The Kindness of Others

In the past week our little tour company has cancelled the following tours due to ‘you know what’:

  • HighRoad Cevennes
  • HighRoad Pyrenees-Girona (ok, not yet, but cancelling soon)
  • Haute Route Dolomites
  • Etape du Tour (potentially postponed)

The total damage is around 30 clients and over half our year’s income, when combined with the tours we’ve already cancelled. We do not see ourselves getting out on the road with paying riders till at least August now.

While we are trying to be as flexible as possible with our cancellation policy, we’re finding that a big majority of our clients are just happy to keep their money with us till we ride together again. We hope we don’t need to use this to pay the bills, but the farther we go into the season, the more it will be likely. It’s a show of confidence – and dare I say – solidarity, that brings a tear to the eye.

We’ve had comments such as ‘I think that I can afford to go without a refund more than the travel industry can afford to give refunds’ and one guy actually sent us, out of the blue, a not-insignificant amount of money ‘as a retainer’ for future tours. He already had a bunch of dough with us for two tours this year. You can’t buy kindness like that.

It hasn’t all been sappy emails and generosity of course, but I’d rather focus on the positive. If it gets bad that’ll be a whole other email!

I guess what I want to say is that cyclists are good people and in times like this that’s what we need.

12 thoughts on “The Kindness of Others

  1. That’s terrific. I think that people are generally kind, but it really shows during a time of crisis. People that aren’t as affected support those who are struggling. I work with some charities and have noticed some of the same generosity. Also around the neighborhood many businesses are able to stay open because people are buying their gift cards.

    Hang in there. I hear that France is close to hitting its peak and would hope that cycling will be a restriction that could be lifted.

    • People do tend to show their real colors at times like these, you’re right. Glad to hear about those local businesses, too. I’m not really sure what’s happening here because I don’t go out, but I do know that all restaurants, cafes and hotels are effectively closed in France. Not sure how long many can last with zero income.

      We seem to be ‘plateauing’, yeah. It’s on the other side that’s the big mystery for everyone. If it involves riding outdoors I think I won’t mind too much! Stay safe over there.

      • You as well. I imagine it’ll be a slow return back to normalcy. I can’t speak for France and their priorities, but cycling feels like part of their identity. I don’t expect tour events because of the crowd. Hopefully at least small rides will come back which will be welcome for your fitness and eventually your business.

  2. Kudos to your clients. Let’s hope we’ve just hit the pause button and we get back to normal soon. Definitely seeing encouraging signs in many countries.

    • I like your optimism, Luc! I hope so, too. At least we have the magic ‘de-confinement’ date of May 11 to look forward to now. A guy needs goals…

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