Outgoing. Passionate. Experienced. Inspiring. Knowledgeable. Well-traveled. Curious. These are just a few of the inherent traits of a Sonoma Valley Bike Tours Guide. Above all else, NVBT Tour Guides are eager to make the time you spend biking with us your favorite memory from your visit to wine country!
As multi-talented and resourceful as they are, our Tour Guides rely on crucial behind-the-scenes support in order to deliver our guests a memorable experience. » Meet Our Operations Team
“We had an awesome Tour Guide! Shout out to Allan! He made the day a lot of fun and was super helpful.”
Allan is one half of the dynamic “Fredericks Duo” (his wife, Cindy, drives van support for us). Originally from Greeley, Colorado, Allan lived in Humbolt County for seven years before moving to the Napa Valley in 1986.
A born tinkerer who enjoys working with his hands, Allan recently built his “Dream Shop,” a wood-working shop where he designs and crafts original barrel stave furniture and one-of-a-kind commissioned pieces for wineries, restaurants and private collectors.
When he’s not guiding bike tours, Allan teaches Middle School Industrial Technology. His past bicycling adventures have taken him around the island of Kauai, throughout the Colorado Rockies and through the Sedona Desert.
“It turned out that Carol, our van support driver, is a Napa native and knows the story of the valley’s growth over the past 50-plus years.”
Carol is the universally beloved matriarch of Napa & Sonoma Valley Bike Tours. She has been driving van support for us for more than 20 years – having worked for both previous owners before Brad acquired company in 2005.
Carol is a third generation Napan. Her grandmother immigrated to the valley from Italy. Don’t miss the chance to ask her about Napa’s history – or the “golden olden” days of Napa & amp; Sonoma Valley Bike Tours, for that matter!
“It’s been great fun seeing the evolution of the company,” Carol says. “Even in the early days, the guests have always had a great time, but the experience we offer today is such a dramatic improvement. I’m really proud to be a part of it.”
When Carol isn’t shuttling wine for Napa & Sonoma Valley Bike Tours, you’ll most likely find her shuttling her grandkids to soccer, water polo, basketball or volleyball practice.
Carolyn is a true California girl (from Lake Tahoe) with a penchant just about anything that allows her to be outdoors. Carolyn’s motto is “Never leave home without a pair of bike shorts. Even if you are going to NYC or the North Pole. You just never know when you might get a chance to get on a bike!”
She’s found the perfect way to follow her bliss as a ski instructor during the winter and a bike tour guide for Napa & Sonoma Valley Bike Tours during the summer.
Carolyn recalls hosting a mother-daughter duo for three days of bike tours. “On my day off, I happened to be in Sonoma and ran into them at their hotel. They spoke about how much the trip had meant to them and how they were going to remember it forever. Sharing an outdoor adventure truly is such a great bonding experience.”
When she’s not guiding bike tours, you’ll find Carolyn practicing her Downward Dog, brushing up on her conversational French or planning her next European bicycling vacation. Carolyn has cycled in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Australia, France, Spain, Germany, Italy and Austria.
Cindy is known by all of her Napa & Sonoma Valley Bike Tours co-workers as the “Duchess of Details” and the “Hostest with the Mostest.” In her role as a van support driver, Cindy goes out of her way to add personal, unexpected flourishes whenever she can. She might, for example, place a sprig of lavender to your place setting at lunch.
But don’t let this shrinking violet get away without quizzing her about our local ecology. “A little known fact is that I have expertise in the ecosystems of Napa and Sonoma Valleys and how these ecosystems make our valleys the ideal growing place for world-class wines,” Cindy says.
During the school year, Cindy teaches Life Sciences to students with severe disabilities. She is also an avid gardener and full-time manager of her husband, NVBT Tour Guide Allan Frederick!
Bio coming soon!
Bio coming soon!
Bio coming soon!
Bio coming soon!
“James really knows his stuff! He answered all the questions we peppered him with on the wine-making process in a way that made it easy for us to understand.”
James (aka J-Mac) has spent most of his life living in and around the Bay Area. While growing up in Marin County in the 1970s, James hung with a circle of friends that included Gary Fischer, Joe Breeze, Tom Ritchey and Charlie Kelly. For fun, they started modifying street bikes so they could ride and race them off road on the trails of Mount Tamalpais. Their improvised “Klunkerz” were the predessesors of the modern mountain bike and are now a treasured part of mountain biking lore.
During the winter James loves to head south to Zihuatanejo, on the Pacific coast of Mexico (yes, it’s the fabled fishing village that Andy and Red escaped to in the movie, the “Shawshank Redemption”). It’s a place, James says, where life’s simple pleasures are magnified by the beautiful setting and the warm and welcoming people.
