Food And Wine Bike Tours Visit Italy’s Dolomite Mountain Range

Food And Wine

Food and wine may already be an embedded focus of vacation plans for many travelers. It’s not something to put on a to-do list, pencil in on an itinerary or even think all that much about when traveling. But maybe it should be. Travel companies feature and package food and wine bike tours in sizes that fit just about anyone and in 2013, there are plenty of them.

Discovering and experiencing unique cuisine around the world can make for rich, vivid travel memories. Tasting a wine in the region it was created can make us fans of a label for life.

ItaliaOutdoors Food and Wine is a private guide service that creates biking, skiing and hiking adventures with world-class culinary programs. Last year, in Bike Tour Cycles Through Culture, Food In Italy, Gadling shared information about ItaliaOutdoors‘ Summer Chefs On Bikes Tour. That seven-day, June 2012 event took cyclists on one of the former trade routes that distributed spices and goods from the East throughout Western Europe.

This year, ItaliaOutdoors has several bike tours through the Dolomite mountain range in northeast Italy, starting this spring. Each tour is a challenging climb and riding exploration that gets up close and personal with Italy’s rich culinary heritage.

Train Like a Local – May 26 to June 1, 2013
As close to a beginner/intro bike tour as one might get, this one focuses on climbs ranging between 900 and 1700 meters in the foothills of the Dolomites. Train Like a Local prepares cyclists for more challenging climbs in the upper Dolomites and the Alps. Along the way, group members sample regional cuisine and discover local wines unknown beyond the area.
The tour repeats September 1-7, 2013.The Agony and the Ecstasy tour – June 9 to 15, 2013
For more experienced cyclists, this tour brings one of the hardest climbs in northeast Italy. Designed for cyclists who have trained hard and are ready for difficult climbs, this tour features the regions of Veneto, Trentino-Alto Adige and Friuli Venezia, with stops to sample and savor local delicacies such as prosciutto, homemade gnocchi and grappa.

The Classic Climb tour – July 7 to 13, 2013
Adventure travelers will like that this tour traces a path through the heart of the Dolomites, combining little-known passes with the rigorous bike climbs that have made the region a sought-after destination for cyclists. Experiencing the blend of Italian and Austrian/Germanic cultures that define the region, expert cyclist and mountain guide Vernon McClure and cooking instructor and chef Kathy Bechtel, also an avid biker, will be along for the ride. The tour repeats September 8-4, 2013.

Limiting groups of 12 people or less, ItaliaOutdoors makes daily customization and refinement changes to itineraries, based on participants’ interests, pacing and real-time finds along the way.

ItaliaOutdoors also features private bike tours where a custom trip is planned and your tour is personally led by their owner/expert guides, as we see in this video:




Other sources for cycling tours include the Bike Tour Network, BackRoads and Bike Tours Direct.

[Photo Credit-Flickr user will_cyclist]

Take A Cycling Tour Of Brooklyn

Get Up and Ride Cycling Tour of BrooklynWith its rich history and ethnic influence, Brooklyn remains one of the most interesting and unique places to visit in all of New York City. The borough features numerous neighborhoods that exude equal parts big city sophistication and small town charm, and the local cuisine, heavily influenced by its immigrant roots, is simply heavenly. Put simply, a visit to NYC isn’t complete without a visit to Brooklyn and now travelers have a new option for exploring the city in the form of Get Up and Ride – Brooklyn’s first cycling tour company.

Cycling tours continue to grow in popularity and Brooklyn seems tailor-made for exploring on a bike. With that in mind, Get Up and Ride offers two different tours that vary in duration, distance and price. The Classic Tour, for instance, is just 10 miles in length and takes approximately 3 to 3.5 hours to complete. Riders visit such neighborhoods as Greenpoint, Brooklyn Heights and the Brooklyn Navy Yard while making stops for food and drinks in the Dekalb Market. The tour, which features excellent views of Manhattan, even wraps up with a ferry ride at the end of the day.

Stretching five hours in length and covering a distance of 15 miles, the Best of Brooklyn Tour requires a bit more of a commitment. Riders will pedal deeper into the heart of the borough itself and get an even better sense of its urban setting. The route takes them through some of the same places as the Classic Tour but adds Clinton Hill, Fort Green and extended looks at some of the other neighborhoods. The stop at the market and ferry ride remain a part of this itinerary as well. The Best of Brooklyn Tour runs $95 while The Classic is priced at just $65.

The company uses bikes that are designed to be fun, comfortable and easy to ride so even if it has been awhile since you’ve ridden you should feel right at home. Safety is of the utmost concern so tours stay on routes with dedicated bike lanes and each participant is issued a helmet at the start of the ride. Group size is limited to just 8 people, which not only helps to keep the group organized but provides for a more intimate experience.

Tours run nearly every day but you’ll want to check the calendar for availability. For more information, or to book a tour, visit the Get Up and Ride website or Facebook page.

