Windrush Cotswolds Cycle Tours

WindRush_Brand_07_TourCotswoldsIt’s always a pleasure to come across new cycle-based enterprises and this now includes Windrush Cotswold Cycle Tours.  I can tell you, I admire anyone who has the nerve to start their own business and the admiration doubles when it’s related to cycling.  People who know me will already realise that I have a soft spot for the Cotswolds – beautiful countryside, full of rich variety and always something new to explore.  It’s a real paradise for cyclists.

With this in mind, it has been interesting learning from Peter Hill and his business partner Tom about Windrush Cotswold Cycle Tours and the background…..

How did you come to start your business?  What inspired you?  Starting any business in a recession is a brave thing to do….?

Windrush-Cycle-Tours_Peter-and-TomPeter explains it might seem a slightly mad time to start a new business, but Tom’s been trading very successfully for the last couple of years as a mobile bike mechanic who has diversified into bike hire. Tom eat’s, lives and breathes bikes and is still endeavouring to get a nagging injury fixed up so that he can begin riding again at the highest level.

The idea for a cycling holday business from a couple of Irish guys on a club ride who had hired bikes from Tom.  They had had a brilliant time and that they we’re really grateful to have been given rides that ticked all their boxes.  For Tom it was a natural next step for his growing business and I put him in contact with some other friends of mine who had just taken over a 21 bedroon hotel in Kingham. Things started to happen and it was clear that the whole venture stood a greater chance of success with two of us on board, so we’re now in partnership. We’ve also roped in a couple of experienced cycling friends, Louisa and Jan, as ride leaders as we’re very pleased to be getting all female bookings, including hen parties!

Do you accompany your customers on their ride, or is it simply a case of giving them a Satnav device and a puncture repair kit?

We currently offer two main formats:
  • Self-guided tours, led by Satnav which start and finish in circular routes from Kingham, which is our village
  • Fully guided holidays with baggage transfers between hotels + tour itinerary.
How do the holidays take shape?
Windrush-Cycle-Tours-Kingham-HillA key part of our self-guided tours is a conversation with our clients when they book to find out what they want – we then tailor the routes to ensure that what we plan matches their ability and interests. We can supply hire bikes or customers can bring their own – so far many people are taking the train from London and hiring. We can also plan alternative itineraries for groups comprising “non-cyclists” who want to enjoy a hotel break in the Cotswolds while their partners cycle. The Satnavs give the riders confidence to explore with out the worry of getting lost. That said, we’re also happy to lead small groups on rides if that’s what people want.
Our “Tour de Cotswold” guided cycling holidays run in two formats – there are set rides that people can sign up to or we’ll make a completely customised group ride for any number up to ten people. A key aim of our rides is to give our customes a “real” taste of the Cotswolds by showing them things slightly off the beaten track and linking them in with seasonal events taking throughout the year.
And what about back-up support?
To ensure everyone has a memorable experience for the right reasons, we offer a back up service to any of our riders so that, in the event of their bike having a puncture or mechanical that can’t be fixed at the roadside, we’ll come out and sort it. If people book in advance and the weather turns foul we’ll even sort out a non-cycling itinerary so that they can feel they’ve got value from their stay.
Anything else?
Yes, says Peter, I guess the things that drive us are our passion for cycling and where we live. Tom’s family have lived here for generations – I’ve only lived in the Cotswolds for 25 years, but I’ve moved back to my Kingham where my wife’s family have lived for generations, although we’ve only managed to trace her roots back to 1720 so far!
And how do people get in touch with you?
As easy as clicking the link right here:  http://windrushcycletours.co.uk
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