Q & A with Philip Guest, Co-Founder of Freewheeling Adventures – Hubbards, Nova Scotia, Canada
“Memorable bicycling, walking, and sea kayaking tours covering many destinations in Canada, Europe, Central and South America.” Private group tours are also available.
PLEASE DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY.
We offer carefully crafted bicycling, walking, and multi-sport itineraries for small groups of friends or families to enjoy! We’re going into our 29th year, and we continue to have lots of fun! We’re lucky to have an excellent, caring staff, and we appreciate our consistently positive customer reviews.
ARE GUIDED AND SELF-GUIDED TOURS EQUALLY POPULAR?
About 70% of our customers opt for guided tours, and the other 30% are self-guided.
WHAT TYPES OF BICYCLES DO YOU HAVE?
We have good basic hybrids, and we also offer excellent upgrades to aluminum or carbon, tandem, or e-bikes.
DO SOLO TRAVELERS HAVE TO PAY A SURCHARGE?
For the multi-day tours, single travelers will sleep overnight in single rooms, if that's their preference, at the advertised single room surcharge. However, if they give us lots of notice and are willing to share, we can sometimes get them a single room without the associated cost.
Our tours within Canada are very popular. We also get lots of requests for Iceland and France.
TELL US A BIT ABOUT NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA.
Nova Scotia is our home province, and we’re proud to show it off. Our most popular tour in fact is our Classic tour of the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island. This is a 6-day bike tour around a 200 mile loop following the coast. You can go either guided or self-guided. You’ll have full days of bicycling with some challenging elevations here and there, but it’s worth it for all the breathtaking views of land and sea. Sometimes with good luck and good spotting you’ll see whales surfacing offshore. There’s even an option to take a zodiac whale-watching excursion. On land you’ll see birds, perhaps some bald eagles, deer, and maybe a moose sighting too! No guarantees but not unusual either. You’ll stay in charming small inns or B&B’s along the way. If you like seafood, try a fresh salmon or lobster dinner with a local craft beer or wine. [Available May – October 2016]
[In 2013 National Geographic named Cape Breton Island one of the world's top 20 places to see.]
We bring along snacks and picnic type food. For dinner, in most cases, “a la carte” menus are waiting for our guests at excellent restaurants. This is our approach rather than one fixed meal plan for all. Our guests love this flexibility!
THERE’S AN ESCORT VAN WITH A DRIVER INCLUDED FOR GROUPS?
Yes, for transfer of luggage from point to point and also to carry along supplies like beverages and snacks. We ask our guests to use soft-sided duffel bags for their luggage.
WHAT HAPPENS ON BAD WEATHER / RAINY DAYS?
We suggest you pack all-weather athletic type clothes that can take moisture, and maybe have a rain parka handy too. In case of bad weather, we sometimes offer alternative activities; however, we encourage participation in all but the worst weather.
YOUR TRIPS ARE AT DIFFERENT PACE LEVELS. CAN YOU GIVE US A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF EACH TYPE?
Once you take a look through our website, you’ll see that our itineraries are each color-coded. A green circle means easy and low miles per day. A blue square means moderate pace with a few hills. A black diamond means the most challenging in terms of daily mileage and steeper hills. We even have some mixed level trips with a moderate pace most days along with one or two challenging days.
A good example of our green circle trip would be our 5-day “PEI Sideroads.” This is an easy bicycle tour on quiet paved roads passing scenic small villages and farmland. It includes the best stretches of the Confederation Trail. You’ll visit Green Gables, PEI National Park, and beautiful sandy beaches along the north shore. Prince Edward Island
A good example of our blue square moderate tour is the 8-day "Iceland Fertile South Bike" itinerary. You'll ride on paved roads and some smooth gravel trails in southern Iceland with additional options to hike, ride horses, and visit the beautiful Westman Islands. This region of Iceland features rolling hills, waterfalls, glaciers, and geysers. You can enjoy nightly hotspot soaks, and in the months of June and July the sun never sets! [Available June - August 2016]
A black diamond tour - the most challenging - would be like our "Newfoundland Viking Hike." This is a 7-day big hike into UNESCO World Heritage sites such as Gros Morne National park and L'Anse aux Meadows along the rugged western coast of Newfoundland, Canada. It is there that the first Europeans landed in North America. That would be the Vikings. [Available July - September 2016]
I’ve already mentioned an example of a mixed moderate tour itinerary – that would be our “Classic Cabot Trail” tour here in Nova Scotia.
HOW DO YOUR PRICES COMPARE?
We think our prices are very reasonable and often lower than other tour companies because we concentrate on small groups - usually to a maximum of 12 people. That enables us to stay overnights in small family-owned inns and avoid the large corporate-run hotels which are often more expensive.
Thank you for this interview!
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