Archive for the ‘cycling’ Category

Spots Still Open to Join Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s 2017 Sojourn Cycling Great Allegheny Passage

June 8, 2017
Great Allegheny Passage RailTrail

Biking the Great Allegheny Passage rail-trail, Confluence to Adelaide, PA on Rails-to-Trails’ Sojourn © 2017 Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

by Karen Rubin, Travel Features Syndicate, goingplacesfarandnear.com

There’s still availability to join the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s 2017 Pennsylvania Sojourn, June 18-23, a six-day cycling trip exploring two dedicated trails—the legendary Great Allegheny Passage and beautiful Montour Trail – a total of some 150 miles of biking.

The organization’s main fund-raiser of the year, you get to experience Pennsylvania’s famous scenic wilderness, charming towns, beautiful tunnels, iconic sites and can’t-miss destinations.

The fully supported rail-trail adventure vacation, operated by Wilderness Voyageurs, offers great food (breakfast and dinner), hot showers, flexible scheduling (you ride at your own pace), fun evening activities, optional trips and experiences—and the added benefit of supporting America’s trails.

The trip is June 18-23, and costs $720/adult, $620/child. You have the option of bringing your own tent, renting tent service through Comfy Campers (extremely handy), or booking nearby bed-and-breakfast accommodations.

The tour highlights include optional climbs to the highest mountain in the state, Mt. Davis and the Eastern Continental Divide, the Mason-Dixon Line and Big Savage Tunnel.

The third-day is a layover with an opportunity to choose an excursion – visiting Fallingwater  (a home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright); visiting Kentuck Knob (also designed by Frank Lloyd Wright) or taking a rafting trip, either Lower Yough Class 3 rafting trip or Middle Yough Class 1-2 rafting trip 

Get more information and the day-by-day itinerary https://www.railstotrails.org/experience-trails/sojourns/2017-ride/

The annual RTC Sojourn is not just a great way to experience these trails, but also are powerful “trail-building tools” that highlight the significant impact of long-distance trail routes on America’s communities. Participants explore communities and attractions along the way (from the picturesque to the historic), take advantage of open trails and draw attention to gaps in would-be trail systems that, if completed, could result in substantial benefits (economic, health, social, environmental and much more) for their local regions.

For example, the Pennsylvania Sojourn will call attention to a major project, the Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition. A collaboration of more than 100 organizations, and led by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, the National Park Service and RTC, the project would link 1,400 miles of multiuse trails, stretching across 48 counties in four states – Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and New York. It would stimulate the regional economy through outdoor tourism and small business investment, and create social equity and new health connections for underserved communities across the project footprint.

The sojourns serve to unite a selection of trails for a short period of time, serving as “dry runs” designed to benchmark—through real-world examples and user surveys how trail-system improvements could increase local bikeability and walkability.

Over the past 15 years, Sojourns have helped influence the creation and/or growth of multiple regional trail alliances through demonstrating the significant boost to local economies generated by the sojourn participants in just a few days – a small reflection over what can be achieved when programs are established.

RTC compiles economic impact data on the combined spending on food, supplies, rentals, equipment and other sojourn-related services, which is shared with local hosts to inspire future trail building and enhancements.

The 2014 sojourn’s positive economic impact to the region was $211,000.

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy helps communities meet their own challenges toward trail development, with expertise and assistance obtaining funding and design; and advocates with lawmakers at local, state and federal levels for policies and funding programs that make trail development and walking/biking infrastructure possible. The organizations promotes trails – awarding Trail of the Year, for example – forges partnerships, and is the nation’s foremost nonprofit advocate for rail-trails, working to create and protect the legal structures that make them possible.

The sojourns are designed for all ages and skill levels—from the young to the young-at-heart, aficionados to first-timers, families to freewheelers!

To book the 2017 Sojourn, https://wilderness-voyageurs.com/bike-tours/rails-to-trails-conservancy-sojourn.

Learn more about Rails-to-Trails Conservancy at www.railstotrails.org.

See:

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Takes Cyclists on Sojourn on Great Allegheny Passage

Rails-to-Trails’ Great Allegheny Passage Bike Tour Side Trip into Dunbar Brings Surprise Encounter with TrumpWorld

Pennsylvania’s Industrial Past Highlights Day 3 on Rails-to-Trails Sojourn on Great Allegheny Passage

 

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In Time for Valentine’s Day, Bicycle Adventures Shares List of Most Romantic Lodges on Two-Wheel Escapes

February 3, 2015
Bicycle Adventures is sharing its short list of the most romantic lodges guests can enjoy on a two-wheeled vacation, even after Valentine's Day has come and gone.

