As the name of the website indicates, most of the bike tours I organize are free.
In most cases, they only have to pay some expense that may be necessary, such as renting a bicycle, buying a train ticket, overnight stays, etc. In the end, they just offer what they want, like a tip.
I do this because I love to ride a bike, I love meeting people, I have a huge pleasure in making Lisbon and Portugal known to everyone.
I do it this way, free, so that everyone, regardless of financial and social condition, can participate.
Whenever at the end of the tour I can feel that people enjoyed this experience I feel very happy, this is my first goal.
To be honest, although it isn’t something I worry about too much, because I don't live on air alone, it's also important to me that in the end the guests offer me a bonus.
There are only 2 things I don't like:
- 1st , when someone cancel bookings without any notice, it makes me delay the start of the tours and sometimes makes me leave the house unnecessarily;
- 2nd, that people who don't know how to ride a bike make bookings, because the tours aren’t a bike lesson and because this harms the group.
A few days ago, all these situations happened to me for the same tour.
I had 7 reservations, 3 people were missing without warning and only an Italian family of 4 people came, of which one, the youngest son (15 years), was riding the bike very poorly. Making the task more difficult was the fact that only one, the oldest son (23 years old), spoke English.
For me the day was off to a bad start. In addition to the people who had been absent without warning, on this tour there was a group of people who didn’t understand me, one of them he didn’t know how to cycle and whom I had difficulty helping, as he only understood Italian.
Before we started this tour the youngest dropped his bike 4 or 5 times, there was no way to get the balance he needed. I tried to hide my irritation, took a deep breath and used all my patience. It worked, after about 30 minutes I started to see some improvement.
We started the tour 45 minutes late, I changed the route to make the boy feel more comfortable and to avoid any accident. There we went, from the city center to Belém, then we returned, we did about 20 km, everything went smoothly, without accidents. In the end it was clearly visible that everyone was very happy, enjoyed the ride and won another cyclist for the family.
This was evident in everyone's smile, but I also confirmed this when they offered me a bonus, far superior to what the Italians, who are as cheap as the Portuguese, usually offer.