Many moons ago, Wolf (the owner of Fat Tire) was a tour guide in Munich working for a company called Mike’s Bikes. He got the Bike-Tour-Company-Bug and set up his own tour company here in Berlin in 2004.
Some of the other Mike’s Bikes guides decided to do the same, in their own respective cities; London, Barcelona and Paris. Thus the Fat Tire Empire was created.
After working at Fat Tire we have had a couple of our guides go on to set up their own company’s back in their homelands:
We have talked about our Aussie Aussie Aussie Freddy setting up shop in Melbourne (Freddy’s Bike Tours) and now we will delve into the life of our very own Belgian waffle Nic De Belder (he has one of those names where you just have to say the whole thing).
After working the summer seasons through 2010-2012, Nic realised he would be hard pressed to find a job sweeter than riding a bike through one of your favourite cities, talking to visitors about a thoroughly interesting history and drinking beer. Oh and getting paid for it.
Back in Antwerp there was only one Bike Tour Company established, though they offered great tours they were not quite what Nic was looking for. The seed of setting up his own place was planted and he talked about it with a few friends. A while later one of Nic’s closest friends Jona came home from travelling in India and asked Nic if still wanted to set up the company. Nic jumped at the chance and they started planning.
Cyclant was born in the basement of Squat
By autumn of 2013 they had their business license and they set up ‘Cyclant’ in a dodgy old basement of a legally-squatted building in Antwerp. The first winter as many of Fat Tires’ bikes were hibernating for the colder months, Nic came and picked up 16 bikes to get the ball rolling back in Belgium. By spring those bikes returned home to Berlin and Cyclant had 20 brand spanking new bikes of its own delivered.
Cyclant has gone from strength to strength, moving to number one spot for Outdoor Activities on Tripadvisor, as well as being featured in Lonely Planet and a multitude of Dutch magazines. One strength of Cyclant is their focus on special events in the city; their ‘Night of the Museums Tour’ sold out within 10 minutes. They also put together an amazing tour of the harbour for Antwerp’s ‘Bollekesfeesten’ (local beer festival), combining Nic’s favourite things; bikes and beer.
For the coming season a bike rental shop is on the cards, making what is currently a part-time job, well and truly a full time one. So Nic will be balancing fatherhood with bike-shop-owner-hood! Exciting times.
Check out the available tours on Cyclant Bike Tours