ABOUT US

Meet the Cycle Seekers team

Our team is made up of cyclists with over 50 years experience cycling across the Cotswolds and taking on the challenge of Europe's greatest mountains.

Russell Milton

Pete Haynes

Tim Bell

Gav Crowe

James Redman

Russell Milton

Covers mid/south area of the Cotswolds

You’ve often heard the phrase life begins at forty! Well my cycling life did anyway. A chance meeting in a friends garage led to me walking away with a Specialised bike for £300 and a new physical pastime to pursue. Little did I know that 11 years on, over 800 rides and 12500 miles later I would be well and truly bitten by the bug of 2 wheels and a saddle.

After a football career spanning 20 years, I needed another physical, mental and social outlet to explore as well as stave off, as long as I could, impending extra weight gain. A pursuit that has allowed me to seek tarmac near and far, through the wonderful roads and hills of the Cotswolds, the sheer magnificence of the French and Italian Alps and the Pyrenees, to riding 106 miles in a single effort and climbing the Passo Dello Stelvio both sides for 6 hours and 12000 feet. Just a few highlights of the things I never thought possible when I first sat astride that bike all those years ago.

The constant strive to improve is there, to push boundaries physically and mentally in a battle with yourself against the road, hill or mountain. I feel fitter than I was at 45, if not 40, borne out by comparisons over the years on Strava, giving a massive sense of satisfaction and pride.

Pete Haynes

Covers mid/north area of the Cotswolds

I have been cycling since 2016 and was introduced to it by Russ as I was commuting to work on a mountain bike and he used to joke it would be easier on a road bike!

I’ve always enjoyed lots of different sports, mainly football. Due to my job I was unable to carry on playing football and then struggled to find a sport that enabled me to stay fit mentally and physically, challenge myself and meet new people. Perhaps as a blessing in disguise, my house was burgled and all of our bikes, amongst other things, were stolen. Instead of replacing my mountain bike, Russ persuaded me to get my first road bike and I purchased a Specialised Allez – and I haven’t looked back since!

I upgraded to a Trek Domane from Cheltenham Cycles in 2018 and have done over 10,000kms of riding since. My main patch is the Cotswolds between Broadway and Cirencester, often riding around Stow, Bourton on the Water while also heading out to Stroud.

My favourite bit about cycling is the personal challenge to do climbs quicker and complete famous routes abroad. I also really enjoy the social aspect and supporting local businesses when having a coffee (beer!) with fellow riders.

I never would have thought I would ride Alp d’Huez, Galibier or Stelvio but cycling has encouraged me to stay fit, both mentally and physically, so that I can enjoy the cycling that Russ organises. The sense of accomplishment makes these trips a highlight of my year.

Tim Bell

Covers North Cotswolds

My cycling journey started in July 2013. With no previous road cycling experience I agreed to a challenge that unbeknown to me would be my biggest physical and mental challenge I had ever undertaken. A friend who I had previous climbed Mt Kilimanjaro in 2009 asked me to ride Lands End to John o’Groats and I jumped at the challenge. We’d attempt to cycle the 1000 mile journey in 8 days from the most Southern point of the UK to the most Northern. At this point I’d like to say I was fully prepared, but in truth for a complete novice there isn’t really anything to prepare you for the day after day battles I would have with myself to reach the end. We did complete the cycle successfully through one of the hottest summers recorded. But this wasn’t really my final destination but the beginning of a journey that would see me fall in love with cycling. A love for the hills, defeating them and finding those rare moments of pure satisfaction seconds after you were at the wall, there isn’t anywhere I am happier than in the hills.

Along this journey I have been so lucky to join my friends in the French Alps, the Pyrenees and many charity rides. This sense of belonging and camaraderie is what cycling is about. Sharing, Competing and creating those forever moments.

I am extremely lucky to live on the doorstep of the North Cotswolds, enjoying hills, views and countless miles of quiet roads. No two rides are the same. I empower you saddle up and seek a destination, but be warned you might never want it to end, and why not because life is all about the journey.

Gav Crowe

Covers mid/south area of the Cotswolds

So I have been cycling for about 6 years. I originally started out as a way to stay fit during the summer months, I would say I was definitely a fair weather cyclist and would stick to flat routes and still probably ran more than I cycled. It was when I started working with Russ and his encouragement to start venturing around the hills in Gloucester and then gradually expanded further. However it wasn’t until Russ suggested a cycling trip to the Alps, where I actually found my love for cycling. Admittedly I wasn’t prospered physically and mentally for this first challenge, but from there I grew with my cycling and became a lot fitter. Over the next few years I climbed some iconic mountains, seen some wonderful views, met some great people and have gained experiences that I never thought I would do, my favourite climb was the Passo Gavia.

I would love fellow cyclists to share my experiences, whatever the motivation, weight loss, getting fitter, fulfilling life long ambitions or just to challenge yourself. Cycles Seekers can help you achieve this with our challenging climbs and trips.

James Redman

Covers mid/south area of the Cotswolds

Hi everybody, I'm James and I have been cycling for 2 years now. As soon as I began I got the bug for it. I have always enjoyed casual bike rides but never took it seriously. I was persuaded by my work colleagues who already have a healthy amount of cycling experience to join them, and for someone who enjoys exercise I thought why not. So, I bought my first road bike (second hand) and off I went. It all started off by a cost saving idea by commuting to work but that quickly turned into 40 to 50 mile rides and climbing 2000+ feet regularly. For me cycling is of course about keeping fit, enjoying the company with others on group rides and soaking up stunning views that are on offer, but for me, there is no better feeling when you complete a climb when half way through you can't see a light at the end of the tunnel. I get a massive sense of achievement off that. My cycling experience is relevantly low. I have only cycled around Gloucestershire and my native county of Cornwall. There are so many good climbs in the Cotswolds, but here are a couple of my favourite climbs; Slad Climb: I always enjoy this steady climb lasting for about 20 minutes with jaw dropping views of the Stroud valleys. Cleeve Hill: Gateway to the Cotswolds I say. Tough Climb averaging 5.4% over 2.4km, but once at the top there are stunning views over Cheltenham and surrounding areas. Enjoy using Cycleseekers as an opportunity to explore the world and continue your cycling journey.

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