Writing our famed Roadbooks
It’s hard to complain when your day’s work includes six hours of biking through the vineyards, on a glorious day. I was out scouting a new route for a self-guided biking holiday we’re running for one of our partners, through half a zillion wine-making villages.
We understand that not all of our guests have finely tuned map-reading skills, and so I’m always over-the-top-meticulous when it comes to writing notes for our Roadbooks. My map-reading skills were actually quite poor before I became a hiking guide, and I would often get lost trying to follow route notes for various hikes in the region: too vague, not enough info…
To ensure that our cycling Roadbooks are top-notch, I cover the entire route by bike, with a bike computer. Never by car. I proceed at a snail’s pace, stop at all landmarks, every important intersection and junction, and just about anywhere that may pose a problem for orienteering. I then note all distances, directional signs, waymarks, and any other useful piece of information, in full detail. I write everything down immediately on paper, never a voice recording. The key is to get it down just the way it needs to be written right way, with zero time-gap between the reconnaissance and the written text (the more you wait after scouting, the more prone you are to make an error).
The idea is to remove any possible need for interpretation, so you can cycle with confidence along the tiniest of back roads, without needing to ask yourselves: Am I going the right way?