Bicycle Adventures is sharing its short list of the most romantic lodges guests can enjoy on a two-wheeled vacation, even after Valentine’s Day has come and gone.

Issaquah, WA– To mark Valentine’s Day, Bicycle Adventures, a Pacific Northwest-based active travel company specializing in two-wheel tours in North America, Hawaii (the Big Island) and internationally, has shared its short list of what its staff consider are the most romantic lodges guests can enjoy on a two-wheeled vacation, even after Feb. 14 has come and gone.

“Most of our cycling vacationers are couples seeking a mix of road miles through gorgeous scenery, good food, wine and, ideally, romantic accommodations,” said Todd Starnes, Bicycle Adventures’ Owner and President. “In other words, day-by-day, minute-to-minute quality of life counts.”

“Whether you opt for an active week exploring the countryside with Bicycle Adventures (http://bicycleadventures.com/) or you seek a cozy weekend retreat on your own, here’s a list of our very favorite inns and lodges where romance reigns.”

Two San Juan Islands resorts were featured by Fox news in its “10 Romantic Getaways in Washington State”. Bicycle Adventures uses both on three different itineraries. Lakedale Resort at Three Lakes is located between Roche Harbor and Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands. Here guests enjoy the experience of lakeside views from the property’s lodge. Outlook Inn offers an experience of Orcas Island culture including watching the rising and falling tides. The following trips utilize these classics: San Juan Islands 4 Day, San Juan Islands 6 Day and San Juan Islands & Victoria.

At Moraine Lake Lodge on Moraine Lake in the Rocky Mountains, a naturalist guide tempts guests to hike if he/she can get the guests up from the Adirondack chairs they’ve settled into with a glass of wine to toast the glaciers. Luxury Travel Magazine hailed it as ‘the ultimate romantic getaway’ and Bicycle Adventures’ guests rave about it in trip reviews of the following trips: Banff-Jasper 6 Day and Glacier-Banff-Jasper (8 days).

Casa de San Pedro in southern Arizona is said to be “The Most Romantic Inn in Arizona” from its perch on 10 acres adjacent to the San Pedro River and Riparian National Conservation Area. Over 355 species of birds and hundreds of butterflies call this place home. Adobe, cacti and the history of the Old West make this a place to be remembered on Bicycle Adventure’s Cactus Classic.

“The Most Romantic Getaway” in Central Oregon (according to Bend Living) is Five Pine Lodge. This was also named one of the top five hotels in the US by TripAdvisor in 2014.  Surrounded by the Three Sisters and a thriving craft brew culture, there’s plenty of added value on Bicycle Adventure’s Bend Breakaway.

For more information on these inns and associated trips contact the romantics at Bicycle Adventures by phone: 800.443.6060, email: office@bicycleadventures.com or visit online at: http://bicycleadventures.com/.

Bicycle Adventures

Scenic byways, four and five-star accommodations and local dining and visits to National Parks are trademarks of Bicycle Adventures, founded in 1984.  Types of tours include Classic (25-50 miles a day), Classic Plus (50-60 miles a day) and Epic (70+ miles a day with the most demanding terrain). Value-driven Frugal category of trips offers budget-conscious lodging and meals with full van support; Family tours offer multi-sport adventures and riding on safe, scenic bike paths.

Pre-set and custom tours embrace the Pacific Northwest into Canada, California and the Southwest, as well as Colorado, the Dakotas, New York, Hawaii, New Zealand, Spain’s Basque region and Taiwan. Excelling in its own backyard the Issaquah, WA-based company’s line-up includes a National Geographic ‘Tours of a Lifetime’ award-winning Empire Epic cycling tour from Washington to Montana’s Glacier National Park, urban adventures in Seattle and Portland and immersions into the craft beer industry in Oregon and Washington.

Follow Bicycle Adventures:
Website: http://bicycleadventures.com/
Facebook: Bicycle Adventures
Twitter: @BikeAdventures

 

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Wrap up a TerraVello Luxury Camping and Cycling Experience in Utah, Wyoming or California For the Holidays

December 7, 2014
TerraVelo Tours organizes an all-inclusive luxury camping escape with bicycling, horseback riding, massages and other amenities.