Doomsday Bicycle Tour Lets You Ride To The End Of The World

Tour d'Afrique's Doomsday Tour of La Ruta Maya What do you want to be doing when the world ends in December? If your answer is exploring Mayan temples ruins, gazing upon volcanoes and waterfalls, and basking in Central America‘s warm autumn sun all from the seat of your mountain bike, then Tour d’Afrique has a pretty epic tour for you to consider.

Tour d’Afrique’s Doomsday Ride is a 2,300-kilometer (1,429-mile) transcontinental bike expedition along the “Ruta Maya” timed to coincide with the end of the world according to the Mayan Calendar. The trek begins in San Jose, Costa Rica, on November 17, 2012, and follows a winding, but well-scouted, route through Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and Belize. It concludes at the Lamani Mayan Temple outside of Belize City, Belize, on December 21, 2012 – the supposed date of the apocalypse.

Along the way, participants will get to check out Mayan ruins at Tikal and Copan; the great colonial architecture in the city of Granada, Nicaragua’s erstwhile capital; and villages, markets, rainforests, volcanoes, crater lakes and many other slices of life and nature off of the tourist track. If you can’t take off for the full five weeks of the expedition, Tour d’Afrique offers three shorter sections that average between 10 days and two weeks.

To learn more about the tour, the route, rates and schedules, check out Tour d’Afrique’s La Ruta Maya – the Doomsday Ride Blog.

Travel company to host third annual cycling film festival

A cycling film festival  that could earn you a free trip!Ciclismo Classico, an adventure travel company that specializes in bike tours, has put out a call for entries for their third annual film festival to be held later this spring. The event gives aspiring filmmakers the chance to show off their skills, while also earning them an opportunity to win a cycling trip of their choice.

The event, which is the only film fest in the U.S. dedicated solely to bike travel, will take place May 17th in the Regent Theater in Arlington, MA. The evening will feature some of the best short, independent films that highlight the joy and adventure of two-wheeled travel, whether that’s around the block or around the globe. The only stipulations are that the film must be between 3 minutes and one hour in length and focuses exclusively on cycling travel.

The entry fee for the competition is just $25, although entries received before February 1st receive a $5 early-bird discount. All submissions are due by March 1st and the selection committee will notify the filmmakers of their inclusion in the festival by early April. The ultimate winner, which will be selected by a grand jury on the night of the festival, will receive a Ciclismo Classico cycling tour valued at $2600. An additional winner will be awarded at the event based on an audience vote as well.

Whether you’re an amateur who enjoys making your own movies, or the next Spielberg looking for your big break, this is a great opportunity. Not only do you have the chance to screen your short film in front of a live audience (other than your mom!), but you could also go home with a free trip too.

New Book celebrates 10 years of the Tour d’Afrique

The Tour d'Afrique celebrates ten yearsThe Tour d’Afrique is a legendary cycling event that runs from Cairo to Cape Town on an annual basis. Covering more than 7500 miles, and requiring four months to complete, the Tour is a popular “bucket list” item for adventure travelers and cyclists the world over. This year, the Tour d’Afrique commemorates its tenth anniversary, and to celebrate, the company behind the epic event has released a fantastic coffee table book entitled 10: Celebrating Ten Years of the Tour d’Afrique Bicycle Race and Expedition.

The book begins with a forward written by Tour founder Henry Gold. A decade ago, when he first pitched the idea of a bike ride across Africa, Gold was met with skepticism to say the least. Many thought that it simply wasn’t possible for an event like this one to exist and he was regularly told he was crazy for even considering it. Ten year later, Gold has turned his idea into a yearly event, and his adventure travel company produces similar cycling tours in a host of other locations across the globe.

10 is filled with stories from the road, as riders share tales, quotes, and anecdotes of their own experiences from the Tour. For some, it was a life altering experience for others an adventure of a lifetime, but no one who has taken part in the journey has come away unchanged. Their words are likely to inspire readers to want to join Tour as well, and even if you haven’t been on a bike in years, you may find yourself dreaming of pedaling under African skies. The book doesn’t try to hide the challenges of the ride, which range from oppressive heat to unexpected downpours, not to mention ever changing road conditions, but the amazing beauty of Africa and the camaraderie that is formed amongst the riders, will have a universal appeal all the same.

If the words of the riders don’t inspire you than perhaps the amazing photographs contained in this book will. 10 is a visual love letter to cycling, adventure travel, and most importantly, Africa itself. The 252 page volume is packed with breathtaking images that have been compiled over the past decade and capture the spirit of the Tour very well. Not only do those photos show the day-to-day experiences of the ride, but they also manage to convey a sense of wonder at the countries and environments that the riders pass through, as well as the people that live there.

If you have a cyclist or adventure traveler on your holiday shopping list, than this book is sure to be a hit. Just be warned, after reading it, they may feel compelled to join the ride themselves. Africa is most definitely calling.