About Us

When you ride with Velo Vietnam, you ride with people who know and love this unique part of the world.

We operate tours exclusively in Vietnam and Laos, which means we know the roads, the cultures and the cuisines of these amazing nations inside out. We always strive to understand and respect Vietnam and Laos’ peoples and their environments, and do everything we can do create goodwill wherever we go.

Wherever Velo Vietnam rides, we try to support local businesses, especially those owned by ethnic minority people.

In Vietnam, we are proud to partner with Topas Travel, a worldwide Danish sport and ecotourism company that is registered as a licensed tourism operator in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Velo Vietnam Pty Ltd ACN 617 305 736 is a private company incorporated in Australia.

The Team

David Lloyd, Director

David moved to Vietnam in 2011 planning to stay for six months, but he swiftly fell for the country’s magical landscapes, rich culture and the world-class cycling opportunities and he’s never looked back.

Having discovered much of the country through extensive riding,  authoring guidebooks and on travel assignments for publications such as the New York Times, he has learned which parts of Vietnam offer the best cycling and is passionate about sharing those discoveries with other riders. 

The northern provinces of Ha Giang, Cao Bang and Thanh Hoa are some of David’s favourite places to explore on two wheels, alongside the coastal roads and inland hills of Central Vietnam.

He is also a director at our partner, Vietnam adventure experts, Topas Travel. This role involves creating races in  the nation’s most beautiful mountainous areas.

David is based in Hanoi where he lives with his wife and two daughters.

Ashley Carruthers, Director

Ashley Carruthers has been exploring Vietnam’s culture and landscape since the early 1990s. A professional anthropologist, he speaks fluent Vietnamese, and has a deep knowledge of this beautiful and enigmatic country.

From his first trip through the north-west at a time when the roads were unsealed and foreigners were unheard of, he has been enchanted by Vietnam’s wild upland regions and the proud people who have lived there for centuries without bowing to the lowland emperors.

Now those remote mountains are full of beautifully engineered roads, Ashley is able to pursue his other great love there: road cycling. A serious road and mountain biker, he remains competitive in his age class in Australia. He’s also a regular tandem pilot for vision impaired (VI) paracyclist Don Mankewich, the current Australian champion in VI Road and Time Trial disciplines.

For much of the year Ashley is to be found living with his wife and two children in Canberra. At other times he’s on the road cycling, or doing research, in Vietnam and Laos.

Emma Pooley, Guide

Time trial world champion 2010, Olympic medallist, and 4-time world champion in long-distance duathlon.

Emma is a failed runner who took up cycling in her 20s to cross-train after a stress fracture. Through a combination of luck and bloodymindedness she did ok at bike racing for a few years, then tri- and duathlon for a few more years, and now has a few medals & rainbow-coloured jerseys hanging on the wall. She competed in three Olympic Games, but she says none of them had coffee anywhere near as good as the simple roadside cafés in Vietnam – let alone Saffron Coffee in Luang Prabang.

Luckily, professional racing did not quite kill Emma’s love for cycling and she still rides her bike whenever she can. Mainly motivated by food and coffee (and ocassionally QOMs) she still races but mostly in mountain running. If you want an extra challenge on your Velo Vietnam tour, she’ll go for a run with you in the mornings before riding. Emma joined Ashley for the first Velo Vietnam rough roads Vietnam-Laos tour in 2019, and fell in love with the stunning landscapes, friendly people, and fiery food as well as the relaxed but challenging format of the Velo Vietnam tours.

Emma has lived in Switzerland for 14 years, since moving there for her PhD, and works as a building physicist. She can talk to you in French, German, Spanish, and English but her communication with the people of Vietnam and Laos is mostly limited to hand gestures and laughing.

Dale Nottingham, Guide

Consumed for years by what he describes as ‘the humbling and beautiful sport of cycling’, Dale has experienced the pain and the pleasure of riding in the Italy, Cyprus, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Mallorca, England, Wales and “perhaps most memorably of all, the breathtaking mountains and coastal roads of Vietnam.” 
 
Outside Vietnam, Dale’s all time favourite is the Dolomites where he rode what he ranks as the hardest climb of his life, the Monte Zoncolan. However, for sheer adventure, raw beauty and cultural discovery, he says the mountains of Ha Giang and Lao Cai provinces in Northern Vietnam are hard to beat. 
 
A speaker of French, Spanish, English and some Vietnamese, Dale is deeply in love with Vietnam and the riding here and few things make him happier than riding with others who feel the same way. 
 
Dale has been based in Saigon for six years and came on one of the very first Velo Vietnam recon rides back in the day. 

Giving Back

At Velo Vietnam, we like to give back to these countries that have given us so much.

We have a close relationship with the charity Newborns Vietnam, and offer them in-kind and financial support for their cycling-based fundraising activities. Velo Vietnam Director David Lloyd has been at the centre of organising (and riding!) a series of events, including multiple Everestings, and the annual Isla Climbing Challenge, that have raised over 30 000 USD.

We also support the Nguyen Van Troi Junior High School, a special boarding school for Khatu children in the border district of Tay Giang in Central Vietnam; as well as a boarding school for Khmu children in the Luang Prabang area.