Escape Adventures are one of a number of returning exhibitors to the NZ Bike Expo. Their motto is ‘Escape to Unforgettable’ and with cycle tours that stretch from Madagascar to Colombia, Kenya and Tanzania to Cambodia they’re looking forward to showcasing their tours to New Zealanders in Christchurch from 13th-14th October at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand.
Last year Escape Adventures took a leap into the unknown of a different kind when they took on the first NZ Bike Expo. It was an experience that they enjoyed and made the most of, leaving little option but to return for 2018! “We went there last year and we were very pleasantly surprised by the first expo. We were unsure about what it would do and how it was going to be, but we were really pleasantly surprised at the turnout and the quality of people who came along,” says John Etherington, founder of Escape Adventures.
The NZ Bike Expo was not the first encounter with expos that John and the team had had, however, it was by far the most beneficial for Escape Adventures with an audience that was already largely tailored to life on two wheels. “The big thing for us is that people who came to the Expo were into biking. We’ve been to other shows and had our stand at other shows but not specifically biking ones,” John explained. “And because what we do is bike tours it was really good just having people there who were into biking; the percentage of good contacts was higher than anywhere else we’ve been.”
Despite being a small business, comprised of John, partner Mandy and great group of tour leaders, Escape Adventures has built up a reputation of being the tour organisers for trips to the ‘unknown’ cycling destinations. The list of locations that they tackle takes riders away from the traditional cycling meccas of Italy, Spain, France and Belgium; and to the gems of places such as Kenya & Tanzania, Madagascar, the Fiji Islands, Kyrgyzstan and more. What is it that has gotten the attentions of not only John and Mandy; but the multitudes of riders who have come along for the journey?
“They’re very real experiences I guess. You’ve got the culture, you’ve got the landscapes, you’ve got the wildlife. The completely different lifestyles that people lead in these places. You’ve got the wow factor and the interest from the local people in us; which is a real big one as well,” John said. “So they see us coming and they’re just so intrigued because a lot of the places we go no one else does bike tours there; and if there are they’re very few. So it keeps it really interesting in places we love going.”
At next weekend’s Expo John and Mandy will be putting the 7 different locations on display for the crowds to check out. “We’re probably not showcasing any one thing in particular. Like I say we’ve got 7 destinations where we run tours and we’ll have plenty of information there on our tours and our business in general. It won’t be one place in particular but showing people that there are some very different, very interesting places to go and ride your bike,” John said.
As Escape Adventures gets ready to turn 20 years of age as 2019 comes up John, Mandy and the team are continuing to work hard to share the experiences that have captured their attentions and the attentions of many, many others. Get over to the NZ Bike Expo from 13th-14th October and check out the destinations on offer from Escape Adventures and see what all the fuss is about!
The NZ Bike Expo will be held from 13th-14th October at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand in Christchurch. Over 2 days the purpose of the Expo will be to celebrate everything to do with the bicycle in one big party. To find out more about the NZ Bike Expo click here.