Velo Vercors Team
Teresa Harte - Owner
Born in Wembley to Irish parents, who immigrated from Co Leitrim in the 50’s and found themselves in a wonderful London garden suburb surrounded by many other Irish families. Great childhood memories ...
After University and a bit of travel I decided music was the career for me and I landed a job at Zomba Records, unfortunately just at the same time I got together with Roger who had just been signed to the VCRP team in Romans-sur-Isere and was about to move to France (1989). I joined him in France (20kms from where we are now living) for 8 months but decided I really needed to get my career on track so we headed back to England in 1991 and I landed a job with Virgin Records. My bosses were great guys, who mentored me and as marketing manager I got to look after some superb artists, including Kirsty Maccoll, Art Garfunkel, John Lydon, Human League, Kenny Rogers, Culture Club, Phil Collins, Malcolm McLaren as well as one of my all time childhood favourite bands, Madness.
Fast forward to 2009 and our decision to move to France. We knew St.Jean-en-Royans, but the turning point was a holiday in 2007 with our Australian friends, David (lover of all things cycling) and Elaine, who invited us for a weeks holiday at their house in the town. It was such a wonderful holiday and we both realised how much cycling was missing from our lives being based in London. Luckily we found our house (a former textile and wood mill dating back to the 1800‘s) with attached gites on the edge of St.Jean-en-Royans and it just seemed the perfect location to set up a cycling holiday business. Its very different to the world of music, but in a strange way it’s a natural progression and I’m doing all the things I enjoy such as looking after people, organising, renovating an old French house, learning a new language and of course, cycling.
Its a new chapter without Roger, but his spirit lives on and I look forward to welcoming you. A bientot…
Dominic Lowden - Ride Guide
Brought up in a large, active, family in the UK (Shropshire and mainly Sussex), my father was a keen mountaineer and cyclist, and mother a PE teacher and dancer. Infected by their enthusiasm, I spent much of my childhood on bikes, climbing mountains with my brothers or on long cycling holidays with my family. With an interest in mountains and rocks, it made sense to study geology at university (Reading, UK and Guelph, Canada), and this was followed by a career as a geophysicist in the Oil and Gas Industry. Mostly working for Schlumberger in operations and research I was primarily in the specialist area of applied inverse rock physics modelling for oil and gas reserves. Sounds dull, but it gave me a wonderful opportunity to travel and see the world. In the early days, my main sport was Rugby, but after wear and tear took its toll, I moved into running, then triathlon (sub- 2:30 London) and, eventually, full circle back into cycling. Competitively I raced off-road; mountain bike X-country, and on-road; criterium, circuit, road-racing, plus plenty of time-trialling (latterly 21 minute 10-mile and 56 minute 25-mile) picking up many vets awards. In sports, I was always interested in the competitive side, not just in the winning (or losing), but, as a scientist, in the training and technical aspects of the sport. I also became involved in ride planning and leading, with some classic long-distance rides such as the first ever trans-Greece mountain bike ride through the Pindus mountains, Costa Rica C2C and Sierra Nevada snow to sea. Through this time, I was living with my family in Lewes, Sussex, riding with Lewes Wanderers Cycling Club and continuing to work for Schlumberger. It was with the cycling club that I first encountered the Vercors. LWCC is an active race and time-trialling club and we had a spring training camp in 2011 at Velo Vercors, and spent a fantastic week with Roger Dunne smashing our time-trialling legs on his favourite climbs. We then returned the following year and had probably the wettest week of cycling in my entire life. But I had seen enough to know that this was a special place to ride a bike, so I returned that summer to find warmth and sunshine. I then spent the next two summers riding all over the Vercors with Roger. We had a fantastic time – riding every road, every gorge, every climb, we could find. I have toured, trained and raced in plenty of classic places – Majorca, southern Spain, northern Italy, Denmark, but I don’t think any of them can quite match the Vercors. Meanwhile, the Oil Industry was going through a major contraction and at the end of 2015 I seized the opportunity of taking early retirement. Now I could really dedicate time to my bike and in 2016 returned to Velo Vercors as a Ride Guide.
Amy Houston - All round fabulous assistant
Born outside Birmingham and I haven't been able to sit still since!. Rowing from England to France, Campanology and working for the RNLI are a few of the things I've done. Studied Fine Art at Falmouth and fell in love with Cornwall. That's also where I found the bike and decided it was the best mode of transport for me. A fairly random email to Teresa to see if they needed any help led to my arrival back end of September 2015. I loved it so much I came back for the 2016 season and I'm coming back again for 2017.