Checking in with our Bike Tour Guides
During the bike tour season, Wilderness Voyageurs bike tour guides are busy riding bikes, driving vans and putting together gourmet picnics. But what do they do in the off season? And what are they doing now, while we take a momentary pause from everything? We connected with a few of our bike tour trip leaders to see what they’ve been up to this spring.
Andrés Alfaro – Kansas City, MO
“Hello everyone, Andrés here. Times are weird, and we all face different challenges. Some of us are hurting with health issues, some of us struggle with the lack of social interaction. I’ve been very lucky in that my main personal concern has to do with staying in shape for when our lives go back to normal. Besides having a job that requires me to be pretty capable on the bike, I like to challenge myself competing in gravel races, mountain bike events, and I might have my sights on getting into cyclocross this winter (maybe).
The biggest help I’ve had to keep my body healthy, my mind sound and my spirits high has been online, virtual training. We live in an era of digital innovation, and long gone are the days of riding a stationary bike while staring at a wall. While stationary bikes have also seen a great deal of progress, the advent of trainers (specifically smart trainers), allows us to ride our own bikes indoors, feeling the changes in gradient as if you were in the real world, all while being interactive with others during planned workouts, group rides, and even races! There are several platforms out there with made-up worlds and digital versions of actual places in the world to choose from, so the exploring never ends. If you are data-driven like me, you can track your progress and adapt your training to whatever goal you might want to reach, from staying active at home to becoming an indoor specialist (no joke, it’s a thing) there’s something for everyone.”
Gary Smith – Harrisburg, PA
“I can still travel to transport bone marrow as a volunteer courier — I made seven trips November to January. I also practiced my jumping skills in March while guiding our new Florida Suncoast tour around Tampa Bay. Now I’m doing a lot of around the neighborhood and enjoying Harrisburg bike rides with fewer motor vehicles. I’m also posting many puns and “Dad Jokes” on Facebook. Friend me at garyksmith814!”
James Oerding – St. Louis, MO
“I bought a 120-year-old house and am rehabbing the entire thing. I bought a fake fireplace that I’m mocking here; it’s just so efficient! To be exact, it’s on Shaw Ave in St. Louis’ Hill neighborhood. The oldest annual bike race goes right in front of my house! It’s also the same street Yogi Berra was born on and started playing ball.”
Nic Blouin – Santa Fe, NM
“I’ve been doing a lot of biking, of course! It’s so beautiful in Santa Fe right now. I haven’t been here in spring for 8 years because of severe allergies, which have somehow disappeared because the world is topsy-turvy I guess. Right now I’m putting the finishing touches on our New Mexico tour!”
Angelo Ross – Ohiopyle, PA
“I’ve been skating outside when it’s dry, inside at a warehouse I have with a few friends when it rains (observing social distancing rules, of course). I’ve also been doing yoga, running a bit, and pedaling on my trainer.” Angelo is also an artist! You can check out his work on Instagram @angeloross3 and his website NaturalCause.org.
Paul Kingsbury – Elmira, NY
Colleen O’Neil – Ohiopyle, PA
“Montana and I spent two months bike touring in Southeast Asia this winter. Since we got home in January, I signed up to run a 50k trail race withe some friends on the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail. But since the lockdown happened, I’ve been doing a lot of solo running and cross-training with yoga and mountain biking. I’ve also started baking bread and doing some watercolor painting. It’s actually been pretty fun to get back into hobbies I’ve stopped doing in the past few years.”
Raina King – Yakima, WA
Want to learn more about our fantastic bike tour guides? Check out our bike tour guide staff page.
Join the #HomeVoyageurs Challenge & Win!
People like us? We thrive outdoors. And we’re all starting to feel that uncomfortable prickle of not being able to explore the world from the seat of our bikes… so we’ve concocted a wonderful antidote for anyone feeling antsy, or who is starting to feel the cabin fever creep in.
Show us how you’re doing—whether you’re still stuck indoors, or you’ve been able to enjoy some outdoor time—and you’ll be entered to win a $25 gift card to our online store!
1. Make sure you’re following us on the platform you’re entering on.
2. Post a video, photo, or story and be sure to use the hashtag #HomeVoyageurs
3. Most Importantly: remember to tag us so we don’t miss it!
Feel free to challenge your bike tour travel buddies, too! We’ll choose a winner on May 14th, 2020.