Having toured over 20 000 km by bicycle across the United States and around the whole of Europe (with an 8-month-old baby in tow), we, Steve and Di Thomas, decided that cycle touring was the best way to see any country. We wanted to introduce others to the joy of this form of travel and create an experience that would leave our guests feeling the same sense of adventure and accomplishment that we did. In 1992 this was considered a really ‘bad’ idea, with South Africa experiencing momentous political changes, as it stumbled about dismantling Apartheid. Needless to say, it was challenging at best to find people interested in touring around South Africa on bicycles. We decided to make a compromise – a bus tour with a difference.
With an old VW Kombi and 6 bikes strapped to the roof, we went about starting Daytrippers. Offering Cape Point and Winelands tours with the aim of keeping the guests out of the bus as much as possible. Biking became the element that set us apart from other tour operators. Di handled the day-to-day logistics in the office whilst simultaneously looking after our two boys, Ricky and Bennett. Meanwhile, I (Steve) took the role of tour guide by day and marketing manager by night. i.e going out partying with the guests to “convince” their friends to come on the next day’s tour. Slowly, we started incorporating more biking with the introduction of mountain bike camps for kids. Teaching them to ride in the dirt, build trails and ramps, splash through rivers and generally have fun in the outdoors.
Slowly things began to work and as the political situation settled down and tourism to SA started to increase Daytrippers and we were ready for the upswing that followed. The first multi-day bicycle tour we did was back in 1993 with one Swiss guest and a bunch of our friends to ‘fill it up a bit’. As cycling, mountain biking and active travel slowly became more popular, business started picking up. Today, we at Daytrippers are still a family run enterprise and have some 250 bikes, 10 bicycle trailers and 8 vehicles in our fleet. Over the years our clients have become friends; our children have become guides and our guides have become family, and we still Love what we do.
LET US INTRODUCE YOU TO THE CREW
Our guides are all qualified, registered cultural guides and have all done the extensive, recognized adventure guiding course for hiking and mountain biking. “They really know their stuff.” Said the Lonely Planet once upon a time and nowadays Trip Advisor bears that out. – and we are proud of that.
Di – is our secret weapon and we pry her out of the office, which she oversees with military precision when the tour requires a super fit and technical mountain biker. She has conquered numerous Absa Cape Epics (4), done the gruelling unsupported Race Across South Africa ( Freedom Challenge) 3 times , Lesotho Sky stage race, Laikipia Mtb race in Kenya, Trans Alp Mtb challenge, Joberg2C twice, Jozi2Kozi, cycled 10000km’s across the USA, another 100000km through Europe, recently 1000km through Patagonia, raised 2 boys in-between and much, much more…
Steve – Has been guiding in Cape Town since Table Mountain was just a pebble! Aside from touring the world and completing numerous multi-day cycling events, including The Freedom Challenge (twice), he rode and designed a mountain bike trail from Zimbabwe to Cape Town with mate David Bristow and they co-authored the book “Riding The Dragon’s Spine”. He is a whiz with route designing and knows practically every road and trail in the Western Cape and many beyond…
Sele – ‘Trippin since ’07 – an avid Arsenal supporter and ex-international soccer star for Burundi, where it seems he is their Pele. Always smiling and never flustered, he moves more like a centre-forward than the centre back that he is.
Pedro – Graduated from the workshop to full time guiding, sprinkling his bubbly personality all over the place. Be it on a bike doing a City Cycle Tour or a bus in the Winelands and even a city skateboard tour, which he invented.
Ricky – An avid surfer, fire dancer, musician, cyclists, cook and world traveller. Ricky has been involved with Daytrippers since its inception in 1992 (well he started Life in a bike trailer…). At age 18 he completed the Absa Cape Epic with his Mom and at 19 they did the Joberg2C and The Freedom Challenge. He is a real daredevil and willing to take on anything
Bennett – was born into the business and has matured with it, being a very skilled mountain biker. His REAL passion is surfing and he has spent time in Bali, Lombok, Sumatra and Sri Lanka searching for waves. Back home he surfs and Hikes in the mountains at any opportunity. He is a food lover with hollow legs that assist with his never-resting appetite.
Chris – runs the workshop and keeps the bikes in good shape and as a fully qualified hiking and biking guide, he helps out on the trails where needed. He loves chasing his Strava segments, skateboarding and playing music.
Nombuso – Keeps our work environment clean & tidy and prepares the fabulous, healthy picnics we serve on many of our tours. She is a whizz at sorting out “Post-tour Armageddon” – the nightmare of endless, dusty equipment that emerges from our busses after long Mtb tours and needs to be restored to respectability.
Denis – Steve’s brother runs the warehouse & sees to the numerous and endless “stuff” that needs to be done to keep a fleet on the road. What would we do without him!
Shelley – Steve’s sister runs the day-to-day operations, managing the Day Tours, bookings, accounts, etc. etc. etc. Totally un-flappable, she is perfectly suited to the role of Ops manager and is never to be seen without booking sheet in one hand and cell phone in the other…
So the picture comes together – Di and Steve & 2 sons Ricky and Bennett, with sister Shelley running the office and brother Denis in logistics, it is truly a family affair!