You would think that retiring would be the beginning of a laid back lifestyle, but this was not the case for Comber man Hugo McIlveen, who, after retiring from a managerial role in UTV, has gone on to begin self employment and act as tour guide with his cycling holiday company Bed and Bike Northern Ireland.
It all began five years ago, when Hugo’s wife joined Marie Curie and volunteered to take part in the organisation’s fund raising event The Inca Trail, when she suggested Hugo do something similar.
Knowing he had cycled a bit in his youth, ‘but couldn’t run the length of myself’, his wife signed Hugo up for the 600 mile Malin to Mizen Cycle Tour between Donegall and Cork.
With a lot of snow on the roads, Hugo didn’t have a chance to train, and hit the 70 mile a day trail with a cheap bike that he planned on tossing away after the ordeal was over. As the week progressed he began to enjoy himself more and more.
Since becoming bitten by the cycling bug, Hugo has completed cycling events in England, Scotland and Ireland over the last four years, which was the spark that gave Hugo the idea to set up his own cycling tour company.
Leaving full time employment with UTV 2 months ago, Hugo set up Bed and Bike Northern Ireland which provides guided cycle tours concentrating in County Down, around the quite roads in the Strangford area.
Beginning in Belfast, Hugo’s tours take in the miles and days his client’s are comfortable travelling, and providing as much to eat and drink as required.
If you’re interested in learning more, Hugo would be more than happy to hear from you.