I haven't yet had a chance (it's very much still trip season) to list below the trips booked for 2020 but as I type (13th August 2019) there are 4 trips confirmed for 2020 (deposits paid) with a further 6 under consideration with dates reserved, and several others who have so far just discussed ideas but are yet to propose dates, and many who have just enquired about trips in general. Most of these groups are groups that I have taken somewhere this or last year looking at their next trip.
Given that the 2019 calendar (see below) is very much full with 22 trips then it would seem that the 2020 is heading towards being a third to a half full already. This is a very busy time of year with trips being proposed all the time, and my 2020 calendar will probably be largely settled by the Autumn.
So, if you are thinking about a trip then let me know as soon as possible because while you are thinking about it the available dates are being bagged, especially if you'd like to go in peak season (late May to early July, and then September) and I can hold some dates for you for a couple of weeks while you consider your options. You don't need to have assembled the whole group to reserve some dates or even to confirm a trip.
The process usually goes something like this:
- A group or individual has an idea about a trip;
- we chat about what dates are available and the group or individual bags some dates in my calendar, for a couple of weeks perhaps, while they see if they have a viable group or part of a group (see 'group sizes');
- once they are happy that they have a viable trip, the group confirms their booking with a refundable deposit of £100 per person *;
- over the next few weeks or even months we see if the group can be filled (see 'group sizes') by the original group or individual or whether they would like my help by turning it into an 'open trip' which means that I take responsibility for filling the trip and I set about advertising the trip to others.
* Please note: you don't need to have a full group yet, it may be that you are still recruiting a group or that I can help you to recruit from the La Vie en Vélo social media following and quarterly mail out. This has a very good success rate, especially if you'd like to go somewhere iconic like the Alps, Pyrenees or Mont Ventoux. There are always a few solo or couples of riders of riders happy to fill spare space on great trips.
How does that all sound? In short, if you have an idea first thing's first is to bag some dates!
There were 22 trips booked in 2019. I have left them below simply so that you can see the diversity of trips that I run. It might help you come up with some new ideas.
In red are the trips that are booked, so those dates are not available. In green below are the dates available, although within those there may be dates that I am holding for groups while they consider their options or assemble their group. If you'd like me to do the same for your group, just give me a call on 07984 065329 or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
January to February
In January and February the cycling trip world seems to not have quite awoken from its annual hibernation, but I am available if anyone is feeling brave, albeit I tend to be busy preparing for the coming season. We can go anywhere you like whenever you like. Some winter/spring suggestions: head south to find the sun on the Cote d'Azur or maybe to Girona where the Pro's hang out in the off-season. Or day trips and weekends to Flanders and northern France.
From 1st to 14th March dates available. We can go anywhere you like whenever you like. Some winter/spring suggestions: head south to find the sun on the Cote d'Azur or maybe to Girona where the Pro's hang out in the off-season. Or day trips and weekends to Flanders and northern France.
17th March The second Ronde van East Kent. Open and free to all, an annual ride around East Kent for friends of La Vie en Vélo past and future. Just a gpx file and some prewarned pubs and cafés. Routes from 40 to 100 miles. Just a social ride. More the merrier.
22nd to 26th March Girona 5 places available 5 days riding in ther pro's favourite springtime playground. Dramatic mountains and coastline and, most importantly, some early season warmth
5th to 7th April: Tour of Flanders sportive & race weekend all places booked. Assembling a group of 8 for a 3-day weekend. We take you from Kent or SE London via Eurotunnel on Friday morning for a leg-stretcher ride to a hotel near Ghent in the afternoon and to pick up your race packs in the city on Friday evening. Then on Saturday ride the mighty Ronde van Vlaanderen sportive with 16,000 riders from all over the world on courses up to 220km which all include the great cobble climbs such as the mighty Koppenberg. On Sunday, either ride your bike or in the van to watch the Pro's do it with a beer in your hand and then be driven back to Kent or SE London for a mid-evening arrival. £345 includes getting there and back with your bike and baggage, 2 nights accommodation (B&B basis), full ride support throughout.
9th to 13th April: Tour de Normandy all places booked. A custom trip for 8 people doing a tour from Normandy back towards the UK over 5 days.
15th to 23rd April: dates available includes Easter (and my 50th birthday, so I'm not in a hurry to get this booked, but it is available!). Enough space for a quick trip somewhere warm!
1st to 8th May: dates available includes first May Bank Holiday weekend (3rd to 6th). Unlikely to remain unbooked for long. Get in quick!
10th to 13th May: Veloscenic route from Mont St Michel to Paris all places booked. A custom trip for a group on their third La Vie en Vélo trip from Mont St Michel on the Normandy coast following the newly developed cycle route eastward to Paris over 4 days.
