There are many forms of cycling, just as there are many types of cycle touring. Choose what best suits you and get the logged experience on organised cycling trips to qualify yourself as a cycling tour guide.
Here are three of the typical cycling specialities for which we can issue qualifications:
- ONROAD RIDING – sticking to the tar or good smooth gravel and working up a good cadence for fitness and distance. Tour a region on its back roads to avoid traffic. Longhaul trips and endurance racing.
- TRAIL CYCLING – recreational travel on two wheels, sometimes fully self-supporting with saddlebags, or alternatively vehicle supported. See the world on the most popular form of people’s transport.
- MOUNTAIN BIKING – tackle the tough stuff or, if just starting, get on-trail and learn to bounce over roots, follow single track paths, ascend inclines and do fast, tricky descents. Know what green, blue, red and black mean.
They all have features in common (such as learning to repair a bike) but there are very big differences in the way these activities are organised, the safety controls needed, and the skills levels of guides. You can of course combine all kinds of cycling into your portfolio of skills.
Risks and rewards
A cycling tour guide must be prepared to face numerous challenges and difficulties. The job is very rewarding because it creates a close bond between the guide and those who are cycling. But you can get lost and this undermines trust, there may be accidents that require first aid skills and a reassuring manner, and things can go wrong with vehicle backups, permits, accommodation arrangements and much more. You need to be bomb-proof.
One thing we insist on is knowing how to carry out cycle repairs during an outing. You can’t fix a broken frame but you can fix a puncture, rejoin a broken chain, set a loose saddle to rights, replace a spoke, and adjust gears that are ticking or jumping. So we recommend that you spend time in a cycling shop to learn the state-of-the-art tools and techniques. The assessment includes repair know-how.
Most cycling guides have a lot of personal experience which they’ve got by doing all sorts of trips and trails on their own, as well as taking part in races. You will be judged in an assessment of your technical know-how but also your background and how you can show what you know. Cycle touring of any kind requires the guide to be a good communicator, good teacher (many clients need coaching), and good leader who maintains the spirit of the group even when the going gets tough.
Most cycling operations are run from an administrative office that arranges permits, accommodation, vehicle back-up where necessary, and support crews. Bikes should be well maintained. It’s up to the guide on each trip to make sure that no substandard equipment is provided, and to insist that the organisation must provide proper support.
Thus detailed checklists of operations are needed – and part of the GASG qualification is getting you as guide to prepare an Adventure Trip Plan covering the requirements for safe and enjoyable cycling.
Find out more by contacting us to discuss your cycling ambitions.