Tom Hale

Tom Hale

A native of Moraga, California, Tom Hale possesses a passion for two seemingly divergent interests—business and back roads—which he has powered into the world's most successful active travel company, Backroads. It was the back roads that first attracted him, as a competitive runner at Campolindo High School (where he still holds the two-mile record at 8:57.2) and at the University of Oregon, where he was a teammate of legendary runner Steve Prefontaine. Armed with a Masters in Environmental Planning from UCLA, Hale was six months into an environmental planning position in Las Vegas when the back roads called again—big time. A middle-of-the-night inspiration to start a bike touring company motivated him to pedal 5,000 miles alone through the West, all the while formulating plans for his new business. Settling in Berkeley, Hale washed fondue pots by night and built his fledgling travel company by day. In true entrepreneurial fashion, he did it all—designed the itineraries, maintained the bikes, led the trips, produced the catalog. Learn more about Tom Hale & the Backroads story.

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Tom & Liz Hale

There's no doubt about it - these are difficult times. As I write this, I'm at my home in the Bay Area with my wife Liz and the kids. Like everyon...

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Tom Hale, Backroads Founder, meeting a Cuban Local

I’m not a fan of buzzwords, especially when it comes to travel. “Experiential,” “curated,” “transformational…” Labels like these often dictate wha...

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Vietnam - Biking in Typhoon Damri

Since very early in the Backroads days, we have run annual staff rides that gather our employees in one place for a multi-day adventure. These tri...

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Backroads Guests hiking with crampons in the Alps

How do you narrow down days of hiking with your favorite people--amid some of the most beautiful scenery imaginable--into a "top 3" list? It's not...

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Tom and Daughters history lesson

At the end of a typical Backroads day, I find myself well fed, happily tired and awe-inspired by what I just experienced. I drafted this blog from...

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