In this age of rampant over tourism, modern travelers are increasingly seeking opportunities to get off the beaten path and experience well-known destinations in new and different ways.
And while he may be partial, Paul Snedker, founder of the tour company Saddle Skedaddle, says one of the best ways to accomplish this goal is by opting for a bike tour.
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“To me, traveling by bike is the best way to travel,” Snedker told TravelPulse. “When you’re biking, you can stop in little villages in the middle of nowhere and really experience a country and its culture, getting out into the local countryside and meeting the local people.”
For the past 25 years, Saddle Skedaddle has been offering travelers exactly these types of immersive, hyper-local travel opportunities. The U.K. based company specializes in leisure cycling, road biking and cycling for families and has a catalog of 250 holidays available in 36 countries across the world.
Now, however, Saddle Skedaddle is officially launching its North American presence. And it may be not a moment too soon.
The company saw a 140 percent increase in its North American customer base between 2014 to 2018, which partly led to its decision to launch here in 2019.
“Over the past 25 years we had managed to attract a few North American customers who found us on the internet or through word of mouth, but we’ve seen those numbers really grow and felt the time was right to make sure we are more visible here,” said Snedker.
As it expands, Saddle Skedaddle, which was started by Snedker and a school buddy after a particularly memorable bike journey around Chile, will continue to offer the uniquely immersive journeys that have become its bread and butter over the past two and a half decades.
Those offerings include a wide range of trips that are generally between one and two weeks long, often focused on such key destinations as Spain, Italy and France. But perhaps more importantly, Snedker points out that Saddle Skeddaddle very deliberately includes opportunities for those who wouldn’t necessarily describe themselves as cyclists, but would still like to experience a bike holiday.
“For us, these trips are holidays,” Snedker stressed. “Some types of cycling holidays can be much more of a physical challenge. For us, it’s about it being a holiday and experiencing the culture and taking in some of the sights and stopping to take photos and having coffee at a local shop.”