TerraVelo Tours organizes an all-inclusive luxury camping escape with bicycling, horseback riding, massages and other amenities.

This year, give your family the gift of your time and a shared experience to remember – a luxury camping (aka “glamping”) and cycling tour of the spectacular landscapes of Utah or Wyoming National Parks, or California’s vineyards and redwoods with TerraVelo Tours.

TerraVelo Tours offers fully-inclusive luxury mobile tent camping travel for both avid and casual cyclists – providing an unforgettable journey for both skill sets – TerraVelo has even created an elegant way to present your gift: a TerraVelo tote bag, complete with a custom-designed voucher and your choice of a selection of bath amenities from historic C.O. Bigelow & Apotheke Co.  or a TomTom MultiSport GPS watch.

The voucher can be redeemed for 2015 itineraries:

Utah Arches, Canyons and Hoodoos through Arches, Zion, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Bryce National Parks brings guests through some of the most jaw-dropping scenery in the nation. Departures are April 12-19; May 3-9 and 10-16; September 20-26; and October 4-10.

Wyoming Mountains, Geysers and Bison tours include stops at Grand Teton National Park , Jackson, Yellowstone National Park including  Old Faithful,  Norris Geyser Basin, the Hot Springs Loop,  the unique landscape of Mammoth Hot Springs and the Lamar River Valley. Tours depart June 28-July 4; July 19-25 (Family Tour); and July 26-August 1.

The California Oceans, Vineyards and Redwoods tours encompass stops at Point Reyes National Seashore, Santa Rosa, Sonoma, Napa, Armstrong National Redwoods Preserve, Salt Point State Park, and sunrise yoga followed by a cycle through the Avenue of the (Redwood) Giants.  Departures are May 24-30 (Family Tour); June 14-20; August 9-15; August 16-22; and August 30-September 5.

“TerraVelo Tours combines moveable luxury camping with an exhilarating cycling itinerary, suitable for cyclists of all levels,” states David Levine, co-founder of the luxury cycling tour company. “Our bicycle tours bring together a maximum of 15 guests for intimate dinners, amazing food and enlightening conversation, complemented by luxurious camping and amenities. Our guests are cared for by 10-12 staff members, the highest ratio among bicycle tours.”

“Excursions, a masseuse, even the toothpaste are included in the experience,” adds Rebecca Martin, Levine’s partner and co-founder.  “A private chef and sous chef will accompany us, preparing all our meals and snacks during each seven-day adventure.  Our accommodations every night will be in luxurious, elegant tents, adding to the beauty of the scenery while providing supremely comfortable shelter. This is unheard of in our cycling world!”

Guests will be outfitted with a carbon fiber specialized Roubaix Expert Ultegra or similar high-end road bike and helmet; those preferring to ride their own bike can simply bring it to their local bike shop where TerraVelo will have it shipped, delivered and assembled, ready to ride when the guest arrives, and shipped back to the bike shop upon departure.

Each of the luxury tents simulates an upscale hotel guestroom, outfitted with plush memory-foam mattress;  Frette linens; down comforters;  rugs;  furnishings from ABC Home & Carpet and Mitchell Gold +Bob Williams; Turkish bath towels; and C.O. Bigelow & Apotheke Co.   toiletries and sundries.

Each night’s Camp will include: a full-time personal chef and sous chef who will prepare all meals served in the elegant dining tent. Several times during the tour guests can enjoy sunrise yoga; evening entertainment including live music and campfire; a masseuse who will provide 30-minute massages; educational sessions from a visiting expert, perhaps an astronomer and/or geologist who will share insights on the gorgeous night sky, landscape and vegetation. Laundry service is provided twice during each tour.

A Lounge tent with a sofa, club chairs, board games including chess, backgammon, playing cards; books and a fully-stocked bar; shower and restroom facilities complete the mobile accommodations.

Family-Friendly Tours Attract All Generations

For 2015, TerraVelo Tours will host dedicated Family Tour weeks in Wyoming and in California, welcoming children as young as 8.

“As the mother of two active children, I know what a joy it will be for parents – and grandparents – to watch their children explore the splendor of our national parks,” said Martin. “We will tailor activities to suit them, to assure a memorable experience for all ages.”

The 7-day tour packages include all food, beverage and accommodations, and are priced at $5,990 per person, double occupancy, with guests’ choice of one Queen bed or two singles.
Children’s rates are $4,990 with single bed accommodations in parents’ tents; youngsters 16 and over pay the adult rate.

