Staff and guides at training

At Bicycle Adventures, our annual guide training weekend has long been a cornerstone of our commitment to excellence. As anyone who has been on a guided tour knows, great guides make the tour experience memorable. Guides are great at connecting with guests, adept at handling challenges, and go the extra mile to make a tour special. Our guides keep our guests coming back to Bicycle Adventures year after year and we are proud of the work they do.

In the last few years, as we continue to navigate the post-Covid world, our approach to guide training has evolved to meet new challenges and opportunities. No longer confined to our traditional office setting, our training weekend now takes place at the picturesque Camp Koinonia in Cle Elum, WA, spanning an intensive and enriching four days.

Building Connections and Skills

For our new guides, this weekend serves as a vital opportunity to connect with their peers and staff members. It’s more than just a training session; it’s a time to bond, learn the fundamentals, and showcase their skills. For the staff, it’s a chance to gather in person, share knowledge, and strengthen our community. With remote work and busy schedules it’s extremely rare for the staff to all get together so this year everyone was especially grateful for this face-to-face time.

Our returning guides also played an integral role, joining us for the last half of the weekend to share their invaluable experience and insights with the newcomers. Their knowledge and mentorship are a pivotal part of getting the new guides up to speed.

Chad imparting wisdom to our group

Immersive Learning Experiences

We kicked off the training by immersing our new guides in the guest experience. They were picked up and taken on a scenic bike ride, culminating in a catered lunch, just like on a Bicycle Adventures tour. This hands-on introduction set the tone for the next two days, which were packed with practical training sessions. From mastering the art of backing up the van and trailer to fine-tuning bike mechanics and learning more about Bicycle Adventures’ core values, our new guides dove deeply into a variety of essential tasks.

Meals were a communal affair, enjoyed together in the dining hall, fostering camaraderie and team spirit. Evenings around the campfire provided a relaxed environment for deeper conversations and storytelling, allowing everyone to unwind and connect on a personal level.

Trailer backing session
Lunchtime on day 1
Bike mechanics session

The Intensity of Training

The training weekend is designed to be both rigorous and rewarding. Preceded by extensive interviews before being invited to training, this weekend represents the final step for new guides to officially become part of the Bicycle Adventures family. They are continually learning, absorbing information, and being evaluated on both their technical abilities and interpersonal skills. The colder-than-expected weather caused some restructuring of the weekend and made the evening campfires all the more welcome. Rolling with the punches and adjusting to unexpected conditions are all part of guide life, so it felt appropriate that the weather threw a bit of a wrench into the weekend!

Campfire time was always welcome!
Unexpected snow keeping us on our toes for the weekend
Bike loading/unloading session

Stepping into Guide Roles

Following the training weekend, the journey continues as new guides learn from veteran guides on tours. This mentorship phase is crucial, allowing new guides to refine their skills in real-world scenarios. With each tour, they grow more adept at tasks like loading bikes and preparing delicious lunches, eventually performing with the ease and confidence of seasoned professionals.

As we look ahead, we are excited to see our new guides flourish and bring their enthusiasm and expertise to the unforgettable experiences we create for our guests. This training weekend has not only prepared them for the road ahead but also reinforced the strong, supportive community that is the heart of Bicycle Adventures.

You can learn more about all of our guides here.