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Cycling Tour Levels

Like at the table for a meal, when you hit the road for a ride, your satisfaction depends a lot on how “hungry” you are. After 18+ years organizing tours and 35+ years riding, we have learned that motivation makes a big difference. Do you simply want to reach the top of the hill at your own speed? (Fast or slow is fine!) Or, do you want to push yourself to try to beat a previous record?

 

However you wish to enjoy your cycling vacation, we strongly recommend practicing on your own bike before the tour. Ideally, this means riding a type of bike similar to the one you plan to rent, and spending 2-5+ hours in the saddle at a time as we do on tour (we usually take also a break every ~15 miles at a bar/café, for lunch and cultural activities).

 

We also strongly encourage riding outdoors before coming on tour. Indoor riding is great for training, but our tours will take you on roads and sometimes bike paths, and it is important for you to get used to the environment---from wind, to changing temperatures, to sharing the road with other cyclists, vehicles, and people. 

 

We strongly discourage experimenting with any new components just before the tour such as brand-new clipless pedals or a never-before-tried type of handlebars. This is for your own safety, which is our Number 1 priority. As this is your vacation, we also want to help you enjoy it at the fullest!

 

Should you wish to shorten the route, you can feel free to hop into the support van and skip some of the riding. If you feel doubtful about your cycling ability, or simply don’t have enough time to practice before the tour, please remember that the support van is there for you. You do not have to complete all of the rides. Just jump on board, enjoy the company of the guide driving, and of the other guests who might be skipping the ride as well.

 

We offer 4 Cycling Tour Levels (Level 1 = easiest). Given our focus on food, we could not refrain from drawing inspiration from the typical Italian meal:

 

Level 1 – Antipasto (Appetizer)
Level 2 – Antipasto and Primo (Pasta) 
Level 3 – Antipasto, Primo and Secondo (Entrée)
Level 4 – Antipasto, Primo, Secondo and Dolce (Dessert)
 

See below for more detail and published tours corresponding to each level. Each level can become even easier if shortening the rides using the van, or can become one level higher adding extra mileage and elevation gain daily available on tour.If you plan on traveling with friends/family and would like a different level (easier or harder) from the rest of the group, please don't hesitate to contact us and we’ll be happy to assist you.

 

Buon appetito e buona pedalata! (enjoy your meal and have a good ride!)

Level 1 | Daily average between 20-35mi & elevation gain 500-1500ft

  • Expect mostly flat and rolling terrain with a few days featuring a few 1-2mi climbs between 2-7% grade
  • In general this level of tour does not include climbs at 8+% grade. If it happens it can be for a few times over a week for less than a mile
  • A few downhills will be possible. Remember that some roads can be narrow and steep!
  • If you have more steam you can daily add 10+ more miles and 500+ feet of elevation gain 

Cycling Tour in Puglia | Cycling Tour in Alentejo are our current journeys featured for this level.

Level 2 | Daily average between 25-35mi & elevation gain 1500-2250ft

  • Expect a few sections of flat and rolling terrain and, at times also three, four 1-4+mi climbs between 2-7% grade
  • This level can include some climbs at 8+% grade for a few times daily for a mile or so
  • There might be a few downhills featuring narrow and steep roads at times
  • If you have more steam you can daily add 10+ more miles and 1000+ feet of elevation gain 

Cycling Tour in Provence | Cycling Tour in Dordogne | Cycling Tour in Sicily | are our current journeys featured for this level.

Level 3 | Daily average between 30-40mi & elevation gain 2250-3000ft

  • Expect mostly rolling terrain and, at times also three, four or more 1-6+mi climbs between 2-8% grade
  • This level can include some climbs at 9+% grade for a few times daily for more than a mile or so
  • There might be some downhills featuring narrow and steep roads at times
  • If you have more steam you can daily add 10+ more miles and 1000+ feet of elevation gain 

Cycling Tour in Sardinia | Cycling Tour in Istria | Cycling Tour in Piedmont | Cycling Tour in Liguria | Cycling Tour in Tuscany | Cycling Tour in Sicily (with Etna Ascent) | Cycling Tour in Tuscany and Eroica | Cycling Tour in Catalonia | Cycling Tour in Mallorca | are our current journeys featured for this level.

Level 4 | Daily average between 30-50+mi & elevation gain 3000-5000+ft

  • Expect mostly climbs and descents, at least three, four or more 1-10+mi climbs between 5-9% grade
  • This level can include some climbs at 10+% grade for a few times daily for more than 2-4+mi or so
  • There might be more downhills than previous levels and featuring narrow and steep roads at times
  • If you have more steam you can daily add 12+ more miles and 2000+ feet of elevation gain 

Cycling Tour in the Dolomites | Cycling Tour in Corsica | Cycling Tour in Abruzzo and Molise | are our current journeys featured for this level.

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