Henry David Thoreau said, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” In 2012, At Your Pace Freestyle Cycling Adventures founder and owner Pamela Keller decided it was time to follow Thoreau’s advice, hang up her corporate hat, and pursue her heart and passion. Hence, At Your Pace Freestyle Cycling Adventures was born. OK, she didn’t actually throw down the corporate hat until 2015. But while working full-time as a sales manager, Pamela was busy burning the midnight oil, creating her company and crafting Colorado self-guided cycling tours. The first tours rolled in 2014. Pamela has extensive experience in the travel industry, having coordinated trips in the U.S. and Canada for Globus Family of Brands, one of the largest tour operators in the world.
A self-proclaimed late bloomer to cycling, Pamela started pedaling in earnest when she moved to Colorado in 1989. Lucky for her, she had a good friend who helped her navigate the cycling world, and she proceeded to beat up the bike paths around Colorado on her turquoise & pink Specialized Hard Rock. Miles (and years later), Pamela is living the dream, happy to be away from corporate America, and loving life with her canine mascot and CFO (Chief Furry Officer) Harry Jefferson, who has served as Pamela’s master for 10 years and provides her and her team with daily inspiration and wisdom. Pamela is also the creator of Sassy Spokes, a Meetup group dedicated to empowering & motivating women to ride bicycles despite age, ability level, or size.
How do the experiences you offer at At Your Pace Freestyle Cycling Adventures give guests a unique perspective on the history, environment or culture of your region?
Colorado is loaded with history, scenery, and culture, and each part of the state showcases something different. Our guests are immediately immersed in the environment as they cycle and they set their own pace for sightseeing, adventure & cultural immersion. At Your Pace Freestyle Cycling Adventures is authentically Colorado! We’re locally owned and operated, so we have an intimate knowledge of the state and its resources. This provides us with great insight on how we can best craft self-guided cycling tours and share that knowledge and experience with our guests. There’s simply no better way to experience a region’s topography, geography, culture and history than from the seat of a bike!
How have the experiences that you offer evolved since their inception?
We continue to challenge ourselves to create more cycling adventures with varied options. When we started, we offered four tours, and we now offer 15. We’ve added multi-sport adventures to the mix and have included Bike & Brews guided day tours to highlight Colorado’s exploding craft brewing scene and offer an alternative to guests who have limited time to cycle.
What is one detail of an experience you provide that may go unnoticed by guests, but which you feel is important?
Because the majority of our tours are self-guided, we are always looking for ways to provide guests with multiple options to follow tour routing that best fits their needs. For instance, we provide GPS systems & tracks, written navigational instructions, and an app that allows guests to download routes on their mobile device. Guests can choose which one they use or they can choose all three! People respond to navigating directions differently, and this service enhances their experience by allowing them to choose the option that’s right for them. No one likes to get lost….unless they want to!
What do you wish every guest knew as they consider a self-guided tour or multi-sport adventure?
Cycling & multi-sport adventures provide visitors with the healthy option of riding a bike and being active while vacationing. With today’s active lifestyles, there’s no excuse for the drudgery of typical travel. Tour participants are active and engaged, and our trips provide a good dose of healthy exercise. Our self-guided tours serve up a variety of cycling for all ages and abilities. There’s no age limit on a healthy and active lifestyle, and we want to support that belief.
What is one travel trend that really excites you?
We’re living it! Travel is becoming more personal and experiential, allowing guests to get up close and personal to the community in which they are traveling and experience destinations like a local.
Then there’s food tourism, for obvious reasons. . . well, obvious to me!
What sets Freestyle Cycling Adventures apart from other self-guided adventure options?
Personal attention and local support. Our guests are not just a number – each one receives the same attention to detail and personal attention as the next. I really care that our guests are spending their time and hard-earned money with us, and it’s important to me that they have the best experience possible. Our tour participants enjoy independence but want the assurance that they are not alone. We ensure that we are in touch with our customers throughout the tour without smothering them. Our local experts are just a phone call away. We’re here to provide guests with exceptional and personalized service, starting from the first time they contact us to our follow-up when they return home.
What is one insiders tip to getting the most out of an experiential travel vacation?
Maximize your experience by seeking out new adventures & experiences! Take some risks and get involved in the local culture. Visit with the locals, who are very willing to give you insider tips on the best things to do and see and very often can guide you to those once-in-a-lifetime experiences that others won’t discover. Dip your toe in a stream, REALLY take in the sites and sounds of the place your’e visiting, & get off the beaten track.
What is one strategy that has helped your business to grow?
Knowing when to ask for guidance and utilizing the valuable networking resources that are around me. Sorry, that’s two things!
What is one personal habit that has helped you to be successful?
Drive, determination, and calculated risk taking. I never give up, but I do learn from my mistakes and am willing to let others guide and help me.
Please share one instance where a guest had a moving or emotional reaction to the experience you provided to them.
One of our guests had recently lost 50 pounds prior to coming onto our bike trip. How? He did it by riding a bike! We were the first cycling trip he had taken, and this gentleman brought his son to cycle with us. Our guest shared his experiences with me via text and photos throughout the trip, and the crowning accomplishment was climbing Vail Pass. I have to admit that I was impressed and touched by his story, and it really was an honor to be part of an experience that started with getting healthy and losing weight. I may have had a more emotional reaction to this than he did!
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/at-your- pace—freestyle-cycling- adventures