For information or reservations, call 888-801-1446 or visit www.TerraVeloTours.com.

 

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TerraVelo Tours Announces High-End Luxury Camping, Cycling Trips in Utah, Wyoming, California; Families Too

July 24, 2014
For 2015, TerraVelo Tours is offering dedicated family tours in Wyoming and in California, welcoming children as young as 8.

For 2015, TerraVelo Tours is offering dedicated family tours in Wyoming and in California, welcoming children as young as 8.

TerraVelo Tours, offering fully-inclusive luxury mobile tent camping travel for both avid and casual cyclists has just announced 2015 seven-day itineraries, which expand beyond their initial Utah tours to add journeys through Wyoming and Northern California.

  • Wyoming Mountains, Geysers and Bison cycling tours include stops at Grand Teton National Park , Jackson, Yellowstone National Park including Old Faithful, Norris Geyser Basin, the Hot Springs Loop, the unique landscape of Mammoth Hot Springs and the Lamar River Valley. Tours depart late June-July, and early-mid September.
  • The California Oceans, Vineyards and Redwoods tours encompass stops at Point Reyes National Seashore, Santa Rosa, Sonoma , Napa, Armstrong National Redwoods Preserve, Salt Point State Park, sunrise yoga followed by a cycle through the Avenue of the (Redwood) Giants, and an optional ride up the “Lost Coast.” Departures are late May-June and August.

“TerraVelo Tours combines moveable luxury camping with an exhilarating cycling itinerary, suitable for cyclists of all levels,” states David Levine, co-founder of the luxury cycling tour company. “Our bicycle tours bring together a maximum of 12 guests for intimate dinners, amazing food and enlightening conversation, complemented by luxurious camping and amenities. Our guests are cared for by ten staff members, the highest ratio among bicycle tours.”

“Just get yourself to the airport, and we’ll take care of the rest,” adds Rebecca Martin, Levine’s partner and co-founder. “Airfare, excursions, a masseuse, even the toothpaste are included in the experience. A private chef and sous chef will accompany us, preparing all our meals and snacks during each seven-day adventure. Our accommodations every night will be in luxurious, elegant tents, adding to the beauty of the scenery while providing supremely comfortable shelter. This is unheard of in our cycling world!”

  • Guests will be outfitted with a rental carbon fiber specialized Roubaix Expert Ultegra or similar high-end carbon fiber road bike and helmet; those preferring to ride their own bike can simply bring it to their local bike shop where TerraVelo will have it shipped, delivered and assembled, ready to ride when the guest arrives, and shipped back to the bike shop upon departure.
  • Each of the luxury tents simulates an upscale hotel guestroom, outfitted with Tempur-Pedic mattresses; Frette linens; down comforters; rugs; furnishings from ABC Home & Carpet and Mitchell Gold +Bob Williams; Turkish bath towels; and Molton Brown toiletries and sundries.
  • Each night’s Camp will include: a full-time personal chef and sous chef who will prepare all meals; a dining tent; sunrise yoga; laundry service; evening entertainment including live music and campfire. On two evenings, a masseuse will provide 30-minute massages; on other nights, guests will enjoy educational sessions from a visiting astronomer and/or geologist who will share insights on the gorgeous night sky, landscape and vegetation.
  • A Lounge tent with a sofa, club chairs, board games including chess, backgammon, playing cards; books and a fully-stocked bar; shower and restroom facilities complete the mobile accommodations.

The 7-day tour packages include all food, beverage, accommodations, and roundtrip airfare from the Continental United States. These exhilarating itineraries are $7,850 per person, double occupancy, with guests’ choice of one King bed or two singles.

Family-Friendly Tours Attract All Generations

For 2015, TerraVelo Tours will host dedicated Family Tours in Wyoming and in California, welcoming children as young as 8.

“As a mother of two active children, I know what a joy it will be for parents – and grandparents – to watch their children explore the splendor of our national parks,” said Martin. “We will tailor activities to suit them, to assure a memorable experience for all ages.”

Parents and grandparents are encouraged to visit the TerraVelo Tours website and note the Family Focused tours scheduled in 2015, which feature designated children’s counselors; activities including movie night, cooking demonstrations and archery lessons for children and youngsters 8 to 15. Children’s rates are $5,850 with single bed accommodations in parents tents; youngsters 16 and over pay the adult rate.

TerraVelo Tours provides the busy professional, avid cyclist, and lover of breathtaking scenery, with an all-inclusive luxury camping escape with bicycling, horseback riding, massages and other amenities available to create life-long memorable experiences.

