At Cycle Retreats we are constantly looking to improve and make your time with us as perfect as we possibly can.

Whilst your enjoyment is paramount to us, your safety is equally as important.

All our guides are qualified, a requirement in terms of your holiday insurances. You would never consider going on a toured skiing or scuba diving holiday without a qualified guide, so why should a cycling holiday be any different?

There are some cycling holiday companies that are happy for you to just jump on a bike, guide you round the mountain expecting you to take responsibility for your own safety. To a degree, your safety is your responsibility but if you are being professionally guided then your safety is equally, the responsibility of the guide. Travel Insurances Companies will note this in the small print: if on guided trips you must be with a qualified and competent guide.

To ensure we deliver the best possible service, we continually undertake training and have recently completed the International Cycling Tour Leader Award which qualifies us to take toured rides with an array of clients including both adults and children. The course provided training on how to prepare, plan and execute a successful guided ride and how to deal with any incidents and emergencies in the unlikely event that they may arise.

The course was very hands on and straightaway we were looking at the detail of how rides are organised to incorporate contingency and emergency planning. For example, are there any communication black spots and how are they managed? As a result, we now have a number of procedures in place behind the scenes to ensure that you remain in safe hands at all times with contingency plans and additional support on hand as the need arises. These are the elements you don’t see … it’s not just jumping on the bike and heading out for a ride. A key to a safe, quality ride is all in the planning: making sure that all potential scenarios are identified and dealt with. This is done throughout the season on reconnaissance rides where we check all of the routes and procedures that we have in place. Believe it or not, I am aware that some cycling holiday companies don’t ride the routes before taking clients on them as crazy as it sounds, I know!

Another focus of the course was how to respond to an emergency. This was a big focus of the course and the tutors used many examples of emergencies on the rides including injury, illness and dehydration, plus an array of challenging mechanical breakdowns.

We were also taught how to manage groups on the roads, how a ride leader should behave and how they should position their bike in certain circumstances to protect the group. I see it so many times, guides shooting off in the front on a descent and loosing contact with their group, whilst the clients push to try and stay in touch often causing them to be pushed outside of their capabilities! A potential accident and all as a result of the guide not being aware of the group!

Navigation also played a big part of the course ensuring the guide has constant spot checks “Mark, give me our precise location now!” This information is key in an emergency should you need to call the emergency responders, it is also imperative that you know what to do with the group whilst dealing with these emergencies! All of which we pass onto our clients by ensuring they have a safe enjoyable stay with us.

The importance of us undertaking such qualifications and for us to continue to improve our skill base is a key imperative of the business. We hope that you enjoy your stay with us, with the knowledge that you are in the safest hands possible and that you have an epic cycling holiday!

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