Cycling Gems is a new company founded by Neil and Geraldine Goldsmith to provide cycling holidays.
Neil and Geraldine Goldsmith have been leading cycle tours for 15 years for CTC Holidays and Tours and have built up a considerable customer following.
We aim to provide holidays for those who want to cycle and have a holiday. The quality of the cycling is very important to us. By quality we mean interesting terrain, good scenery and sufficient challenge in the day to make the evening beer and meal worthwhile. We don’t do “cycle, eat, go-to-bed, repeat”. Our tours are sufficiently challenging but they are still a holiday with enough time to look round interesting places and have sufficient time for a relax and social chat with your like minded fellow tourists.
Neil has been helping Gerry lead tours for the last 15 years. Neil enjoys organising tours and riding them with like-minded people. He enjoys the moving on nature of touring, though he also enjoys the fixed base tours in the mountains. He is a keen outdoors person who has a history of mountaineering, ski mountaineering, fell running and cycling. He describes himself as ‘good average’. He has completed three of the early Etape du Tours but now finds them too busy and too chaotic. He enjoys riding shorter Audax events which can be ridden at a comfortable pace and are non-competitive.
A competent bike mechanic who builds up his own bikes he will usually lend a hand with repairs and packing and un-packing bikes for participants.
Geraldine (Gerry) Goldsmith
Geraldine (Gerry) has cycle toured in several areas of Europe, in India (Kerala and Ladakh), Laos, Tasmania, and South Africa. She is often cycling in France and speaks French fluently.
Tours she introduced in France include the Pyrenean Traverse and Corsica, both challenging mountain tours. Also a new route for the Manche-Med tour, more relaxed but still hilly. Gerry continues to develop new tours, particularly in France, such as the Tour of Provence. Gerry (previously a mountaineer and fell-runner) loves being in the mountains; she enjoys sharing the mountain experience with other riders. Gerry also enjoys visiting other countries further afield, where a more relaxed tour provides plenty of opportunities to experience different cultures. Over the years we have visited South Africa quite often, we led a road tour a couple of times. Now the tar roads are busy and we have developed a tour on gravel roads.
Are Our Tours Suitable for You?
Our selling point is that we organise the tours, we lead the tours and we ride them. We enjoy the tours we do and the company of the people who choose us. We choose the areas we visit and the style of touring we like and which seems appropriate to us. We tend to specialise in France because we know it well and we have developed good relationships with the family run hotels we visit. Some of the hoteliers now count as friends. Many of our customers come on our tours because they like what we do and our style. Some of our tours have been developed because our regulars wanted new areas to go to. We like to develop new tours and we try them out first ourselves.
Our tours and fixed based holidays are aimed at experienced cyclists who can cope with sometimes challenging days. Typical tours include a fixed base holiday in the Pyrenees where customers can have an easy day, rest days, join the group on a moderate challenge or have a hard day. Our tours may be 70 - 100km per day. All are fully supported by a vehicle.
For many of our customers the joy is in the achievement of a day spent enjoying the countryside, getting from point to point and having a relaxing evening with good food and wine with like-minded company. We are not aiming at extreme “hard nuts” who want extreme challenges, but nor are we cycling for beginners. If you are not a regular cyclist, but you are someone wishing to try a cycling holiday as an alternative to a sight-seeing trip, we suggest you try something easier before you try one of our tours.
Our typical customers range from those who will take their time stopping frequently for photos, to those who will set off early to get there in their own good time and those who wish to cycle with others. We usually meet up for mid-morning coffee, lunch (usually a picnic) and an afternoon stop.
Wherever possible we let you ride in the style you prefer: some like to ride with others, some prefer to make their own way at their own speed. We provide maps, notes and gpx routes. We brief everyone each day on the day ahead.