Jean-Philippe Soulé: A passion for people, travel, cultures, mountains and cycling.
"I particularly love riding in rural France: the low-traffic, winding roads, charming medieval villages and lofty mountains create endless cycling possibilities. Place after place has a unique landscape, character and culture and the locals are genuinely friendly, down-to-earth people. It's my land and I love to share it!"
Jean-Philippe is always delighted to share both his unquenchable passion for life and his expertise as a leader of expeditions to remote areas of our planet.
French by birth, he served in a commando unit in both mountain rescue and as an Alps mountain guide before leaving France to work in the US and then explore the distant corners of Asia and Latin America.
His attachment to the indigenous peoples he met there inspired him to found the Native Planet Non-Profit Organization, an NGO dedicated to their welfare, and the Native Planet Outdoor Club, its fund-raising arm in Seattle.
Jean-Philippe is a certified USA Cycling coach with the USA Cycling Federation, a French cycling instructor (FFCT moniteur de cyclisme) and he also owns the French Professional Cycling Guide License mandatory to legally guide cycling tours in France (BPJEPS - Cyclisme). He also has a MSDT License (the highest level of Scuba diving instructor), and used to teach rescue, first aid and CPR.
Jean-Philippe has more than 30 years of experience guiding in multiple outdoor sports, natural environments, and dozens of countries and more than 16 years of professional experience guiding and training in the sport of cycling. He speaks native French, perfect English, fluent Japanese, Spanish and Indonesian.
J-Phi used to race track. On the road, when residing in Japan, he won the prologue of the 1996 UCI Asia Tour de Hokkaido, becoming the 1996 Japan National Champion in prologue. Today, he trains in the Pyrenees and rides on all mountain regions of Europe and is always in quest of the world's best climbs and cycling routes. He and his wife Yumi also enjoy the toughest Gran-Fondo Cyclosportives with extreme distances and elevation such as Tour du Mont-Blanc, and Luchon-Bayonne.
J-Phi led numerous mountain, jungle, ocean and cultural expeditions. His longest started in 1998 when he embarked on a three-and-half year sea kayak journey covering 3,000 miles paddling all Central America on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. His adventures were published in numerous media and followed by hundreds of schools in North America.
Off the bike, J-Philippe and Yumi also like to cross-country ski. They enjoy trekking with a particular enthusiasm for the Himalayas. They've traveled to many countries and wilderness environments doing photo documentaries. National Geographic, the United Nations and major publications published their photos.
J-Phi was also the guide, interpreter, director of logistic and one of the main actors along with famous French movie stars, for an award-winning jungle documentary of the traditional Mentawai indigenous hunter-gatherers.
J-Phi is a native of the Pyrenees and lived in the Alps where he was a mountain guide working for the French Special Forces. After decades of leading expeditions around the world, and guiding and training cyclists in the USA, it was natural for him to return to his native Pyrenees and to guide cyclists to the Pyrenees and Alps mountains, where his first outdoor expeditions and adventures all started.
Today, you can contact us to enjoy J-Phi's joie-de-vivre on tours that he designs, manages and leads through VéloTopo.
Jean-Philippe personally designs all VéloTopo custom cycling itineraries.
Contact us now for a true and unique bespoke cycling experience