Steve Jobs, Mother Theresa and Michael Jordan, while wildly different, all extolled the virtues of teamwork.
They believed in the benefits and necessity of working together to achieve success. We have learned that it is impossible to operate efficient, well-coordinated and supremely comfortable excursions without our tour partners. From frequented restaurants and hotels to cycling brands committed to the same level of excellence as Outfitter Bicycle Tours. Team work really does make the dream work.
We’d like to highlight a few loyal bike-centric companies that allow us to provide you with quality bike tours throughout Europe and the United States.
Top Tour Partners
Since Joy and I have owned Outfitter Bicycle Tours we have been close to ClifBar and Clif Family Winery & Farm. In 2011 we went on a “baby-moon” to California Wine Country before the birth of our daughter, Celeste. We paid a visit to Clif Winery’s tasting room, Velo Vino in St. Helena, and met the crew. Since then our relationship has grown significantly, with Farm Fests every October, as well as nutritional support on many of our tours. Our bellies are often full with Clif nutrition and wine!
Since 2013 we’ve been using RideWithGPS for navigation on our tours, but in the past year or two we’ve truly integrated their tools. With the improvements they have made to their mobile app, we don’t know of a better way to navigate on our tours. The app is truly remarkable, and ensures that you are on course with minimal stress. As OBT moves forward we will continue to keep easy to use new technologies integrated into our tours, and RideWithGPS will be a big part of that.
In Sault France, in the southeast shadow of Mt. Ventoux rests one of the best bike shops we work with, Albion Cycles. Owned by Nicolas Imbalzano, the shop supplies many of our bikes on not only our Provence tours, but also our big guided tours such as our TdF tour. Joy and I base ourselves nearby, and spend probably too many hours visiting and working with Nicolas and his crew. Their bikes are always at 100%, and ready for the tours we provide.
US Forest Service
My father is a retired engineer from the USFS, so our relationship with the federal agency has been longer and much more broad than what you could see on the surface. When we moved back to North Carolina in 2015, one of the first calls to establish our tours in the Asheville area was to the USFS to make sure that we were properly licensed to conduct tours on federal lands. We’re currently a license holder, and look forward to continuing offering tours that run through USFS managed lands.
National Park Service/Blue Ridge Parkway
The next call I made to establish our Asheville tours was to the National Park Service’s Blue Ridge Parkway headquarters to establish a permit for operating tours on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This ribbon of parklands is a highlight on many of our bike tours in Western North Carolina. The beautiful vistas and smooth road are without equal in the eastern United States.
All of our guides
We could go ON AND ON about our guides and what they do for us, and we think that would be best saved for another post.
We cherish the relationships with all of our tour partners. Without them our tours would not reach the high level of quality we expect for our guests.
In particular, I cannot thank enough the hard work the federal government agencies do to help preserve and maintain our precious lands. The people of the USFS and NPS provide an incredibly valuable service to the citizens of the United States and the world. The permits we hold with these agencies are points of pride for us.