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"I think when cycling is everything to you this reflects in how your trips are run" Ade Hill, Company Director & Head Guide
Alpcycles, owned and run by Adrian (Ade) & Shelley Hill, first guests arrived in 2007. 2017 is our 10th Birthday and is still our family run business.
As with most people, it was the ski season that brought us to the Alps in 2005 for a bit of fun, although when we arrived Ade had a cross bike in tow rather than a set of skis as he was more excited at the prospect of riding the tarmac of the Alps than the snow covered pistes. Needless to say some thought he was a bit strange (it was before the cycling boom), but as he had been road cycling since a teenager there was no chance he was missing this opportunity. We knew after our first winter that we wanted to stay and make a life in this breath taking location, the question was how to make it happen. Ade’s suggestion of opening a “cyclist’s chalet” for the summer season seemed like a dream come true and as we had nothing to lose it was worth a shot. Cycling in many forms had been a part of both of our lives for many years, so getting paid to do what you love was too tempting to resist…..or at least our success would be measured on whether we could feed ourselves and pay the bills in the first summer.
We didn’t have a business plan, projections or an exit strategy. We did have a lot of passion, energy and a goal. It was (and still is) to deliver amazing supported riding to every guest out on the road and ensure they were well fed and looked after so they could relax and enjoy their time off the bike too. Everything was to be run professionally but with a friendly and genuine approach so that our guests could quite literally just enjoy riding and training on their bikes in the Alps. You ask yourself the question “what would I want” and go from there. Simple.
And it worked!
10 years on, as well as continuing to deliver challenging, quality training camps, weekends and bespoke packages. Alpcycles has now grown into one of the leading providers of iconic and challenging events such as La Marmotte Grand Fondo, Maratona dles Dolomites and the Haute Route events, holding Official Tour Operator status for all of these prestigious events. It means we get to stack up against some of the big guns who are totally event focused but our hands on approach and passion for our sport and every single guest has not been lost and separates us from the crowd.
The secret? Well, we still don’t have a business plan or an exit strategy (no plans to exit just yet) so we think it’s our hands on approach and passion for every guest and our sport that makes us leaders in our field. Size matters too! Staying in control of every aspect of our trips means we can flex and adapt, whether a planned change or a decision made out on the road to support the group split or deal with a weather change. Ade is still a guide, mechanic or driver come rain or shine with the rest of the team and sums it up in one line:
“I think when cycling is everything to you this reflects in how your trips are run”
In 10 years nothing has changed for us. We are still as excited to ride in the mountains as we ever were and we share that passion with our experienced staff team, who come together every summer with their wealth of knowledge & love of riding. Ultimately, it is our team that help us deliver the perfect road cycling experience to our guests, who, whether longstanding or new to Alpcycles know they are not just a number.