How we develope our cycle tours

Have you ever wondered what is involved in the development of a new cycle tour that is to be enjoyed by millions of cyclists for years and years? No, we didn’t think that you would have! However, it is this work that is essential in enabling you to create so many happy memories whilst on a cycle tour.   

When the journey is the reward

There are always those very special moments that you get from a structured cycle tour. One of these special moments is quite often the moment when your destination finally comes into sight. At this point you can tell that it cannot take that much longer until you arrive at your destination. One more hill to conquer, a little stream that is glistening in the sun to cycle along and then straight past the church, which by the way is very much worth paying a visit to. After this comes the moment when you arrive at your hotel, you lock up your bike and find your suitcase waiting for you in the hotel. After checking in, you head to the hotel’s terrace and relax there with a chilled drink whilst reflecting upon the day’s highlights. Everything worked out very well. In actual fact, it worked out better than first expected. The route was marked out perfectly, the route surface was great to cycle on and the scenery was simply wonderful. Those few occasional beads of sweat are now long forgotten. Andreas forgets about them too. He is the man who developed your cycle tour.

300km can quickly become 3000km

A one week long cycle tour generally covers about 300km. This means that when preparing a tour in an area that is yet to have developed into a popular cycling area, you quickly end up needing to cycle about 3000km, explains Andreas. That’s because you generally need to cycle ten times as far as you need to go if you want to find the ideal routes. Of course, we don’t do all of that by bike. “There sure is a lot to take into consideration whilst developing tours” explained Andreas whilst proudly placing a pile of route descriptions that he wrote in front of him on the table.

The idea for the next area within Europe that we want to branch out into usually comes from an employee within the company but sometimes we get suggestions from our customers too. Once the decision has been made, Andreas can start his work.

When visiting the new area for the first time, he starts off by looking for the quietest roads and the simplest routes. Out of the entire area that he explored, he then compiles a route that can be cycled in one week but that will be cycled along by our customers for years and years to come.

Cycling for work

He explains how that the nicest part of his job is the travel. He travels for over 100 days a year in order to hunt down the best routes and to discover different places for new cycle tours. Where are the unusual attractions that are easily-accessible by bike? Where are there refreshment stations? But once the route is made, the work is not yet over. There is also all of the vital background work to be done such as all of those things on a cycle tour that are taken for granted that they are there. But Andreas knows that good partnerships and successful collaborations are not to be taken for granted. Negotiations have to be made with the hotels as well as collaborations with the bicycle workshops. Establishing an efficient luggage transfer is also essential in order to make sure that things run smoothly.

Cycling as a method of transport

Cycling is not only good for the body. It is also a good way of getting from A to B. Of course, there are also many other great reasons to cycle. For example, all of the memorable moments that you will create and all of the new experiences that you will have each day. That is the art of developing cycle tours. For Andreas, there are three key aspects that are vital on any cycle tour that he designs: breath-taking scenery, cultural highlights and culinary delights. And all of that should be in every stage. He doesn’t like to accept that it isn’t possible and he always tries his best to include all three in every stage.

Not every region is already well-suited for cyclists – but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t beautiful and don’t deserve to get explored by our guests. Andreas has very specific criteria in terms of what he is looking for. He wants paths and roads with a good surface and each stage is generally 35 to 65km long – depending on the topography of the stage.

 

Up until this point only Andreas knows about the best routes he has found in the new region and for him, the hardest part of his work is now over. His colleagues in the office now need to make the documents about the route so that it is ready for customers booking onto the tour. It is at this point that Andreas now gets back onto his bike to re-ride the entire route and check it over. So that is another 300km or more. His equipment includes a voice recorder, a rain coat, a large bottle of water and a GPS device to track the route and get the data about it. Now that the data has been collected the maps and travel documents can be made that are then given out to everyone on the tour. His luggage? That gets transferred between the hotels – just like it does when customers are on the tour.

The voice recorder is needed to record everything that he notices along the way. At which junction do you need to make a turning? Where is a railway crossing? What special characteristics does the route have? What attractions are there on route? And how exactly do you get from one hotel to the next? Along with all of this basic information, you also get given some secret tips from the locals themselves and this is where Andreas tries his hardest to really dig out the information.

About Andreas

Andreas always has been a keen cyclist. At the age of 17 he had already cycled up the Großglockner (Austria’s highest mountain) on his road bike. Later on, he then switched to mountain biking.

To study law at university, Andreas moved away from his home district of Maishofen (within the district of Salzburg) to the city of Salzburg. Whilst studying he had a part time job as a guide for the cycle tour company, Eurobike. For over 10 years now, he has been responsible for developing the company’s cycle tours.

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