For more information or reservations visit www.TerraVeloTours.com or call 888-801-1446.

For more information, visit www.terravelotours.com.

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Bicycle Adventures offers 14 New Fall Tour Dates; $200 Off Bookings by July 31

July 16, 2014
Bicycle Adventures is extending summer with 14 new fall tour dates.

Bicycle Adventures is extending summer with 14 new fall tour dates.

Bicycle Adventures, a leader in North America bike tours, is extending summer with 14 new fall tour dates to make up for a wet and cool spring when folks couldn’t get on their bikes.

If booked by July 31, 2014, you can receive $200 off listed rates on newly scheduled fall adventures that are scattered around six states from late August into November.

Leavenworth Mountain Biking in Washington offers four days of back country fat tire riding and rafting. The per person rate is $1,365. The trip departs from Issaquah or Leavenworth departing Aug. 24 and Sept. 21.

Departing Sept. 14, 21 and 28 Bicycle Adventures’ San Juan Islands 6 Day Classic begins in Seattle for six days of cycling through lavender fields, exploring Friday Harbor, a shark reef sanctuary and more. The per person rate is $2,995.

Tucked between Oregon’s Blue Mountains and the Snake River is an astonishingly beautiful region, the Wallowa Mountains and the Eagle Cap Wilderness.Wallowas & Hells Canyon tour departs Sept. 15 for four scenic days at $2,195 per person.

Cyclists can explore eastern Oregon and the eye-popping terrain of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, one of Oregon’s Seven Wonders, on a four-day tour departing Sept. 20.  The John Day and Painted Hills tour runs $1,984 per person.

With temperatures getting crisper in the Pacific Northwest, the focus moves south toSanta Fe & Taos when a Sept. 28 six-day tour departs Santa Fe for $2,995 per person.  Arts and crafts, pueblos, southwestern cuisine and Spanish-style towns await discovery.

On Oct. 5 aMoab & Arches Classic tour departure focuses on six days in Utah’s natural playground graced by two national parks followed by Arizona’s Cactus Classicleaving Oct. 12.  The rate for the Moab trip runs $2,695 per person. The Cactus Classic spends six days in the land of Geronimo, Cochise and 250-year-old saguaro cactus. The rate is $2,895 for the trip that begins in Tucson.

The fall season wraps up in sunny California with four departures Oct. 27, Nov. 1, 6 and 11 inDeath Valley National Park. This four-day trip departs Las Vegas for the discovery of a stunning diversity of terrain: 200 miles of eerie salt flats, deceptively velvety sand dunes, crazy-stripe badlands, valleys, canyons, mountains and more. The per person rate is $1,984.

There are still a number of additional tours ideal for first time cyclists with good space remaining in the 2014 season. For more information, availability and reservations contact Bicycle Adventures by phone: 800.443.6060, email: office@bicycleadventures.com or visit online at: http://bicycleadventures.com/.

Scenic byways, four and five-star accommodations and local dining and visits to National Parks are trademarks of Bicycle Adventures, founded in 1984.  Types of tours include Classic (25-50 miles a day), Classic Plus (50-60 miles a day) and Epic (70+ miles a day with the most demanding terrain). Value-driven Casual category trips offer budget-conscious lodging and meals, with the same full van support.

Pre-set and custom tours embrace the Pacific Northwest into Canada, California and the Southwest, as well as Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, New York, Hawaii and New Zealand. Excelling in its own backyard the Issaquah, WA-based company also conducts tours into Washington State’s wine country.

Follow Bicycle Adventures:
Website: http://bicycleadventures.com/
Facebook: Bicycle Adventures
Twitter: @BikeAdventures

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Tuscany Wine and Bike 2014 Wine & Culinary Tours Lets You Savor Wine, Land & History at the Pace of a Bicycle

April 23, 2014
Tuscany Wine and Bike itineraries offer a triple helping of understanding the wine, land and history of Tuscany while experiencing the beauty of an outdoor excursion © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Tuscany Wine and Bike itineraries offer a triple helping of understanding the wine, land and history of Tuscany while experiencing the beauty of an outdoor excursion © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Tuscany Wine and Bike (TWB) announced their new 2014 Wine Tasting & Culinary Biking Tour Itineraries effective April 26, 2014 through September 27, 2014. Led by local freelance oenologist and Winemaker Carlo Travagli and cycling enthusiast Luca Casini, TWB tours trek on mountain bikes across the provinces of Siena, Firenze, Pisa and Pistoia through the scenic, historic Chianti Wine Region of Tuscany.

