Redspokes Adventure Tours
Who are redspokes?
For 21 years, we’ve been operating unusual cycling holidays in remote and spectacular corners of the world. However, the concept of off-the-beaten track tours – that give an authentic insight into the country, its culture and people – began life in 1990. A collective of cyclists, who enjoyed riding in some of the most beautiful, wild and secluded areas of the planet, decided to start taking small groups of friends and acquaintances to places that offered not only fantastic cycling, but also significant cultural interest.
The success of these tours prompted us to start a small company with the aim of bringing this type of exciting and rewarding trip within a price range that we, as seasoned travellers, think is reasonable. Without cutting any corners on safety or (where possible) comfort, our tours are informal, and designed to cover areas that we, as cyclists, have enjoyed immensely.
At redspokes, we’re committed to ensuring our tours not only support the local economies but also respect local cultures. We do this by employing local guides and drivers, staying mostly in family-run accommodation and, where possible, building relationships with local communities.
We strive to operate in an ethical and sustainable way, so our trips make as little environmental impact as possible. We welcome travellers who, like us, wish to promote better understanding and awareness among people from different cultures and backgrounds.
With redspokes, you’ll be travelling in small groups averaging 8 people (not exceeding 16). We feel this is important because it causes as little environmental damage and disturbance as possible, while making it easier to have genuine contact with local people. We’ve also found that in smaller groups it can be easier to develop a sense of camaraderie and friendship with fellow travellers.
Our charity, LVCF, was established in 2004 by redspokes founder Dermot MacWard and a group of cyclists to harness the positive power of travel. Inspired by our experiences on a Laos cycle tour, we decided to do something to help the local people who had shown us such warmth and hospitality.
Since then, we have funded many more projects and expanded the scope of the charity to include other countries – Pakistan, Burma, Tibet, Peru and Vietnam. However, the principles of the charity have not changed: to support sustainable, worthwhile projects at minimal cost, with significant local community involvement and without payments to intermediaries.
As well as operating cycling holidays, we offer worldwide corporate events that deliver multiple benefits. They can reward and motivate staff, improve employee health and wellbeing, encourage team building, raise money for charity and much more. We can tailor-make a bespoke itinerary or adapt one of our existing cycle tours for your group.
"I organise and lead a different group of work colleagues on an expedition to raise money for charity each year and we have been to some extreme places and done some great things - so think I'm pretty well qualified to comment on the skills of the different organisations we've worked with over the years. redspokes turned out to be the best we've worked with yet and the next time we go cycling it will be you we come to first."
Jeremy Bird, Managing Director - Wickes, England
Many of our tours are run by experienced local guides. Some of our more adventurous, remote itineraries are led by a UK redspokes guide in addition to the local team. All our guides are seasoned cyclists and travellers. It is their job to lead the group, provide support, and ride with you throughout the tour. Selected for their knowledge of destinations and leadership qualities, our guides are from a range of backgrounds; each has their own individual qualities which add to your experience. They will, in most cases, be fully trained in first aid for adventure travel and are competent bike mechanics. On some tours, a bike mechanic will also accompany the group and look over and service your bike daily.
Before setting up redspokes, Dermot had a wide range of jobs - from welder in his native Scotland to mental health crisis worker in London. He has travelled extensively throughout the world and has a passion for finding areas that are less travelled.
A longstanding member of the team, Linette has many interests and, not surprisingly, travel comes high on the list as well as running, trekking, zumba dancing and the sanctuary of yoga retreats. Iceland is earmarked as her next country to visit.
A keen cyclist since childhood, Anna loves the freedom that cycling has given her to explore the world. When not in the saddle, she enjoys the challenge and excitement of planning memorable journeys - a perfect combination of pursuing adventure and her passion for travel and the outdoors.
Giles is a keen cyclist, and lover of distant places, wonderful food and encouraging people to make it to the top with a smile on their face. He has been on tours across Tibet and even cycled all the way to Brighton. Giles is always looking forward to his next adventure.
As well as being a bike mechanic whizz, Stuart's leadership skills and logistical approach make him a safe pair of hands while leading our tours. His favourite tour eulogy reads: 'Stuart the tour captain. Ran a good ship, well organised and great fun. Likes a drink and was disappointed by my lack of alcohol consumption. Strong on a bike.'
Lee helped develop our off-road rides in the UK and Pakistan, and has led tours in the UK, Peru, Tibet and India. He always seems to be on hand if anyone needs help - nothing is ever too much trouble for him. Lee is a strong, passionate mountain biker whose welcoming and supportive nature makes him a valued leader.
Carl has been lead guide for some of our more challenging tours. His easy-going nature and calm, decisive manner - developed in his job as a firefighter - are valuable qualities for a redspokes tour leader. Carl is a keen, strong cyclist with a love of travel and adventure.
Ian has been lead guide for our Scottish tours over the last few years, as well as on some of our trips in South East Asia. In addition to being a very popular guide, Ian is a nurse and his medical expertise and strong interpersonal skills are a winning combination.
Suresh is a former Nepal national cycling champion who now lives in the UK. He has led two of our tours to Nepal and Tibet, with people commenting not only on his cycling expertise but also on how they appreciated his attentive and supportive approach to tour leading.
Aidan has been a tour leader in China, Thailand, Laos, Tajikistan as well as on the Karakoram Highway to Kyrgyzstan tour. His approach is all about helping people stay within their limits and still enjoy themselves. Aidan has a truly adventurous spirit and in his spare time enjoys completing the odd triathlon.
Craig is well travelled and has broad experience of guiding activity holidays. With an easy-going personality, he has proved to be a calm, supportive and organised trip leader, who is popular both with redspokes cyclists and the local team.