by Jamie Ware
June 3, 2014
This week, we’re introducing: Saddle Skedaddale
This week we’re checking up with what’s new at Saddle Skedaddle. They pride themselves on being the UK’s longest established and independently owned bike tour operator. Olly Townsend talks to us about making all these years of experience count …
So, you’re the UK’s longest established, bike tour operator are you? So what, you might say? Well, it means we’re the absolute experts in anything bike holiday related. We live and breathe cycling of all types, but mountain biking is where it all started for us (in the Picos de Europa), so it has a special place in our hearts!
We’re lucky enough to run trips all over the world and at all levels, from introductory trips in the UK, to hardcore singletrack trips in Peru. We pride ourselves on being the experts of biking holidays. No-one has a bigger range of trips on offer or a higher level of staff knowledge, expertise or sheer enthusiasm for what we do.
What’s new & hot for 2014?
Quite frankly we would like everyone to get skedaddlin’. We introduced a new mountain bike trip in the Apennine Mountains of northern Italy this year and bookings have rocketed! It seems that everyone wants that perfect combination of amazing riding, good weather, fantastic food and some of La Dolce Vita and we are more than happy to serve it up!
What are you working on for the future?
We’re always looking for new places to ride. The ‘ooh, I wonder where that goes?’ thoughts that we all have as riders when we spot a new trail. We have taken that thought process to a higher level. We’re already working hard on our 2015 mountain bike range, it will be a mix of old favourites and some new super-hot destinations. We could tell you where they’re going to be, but then we’d have to kill you as they’re still top secret.
Which product/brand does every member of staff have on their bike?
It might sound like corporate brainwash, but we love Giant bikes (and have done since our very first trip, back in 1995). We use bikes from right across their range from Roam hybrids on our Leisure Trips to full suspension Trance bikes on our harder mountain bike trips.
What was the last custom build you did?
That’s a good one… custom bike builds we don’t, but we are super keen on custom building holidays! We’ve done everything from a bespoke week of 1-2-1 guiding, with skills tuition for a regular customer, to designing an annual bespoke trip to a new destination for a group of friends, who seem to have been travelling with us for ever and come back every year asking for their next fix of somewhere new.
Tell us something about your shop/staff that no-one knows
We share our building with our sister company, The Cycle Hub. Our café manager Mark is a fully trained barista who has a secret stash of ‘coffee beans of the week’ hidden away. If you ask nicely he’ll pour you a fresh shot of whatever is tickling his fancy at the time.
What about events – home and abroad?
Skedaddle are the proud, main sponsor for the Gorrick Spring Series of mountain bike races and the Gorrick Test Valley Tour Series of off-road, sportive events. We’re also the headline sponsor for this summer’s Nidderdale Bikefest, a four day bike festival based around an unknown sporting event called le Tour de something… Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of it, it’s apparently based around skinny wheeled bikes anyway.
What do Singletrack Subscribers get from Saddle Skedaddle?
We offer subscribers a 10% discount off all our UK Weekends and 5% discount off all our European mountain bike holidays (NB – this offer applies to the Land Only price).
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