Philip Guest and his wife Cathy started Freewheeling Adventures in 1987 with little more than ten new bicycles and vision. That vision was to bring together enthusiastic people, fascinating destinations, quality equipment, nutritious cuisine, and luxurious rest, to create extraordinary active holidays for small groups and individuals. Twenty-nine years later they continue to live that ethos in each of their 60+ tours around the world.
How do the experiences you offer at Freewheeling Adventures give guests a unique perspective on the history, people or culture of the regions where you operate?
We keep our groups small – maximum of 12, which allows us to use smaller inns, and to meet local people in more intimate settings. We employ local guides, and plan itineraries carefully to allow good immersion in the local scene.
How have the experiences that you offer evolved since their inception?
We have been in operation since 1987, and as well as learning a lot about how to create excellent experiences, have also added options to self-guide on our itineraries, while maintaining the full support necessary to reflect our high service ethic. We listen and adapt to the desires of our clientele, and are able to do so with an immediacy often lost in bigger organizations.
What is one detail of an experience you provide that may go unnoticed by guests, but which you feel is important?
In Canada, we supply our guides with freshly-roasted whole coffee beans, and expensive hand grinders so that they can produce the best coffee possible at roadside and trailside picnics. We learned about the difference between ordinary and exceptional coffee while working with a French crew over 30 years ago, and have been refining the careful art ever since.
What do you wish every guest knew as they consider participating in one of your bike tours, hiking holidays, or sea kayaking trips?
Simply how much we care about their experience, on an individual level, and how much this is reflected by the care with which we select our guides.
What is one travel trend that really excites you?
We like how e-bikes put smiles on the face of those who think their age means biking days are over. E-bikes are opening up hilly routes to retirees who are not as fit as their younger counterparts.
What sets Freewheeling Adventures apart from other, similar, organizations?
We keep group sizes smaller than all the other organizations we are aware of. This supports the principles clarified in the first question, above.
What is one insiders tip to getting the most out of an experiential travel vacation?
Drink plenty of water. Linger. Swim. Stay positive. Eat healthy snacks. Make a friend. Stretch. Smile!
What is one strategy that has helped your business to grow?
Try to always say yes to customer requests. For a fair price, anything can be accomplished. Maintaining quality while providing what is requested leaves very positive impressions and excellent referrals.
What is one personal habit that has helped you to be successful?
Play. Enough to keep happy and fit.
Please share one instance where a guest had a moving or emotional reaction to the experience you provided to them.
Here’s a testimonial: Inspired by some of the most majestic vistas Canada has to offer, the good fortune of having sun-filled blue skies, and the down-to-earth decency of Cape Bretoners, I went through a wondrous week of self-discovery matched only by my wedding and the birth of my two sons.