Cycling In Dordogne with The Chain Gang

How old does a cycle tour company have to be before you can start putting ‘Established in …’ on your logo?

No idea, but this year The Chain Gang turns 20. Presumably next year someone turns up with a key to the door – I’ll certainly keep you posted.

We started life in the Dordogne last century, in 1997. Optimistically I scheduled a tour of the Dordogne every week from May 10th until October 3rd. I think we ran about 6 or 7 tours all told – we had a lot of down time that year.

We always schedule some early tours of Dordogne, because June is one of the best times to visit. Everything is so green, and there are wild flowers everywhere. This year we have tours starting on June 4th and June 25th, so I wanted to share a video with you, a tour of Dordogne from last year, June 2015.

The first view of spectacular Château Beynac
The first view of spectacular Château Beynac
I can still remember our very first booking. In 1997 there wasn’t a whole lotta Internet going on – we’d advertise, people would telephone for a brochure, then I’d cross my fingers and hope they’d call back. Helen Davies called one day and asked “Have you got any availability on your May 10th tour?”.

I didn’t really know what to say, obviously wanting to tell her that yes, we have lots of availability, in fact all we had was availability, but not wanting to let slip that she was about to become our very first customer.


Autoire, near Loubressac
Autoire, near Loubressac
There were 7 of us in total on that first tour, 2 of them were Stéphane (our first, wonderful, guide) and me, and 2 of them were my good friends Sean and Dave. But there were 3 real customers too, our first, beautiful customers. We had a such a great week, and I’ve never got tired of the Dordogne no matter how many times I’ve cycled this tour – and that’s a lot!

If you want to enjoy a gallery with more photos from our Dordogne tour, have a look here.

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