Here in Spain, as some of you may know, today, we are on day one of our nationwide confinement due to Covid19. For me and many, it was hard to wrap my head around what this meant; I heard the initial news yesterday while I was out for what would be my last ride in a while. Today, I finally understood I need to pack away my hiking and cycling gear for the next weeks until we get through this storm. It's not so much about me spreading the virus by going out in the mountains or on my bike on my own but more about a message of civic duty and solidarity to stay at home. Why should I get to go out for a cycle or hike when my neighbours are confined to their house with their toddlers for example? The government has mandated only to go out to fulfill primary needs like to get food, medicine, money or gas for your car. It wouldn't be fair. This is incredibly hard with all this recent gorgeous 20C+ Spring weather but this is much bigger than me, my training and Go Cycle Tours. I just posted a message on Instagram to all cyclists and hikers encouraging them to do their bit and stay home. As I write this, in less than 15 minutes we have gone from bright sunshine and 20ºC to a wild thunder and lightning storm, pelting rain and plummeting temperatures. Mother Nature is sending us a clear message – Stay At Home!
But, as I have said before, this to will pass and the sooner, the fewer casualties therefore the better.
What I have seen from Go Cycle Tour's partners and collaborators in Gredos, Segovia and El Escorial BEFORE this state of emergency was declared yesterday evening, was heroic in its own right. So many small hotels, restaurants and businesses, over 90% of Spain's economic fabric (many with fewer than 10 employees) still recovering from our last economic crisis, have already been severely impacted by these extraordinary circumstances. I am humbled to see how through our local chamber of commerce in Gredos, ASENORG and local partners in Segovia and El Escorial, this Thursday and Friday businesses took the initiative and responsibility to keep their workers and the public at large safe by deciding individually to close their doors until this storm has passed. Make no mistake that this means turning away money that contributes to their monthly costs, household expenditures and pockets. They are extending themselves even before any government measures have been announced to try to protect the well being and livelihood of their employees and staff. Some are facilitating ways to unemployment benefits, some are saying, I need you in the near future so go home but here is some money to get by on.
This is why working with and supporting these people and their businesses is at the core our Go Cycle Tours and our commitment to responsible, off the beaten track cycling and hiking experiences. We are lucky because working with these local partners one on one means I can work with each and every one of you to dream up, plan, maintain, postpone, reschedule or cancel your Go Cycle Tour as events unfold. We have the capacity, as a small group tour company with local providers, to be agile in every sense of the word. This means keeping plans on the back burner to see how things pan out or collectively agreeing to reschedule when we see things getting clearer and back to normal. In summary; dreaming, planning, reserving or booking with Go Cycle Tours will NOT affect your pocket book.
The pelting rain has eased up and the thunder has subsided just now. I am happy to keep in contact will all of you to see how things pan out on my side of the world, your side of the world and the world in between before making any drastic decisions and feeling disappointed that we may not get to cycle Spain this year. There is still a lot of “this year” left and if not this year, there will be next year. The important thing is keeping our priorities straight.
Thank you all for your support of this small but mighty unique, boutique, off the beaten track cycling and hiking tour purveyors. We are blessed to have a present to be grateful for in so many ways and to be able to confide in a future filled with possibilities and experiences to be shared with you.
We’ll keep in touch - please keep connected and reaching out to us via social media, email and phone (DM or email us and we'll phone you!) with your cycling and hiking dreams, adventures and plans - it's free and freeing!
Keep pedalling and trekking (on your indoor trainers:😊) and keep smiling.
Go Cycle Tours