The PezCycling Travel & Tours section hosts our own personal accounts of top rides and places we’ve visited, places to stay, eat & drink, compiled over more than 10 years of chasing pro cycling. As much as we love the sport of procycling, riding our bikes on the hallowed roads of our playing fields is even better. Be it a Classic, the Giro or Tour, the Worlds or a national Tour, riding your bike on the same roads as the pros is a luxury that sets cycling apart. Let us know if you’ve got a Top Ride or Travel story worth sharing with other readers at Content@PezCyclingNews.com.
On an early March day this year Robert Panzera headed out into the spectacular countryside of San Diego County, California for a recon of the famous Dirty Devil Ultra Century Ride. This unique ride takes in 28 miles of packed dirt roads, amazing scenery, 11,000 feet of ascent (3,350 m) and makes for a perfect - and yet challenging ride.
The best GC riders in the world will be hitting the picturesque and very hilly roads of Central Italy this Saturday to take on the 226km, Stage 4 of the Tirreno-Adriatico but before they do our Italian photographer Ale checked the stage out for himself. What he found was some magic scenery, some simply superb riding but also one very difficult day for the riders. Here's his tale.
Our literary editor, Leslie Reissner, doesn't just read books, he also rides his bike as much as he can. In honour of the first cobbled Classics last week, Leslie has relived his ride on the Rik van Steenbergen Classic in deepest Belgium. Bring on Flanders and Roubaix!
One of my favorite rides in recent memory, and possibly ever – was a loop from Bellagio, up the Madonna del Ghisallo, then the Colma di Sormano, and back along the shores of Lake Como to my base at Il Perlo Panorama.
Over a lifetime of cycling the roads of our sport, a few stand out: the fun ones, the beautiful ones, and the brutal ones - where you suffer like you never knew possible. Riding your bike up the Mortirolo in Northern Italy is all three, and ranks up there with the Stelvio and Gavia as epic climbs one must do.
As part of our stay with Garda Bike Hotel for the Pez 10th Anniversary, we signed up to ride the GF Damiano Cunego in nearby Verona. Our hosts Nicola & Alberto know the region, the people, and handled all the details for our stay in Lake Garda, which left nothing for us to do except enjoy the ride.
France From Inside Tours specializes in cycling holidays in southern France. One of their most popular trips is the epic Conquer the Pyrenees, 12 days riding 1000 miles from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean and back, climbing over 94,000 feet. The company owner and lead guide, Allan Reeves, explains how next year’s 6th presentation of this marathon ride unfolds.
Photog David Pearce is on the ground for the Tour Down Under, and as an accomplished travel and wine journo, was keen to visit the McLaren Vale region to ride and have a look at some of the roads that will be ridden on stage 4, with the requisite stops for food & drink along the way.
The South of France's Languedoc region is a beautiful place to visit with its spectacular scenery, history, food and wine but it's also one of the best places in the world to ride a bike. Small roads through tiny, historic villages, vineyards, forests and a good collection of medium mountains, make it as amazing as the tourist guides promised as PEZ's Chris Selden recently found out.
Paris, France - the city of love, the Eiffel Tower, le Louvre and... traffic jams. Could Paris really be a destination for a PEZ 'Top Ride'? Well, yes as just 35km South-West of the capital is the gorgeous Vallée de Chevreuse where the cows, sheep and forest replace the hustle and bustle of the big city making it an ideal playground for cyclists.
For the very first time, the 2013 Tour de France took on the mythical Alpe d'Huez twice in one day by descending and then ascending the little known Col de Sarenne. In June of that year, just before the Dauphiné tested out the roads and much needed roadworks were completed, PEZ's man in France, Chris Selden cycled the route on a simply epic 150km and 4800m elevation day.
The world of cycling is truly diverse, encompassing sports, transportation, technology and social history. Set at a human scale, many of its stories and artifacts have been lost over the last century but much too has been saved.
CONGRATULATIONS: To long time PEZ-Fan Hannu Heikkilä of Finland - the winner of our cycling week holiday in Lake Garda. This could be the best week of his life - superb riding in Italy's famous lakes district, local guides who know the best roads, amazing Italian food & drink, and a luxurious stay at a newly renovated family-run boutique hotel with the guys at Garda Bike Hotels.
Stage 20 of the 2015 Giro d'Italia serves up the 2148m high Colle della Finestre as its final battle ground. I logged one of my all time Top Rides here in 2005 as Il Falco swooped to a 28 second GC victory from Gilberto Simoni. Here's how the day played out...
The 2015 Giro d'Italia starts in Liguria - one of my favorite regions of la bell'Italia. I've spent some quality time here and can attest the area is filled with excellent rides along the coast and into the mountains that define it. This ride from Levanto to Sestri Levante is a classic.
The signature climb of the Giro di Lombardia summits at the famous Madonna del Ghisallo church, high above Lake Como in Northern Italy. This tiny 'chiesa' is home to the Patron Saint of Cyclists, and is a must see on any trip to the region...
So far the tv coverage of racing in Ponferrada has been anything but picturesque, so PEZ took a trip to the nearby ancient and scenic caves of Las Medulas for a taste of local culture, chorizo suasages, and gelato.
We usually think of Europe when it comes to cyclist-friendly people and cultures, a completely different experience than what we get at home in North America. But Guadeloupe is much closer to home, and as we recently discovered, is also home to a people who absolutely love cyclists, and cycling.
The 2014 Tour de France stage 14 parcours to the summit finish at Risoul promises to be a cracker taking in the Col du Lautaret and Col d'Izoard before the final 13km throw down to the day's 3rd hors category climb. PEZ saddled up for a closer look...
With the likes of Carlos Betancur, Nairo Quintana and Rigoberto Uran, Colombia has seen a real resurgence in the pro peloton in the last few years. PEZ's Nate King went to Medellin, Colombia to get some first hand experience of where these guys train - and no surprises - it's far from flat!