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Where am I going in 2024 and 2025?


Morocco – April 2024

This is a fixed centre tour to southern Morocco, repeating Neil Wheadon’s popular tour of 2022. The exotic sights, tastes and smells of this North African country make it an interesting country to cycle in. Staying within the old walls of Tiznit in a Riad (guesthouse) that one previous customer (who is coming again) described as a wonderful hotel. Arriving in April to spring weather.

Glasgow Tandem Club Weekend (MJ242)
Fri 10th May – Mon 13th May 2024
Cycling from the club base at Bellahouston to Gourock, and then taking the ferry across the
water to Dunoon. Staying dinner, bed, and breakfast, for 3 nights in the Esplanade Hotel. On
Saturday we will cycle the 3 ferries route, over to Gourock, down to Rothesay, and back up
to Dunoon.


Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, and Pitlochry – May/ June 2024

This tour is unusual for me in that it is inland, with no Calmac ferries. It makes up for it with wonderful fresh water lochs (including the 23 mile-long Loch Lomond. Starting from just north of Glasgow at Balloch which is at the foot of Loch Lomond.  Then cycling quiet roads along Loch Katrine, Loch Tay, and Loch Tummel to name but a few. Some of these roads are very minor single-track roads. Staying in pretty Pitlochry and returning via Stirling to Glasgow.


The Inner Hebrides – Islay, Jura and Mull – July 2024

Starting from Glasgow, and cycling to Arran, before continuing out through the Inner Hebrides. Arran is often described as Scotland in miniature, and we continue onto Kintyre, and out to the islands.

Coming up in 2025

Looking at

-         a GTC club weekend (possibly to Arran or maybe Pitlochry),

-         a tour of Dumfries and Galloway in late May (possibly including the Borders),

-         followed by Orkney and Shetland in early July.

I would also welcome suggestions for future tours as that is how the one to Orkney and Shetland came about.

My experience and style

What to expect

Who am I?

Starting from commuting short distances to work, then developing an appetite for cycle touring. I led my first cycle tour in 2014, led annual tours with CTC Holidays, and have progressed to leading four tours with Bikexplore in 2024. In addition to running my own tours I have enjoyed other leader’s tours too – Thailand and Eden Valley in 2023.

I am a retired management accountant, and in addition to cycling my other hobbies include swimming and my allotment. My partner Diane has come on all of my tours (but not coming to Morocco) and she acts as a deputy leader.

My tour leading style

Until the first day on my first tour, I intended to lead my tour, like a club run, from the front, with everyone in a neat little group behind me. Then I discovered that the people on my tour had other ideas. It is their holiday so who am I to dictate.

People tended to split into smaller groups who cycle at similar speeds, or had similar interests in photography or historic sites. No-one cycled on their own unless it was from choice. E.G one very experienced cyclist (who has since become a very good friend) recognised that he was slower than he used to be, so he set of ahead of the group, and said hello when we arrived at café stops, before setting off ahead again. As a result he tended to arrive about the same time as everyone else, and I was happy because if anything did go wrong we would catch up with him and be able to help. I provide digital route maps, a tour booklet, and suggest café and lunch stops.

Usually we are in remote locations and the route is very obvious, with only one road going there. Where that is not the case, then I will regroup, and I might lead with Diane as the back marker.  Together we also provided luggage transfers. One of us will ride with the last riders, while the other drives ahead with the luggage. In case of medical need we can take a passenger. This has proved invaluable as most tours have had at least one day where this was required.

The roads I take

My routes tend to be moderate and suitable for experienced cyclists with a good level of fitness. The average speed over the course of the day will be between 11 and 13 mph (18-22 kph). The distance per day will vary depending on how many places we are visiting and how hilly the route is. Typically we stay two nights in each place, alternating longer moving on days of 50 miles (possibly one or two longer still) with a shorter sightseeing day where we start and finish at the same hotel.

My routes use minor roads and cycle paths, even if this includes lots of hills, in preference to a flatter but busier main road. Only if there is no suitable alternative will my route follow a busy main road. As my tours seek out quiet and remote places, sometimes we have to make use of a main road as it's the only option, but these tend to carry very little traffic, unlike other parts of the UK. On some days we may cycle on just one road all day, with very few road junctions. My tours  normally start and end in a city, but I use cycle paths to escape into the country and the rest of the tour is city free.