“Our fearless leader Joan was warm, funny, enthusiastic and a hoot! She will leave you mesmerized with her stories of biking around the world!”
Joan is a proud fourth-generation California Native – and although she’s explored six continents – “Antartica is just too cold!” – she still feels lucky to live and have raised her family in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Joan became a professional Tour Guide – certified with the International Tour Managment Institute and the San Francisco Tour Guide Guild – after taking an early retirement from her 18-year career as a Librarian at Stanford University.
Having taken bicycling vacations around the world for the past 20 years, it was a natural progression for Joan to find a way to pair her love of bicycle touring with her knowledge of Northern California history and tour guiding skills.
When she’s not guiding for NVBT or leading tours elsewhere the San Francisco Bay Area, Joan revels in the everyday delights of being a grandmother to Piper.
“John was a fantastic Tour Guide! He was so knowledgeable about the area, the wineries, wine making, etc. and we learned a great deal of interesting information on our tour.”
Bio coming soon!
Bio coming soon!
“Mark was amazing! By the time the tour ended, I felt like I knew so much more about the vineyards.”
Mark was born and raised in Napa. A pilot and EMT, Mark enjoys running, cycling, sailing and playing guitars.
When he’s not hosting bike tours, Mark is a board member and actively involved in the organization of the the Napa Valley Marathon.
Mark also hosts youth groups on educational trips to Israel and the Middle East. On his bucket list: Mountain bike the Israeli National Trail from the Lebanon border to the Red Sea (approximately 530 miles).
Mary Ellen Murphy
Bio coming soon!
“Our Tour Guide, Mike, was awesome! Great guy with a lot of fun stories about the history of the area. Sometimes these types of tours repeat a lot of stories, but Mike’s tour was fresh and fun.”
While Mike is a native Californian, he has spent most of his life living out of state. He and his wife, De, owned The Five Gables Inn on the coast of Maine for 17 years. From the moment you meet him, you’ll realize that no amount of time on the East Coast could rob this California boy of his bohemian spirit.
In past incarnations (all within this lifetime, mind you), Mike has owned a construction company in Atlanta, worked on a freighter hauling beer to U.S. troops in Viet Nam, lived and worked as part of a kibbutz community in Israel, and traveled with American youth groups to work on construction projects benefiting impoverished communities in Brazil, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Ecuador and Peru. In his own words, Mike describes himself as “pretty footloose.”
Mike has biked the Blue Ridge Parkway from Carolina to Virginia and also point-to-point down the Pacific Coast from Vancouver, BC to San Francisco.
After spending nearly 50 years out of state, Mike returned to Napa Valley to be close to family once again, and he couldn’t be happier!
“My wife and I had a awesome time on our bike tour hosted by North. North is an entertaining person to spend the day with and clearly enjoys sharing his passion for life with his guests.”
North is originally from Montreal, Vancouver (hence the nickname, “North”!). Without a doubt, North has a keen sense of his guests’ perspective since it was only a few years ago (back in July 2007, to be exact) when he and his wife, Lil, were NVBT bike tour guests themselves!
While spending four days biking through the vineyards with NVBT, the couple, who are both school teachers currently living in LA, thought, “We’ve got to find a way to spend more time here!” They chanced upon a quaint little cottage rental and without pausing long enough to talk themselves out of it, they secured it for the following summer. 2016 will be their 8th season!
On days when he’s not guiding bike tours, North takes to the backroads of Napa and Sonoma on his Harley Fat Boy, which he hopes to ride one day on a trip from Texas to New Orleans along the Gulf Coast.
“Our tour guide Paul was AMAZING!!! He didn’t talk too much or too little, he answered all our questions, he was SOOOOO funny, and had little tidbits of information to make the mind sparkle.”
You could say that Paul keeps finding his way “home” to Napa Valley, having lived locally from 1952-69, 1980-89 and finally landing back here in 1995 (in the interim, Paul lived in Milwaukee, WI, and Fayetteville and Winston-Salem, NC).
Fun fact: Paul worked for the United States Parachute Association as their Accelerated Freefall Training & Certification Course Director for four and a half years. He has remained involved in the sport as a writer for Parachutist Magazine and in 2011, was honored by the USPA with a Lifetime Acheivement Award.
With a degree in history, and his firsthand experience living in Napa Valley over several decades (not to mention, raising three children here), Paul’s tour guests enjoy hearing his personal perspective of just how radically the valley has grown and changed.