“Each itinerary is actually a ‘triple itinerary’ that provides our guests with an understanding of the wine & cuisine, area & geography, and the culture & history of the places we will explore,” says Travagli. “I created these tours to give people an intimate look at my home — this extraordinarily beautiful, dynamic agricultural and world renown wine growing region.”

On the TWB TOUR, participants will awaken their senses through the vibrant colors, intoxicating scents, and breathtaking sights as Tuscany’s most robust seasons dramatically unfold before them. Cycling through fragrant olive groves, rolling vineyards, vibrant sunflowers fields, majestic woods, and other fascinating scenic spots, participants will uncover the most authentic aspects of Tuscany, often missed and overlooked by visitors using conventional means of transportation.

Additionally they will:  

Discover the Pearls of Tuscany, the historical points of interests, churches and buildings rich with art, centuries-old villages and towns as they follow paths and ancient roads like the “via Francigena.”

Experience Tuscan life, people, culture and places traveling through towns and farmlands, with opportunities to stay overnight.

Learn about one of the world’s most famous winemaking regions, the microclimates, viticultural areas and revered varietals, and the role of its landscape and history.

Savor the distinct flavors of the countryside including the local harvests, cherished honey, succulent olives & oils, sumptuous salumi, handcrafted cheeses, and enjoy the regional artisan products and cuisine of TWB select regional partners.

Taste regional wines among the vineyards and cellars while visiting local estates, receiving both lessons and guided tastings by Travagli, an award-winning winemaker of Chianti, Chianti Classico (Gallo Nero Black Rooster), Sangiovese, and IGT Super Tuscan wines.

No rigorous physical conditioning is required for the majority of the TWB itineraries.

“Most of our itineraries are designed for tourists without extensive athletic training.” Travagli stresses. “It’s for pure enjoyment and we try very hard to match each itinerary with the interests, comfort level, and ability of our guests.”

However, for both intermediate and advanced cyclists, Travalgi and Casini have designed several challenging itineraries including the 7-day Bio Week Tour.  The Bio Week Tours have additional activities such as cooking lessons, donkey treks, and urban bike tours. Customized Tours are also available.  For more information, visit the Tuscany Wine and Bike website, Email TWB or call (+39)333 9206700.

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DuVine Cycling Introduces 4-Day Guided Bike Tour Itineraries to Tuscany, Burgundy, Provence

April 9, 2013

DuVine Cycling + Adventure Co. has been designing and leading luxury bike tours around the world since 1996, and they’ll now be extending their expertise to include four-day European tours. They have released these shorter itineraries for guided bike tours in Tuscany, Burgundy, and Provence, making DuVine one of the only mainstream US bike tour operators currently offering four-day guided tours.

Most of DuVine’s European tours include six day, five night itineraries, but with their new product, DuVine hopes to provide another option for those who are strapped for time. “We realize that people going to Europe on business don’t always have an entire week to spend cycling,” says Andy Levine, President and Founder of DuVine. “The four-day tour is a unique offering, exclusive in the marketplace—it’s a product that doesn’t currently exist for cycling vacations,” says Levine.

The new tours are also designed for travelers looking to try out a new way to travel. For those travelers who are new to cycling and may be hesitant to spend an entire week on a bike, DuVine’s four-day tours offer a relaxed alternative. “We want all travelers to learn what we already know—that biking is the very best way to travel,” says Levine. “The four-day tours allow beginning cyclists to experience true DuVine style with no pressure or stress,” says Levine.

In Provence, travelers will cycle through fields of sunflowers and asparagus, climb winding roads to farmers markets in medieval villages, and stroll through charming rural towns and breathtaking ruins. “Our guests will taste some of the best olive oils, truffles, and wine in the world, as well as Provençal specialties prepared by some of the region’s most prominent chefs,” says Levine.

On their four-day Tuscany tour, guests are invited to explore the iconic Tuscan countryside as they ride through gentle green hills and cypress-lined byways, stopping along the way for intimate cooking classes, a wine tasting at one of Italy’s most highly-acclaimed wineries, gourmet dinners, and relaxing at some of the most stunning luxurious villas in Italy. “Our seasoned guides call on their extensive local knowledge to orchestrate engaging and authentic visits, inviting travelers to partake of the best of the best throughout the world,” says Andy. “Welcome to the ride of your life!”