25th to 28th May: Tour de Normandy all places booked. A custom trip for a group of 8 who did the Dordogne with me in 2017 and Paris-Roubaix in 2018, this time riding from Normandy back toward Calais over 4 days.
31st May to 3rd June: Pyrenees long weekend all places booked. Our first trip back to the Pyrenees of 2019. This time with the lovely people of San Fairy Ann CC on their 4th or even 5th trip with me, this time headed to Luchon to have a crack at the Tourmalet and the Peyresourde and all those other mighty Tour de France bucket-list climbs.
7th to 10th June: Italy - the Stelvio here we come all places booked. A very exciting development, a custom trip for a group of 8. Flying into Switzerland before riding up and over to Bormio and bagging the mighty Stelvio and one or two others over a 4-day weekend beofre heading back over the Alps to Switzerland.
14th to 17th June: Pyrenees long weekend all places booked. The second Pyrenees trip of the month of 2019! Andy and the guys are baclk after Mont Ventoux and the Alps in the last couple of seasons.
20th to 25th June: Alps (new base in the Vanoise) all places booked. A group started by some regulars who want to explore rides such as the Iseran, the Cormet de Roselend, Val Thorens and others from the 2018 and 2019 Tours de France & Étape du Tour.
28th June to 1st July: Mont Ventoux & Provence all places booked A new group of maybe 10 coming for the first Mont Ventoux trip of 2019. A good way to start!
4th to 7th July: Tour de France Grand Départ long weekend all places booked. A new group riding from the UK to Brussels to see the Grand Départ of the 2019 Tour de France in Belgium.
12th to 15th July: Alps (new base in the Vanoise) all places booked. Most of a group who came to the Oisans valley in 2018 will be reassembling in the Vanoise for rides such as the Iseran, the Cormet de Roselend, Val Thorens and others from the 2018 and 2019 Tours de France & Étape du Tour.
21st to 24th July: Normandy beaches lads & dads tour all places booked. 4 lads from my old job bringing their dads to explore the D-Day beaches by bike on the 75th anniversary of the D Day landings.
25th to 31st July: dates available. Peak season in the Alps, Pyrenees or Mont Ventoux, or pretty much everywhere else for that matter!
1st to 12th August: dates available. Peak season in the Alps, Pyrenees or Mont Ventoux, or pretty much everywhere else for that matter!
16th to 19th August: Pyrenees (new base in the western Pyrenees) all places booked. Most of a group who came to our central Pyrenees base in Luchon in 2018 will be reassembling a few miles to the west for rides such as the western side of the Tourmalet, the Aubisque, the Hautacam and Luz Ardiden and other classic cols from the 2018 and 2019 Tours de France.
26th to 29th August: London to Paris all places booked. A new group of 9 from the Midlands will be setting off from central London on Bank Holiday Monday via the Dover-Calais route, and then on to lovely Arras and through the WW1 battlefields of the Somme to Compiegne before heading into Paris from the east.
4th to 7th September: UK-Amsterdam long weekend all places booked. Most of a group who rode to Paris in 2018 with me will be reassembling to do a 4 dayer to wonderful Amsterdam, via gorgeous Bruges and Delft, and making sure to have an extra day wandering the in the Dutch capital.
12th to 15th September: Pyrenees all places booked. Most of a group who came to the Alps with me in 2018 will be reassembling in the Pyrenees for rides such as the Peyresourde, Superbagneres the Port de Balés and, of course, the mighty Tourmalet, and other classic cols of the Tour de France.
20th to 24th September: Pyrenees all places booked. A group of 10 who came to the Mont Ventoux with me in 2018 will be reassembling in the Pyrenees for rides such as the Peyresourde, Superbagneres the Port de Balés and, of course, the mighty Tourmalet, and other classic cols of the Tour de France.
27th September onwards: dates available. still perfect in the Alps, Pyrenees or Mont Ventoux, or pretty much everywhere else for that matter! Also includes the dates of the last weekend of the UCI World Championships in Yorkshire, so why not head north!
1st to 4th October: dates available. still perfect in the Alps, Pyrenees or Mont Ventoux, or pretty much everywhere else further south for that matter!
7th to 12th September: Southern Alps (a new base in the Southern Alps) one place available. A group of regulars who are looking for a hidden corner have found one in the beautiful southern Alps well away from the hordes and within striking distance of Italy via the monster Cime de la Bonette and the quieter side of Mont Ventoux. As featured twice in recent editions of Cyclist magazine.
15th to 31st October: dates available. still perfect in the Alps, Pyrenees or Mont Ventoux, or pretty much everywhere else for that matter!
All dates available. still rideable in the south of France or Girona, although the high cols of the Alps, Pyrenees or Mont Ventoux will be closed. The WW1 and WW2 battlefields of the north of France can be especially atmospheric at his time of year, particularly around Armistice Day!
How about a WW1 Remembrance battlefield ride?