Our leaders are tried and true. Not only are they whizzes in customer service, they are also bicycle touring experts and can answer any questions you might have about the wine you are tasting or the wine growing region you are visiting. Their in depth knowledge, passion and charisma guarantee an incredible trip. Each trip has a minimum of two dedicated guides who are at your beck and call, whether they be leading the cycling route or driving in the van with water and snacks. Our exceptional guides anticipate your needs and do their utmost to provide an experience of a lifetime.
Arianne Goodman is the Founder of Gears and Grapes Getaways, Inc. She started bicycle touring at the age of 16. Since then she has led tours across the country, north to south and east to west. She has led tours in Europe as well as through Mexico and Central America. Arianne has also spent time living in both Chile and France and is fluent in French and Spanish. Her time in France gave her an incredible appreciation for the culture and joys of wine—something that she has since tried to share with first her family, then her friends, and now her guests. After completing her undergraduate studies Ari became a certified sommelier and started working in the wine industry in San Francisco. A lover of adventure, and all things outdoors, Ari is a wine loving triathlete with expertise that enriches and educates her guests.
After graduating from UCLA, Danielle worked in finance at a Fund of Hedge funds. In her spare time she volunteered for Team In Training (TNT) training participants to complete triathlons while raising money for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. In November 2008 Danielle completed the Florida Ford Ironman. While leading cycle tours through California's spectacular wine regions, Danielle continues to train for triathlons and is an active member of the TNT community. Danielle is also currently completing her degree in Law from the University of Southern California and will soon be not only guide extraordinaire but also handle all legal representation for Gears and Grapes! Go Danielle! We are so proud of you!
Originally an Alaska native, Malani graduated from Stanford University in California with both an undergraduate degree and masters degree in education. Malani spent her summer's salmon fishing in the Prince William Sound and writing and singing music. Malani released an album in 2008 entitled 'Til Now, which is filled with melodic, playful, and tender original songs that bridge the folk and pop genres. She has led cycling tours throughout South America and has lived in Southeast Asia. In her spare time, Malani acquired a taste for wine and specializes in South American varietals. An avid traveler and adventurer, Malani can be found trekking through the Himalayas or the Sierras, or biking through Vietnam and Cambodia, or climbing through Thailand when not leading tours for Gears and Grapes.
Of French Basque origin, Patrick is a native French speaker who grew up drinking French wine and varietals. He completed his education at the University of California at Santa Barbara and is currently enrolled in law school at USF. An avid surfer, cyclist, and adventurer, Pat has led private cycling tours through Europe and Central America. Using his degree in Economics, Pat has worked in banks in France as well as New York. Pat has also worked in the San Francisco Bay Area in wine sales and distribution.
Originally from Los Angeles, Erin is a graduate of Middlebury College in Vermont, where she studied Molecular Biology/Biochemistry and Italian. She has spent time living in Italy, where she developed a passion for great tasting wine, and has led cycling tours in the states. She has also worked as an Emergency Medical Technician and biomedical researcher. Her research has taught her that cycling and wine lead to a good life.
Mike hails from Long Beach, California. He attended the US Airforce Academy before graduating from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in Marine Biology. Mike is an avid backpacker, runner and adventurer. In 2009 he completed the Pacific Crest Trail--- a hiking trail that runs the distance between Canada and Mexico—through the Sierras. His biggest single day on the trail was a staggering 62 miles, which he ran, with a backpack, tent, food and sleeping bag. Mike spends his summer's fishing in Alaska. When he isn't guiding tours, you can find him bicycle touring through exotic countries or summiting mountains in far off places. And, if you can't find him anywhere else, he is probably studying for his upcoming graduate degree as an International Nurse Practitioner.
Tessa McKenzie is originally from the DC area, but has lived in the Iberian Peninsula and throughout Latin America where she acquired a passion for riojas and malbecs. She recently graduated from Portland State University, Oregon with a Masters in Public Health. During her research, she finally discovered the key to personal health: bicycling and pinot noir. Besides leading wine tours, Tessa is a health professor, instructs Spin classes, and lives car-free as an enthusiastic bike commuter. Tessa is currently training at CrossFit where she does tire-flipping, handstands, and ninja burpees.
Sam is a professional tour guide by day, and fine dining server by night. His fine dining experience, working with some of SF's most revered wine collections has rendered him an incredibly knowledgeable guide with experience in the best wine California has to offer. Sam is an experienced trek leader—with years of experience as a city tour guide as well as a camping tour guide leading treks all over the US as well as western Canada. His passion comes through when interacting with guests—his love for all things wine and food related and his determination to show guests an incredible time. Sam spent a year drinking French wine while studying in Lyon on his year abroad from the University of British Columbia, where he got his undergraduate degree. When Sam isn't guiding, he is an aspiring rock-climber (at one point ranked second in his home state of Vermont) and exceptional guitarist—playing most classics-- especially by Phish, a group from his home state of Vermont. But, more often than not, you can find him with a big smile entertaining a group of guests.