Find out more about DuVine’s new four-day tours as well as their classic, family, private, and couture tours at www.duvine.com.

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Italiaoutdoors Food and Wine’s May and June 2013 “Train like a Local” Cycling Tours

April 9, 2013

Ever wonder how top cyclists get ready for a race? (Hint: It doesn’t always involve doping.) From May 26 to June 1 and June 16-22, Italiaoutdoors Food and Wine offers “Train Like a Local,” an immersive, six-night steroid-free bike tour exploring the foothills south of the storied Dolomites, an area widely considered to be the preferred training ground for local and race teams. Focusing on the mid-mountains – climbs ranging between 900 and 1700 meters – the tour is an ideal introduction to riding at higher elevations, preparing cyclists for more challenging ascents. The tour attracts adventurists who share a passion for cycling and culinary pursuits, pairing challenging climbs with opportunities to sample the Germanic/Hungarian-influenced cuisine of Northeastern Italy. The tour is priced $3,695 per person, based on double occupancy, and includes accommodations, all ground transportation, guide services, all breakfasts and three dinners.

Expert cyclist and mountain guide Vernon McClure – recently named one of the “Great Tour Guides in Northern Italy” by Dream of Italy magazine — and cooking instructor and chef Kathy Bechtel ( also an avid biker) lead the tours, which feature cycling routes unknown to mainstream tour companies and introduce guests to magnificent regional cuisine and local wines.

Italiaoutdoors Food and Wine is an owner-operated private guide service, creating and guiding active culinary tours in Northeastern Italy. Unique in their ability to combine active biking, skiing and hiking adventures with world-class culinary programs — including tours with James Beard award-winning chefs — Italiaoutdoors customizes vacations for groups of 4 to 12 people. Italiaoutdoors has more than 15 years of recreational programming experience in the region, plus formal culinary and wine training. For more information or to receive Italiaoutdoors Food and Wine newsletter, recipes and wine information, visit www.italiaoutdoorsfoodandwine.com or Chef Kathy Bechtel’s blog at www.chefbikeski.com.

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Cyclomundo Expands Popular 3-Lake Cycling Tour of the Alps for 2013 To Appeal to All Levels

January 31, 2013

Cyclomundo has expanded its popular, visually intensive 3-Lake Cycling trip for 2013 with two options offering different trip itineraries and two daily mileage options to accommodate leisure cyclists as well as more advanced riders.

This world-class route, which lasts 5 nights and 6 days, links three major lakes in the region, namely, Lake Geneva, Lac du Bourget and Lake Annecy. One major element that makes Cyclomundo’s offerings different is that the company’s tours are now perfect for both leisure cyclists with less experience, as well as very serious riders who are interested in more challenging climbs. As a result, groups can enjoy cycling tours together even if they have different levels of expertise.

An easier version takes riders from Lake Geneva to Lac du Bourget to Lake Annecy, most done on very quiet roads and on bikeways.

A more arduous version for avid riders incorporates challenging climbs such as Le Grand Colombier.

Cyclomundo’s route includes historic villages, winemaking regions, beautiful natural scenery and river paths along the Rhone and Isere rivers. The trip starts in Geneva, where cyclists are encouraged to enjoy Switzerland’s culture and dining. Regardless of the option they select, cyclists travel through Seyssel and ultimately to Annecy, passing the Beaufortain and Bauges Mountains. As part of the package, clients stay in Annecy for one night. However, the company can book additional nights upon request.

This self-guided cycling tour is available from May through September, and it is priced at 610 euros per person sharing a room. Reservations can be made via Cyclomundo’s website at www.cyclomundo.com.

Cyclomundo was launched in 2003 by cycling enthusiast Bruno Toutain. In regards to the 3-Lake tour, Toutain states, “Through this trip, leisure cyclists can experience one of the most scenic area of the Alps without climbing hills. Plus, they can go at their own pace, allowing for a trip that is not only beautiful, but also relaxing.”

The company has also appeared in a wide variety of media outlets including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Cycling Plus. Further, Cyclomundo was awarded the “2011 Trip of the Year” award by Outside Magazine. While some supported tours are offered, the company primarily enables clients to take a self-guided approach. Rates include accommodations, daily breakfasts, and three dinners.

