Backroads Celebrates Record-Breaking Year

Berkeley, CA (September 18, 2013) It's amazing where a spark of inspiration—and a 5,000-mile bike ride—can lead. It began back in 1979, when Backroads Founder and President Tom Hale was struck by a middle-of-the night epiphany: start a bike touring company. After formulating his business plan during a solo bike journey through the American West, he set up shop in Berkeley and nurtured his fledgling company by creating the itineraries, maintaining the bikes and leading the trips. His first bike tour in Death Valley attracted four guests. One of them was his mom.

35 Unforgettable Years Later...
Now the world's most successful travel company, Backroads is set to celebrate its 35th anniversary in 2014. Says Hale, "Thousands of trips after that first adventure in Death Valley, I still can't imagine a better way to discover and connect with the world. There's so much to be gained by exploring actively and immersing yourself in the life of another place—all in your own style and at your own pace. That's what Backroads trips have always been about."

Backroads hits exciting milestones in 2013

  • 1,800 scheduled departures
  • 500 office staff and trip leaders
  • 22,500 projected guests
  • Record-breaking sales

With the most trips, the largest staff and greatest number of guests in company history, Backroads is on track to hit $100 million in sales revenue in 2013.

The 100 Best Places to Work - winner
Backroads has been recognized as one of the top employers in the United States in Outside magazine's annual The 100 Best Places to Work employee survey. The active travel company ranked No. 40 out of 100 selected companies praised for their culture, perks, willingness to give back and commitment to a healthy work-life balance.

"We're very proud to be voted one of the best places to work," says Tom Hale. "We've always strived to support a solid work/life balance among our staff, as well as foster a sense of community and esprit de corps. One of the many ways we do this is with an annual staff ride, where 150 or so of us get together for a week to bike, hike and explore places we love. Over the last several years we've gathered for trips in locales such as Spain, Northern Thailand and Greece. In 34 years, I've never missed one of these events—testimony to their importance and lasting impact."

View the complete results of The 100 Best Places to Work survey here.


More Information
Backroads, founded in 1979 by Tom Hale, offers the most destinations, itineraries and annual departures in the active travel industry. Each year, the company hosts thousands of guests in hundreds of locations across the globe, 80% of whom are repeat guests or referrals. Backroads has been in business for more than 35 years, is a founding member of the Adventure Collection and, in 2013, was named one of the top 100 places to work by Outside magazine. For more information, please visit www.backroads.com or call 800-462-2848 daily, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Pacific Time.

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