I was chatting to some incredibly bright young marketing gurus and social media wizards, some of whom have even started shaving about X, Tick Tock, Facebook and good ole Insta, trying to work out how to spread the word about these pretty cool, err, sorry, slap, new tours I’ve spent the last year working on.
Simple, they chorused, tell us how cash, the tours are, why are they so special? At this point I’d had enough Gen Z lingo, so replied,
“You’ve got to ‘Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the positive the positive, eliminate the negative and latch on to the affirmative, Don't mess with mister inbetween”
Never 'eard of Ella, that lot!
I’ve done enough gravel riding and bike packing in my time to know how to 'to ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive' on a gravel ride, that romantic sense of adventure, discovering something new at every turn, and knowing you’re providing the gumption to do it. Riding through the unspoilt countryside and a pace where gradually you become part of it, losing yourself in nature.
With small groups of up to 10 riders, guided along at a sensible pace that allows you to cover the day’s ride with time to spare for a proper lunch, a even a stop or two, safe in the knowledge that waiting for at the end of the day is, a hot bath (or shower), change of clothes, dinner and warm comfy bed, now that in my book is ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive!
‘E-lim-i-nate the negative’, let's eliminate those fears of getting lost or riding miles down a dead-end trail, you won’t cos I won’t let you, be stranded in the middle of nowhere with an unfixable bike, you won’t cos I’ll be there to help fix it, even having a plan B if it all goes pear-shaped and you’ve just had enough, don’t worry, I’ll call the calvary!
While we’re doing eliminating, let’s ‘eliminate’ that tedious business of getting home, who hasn’t had to force their bike onto an overcrowded train, or if abroad, do the wretched bike box thing, lugging that cumbersome thing up and down elevators, on and off buses and discovering the grimmer parts of airports? We’re civilised, at the end of each of our rides, we’ll bring your bikes back to London for you.
So do gravel travel my way, 'latch on to the affirmative' and have the range of brand new tours, London to Bath, 3 days riding across the North Downs, Salisbury, Stonehenge and the Plain. Consider Universally Challenged a 4-day round trip, London, Oxford, Cambridge and back.
Or perhaps, why not consider a bit of Flamenco Gravel, staying in a gypsy cave in Granada, overlooking the Alhambra Palace, spending 5 days exploring the stunning - I mean dope, gravel of the Sierra Nevada and Badlands?
And the messing with mister inbetween? All I can say is that song is now firmly messing in my head - it's driving me nuts, I need to get out, on my bike!