Cyclomundo offers a diverse array of cycling vacations: guided and self-guided, pre-arranged or customized, leisurely or challenging… even some based around cyclosportive events like the Etape du Tour. Tours are suited for independent riders, families, friends, and groups of varying levels – you can choose elements “a la carte” for your trip in all regions of France as well as some regions in Spain, Italy, and Switzerland. Based in France, Cyclomundo was born out of its founder’s life-long love of cycling. The company uses local experts who passionately share their heritage with guests and adhere to the principles of sustainable development. “Cyclomundo’s goal is for clients to experience the cultural, regional, historical and gastronomical heritage of their chosen destination and, of course, to have great, healthy fun on their bicycling adventure!”

CYCLOMUNDO, 18 rue Rene Cassin, Gaillard, French Alps, France 74000, Voice: +33 4 50 87 21 09, www.cyclomundo.com.

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Italiaoutdoors Offers ‘Chefs on Bikes’ Cycling Tour in Northern Italy, June 24-30

March 16, 2012

Italiaoutdoors, a provider of small-group, personalized recreational vacations in Northeastern Italy, announces their 2012 “Chefs on Bikes” tour, a guided cultural and cycling exploration of the culture, foods and wines of Northeastern Italy.

Scheduled for June 24-30, the 7-day/6-night tour invites cyclists to learn from the culinary expertise of Chef Kathy Bechtel and is priced at $3895 per person, based on double occupancy. With a route covering 20-35 miles per day, the tour travels through the Veneto at the foot of the Dolomite mountains and along the shores of the Adriatic Sea. Recognizing the different riding levels of participants, the small-group size (maximum 8) allows for daily customization, including longer rides, and an immersive culinary and cultural experience.

“Chefs on Bikes” follows one of the former trade routes that distributed spices and goods from the East throughout Western Europe, meandering through flat farmland, by 16th and 17th-century villas, around volcanic hills, and into the foothills of the Pre-Alps. Days begin with gentle, scenic bike rides, followed by a culinary exploration with cooking lessons and wine tastings led by Chef Bechtel. Accommodations are in elegant four-star villa hotels in Mira, Vicenza and Asolo. The program includes all transfers, all breakfasts and snacks, five dinners with wine, plus entry fees to museums and other venues. The program can also be scheduled as a private group trip of 4-12 cyclists.

Highlights of the trip are:

  • · A ride along the Brenta River, touring Palladian estates and the summer villas of the Venetian aristocracy
  • · A visit to Vicenza, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the city most closely associated with Andrea Palladio, noted Venetian architect of the 16th century
  • · Rides through the picturesque Berici Hills (Colli Berici) Wine Zone
  • · A visit to the medieval walled cities of Treviso, Castelfranco, and Cittadella
  • · Two nights in Asolo, a striking hilltop village with winding streets and a graceful piazza overlooking the valley
  • · A visit to Villa Cipriani, with a Bellini reception in the garden
  • · Six nights at opulent villas and hotels
  • · Two hands-on cooking classes, one with local chefs, and one with Chef and Italiaoutdoors Culinary Director Kathy Bechtel
  • · Daily wine tastings of Prosecco and the best of regional Veneto wines
  • · Tastings of regional culinary specialties at local trattorias featuring olive oils, risotto, polenta, Venetian frutti di mare, and spicy pasta dishes

Italiaoutdoors is an owner-operated specialty guide service, offering individualized programs for small groups seeking to explore the beauty and diverse culture of Northern Italy. Hiking, biking and skiing programs are offered in combination with a culinary and culture immersion in the area. Participants share a passion for a healthy lifestyle and an appreciation for the region’s history, beauty, culture, wines and culinary delights. Because of their small size, tours are adaptable to the fitness levels and interests of individual guests. Daily recreation is balanced with cooking lessons, wine tastings, fine meals and cultural explorations. www.italiaoutdoorsfoodandwine.com.

Programs Focus on Biking, Skiing and Hiking

Italiaoutdoors offers bike routes for the more relaxed cyclist or more challenging rides for the stronger rider wanting aggressive hill climbs and longer days in the saddle. Ski itineraries include lessons for all levels of skier or snowboarder, guided resort skiing or backcountry explorations, and alternate activities for the non-skier. Hikers can enjoy hut-to-hut treks across the spectacular Dolomites, or more leisurely day hikes with four-star accommodations. All tours include daily free time to discover and enjoy the culture and foods and wines that have made Italy a favorite destination.

For more information and reservations, visit www.italiaoutdoorsfoodandwine.com.

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