Mary Gordon Cumming

Lead Guide (Road Cycling Holidays)

I discovered the mountains late in life but have definitely made up for lost time since then. Living in Wanaka, New Zealand for six years and then moving to the French Alps where I have been for the last thirteen years. At first, skiing pretty much ruled my choices, following the snow between hemispheres, and between resorts, any other sport was secondary, a way of training for skiing. I confess, for a long time I swore I would never ride a bike somewhere you could drive a car. To the point that I was almost embarrassed to give in and jump on the bandwagon. Luckily, one summer I found myself working in the foothills of the Pyrenees. No-one knew me, I picked up a bike and off I went and I understood. At first, just the change of perspective. Roads that I had driven many times took on a new character, the cheers of Allez Allez from the old man in his garden as I attempted my first col, the elation as I arrived … the amusement when I discovered I had come up the easy side of the Mur de Péguere and people looked me up and down with my steel bike circa 1982, rock climbing helmet and woollen top saying, “you came up here like that?’.

Since then I’ve come to love cycling as a way of taking in the views, the sense of camaraderie, the personal sense of achievement, the quality of coffee at the cols, the adrenalin rush of long descents, as I regularly ride around my local neighbourhood which I’m lucky enough to say takes in the Petit Saint Bernard, the Iseran and Cormet de Roseland. I look forward to sharing the adventure with you this summer!

What our cyclists say about Mary…

Mary was fantastic. The care she has for the well-being of the cyclists just radiates from her. She was obviously very tuned in to the various states of mind of our group as each rider reached the col passes, which was great to see and much appreciated. Mary was unfailingly helpful, cheerful, supportive and effective. The way Mary ran the trip was perfect. I couldn’t have wished for a better tour guide. She and Pedro complemented each other very well and worked brilliantly as a team. Thanks a lot, Mary! E Huguet Classic Cols of the Dolomites 2018

Great attitude, very supportive and encouraging!  A Lem and J Sinnott. Classic Cols of the Dolomites 2018

Great energy, added a real sense of fun to the week. P Gough. Alpine Classic road cycling holiday 2018

Always had a smile and had a knack of being there on the road exactly when we needed her. Excellent local knowledge. C Barker. Alpine Classic Cols 2018

Friendly; enthusiastic; very helpful and pleasant; brilliant management with meals and accommodation. B Peacock. Alpine Classic Cols 2018

Professional & friendly. always keen to help – very knowledgeable. Lovely person. P Margetts. Raid Pyrenean 100hr road cycling challenge  2019

Fantastic support. Very hard working, always available to answer endless questions and always smiling and positive to get you through the tough times and the spots of bad weather. An excellent guide! S Tobin. Raid Pyrenean cycling holiday 2019

Mary was exceptional her desire to make sure everyone was safe and had a great time was second to none, also she was very approachable. S Parfitt. Ventoux and the Verdon Gorge 2019

Loved how Mary was upbeat and had a great attitude. Appreciated her interactions with hotel/restaurant staff during dinners to ensure everyone was happy with food and beverages. J Anglim. Pyrenean Classic Cols 2019

Thank heavens for Mary! Constant positive and supportive presence. FABULOUS GUIDE. K Bird. Alpine Classic Cols 2019

Mary was really enthusiastic and upbeat all the time. The van support was excellent throughout and whenever you were feeling like you needed some water etc the van just seemed to appear as though they could read your mind! I left my water bottle in the van at one stop and, as I don’t like to stop on an ascent Mary even handed me my bottle as I passed the refreshment stop … over and above the job spec 😉 R. Bligh-Smith Road cycling in the Alps 2019