Fancy being treated like a professional cyclist for a week? That’s the offer from Canadian company NTSQ Velo, which operates premium cycling retreats in North America’s most idyllic locations. Capped at an exclusive list of twelve guests, these five-day, four-night retreats are designed to be the epitome of luxury. Not only will you stay at top Relais & Châteaux properties like Twin Farms and L’Auburge Carmel, you will have meals prepared by world-class chefs and ride top-of-the- range Cervélo bicycles.
The company’s slogan is Ride. Stay. Eat., with equal focus on all three elements, a combination they believe sets them apart. “We want you to have your best experience both on and off the bike,” says Brand Director Cody Royle, “you can ride Vermont’s stunning scenery by morning and take in the entire Twin Farms experience in the evening.” It’s the detailed planning that attracted the company’s highest-profile ambassador, former Edmonton Oilers captain Andrew Ference. The NHL star attended a retreat at L’Auberge Carmel in northern California, and was glowing about the level of expert curation. “(I enjoyed) staying in the same bed every night, not having to travel with my bike, and the ridiculously good food. You could push on some sections of the rides, but it’s not a total grind, so you can enjoy the rest of your day” said the Stanley Cup winner, who cycles competitively after retiring from the NHL. “The detail, from the food and the airport pickup to the assortment of ride snacks, it was outstanding” he adds.
That attention to detail is unsurprising, as NTSQ Velo’s co-founders are undeniable experts in the experience creation business. Grand Chef Jonathan Cartwright is a world-renowned cook whose former clients include the Queen and President Bush. A lifelong cycling addict, Cartwright works with the hotel chefs to ensure the food and wine selection, and presentation, is of the highest order. Partnering with Cartwright is former Lululemon Global Events Manager Travis McKenzie, who helped create some of the apparel company’s marquee events. A former competitive triathlete and cyclist himself, McKenzie spent time in Europe studying every element of how pro teams are treated, and he wants to bring that experience to you.
“This is your chance to be a pro cyclist for five days, and you don’t need to go to Europe to do it” says McKenzie. NTSQ Velo doesn’t just provide bikes, accommodation and food, everything you could possibly need is taken care of. As part of the all-inclusive price, guests receive two full NTSQ Velo cycling kits, a bike fitting by a local Cervélo mechanic, on-road nutrition and hydration, pre-loaded routes on a GPS system, support car, daily laundry and massage services, and maybe a celebrity cameo or two.
And if you’re just getting back in the saddle after a long winter, not to worry. Velo even has an option to receive personalized coaching from former professional cyclist Allan Davis, a ten-year veteran who won bronze at the 2010 World Championships and finished fifth in the Green Jersey standings at the 2005 Tour de France.
“We want our guests to have such an extraordinary time that they are still talking about it months later, the longevity of the experience is important to us”, adds Royle.
NTSQ Velo has premium retreats scheduled throughout the year, with destinations including Maui, Napa Valley, Carmel, North Carolina, Vancouver, Maine, Lake Louise and Vermont. There really are options for all cycling, food and wine enthusiasts. There is also an opportunity to work with the team to build your own dream cycling retreat. “We have access to a network of the world’s best hotels, chefs and sommeliers. Our goal is to allow you behind the curtain and experience your best days on and off the bike.” McKenzie said.
Readers of Preferred Magazine have exclusive access NTSQ Velo’s Preferred Package. Visit ntsqvelo.com/preferred and register your details to receive a callback from NTSQ Velo’s personal concierge service, where your every need is taken care of.
You can also visit ntsqvelo.com for more information about upcoming retreats.