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
Cycling Tour in Puglia | Cycling Tour in Alentejo | Cycling Tour in Alto Adige-South Tyrol & Trentino are our current journeys featured for this level.
Level 2 | Daily average between 25-35mi & elevation gain 1500-2250ft
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
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
Cycling Tour in the Dolomites | Cycling Tour in Corsica | Cycling Tour in Abruzzo and Molise | are our current journeys featured for this level.