“Phoebe, our Tour Guide, was fantastic! She really took care to ensure the slower riders in the group (myself included) were having fun.”
Phoebe’s secret superpower is that she is an unabashed “Cork Dork” with more than 25 years of experience in the wine industry. Though she tries to keep her impressive knowledge somewhat under wraps (she doesn’t want to overwhelm wine country newcomers), the curious traveler would be well served by peppering her with questions!
When she’s not leading tours, Phoebe can be found living the Northern California outdoor lifestyle with her three lovely daughters. They enjoy hiking, biking, swimming, kayaking, and camping.
“Honestly, Ric made it THAT MUCH more enjoyable. He was JUST the absolute greatest and he made the day a memory that we will treasure for a long time. A+ activity and A++ for Ric.”
Ric is a San Francisco native who has lived in the Bay Area his entire life before retiring in Yountville in 2014.
When Ric isn’t guiding tours, you can find him recreational biking, snow skiing, playing pickleball, hiking or working-out. His favorite places to bike are the Napa/Sonoma Valleys, Yosemite National Park and Coronado Island.
Ric enjoys the wine-tasting experience and educating friends, family, and visitors on how to appreciate wine and the wine-making process. Ric’s past management experience in the wine industry provide a great depth of knowledge he is always eager to share with his guests.
“Our Tour Guide Rick knew so much about the area, the winemaking process and how to give an informational yet fun tour.
Rick grew up in the Bay Area and grew up on the radio. His radio resume – known to his listeners at “Big Rick Stuart” – includes DJ at The Quake in the 80’s, Live 105 for 14 years until 2000, then KFOG until 2010. Big Rick moved on to KFOX for the last 5 years. Now Big Rick lives locally can be heard on Napa’s local radio station 99.3 The Vine where he also writes the Hardly Strictly Wine Blog.
When he’s not a DJ, you’ll find Rick riding on his bike all over the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. Rick loves doing many of our local charity rides and makes sure to find time to ride and stay on top of the grape growing and harvest seasons.
“I love to tell guests a little about the involvement of farmers,” Rick says. “It all starts with them. The goal is to make great wines, not necessarily as much wine as possible. This means that the farmers and winemakers really work together year round to produce that “poetry in a glass.”
Bio coming soon!
“Stephanie, our Tour Guide, was fantastic – great wine knowledge and just fun to be around.”
Stephanie was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in the Maryland suburbs back in the “groovy” sixties and seventies. After earning B.A. in Medieval/Ancient History from the University of Maryland, she embarked on a 24-year career with the U.S. Government working primarily on classified contracts for the Department of Energy, Department of Defense and other agencies.
It was over the course of her career that Stephanie developed a taste for fine wine and food, eventually even becoming a competitive amateur winemaker. A California girl at heart (she loves driving her convertible sports car), Stephanie made the move west in 2011 and has enjoyed reinventing herself in semi-retirement, taking turns as a cellar worker for Laird Family Estate Winery in 2012 and becoming a Tour Guide for Napa & Sonoma Valley Bike Tours.
“Steve was so pleasant and accommodating the entire day. He would stop us periodically to educate us on the wine industry and gave us quite a bit of education about the vineyards and the actual harvesting and growing.”
As a San Francisco native, Steve has childhood memories of visiting Sonoma with his family, when they would stay for 4 to 6 weeks at a time. But, as an adult he and his wife found it harder and harder to retreat back to their city life after their weekend getaways to the wine country – so they found a way to stay!
A former competitive time trial cyclist with a Masters in Social Psychology and a degree in Culinary Arts, Steve owns Yucatan Sunset catering company with his wife, Susan. Their wine-friendly ethnic cusine has made them a “go-to” resource for local winery parties and private events and has also resulted in many great friendships and connections with local wine makers.
When he’s not guiding bike tours or catering a wine country soiree, Steve also enjoys swimming and archery. Steve has cycled in Hawaii, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Germany, the UK, including Scotland, and France.
California native Teresa loves to cycle, read, hike, and work out at the gym. In the summers she and her husband travel in their teardrop trailer, which they made themselves!
When she’s not hosting bike tours, Teresa teaches middle school P.E., Language Arts, and Health.
Teresa believes riding a bike through wine country is the best way to truly experience every aspect of the valley with all of you senses, especially around harvest time.
“With the help of our Tour Guide, Tom, we spent two fantastic days riding through the vineyards, visiting a few of the hidden gems in the valley, enjoying great wines and gaining an understanding of the wine making process.”
Bio coming soon!
Bio coming soon!