The places we stay

I seek to book hotels for the whole cycle holiday, as I find that people enjoy the comfort. Sometimes in remote places there is only one hotel, and it can’t take the whole group. In such circumstances I will book a nearby B&B. Typically people might expect to stay in a hotel for 80 to 90%. The quality of hotel will depend on what is available, but given a choice I will book a middling quality for the best available price. This is in order to try to keep the cost of the tour down.

Rooms are normally twins or doubles, and people share. Generally there are not enough rooms in remote places, so I can’t offer single occupancy.

Where do I go?

My tours have all been in Scotland until 2024. I like beautiful scenery, quiet roads, and low levels of population. Together we have toured the west coast of Scotland, visiting all of the major islands, and going as far north as Orkney and Shetland. I love routes along a single track road, at the sea shore or edge of a loch. If you look at a map of Britain then, the west coast of Scotland is a very obvious choice for me.

I feel very patriotic and gain great pleasure introducing people to our wonderful country. One customer had been to Scotland once as a young adult, but since starting coming on my tours has become a frequent visitor.

Where have I been

My routes are moderate and suitable for experienced cyclists with a good level of fitness. The average speed over the course of the day will be between 10 and 12 mph (17-20 kph). This might be slower that some are accustomed to, but then the route might also be more hilly. The distance per day will vary depending on how many places we are visiting and how hilly the route is. Typically staying two nights, with alternating longer moving on days of 50 miles (possibly one or two longer still) followed by a shorter sightseeing day where start and finish in the same hotel.

I seek to use minor roads and cycle paths. Only if there is no suitable alternative will my route use a busy main road. Usually we will take a minor road that includes a hill in preference to a busier but more flat main road. I seek quiet roads and remote places, so even if we use a main road it is not like main roads in other parts of the UK. Typically we might cycle on one road all day, with very few road junctions. The tour will normally start and end in a city, but I will use cycle paths to escape into the country and the rest of the tour will be city free.

Outer Hebrides
Hostels and Hotels

My first tour leading a small group up through the Outer Hebrides. I was still inexperienced at touring and was carrying far too much stuff.

The islands and west coast of Scotland are just packed full of beautiful beaches, but only this one doubles as an airport.

Inner Hebrides
Hotels and some Hostels

This tour started from Glasgow, using cycle paths to leave the city and escape into the country. The picture is of a single track road with views to the Isle of Arran. A very experienced tour leader (Brian Curtis) mentored me on this tour. We also visited Isla, Jura, Mull, Iona and Skye. We stayed mainly in hotels, and used hostels for a few nights. Customer feedback suggested using all hotels or all hostels.

Outer Hebrides and St Kilda

I always had a desire to visit St Kilda, so this time we added in an extra day for the trip out to what seems like the most remote part of the UK. Poor Diane suffers badly from seasickness, but had decided she would put up with it in order to get to St Kilda.

This was an exceptional tour, with great weather, and almost everyone on it has since returned on subsequent tours.


Campbeltown to Tobermory (aka as part 1 of Martin’s trilogy of West of Scotland Tours)


This time we visited Campbeltown, Gigha, Crinan, Isla and Mull. After the success of the trip to St Kilda, I incorporated a day trip to the Treshnish Isles (where we saw the comical puffins) and on to Staffa to see the magnificent Fingal’s Cave. We finished in Tobermory on Mull, and made that the starting point for the next tour. By now I had settled on running Scottish tours staying in hotels, usually for 2 nights, and in remote places. I am now doing cycle holiday tours rather than just cycle tours.


Ullapool to Thurso and on to Orkney


The mainland part of this tour has been relabelled as the North Coast 500, since I first cycled it. The picture is of Achmelvich beach. This is one of the most remote and sparsely populated parts of Scotland with some tough coastal roads.


Tobermory to Ullapool


This remote little gem is Castle Tioram on Loch Moidart.

This became the second part of the trilogy, where we stayed the first night in the same hotel on Mull, and then the next day set off on the ferry going north onto Ardnamurchan. The highlight was riding one of the highest road climbs in the UK, over the Bealach Na Ba to Applecross. Here we had a rest day and went kayaking.

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