Lead Guide (Road Cycling Holidays)
I am never happier than when I’m in the mountains, exploring by bike or on foot.
I realised this at the grand age of 25: I was sitting at my Accenture desk, the spring sun glowing happily outside my window, and the prospect of spending yet another summer, let alone the next few years, locked away in London’s business areas had never seemed so bleak. It suddenly occurred to me that life didn’t have to be so. There had to be other ways of living.
And sure enough, a few months later, I found myself pedalling up mountains, working for a variety of cycle touring companies in the French, Swiss and Italian Alps, the Jura and the Vosges. A friend told me about Marmot Tours and the rest is history: James runs a fantastic ship giving his team all the responsibility and support we need to ensure cyclists have a wonderful (and occasionally brutal) time on their bikes and that the team feel fulfilled by their work. Three years on I still delight in meeting Marmoteers. I find my colleagues inspiring. And I still love my office.
Since starting work in the outdoors I’ve enjoyed putting my new found freedom to good use. Having studied Social Anthropology at Cambridge University, I now have all the time I could wish for to travel, rediscover my passion for languages, history, my curiosity about places and people, and to think (I’m contemplating further study…). So far I have spent the work-quiet winter months in places like Guatemala volunteering as a hiking guide for a fantastic non-profit called the Quetzaltrekkers, Colombia and more recently (Nov / Dec 2018), biking around Nepal, a country I will have to return to! Next stop: a 3-month bike packing adventure around New Zealand!
Born and brought up in France, I’m really happy to spend more time in my homeland, using my languages and enjoying the beautiful mountain ranges that I used to take for granted growing up.
So all that said, I wish you a happy winter and spring of riding and look forward to meeting or seeing you again next summer!
What our cyclists say about Katia…
Loved Katia – she was always smiling and happy. Invaluable having her speak the local language. I noticed she was always talking to hotel owners during meals to make sure everything was running smoothly. On our wettest day, she arranged with the hotel to use their furnace room overnight to dry our clothing and shoes…brilliant! A Lem & J Sinnott, Classic Cols of the Picos 2017
Excellent: As a new team member I thought Katia was lovely and went out of her way to find answers if she did not know, and to help. D Clarkson, Classic Cols of the Picos 2017
Excellent: Having a Spanish speaker on the team was a help in the restaurants and hotels. C Hopper, Classic Cols of the Picos 2017
Outstanding! C Bridges Webb, Classic Cols of the Picos 2017
Bubbly and chatty, kept us all motivated to keep pushing and not get in the van. It was also very welcoming to have fresh melon at the top! Really interesting to chat with after I had to stop riding and hopefully will be on another Marmot trip in the future, and one where I won’t crash! W Cundy, Classic Cols of the Picos 2018
Katia went above and beyond time and time again supporting the riders. She never stopped helping people out, especially in the evenings and around mealtimes. She never seemed to get a moment to herself, always thinking about and helping others. F Van Schelven Raid Sardinia 2018
Always happy to help – always with a smile on her face – genuinely interested in the people on the trip – an absolute star. L Bozeat Road cycling holiday in the Alps 2018
Katia was always there to support with a smile on her face even to the extent of taking orders at the restaurants. She was also our group’s guide last year and we were delighted when she was named as the guide for this trip. G Harrington Road cycling holiday in Sardinia 2018
Katia did a great job. The weather made the early part of the week tough for all. Decisions had to be made and they were made confidently and ensuring that the group were part of that process. Carl Berriman Raid Sardinia road cycling challenge 2018
Katia was a great guide, very cheerful and professional. Very organised and made sure each day ran very smoothly. Good balance in terms of encouragement/providing information while not being patronising. Thanks, Katia! O Negyal. Classic Cols of the Dolomites & Stelvio 2019
Katia and Scot were helpful, supportive, encouraging, practical etc. etc.etc. In other words, they were excellent. I often thought that they went above and beyond what I would have expected. Without a doubt, their efforts and commitment were a significant help to all the riders in the group. A Taylor. Raid Alpine cycling challenge from Geneva to Nice 2019
Katia was super-organised and always asking everyone whether there was anything they needed/wanted both at the van stops and the hotel. She always had a smile and we shared lots of laughs, particularly at the van stops. Her excellent knowledge of the area in general and the route, in particular, allowed her to answer any of my queries. All in all a great guide! J Burke. Classic Cols of the Picos & Angliru 2019
Katia was brilliant. Nothing was too much trouble and she was very thoughtful and considerate of our needs. Certainly an asset to Marmot Tours. N Mannerings. Cycling Holiday in the Picos & Northern Spain 2019
Just excellent in all departments! Clearly, from her first-hand experience. The routes, the venues, stops, the places to see & visit, managing the daily logistics of kit and bags, a good sense of humour and still kept smiling ! … well impressed. B Marjoram. Road cycling holiday in the Pyrenees 2019