Each year, Trek Travel honors one of our guides for his or her tremendous season, exceptional hospitality, and a downright awesome attitude. We are proud to announce our 2019 Guide of the Year, Lisa Lieb!
Guide of the Year is a huge honor. To be nominated for this prestigious award, guides have to earn top-notch evaluations from guests, co-guides and the office team. The top five guides are then voted on by the Trek Travel management team to determine which guide provided best-in-class hospitality and reflected our company values. The winning guide receives a custom merino jersey with “GUIDE OF THE YEAR” embroidered on it as well as a $1,000 travel credit to anywhere in the world. The winner can use it for themselves, a family member, or a friend.
We talked to Lisa to learn a little bit more about how she feels about winning Guide of the Year, about her experiences guiding, and about where she is headed in 2020.
Why do you guide?
“Passion and happiness. It seems that I have found a job that fills my passions, and therefore my job has become my passion. The passion to be able to experience the joy of life by bike and the ability to share that with others. The passion to see different cultures, to meet tremendous people from around the world, and to be a part of bringing smiles to people’s faces. That is very rewarding. So, when I am getting to live my passion, the result then brings me to the goal of my life: to be happy. So, happiness is a pretty good reason to guide! And of course, all the donkeys I get to meet along the way!”
What are some epic moments or favorite memories from your travels?
“Having guided over 180 Trek Travel trips, it is very difficult to pick just a few of my most epic moments, favorite memories, or most unforgettable guests. There have been times over the past nine years that I truly cannot believe that this is my real life. Epic moments like meeting pro riders that I have only seen on TV riding in the Tour de France, climbing Alpe d’huez the day of the 100th anniversary of the Tour, running along side Cadel Evans on Mont Ventoux after sleeping in a vineyard on Bastille Day, and stopping to dance in the middle of climb because why not? All these and so many more epic moments come to my mind. Many guests over the years are truly unforgettable, like being a part of a guest’s confidence building moments after riding something they never thought possible, the “yes I can do this” revelations, the moment when a you see a woman be empowered just by riding a bike, those hugs and tears of joy at the top of an epic climb, the champagne toasts and jumping in the sea after crossing the Pyrenees mountains, times I am told “it just would not have been the trip of a lifetime without you,” the many notes written to me at the end of every trip, and the number of smiles I see on a daily basis are truly unforgettable. And of course some of my favorite memories are the ones I have made with my co-guides, like camping in the middle of nowhere, late night dance parties in the middle of a tiny village, and just the times of ridiculousness that makes those friendships even stronger.”
Where will you be guiding in 2020?
“In 2020 I will be guiding Mallorca Ride Camps, the Italian Dolomites bike tour, and the Mallorca Luxury bike trips. This will be my eighth season guiding in Mallorca, and it just gets better every year. Riding a bike in Mallorca is a way of life and for me. It is the place where I fell in love with road cycling. (Those of you that know, I am a mountain biker through and through, so I think that says a lot about the riding in Mallorca to turn a mountain biker into a roadie). In 2014 I guided the Giro d’Italia trip through the Dolomites, and every year I race the Granfondo Maratona dles Dolomiti. However, this is my first year guiding our Classic Climbs of the Dolomites trip, and I cannot be more thrilled. The Dolomites are a very special place on the planet, and your life will only be enhanced if you get the opportunity to experience those mountains by bike. The people, the food, those mountains – all your senses will be overtaken by the Italian and South Tirol culture. It is quite spectacular, and I am very much looking forward to guiding in the region.”
How did you feel about winning guide of the year?
“To be named Guide of the Year I feel very honored, humbled, and proud. My belief is one cannot do great alone. One must be surrounded and supported by great to accomplish great. Being named Guide of the Year is a reflection of the people around me. I am so lucky to have the opportunity to work with many amazing guides and am always learning so much from each and every one of them. The level of passion, professionalism, dedication, and fun in the people that guide Trek Travel trips is so high, I am blown away that I was chosen out of such a deserving group.Thank you to everyone at Trek Travel for honoring me with such an award.”
What else are you looking forward to in 2020?
“On March 15 I get the privilege to participate in one of the worlds toughest mountain bike stage races, the Absa Cape Epic in South Africa. The coolest part is, I was asked by a Trek Travel guest that I guided in Mallorca back in 2013. We have not stayed in touch nor followed each other on social media, but when this guest had received one of the coveted entries to the event, he remembered his guide in Mallorca and thought, “She would be a fun partner to race this event with, and I’m pretty sure she likes to mountain bike.” The many doors that this job opens are pretty rad.”