About Our Guides
Our team of guides is one of the most important reasons for our success and your satisfaction. Previous customers have consistently ranked our guides as one of the top factors leading to their high levels of satisfaction. What is funny and rewarding at the same time, however, is that our guides consistently rank customer satisfaction as the number one determinant of their satisfaction. I.e. if you are happy, our guides are happy. Full circle.
Our guides are there for you. They check the routes one last time before the tour, arrange all the dinner details, go over routes with you each morning, run the optional skating instruction clinics, drive the support van, help fix any broken skates, and repair the blisters that sometimes occur. They also eat with you at dinner and often show you their favorite local pub or sunset-viewing point after dinner.
What our guides don't do is, well, guide you. They don't lead you on the day's route, telling you where to stop and how fast to skate. Instead, they give you the freedom to skate on your own with or without the other tour participants. You have directions in hand, an encouraging speech under your belt, and friends at your side. This system gives you the freedom to create the kind of vacation you prefer, stopping when you want, skating at your own speed, and choosing with whom you will skate. Plus you know the support van and skating guides will be with you if you need help or a lift. Here are a few of those guides:With the 2003 season, Andrea Franklin is in her sixth year of guiding Zephyr's tours. She lives in Miami, Florida and is always there to keep things light-hearted. Andrea guides for us all summer long and you might find her on any of our Tours.
Martin Calnan lives in Paris where he will run our Paris Tours. He also will guide our new Burgundy Tours as well. Martin speaks four languages (English, German, French, and Italian) and can just as easily talk to you about mountain marathons as cafe espressos. He is very well rounded, a customer favorite, and will be a big addition to your Tour.
Bill Creadon is an instructor extraordinaire of, as he calls it, the "Four S'es". It's easier to say than it is to write. In addition to skating, Bill instructs in sailing, snowboarding, and skiing. Bill's home is in Reading, Pennsylvania, just outside the Amish area where he regularly guides. Bill also helps out on the Nantucket & Martha's Vineyard tours. When not instructing, Bill is employed by a high-tech plastics company.
Increasing the population of Red Lodge from 2,875 to 2,876, Deborah Doyle is Zephyr's newest fulltime employee. A native Atlantan, she recently hails from Colorado, but has also lived in Texas, South Carolina, France, Belgium, Switzerland, and Portugal. Deborah found her first inline skates in the toy aisle of a Swiss department store in 1989, and used them as cheap transportation between her dormitory and the university along the shores of Lake Geneva. These days, when she's not on her skates, you'll find Deborah strapped to a snowboard, riding a mountain bike, or sharing the trails with friends on a hike.
Matthew Flaud is our local Amish expert. Despite what you sometimes read in the newspapers, the Amish are not all taking to skates as an alternative mode of transportation. Matthew is one of the few Amish adults you will see on skates. We are lucky to have him, as he is an amazing source of information and is willing to answer just about any question put to him.
Willem Augustin is our 79-year old Dutch guide. Willem is a skating legend in The Netherlands, famous for his record nine finishes of the 205-kilometer Elfstedentocht ice skating race. Now retired from his "other" hobbies (boxing, bicycling, and rugby) Willem spends his time coaching seniors and kids in both ice and inline skating.
Sabine L÷wenthal is a native German but spends her time between Switzerland and Florida. She guides all of our Swiss Tours as well as many of our US tours. Sabine teaches skating in her spare time. Her hobby is long-distance skating; she has skated several thousand kilometers from Berlin back to Naters (her home town in Switzerland) and again from Paris back home!
Terry Lynch is originally from South Dakota but has spent the last two decades near
Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. It was in Minnesota, however, that he first put on ice skates and
became addicted to the sport. He was a natural convert to inline skating and is now called "the
skating guy" in his home town. Terry has also been a cross country skiing instructor and guide for
many years and so has a wealth of experience to share with our customers.
Mike Merriman is a native of Minnesota. You will find Mike on a variety of tours. Mike is a leader of the Minnesota Inline Skate Club and a founder of the Minneapolis Friday Night Skate. Mike recently retired from a long career at General Mills.
Liz Miller is a skate author, instructor, and "empowerer" of the skating masses. She is the expert on skating in California, having literally written the book (Inline Skating California). She has also authored Get Rolling: A Beginner's Guide to Inline Skating and Advanced Inline Skating. Liz's favorite aspect of skating is helping beginners learn, which is why you will find her on many Skate Camps.
Kris Thomas is a full-time Zephyr staffer, both in the office and on Tours. You will often talk to her on the phone or by email if you have questions about the Tours or Camps and can find her on any of the Tours or Camps during the season. Kris came to us with an MBA and ten years of marketing experience and coaches women's hockey in her spare time.
Allan Wright is based in Zephyr's Red Lodge office. When booking a tour or calling to ask a question, Allan is often the one with whom you will speak. He also leads various Tours and and has led every single location at one time or another in his six years with Zephyr. When not leading trips, Allan is often traveling the globe looking for new Tour locations.