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As a young child, one of my favourite activities was taking off with my brother and mom on our bikes. She would pack some snacks, a bit of spending money, and then we would hit the bike path for the entire day just “following our noses”. We had some wonderful adventures exploring the diverse bike path network of Calgary, Alberta. My adventures continued into adulthood as I commuted and also continued my exploration of Calgary and area.
Clarence is also a cyclist albeit a very different kind. Clarence is a roadie. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, roadies ride those bikes with the skinny tires. Clarence told me that he was hooked after watching the 1986 Tour de France coverage that featured the all out battle between Bernard Hinault from France and Greg Lemond from the United States both of whom, were on the same team! Like me, he had also ridden as a child, but he was so enthralled by the exciting story that unfolded during the television coverage that he bought a road bicycle and began riding everywhere. Clarence had discovered his passion.
To make a long story short, we got married, had a kid and then took him cycling too. Of course, we lived in Canada and, well, if you haven’t heard, it snows a fair amount in Canada for a good portion of the year. There is a reason why it’s called “The Great White North.” Wintertime greatly curtails cyclists pursuing their favourite sport. Canadian cyclists, however, are a hardy bunch and they do the best they can. Some take spin classes. Others put their bikes on cycle trainers, visualizing that they are riding in the mountains, while they literally are spinning their wheels in one spot. And in some cases, they put studded tires on their bikes, buy thermal cycling clothing, and ride in the snow! (Isn’t that right, Clarence?)
Usually about January, many cyclists (unless they also happen to be skiers) begin to wistfully wish for warmer weather. Neither of us is a skier, so we sometimes dreamed of living in a warmer climate. Wouldn’t it be great we thought to be able to ride in January without studded tires? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to share that with other cyclists who are also craving a reprieve from cold weather?
Obviously, the dream of living somewhere warm became a reality, because we moved to Puerto Vallarta. I began teaching in a private school while Clarence began the process of opening a small business in Mexico and learning the diverse cycling routes in the Bandera’s Bay area. Once he attained his work visa, he began working as a guide. It took some time, but in June of 2016, Puerto Vallarta Cycling officially opened. Shortly thereafter, I decided to take a break from teaching and joined Clarence promoting, managing the company, and also guiding (yahoo!). So what is our company all about?
We are purveyors of high quality bicycle rentals and tours in the Puerto Vallarta region (aka Banderas Bay). Our tours provide a distinct kind of excursion allowing the customer a more organic and personalized experience that cannot be found on large bus tours. In fact, we take our clients where the tour buses do not go. Our goal is to provide our customers with the most memorable part of their trip that will have them raving about it to all their friends and family.
Our company distinguishes itself from others by specializing in both road bike and fat bike tours. The road tours capitalize on the natural beauty and varied terrain in the Banderas Bay area offering flats, hills, and mountains. Our clients can ride along the coastal highway hearing waves crashing on the beach below, smell the scent of mangoes while pedalling on a quiet country road, or challenge their legs in the Sierra Madre Mountains. The fat bike tours include recreational city tours and mountain routes as well. Our recreational Graffiti and Mural Art tour has been gaining in popularity. It takes our clients out of the tourist zone and features amazing examples of Mexican public art. Murals have a long tradition in Mexico and this tour exposes our customers to a wide cross section of styles. The mountain fat bike routes allow our clients to explore some of Puerto Vallarta’s wonderful back roads. All of them feature gorgeous mountain scenery and an escape from the resort. Plus, our newest route allows you to add zip lining to your tour! Both the fat bike and the road tours have routes at the beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.
Many people are surprised to discover that we have bought the majority of our bikes right here in Mexico. Our fleet of bikes features name brands like, Specialized, Giant, Planet X, and Shimano. The road bikes are well engineered, have responsive steering, good power transfer, and offer a superior all round riding experience. The fat bikes, also of high quality, offer a completely different ride than the road cycles. With sturdy stable construction and large balloony tires, they are perfect for riding on the diverse road surfaces of Puerto Vallarta. Thanks to their distinctive tires, fat bikes offer a cushy ride; cyclists can easily travel on a variety of surfaces like dirt, gravel, cobble, and sand. I can tell you from personal experience, riding on the beach is unique. Yes, it is challenging due to the resistance and natural instability of the sand, but it is totally worth it. One day I hit the beach on my bike. When I left, I had sand in both my shoes and one foot was wet from a renegade wave, but I couldn’t wipe the grin off my face. (Fat bikes are also amazing for riding in snow, but interestingly enough, we don’t get much of that here in Puerto Vallarta!)
Since opening our doors in June of 2016 we have had the privilege of sharing our beautiful new home town with a wide variety people. Every time we give a tour or rent a bike we get the chance to meet amazing people from all sorts of backgrounds. We have been living an adventure that many people only dream about. You too can share in the adventure. Won’t you come for a bike ride with us?
Please feel free to check out our website at: www.puertovallartacycling.com, email us at [email protected], call 322-197-0648 or 322-199-7577, or message us via our Facebook page Puerto Vallarta Cycling.
If you want to see a bit more of our story, please check out this promotional video that my wildly talented sister Lana McLellan made for us.
Lana is an actress, composer and artist who is gifted in multiple mediums. If you are interested in her work, please contact her through one of these two links: