by Wade Wallace, founder of CyclingTips.com
I’ve known Pat and Grace for 10 years now and they’ve been incredibly generous friends who have taken an active interest in my endeavours. They have gone out of their way to help and support me however they can, and I’ve seen them take this same attitude towards nearly everyone they encounter.
I’ve attended four tours hosted and run by Pat and Grace and they make up the core of a fun, friendly and helpful team. I’ve seen the work that it takes to make a tour run well without any hiccups and they make it look effortless. I’m not sure there’s a stressed bone in Pat’s body!
Immediately after meeting Pat and Grace you’ll feel like they’ve been lifelong friends. They’re natural leaders and are able to deal with hiccups and mishaps professionally and make everyone feel at ease, which shows their true character. The groundwork they do before their tours is essential to making them run smoothly, but it’s the way they deal with ambiguity and mishaps that make everything work.
Pat and Grace make a great team and each brings different skill sets. They both know how to work with people effortlessly and make everyone feel included. Pat brings the technical knowledge and experience such as skills coaching, mechanics, navigation, knowledge of the sport, and bad jokes. Grace brings the personal touches, knowledge of local areas, and creates an environment where the entire tour feels like they’re best friends by the end.
The foundation of hosting a good tour is having good guides, and it is a reflection on Pat and Grace that they’re able to attract such fantastic guides. Not only in their competence, but in their nature and working with the group environment to help everyone feel at home. They’re a great judge of character and organisational skills are hard to beat.
Pat and Grace have a unique ability to interact with the group just enough to keep things moving along, make everyone feel welcome, and at the same time step away and let the group dynamic take its own direction. They’re natural leaders that gently push things in the right direction without being overbearing.
The laid back, inclusive environment they create with ease. Everything goes on schedule without a problem. And if it doesn’t, you wouldn’t even know. When asked “What tour would you love to do next with Pat & Grace?” my answer is, “Something in Italy!”