California native Tom Hale possesses a passion for two seemingly divergent interests—business and back roads—which he has powered into the world's most successful active travel company, Backroads. It was the back roads that first attracted him as a competitive runner. However, it was a middle-of-the-night inspiration to start a bike touring company motivated him to pedal 5,000 miles alone through the West, all the while formulating plans for his new business. Settling in Berkeley, Hale washed fondue pots by night and built his fledgling travel company by day. In true entrepreneurial fashion, he did it all—designed the itineraries, maintained the bikes, led the trips, produced the catalog. Fast-forward to 2019 and 40 years of nearly consistent growth. Today Backroads annually hosts thousands of guests on Biking, Walking & Hiking, Multi-Adventure, Private and Family trips worldwide from classic settings in France, to the pampas of Patagonia to the hill country of Thailand.