FRESH APPROACH TO MOUNTAIN BIKING HOLIDAYS IS SET TO REDEFINE RIDERS EXPECTATIONS
New Year’s Day sees the launch of an innovative new mountain biking Holiday Company which aims to offer a completely unique approach for riders. Singletrack Safari, based in Devon in the UK, offers a range of holiday destinations throughout Europe by moving its entire operation, staff and facilities from country to country at different times of the year. These mobile facilities are then used to give clients an incredible experience whereby they are delivered to the trailhead of the greatest and most famous riding locations in Europe every day in luxury transport – during the course of an amazing week-long highlights holiday based in quality hotels.
Martin Hills, Director explains:
“Traditional mountain biking holidays offer a centre-based package. We have been on many of those types of holidays, and they all suffer from the same restriction: it’s very hard to find a week’s worth of outstanding high quality trails. Most holidays provide you with one or two great rides, but the remainder simply aren’t as memorable. We have spent over two decades riding in locations all over Europe, and have a huge amount of trail knowledge to share with our clients. We’ve designed a holiday format which means that we are not restricted by a geographical location, which allows us to offer an utterly iconic or incredible trail for riders to experience every single day!”
The company moves across Europe with the seasons to get the best trail conditions for the given time of the year, and offers week-long holidays in eight locations spanning The Alps, Spain, Andorra – plus the UK itself. Each holiday offers a highlights-style week where riders are treated to the very best and most famous trails available. For example, the company’s “Ultimate Alps” holiday (offered throughout July and August) sees riders enjoy natural trails around Chamonix, ride the route of the Pass’Portes Du Soleil, see the best of Les Gets and Morzine, experience the route of the Megavalanche and explore the amazing trails at Les Deux Alpes- all in the same holiday. The Spanish “Trail Tapas” trip (available during April, May and October) even allows guests to ride superb singletrack up to 6 different mountain ranges in one week!
In order to make the experience as professional and memorable for clients as possible, Singletrack Safari has invested heavily in its equipment. Guests travel in an amazing, new VW Transporter which one of the UK’s foremost conversion companies have transformed into a show quality vehicle. The company wanted guests to feel that they are travelling in style, and with its custom graphics, body kit and wheels heads turn wherever the vehicle goes! Inside the focus has been on extra comfort, plus a high end video and audio system, which even has a socket to allow helmet cameras to be connected so clients can watch the best of the days riding footage on the journey home.
The vehicle tows a specially-designed secure box trailer which converts into a fully equipped mobile workshop, with work stands, lighting for working at night and bike washing facilities. The trailer can carry up to 16 complete bikes inside, protected from the elements, with custom internal racking that adjusts to hold bikes gently in place.
“We have come up with itineraries that allow us to work from a “base” location which is central to the best riding in each of our holiday areas. From this central starting point we travel out each day to the most truly incredible riding experiences available in the region. Our amazing vehicle means that clients actually enjoy spending time en-route, rather than dreading a trip in some rickety old bus! Some holidays are even “twin centre” based, which allows a change of accommodation mid week in order to make the week flow as smoothly as the singletrack!”
Clients are accommodated in carefully vetted, quality hotels, which the company has inspected personally – with several destinations offering fantastic 4 star accommodation coupled with competitive pricing.
Staff are highly qualified, professional and very experienced – the company boasts not only fully SMBLA (Scottish Mountain Bike Leaders Association, the industry benchmark) qualified guides, but also a Cytec (national qualification for cycle technicians) qualified mechanic and DT Swiss Approved Wheelbuilder – whose skills and time are included in the holiday price. However, the company really prides itself on its unpatrolled approach to customer service:
Georgina Hills, Director adds:
“We’ve spent a great amount of effort researching not only the finest trails available, but also the best restaurants, bars and entertainment in each location. We don’t simply abandon our guests in the evenings like most companies! We are holiday guides – not just biking guides. Therefore we make sure that we show clients all of the best places to go when they are off their bikes – for example, not only can we recommend the best places to eat for any budget, but we can often recommend the best dishes on each menu and help make sure that language barriers cause no problems!”
The company’s aim is clear – to take MTB holidays to a new level, by providing the ultimate trails available, the finest quality support equipment, with unparalleled service from friendly and expert staff and accommodation in great hotels in the best locations – all combined in an affordable package.
Singletrack Safari’s is now taking bookings for the 2010 season – and readers are welcome to visit the company’s innovative and interactive website www.singletracksafari.com (currently an interim site – full site launches 1st Jan, see footnotes for how to view this now) where they can learn more about the amazing holidays available for both XC and DH riders alike and enter fantastic competitions to win the holiday of their dreams.
Background for Editors
Singletrack Safari is a UK owned MTB Holiday Company based in the Tiverton area of Devon and was established by Company Directors Georgina and Martin Hills during 2009. It is set to become the one of the most unique and highly visible MTB holiday companies in Europe and has received consistently high praise on its test holidays.
Destinations – the company offers eight holiday destinations, including “Wild Scotland” which explores the north of Scotland from the Cairngorms to Skye, “Ultimate Alps” which is a twin centre holiday offering both XC and DH experiences, “Andorran Altitude” based in the Pyrenean principality explores the amazing untapped riding for both XC and DH riders around its borders, whilst “Spanish Trail Tapas” is a true trail riders dream exploring many different areas of Andalucía with a great variety of terrain. There are also holidays in the South West of the UK (“Wild West” – Dartmoor, Exmoor, Quantocks, and Mendips), North Wales (“Explorer” – the best Snowdonian natural trails and man-made centres), Scottish Borders (“Scottish Stanes” – not just the famed 7 Stanes but the best of the borders riding) and South Wales (“Trailmaster” – Brecon Beacons, Black Mountains and the finest man-made riding).
source: Martin Hills