End of the season
The first morning of frost today. A few of the summer birds are still here, but the evening sky now has skeins of geese making their way over to the wetlands around Threave Castle. It is time to put on the long finger gloves and knee warmers and carry a bag so that the ride always features the gathering of mushrooms, berries or sloes.
It has been a good year for Galloway Cycling Holidays. Some guests returned to us for a second year, which we consider the ultimate compliment. There were many first time guests, new to Scotland and almost everyone was a Dumfries & Galloway newbie.
Everyone gets rides tailored to their ability, what they want to see and the type of riding they want to do. This is a lot of work and planning, but it is always the chance thing, the unplanned and random that makes the day special.
The farmer running a dog to gather sheep, the cows blocking the road as they are walked to milking, the wonderful chat with a random stranger all become a special memory. For all our planning, it is the unplanned things that guests talk about when we ask them “ What was the best thing about today “.
No one will ever leave Galloway unhappy, that’s a given we think. The Tour of Britain pro race came through the area and looked so beautiful in the helicopter shots. But getting people here is a challenge, and no amount of us saying it’s the best place in Scotland is going to make too much difference. This is where amazing reviews from our guest come in.
Thank you! to everyone of you that took the time to write nice things about us, and gave all those 5 star reviews. The thing is, they are so important for us and help us to get recognition. Good feedback from guests is how we get attention from those who we occasionally need to impress. Which is how we picked up two awards.
We are now a Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Unesco Biosphere business in recognition of our eco focused company, #gsaBiosphere But to top that we are regional finalists in The Scottish Thistle Awards, in the Best Outdoor Tourism category, #ThistleAwards. These are a bit like the Oscars, but with more tartan and less tearful acceptance speeches. . We are up against very successful and established companies but to be there with them is an amazing achievement.
We have just one tour left to do now and we have time to get out on bikes and start to explore new areas for routes. We did the very best job we could in 2019, and already 2020 has the feeling it will be our best year.