Lead Guide (Road Cycling Holidays)
I was born in the city of Bath in 1977 and grew up in the small town of Nailsworth, where one of my childhood friends introduced me to road cycling. I had previously been a keen BMX’er but soon saw the error of my ways. At the age of 9, using money saved from a paper round starting at 5am, with a heavy bag and involving a 3 mile hill of severe gradient (on said BMX!), even before the first drop, I saved up and bought myself my first racer, as we called them, a Raleigh Winner. Steel framed and heavy, my trusty steed not only made the paper round easier but also took me all over the Cotswolds and, predictably, I started following the Tour de France.
My family later moved to Stroud, a town a few miles away and when I was 18 I decided to go to college and study outdoor pursuits. This led me to the great outdoors, in turn to rock climbing and mountain sports. Cycling took a back seat until 2011 when I began leading groups overseas on trekking and biking tours and I rediscovered my love of cycling.
I worked my first season with Marmot in 2014, interspersed with rope access work, leading groups overseas and working as a safety consultant in northern Iraq. This consultancy work continued full time for most of 2015 and in September that year I left Sheffield, where I had been living for 15 years, and moved to Chatel, where I spent the winter season snow boarding and skiing and generally enjoying living in the mountains. I currently live near Courchevel in the Savoie region of the French Alps, working as an electrician, guiding for Marmot during the summer and leading the occasional overseas trip or nipping back to the UK for a bit of rope access work or to visit the family.
I still rock climb regularly, as it was my main sport for 20 or so years but living so close to so many great climbs (and descents!) gives me a unique opportunity to enjoy some of the best bits of road France has to offer and believe me, I am!
Hope to see you on the road!
What our cyclists say about Neil…
Very well organised, clear and concise. Good sense of humour and a credit to Marmot. E Graham Raid Dolomites 2017
Excellent in so many ways and a great sense of humour, clear instructions re routes and tricky descents. S Germon Raid Dolomites 2017
Neil was great. Calm, just managed everything effortlessly which is the true hallmark of someone who is very good at what they do. I blew myself up on the first day on the first climb (brake caliper rubbing and I didn’t know it) It was a big day and I suffered for the rest of it coming in last and not being able to make it down for dinner. Neil came up to my room to check on me and organised a meal in the room which allowed me to recover and then complete the Raid. Great guy and I needed the help. J Carpenter Raid Alpine 2018
Excellent knowledge of the area and routes, very accommodating to all requests and helped make it a wonderful and enjoyable trip. L Robinson Classic Cols of Corsica 2018
Approachable and friendly, and with excellent knowledge of the route which came across along the route and during our evening briefings. Brilliant support, was always where he said he would be on the road. Tremendous workload, seems like a guide’s working day is 7am – 10pm. T Dooley Raid Alpine 2018
Neil came across as being very knowledgeable about the itinerary and was able to quickly gauge the strengths of the individuals in the group. He was always helpful, always smiling despite some very difficult circumstances. He was able to offer alternative suggestions if I wasn’t feeling up to some of the hills and suggested great pick up/drop off points. All in all a very supportive guide. His daily briefings were always great! H Wright Classic Cols of Corsica 2018
Neil always always calm and ready to help. Like Graham nothing seemed to phase him and another great asset to Marmot. Z Elliott Raid Corsica 2018