with a great deal of time spent working and exploring in the Alps. His incredible ability to climb, descend, jump and drop off almost anything has to be seen to be believed. He moved to full time mountain bike instruction in 2008, and works for CycleActive full time as both a guide and an instructor, covering the whole range of courses and holidays we offer worldwide.
Qualifications: MBLA Mountain Bike Leader. CTC Skills Instructor. Mountain Leader Training Board - Mountain Leader. BA Outdoor Leadership.