Our Guides

Cecil (Cec) Pugh

Rachel How

Cec left his homeland of Wales at the tender age of 16 to travel the world as a marine engineer on a banana boat (yes, seriously). After a spell at sea he continued his travels on land, exploring

Europe and spending two winter seasons in a ski resort in the Italian Alps. Cec quickly fell in love with Italy and skiing, but as neither one could pay the bills, he returned to England, where he forged a new career with the North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

 

Cec spent more than 25 years as a Fire Officer, so you are in safe hands. He decided to hang up his hose in 2013 and since then he has taken on some unusual roles: horse catcher, scare actor and pumpkin carver, to name a few!  In 2014, he founded York Cycling Tours with his good friend Andy Collings. Cec has always been fascinated by York's rich (and at times dark) history. Combine that with his sense of humour, his love of meeting new people and his passion for travelling on two wheels, and you've got a man who could not be happier showing visitors the best of York.

Rachel was born and bred in Skipton, the "Gateway to the Yorkshire Dales". After completing a degree in Modern Languages she undertook some extensive research into the ski resorts of Austria and then, somewhat accidentally, found herself in South London for a few years. She returned to the north with a husband from the lesser county of Hertfordshire. This meant that their two sons could be born in Yorkshire, which would previously have qualified them to play cricket for the county, until such rules were slackened.

 

Since 1999 Rachel has lived in the historic heart of York and has adopted cycling as her main form of transport around a city that wasn't designed for cars. She has guided visitors around the city on foot for several years, but then met Andy and Cec and things took off on two wheels. In her spare time she plays the violin and loves to spend her weekends shouting encouragement from the edge of football pitches!

Andy lived on Canada’s west coast for several years, but gravitated back to the UK in 2001.  A wannabe Yorkshireman, he was actually born in the deep south (Dorset) - which is obvious to the locals by his accent.  To earn his Yorkshire citizenship he had to learn the Yorkshireman’s creed:  ‘Ear all, see all, say nowt, 'eyt all, sup all, pay nowt, and if tha does owt fer nowt, allus do it fer thissen.'

 

He hasn’t a clue what all that means, but it got him into York where he has been happily settled for a decade.  Andy has spent many a day exploring this unique city, and although he has been involved in several other sucessful start-up businesses, he wishes he and his buddy Cec had set up York Cycling Tours long ago.  It combines the things he likes best in life: people, bikes and fresh air (and he's quite fond of real ale too).

 

Andy Collings

About the bikes

Our bikes are new and always in good, clean and safe condition. They are serviced and maintained as recommended by the manufacturer. These are European city bikes, suitable for women and men. They come equipped with mud guards to keep your clothes clean, and a bell to warn pedestrians that may stray onto the cycle paths (this is more polite than shouting 'get off the cycle path'). Also, a bike rack to carry small backpacks or similar items.

 

About our partners

York Cycling Tours are partnered with Visit York / York tourism, Welcome to Yorkshire and are also supporters of a couple of cycling related organisations. Sustrans, a sustainable transport charity that builds and maintains some of the cycling and walking routes in York as part of over 14,000 miles of National Cycle Network ,and also Get Cycling, a York based Community Interest Company (CIC).

 

 

Quirky York fact: The leader of the first Vikings to arrive in York (around 800 AD) was called Ivar the Boneless. Now that may not sound very scary, but he was also known as a 'berserker', which carries a bit more clout.  Ivar's fate is unknown to history, and (not surprising with a name like that) no skeletal remains have ever been found.

© 2019 York Cycling Tours Ltd

Photos: James Drury Photography & Clare Milling

Logo: York Graphic Designers

T: +44 (0)7866 049082 / 7908 245439 E: info@yorkcyclingtours.com

W: www.yorkcyclingtours.com

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