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.
Lombardia Ride: Sometimes you gotta point the car at the cliff and give ‘er some stick. Okay, maybe heading out for an awesome solo ride may not be quite the same... but sometimes heading into the unknown is best approached with a ‘give ‘er’ attitude, and as I once again learned on this awesome ride around Lago di Como, the rewards can be worthy of a lifetime.
TOP RIDE: I'm still basking in the afterglow of the 2016 RBC Gran Fondo Whistler - a big goal accomplished in better form than I'd expected. And after weeks of prep, and all the logistics of coordinating the family for the weekend, and over 5 hours on my bike, it all went by a little too fast.
“Eighteen and a half kilometers to enter the myth,” reported RCS Sport, describing this year’s return of the Gran Fondo La Marmotte–Sestriere–Colle delle Finistre cyclo sportive ride on July 24th, the second edition. Over 1,000 riders set out and PEZ talked to two of them for a riders' perspective on a Top Ride.
Tour Stage Preview: The ASO certainly knows how to put on a spectacle. Each year, the Grand Depart is feted and celebrated, usually more for its cultural iconography than its significance for the actual race itself. So if setting the table at Mont St Michel, then it is only fitting to conclude the world’s most popular bike race in the shadow of Europe’s most iconic mountain, Mont Blanc.
One of the best reasons for choosing a good bike hotel is their skill to show me the best their region has to offer - like routes, rides, food & drink that I simply could not find on my own. This ride (and subsequent wine tasting) never would have have happened without my guide from Garda Bike Hotel leading me on a relaxed ride through the hills of valpolicella and an even more relaxed stop at the Santa Maria Valverde winery.
PEZ Roadside: Our PEZ-man in London, Sam Larner, managed a surprise week-end in the Pyrenees to do a bit of 'Roadside' Tour watching on stage 8 on the Col de Peyresourde above Bagnères-de-Luchon. Not to miss out on any of the atmosphere, Sam joined the fans with his tent and a can of beer for the French Grand Tour experience.
TDF Stage 12 PREVIEW: Thursday the Tour de France will climb Mt. Ventoux, it's a mythical place, steeped in history and the site of many great battles. Remember Armstrong vs Pantani in 2000? Or Eros Poli in 1994 when he lost 15 minutes on the mountain but still won the stage. In 2013 we added another battle to the history books as PEZ's Chris Selden took on 30 other journos from around the world in climbing Mt. Ventoux.
The Carpegna climb is best known as Marco Pantani's favorite training ground - and at 11%+ grades for 7km - it was a perfect place for the late climbing sensation to hone his legendary skills. I'd long wanted to ride it for myself, and got the chance this year while visiting the bike Hotel Lungomare in Cesenatico.
Inside the last 3km to the summit of the 21.5km Col du Glandon, the air gets thin as we approach 1924m elevation, the road tilts to 11% grades, and each meter seems longer than the last one. There's a reason they call this one 'Hors Category'.
Congratulations to Bill Buckton of Port Elgin ON - winner of the one week cycling holiday for two with Bici Amore Mio at Italy's best bike hotels. As a loyal PEZ-Fan, Bill is duly excited to start planning one of the best riding weeks of his life.
The 2016 Giro d'Italia comes to its grand finalé in the northern City of Turin on Sunday, but there is much more to the Piedmont region than big mountain climbs. Peter Easton of VeloClassic Tours takes us on a culinary and cultural journey through Torino as the peloton readies its self for the last battles.
The 2016 Giro d'Italia will start properly at the weekend as it launches into the final week of continuous mountain climbing. First on the menu are the Dolomites and who better to give us some background on cycling the 'Stone Cathedrals' than Peter Easton of VeloClassic Tours.
The Giro d'Italia will visit Tuscany this weekend with a time trial in the heart of one of the world's most famous wine regions - Chianti. Sunday's race against the clock is important, but it's only a small part of the history and tradition of Tuscan cycling. Peter Easton knows his cycling and Tuscany, we let him take up the story of the cycling heartland of Toscana.
Going further and bringing less stuff is the goal of this inaugural Portland Brevet - not an easy task for most cyclists. But riding self-supported can be an adventure unto itself, that frees the mind and body to fully immerse in the pleasures of going somewhere on your bike.
Top Ride: The culmination of my visit to Holy Week was the long anticipated, much feared, and never completed ride across the parcours of Paris-Roubaix. Finally I learned what it was like to battle the toughest roads in northern France and earn my own lap of honour at the Roubaix velodrome.
TRAVEL: France From Inside Tours' "Conquer the Pyrenees" trip cycles 1000 miles and climbs over 100,000 feet from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean - and back. Stage 2 tackles the Col d'Aubisque as a warm up to a 110 mile day riding backroads across the Pyrennean foothills and is just one of 12 amazing days of riding.
La Resistance is a brand new one-day, gravel and tarmac cycling challenge in the French Alps which pays tribute to the heroic men and women of the French Resistance who battled for freedom in the Second World War. Ross Muir was lucky enough to be invited on the inaugural Pioneers Ride in October of last year.
Travel: How hard is too hard? We’re going to find out. In honor of our 14th year, Thomson Bike Tours is proud to introduce our latest and greatest challenge: a 14 day trip concept whose sole purpose is to conquer as many HC climbs as possible.
Great scenery, a spectacular climb and a twice as long descent, the Col de la Madone climb along France’s cote d’Azur is must do for any fan of great rides. The capper was meeting up with a PEZ-Fan who lives nearby for a great day on the bike.
Travel: Climbing is one of the most polarizing aspects of cycling - both mentally and physically challenging, it’s one of the hardest parts of riding your bike. Peter Thomson, owner of Thomson Bike Tours, offers three spectacular climbing trips to test your boundaries, push you a little harder, and ultimately, redefine what you thought were your limits.