We are pleased to present our Cycle Legs rides for 2013. Once again we have lived up to our reputation for being the ‘Pioneers with Ideas’ as we have put together rides that will introduce you to countries whose history and buildings date back to Biblical times.
These tours take you to fascinating places through Turkey, Greece, Italy and France, fully supported with local tour guides. leg 22 is a wonderful trip from Rome, through Tuscany to Turin. Book today or give us a call - we look forward to having a chat.
Cycle Legs rides are designed not just as a bike tour to get from A to B, but a way to experience the cultures, people, environments and ways of life across the globe. These rides are not just a tour, but an achievement. We cycle mostly back-roads off the beaten track and through famous historic cities, past rivers, lakes and over mountains. You are beating a new path with AllTrails and you are part of the expedition. It is something that you can be proud of completing, yet it is within reach of most adventurous cyclists who are willing to commit to solid training, resulting in being able to cycle at 25kph on a flat road under normal conditions.
This bicycling journey begins in the eternal city of Rome where you will be greeted with a welcome dinner, then travels up through picturesque Tuscany and over the Apennine Mountains to Emilia Romagna. We see some really important cultural and historical sites such as San Gimignano, Siena (optional), Pisa (optional) and the classic Tuscany region of the val D’Orcia and its towns (UNESCO world heritage site and one of our local guides' favourite places in all of Italy). A rest day in Lucca is a highlight. These are some of the most visited Italian sites (the val d’Orcia has Montepulciano and Montalcino, renowned for their red wines).
The finale of this leg comes with our arrival in Turin, designated the first capital of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861, the home of the House of Savoy, and the leader in uniting Italy under one flag (also home of automotive industries like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and Ducati).
Along the way we will learn about the unique features and customs of 9 of Italy's 20 regions as we pedal along quiet roads through country towns, past medieval and renaissance castles and cities. Of course there will also be ample opportunities to sample some of each region's finest wines and foods. Join us for this pioneering bicycling expedition.
Our departure date from Rome is on the same day as the start of the 2013 Tour de France. Some of you might be heading home after arriving in Turin but most will carry on with us on Leg 23 from Torino to Paris where we cycle some of the famous Tour de France routes before heading into wine country then catching the final day of the Tour in Paris around the streets of Champs-Elysees.
Leg 22 Highlights:
The ancient city and cultural history of Rome before the tour starts
Tuscany, Lucca, Emilia Romagna, San Gimignano, the val D’Orcia (UNESCO world heritage site)
The val d’Orcia has Montepulciano and Montalcino, renowned for their red wines
Optional side trips to Pisa, Sienna
Pedal the Apennines of Italy
Torino, the first capital of a unified Italy
Leg 22 departs one day before the start of Tour de France 2013
Leg 23 finishes one day before the Tour de France Champ-Elysees finish in Paris
FRIDAY, 2ND AUGUST 2013
Written by Cyclist
I had a great time and the cycling has gone to the next level of fitness since return. The highlight would be the ride up Galibier and Alpe D Huez. Based on what I saw at the top of Galibier, the pain was worth it! The guides Enrico, Lisa and Craig were great and all have the personalities to ensure all enjoyed their rides. John O (QLD) Rome to Paris 2013
FRIDAY, 2ND AUGUST 2013
Written by Cyclist
What a wonderful trip - it really has been everything I expected and more. Truly the trip of a life time. Rita G (QLD) Rome to Paris 2013 (pictured centre)
THURSDAY, 1ST AUGUST 2013
Written by Cyclist
Thanks for the FANTASTIC Rome to Paris trip – it exceeded my expectations! I really enjoyed the freedom to ride at my own pace, either alone or with others, always knowing that there was support not too far away if required. The guides did a great job. There are so many positives, it was truly great. On a trip with many many riding highlights – Galibier stands out as the greatest. The weather was perfect, the views spectacular, the company great, and the descent a real buzz. I am so glad I took on the optional extra. Hopefully I will see you again on future rides in Australia and/or overseas. Phil M (QLD) Rome to Paris 2013
THURSDAY, 1ST AUGUST 2013
Written by Cyclist
I must say we had an amazing trip and couldn’t recommend it highly enough. Mel W (QLD) Rome to Paris 2013
Question not answered below?
Feel free to contact us at any time through our website ‘Contact Us’ page, phone or email. We love what we do and want to get you on the best bike ride for you. Speak to us about what's on your mind and we'll help you make your decision.
Why Book With Us?
This is your chance to be on a once in a lifetime tour, cycling through countries and areas that are off the beaten track and offer a cycling experience like no other. Being part of of our Cycle Legs rides from Australia to London is not just a bike tour but your chance to do something so different and out of the ordinary that it will give you stories to tell for years to come.
On Cycle Legs Europe 2013 from Turkey to Italy, Phil and Susan McDonald, the owner-operators of the business, will be on tour with you as riders, organisers and tour leaders along with our local tour operators & guides. The safety and confidence that comes with that is one of many great reasons to book your cycling holiday with us.
AllTrails is a proud Australian owned company with a great reputation in the bicycle tour industry. We have earned that reputation through hard work and dedication and we sincerely care about every person on every tour. Our large community of loyal AllTrails riders that keep coming back year after year are testament to the high standard of tours that we provide. We consider ourselves the best in the business and we always make sure that our tours represent great value at a fair price.
What pace/ability do I need to participate in a Cycle Legs ride?
These Cycle Legs Europe tours will average just over 100km per day so to ride the full distance each day you really need to be a reasonably keen cyclist, however not necessarily fast, but consistent.
In most cases we will head out early after a good breakfast and be finished the full day's ride by mid afternoon. If you want to do the full distance each day, try to get to a point in your training where you are comfortable riding 20-25/km per hour on the flat which is the speed that we will cruise at under good, flat cycling conditions.
We suggest that you do most of your training on the bike, on the road – not indoors on a trainer. On the road you are getting the goods and the bads of cycling, especially passing traffic, potholes, people and other obstacles. Try to get up to a level where you can ride a 125km distance for 2 days in a row or more. A training schedule will be sent to you in your welcome pack after you make your deposit - let us know if you would like to see this today and we will send you one.
Meals and Food
Always a big part of any cycling holiday! Our emphasis is on fresh food and a balanced diet with plenty of carbohydrates, proteins, fruit and vegies catering for a cycling holiday. We successfully cater to most dietary requirements, however feel free to contact us with any questions. We provide daily quality breakfasts and most dinners. You will be required to purchase some meals however there are plenty of great bakeries and cafes along the way for you to pick up lunches and snacks as you wish. See the 'Day to Day' tab for more details, or click the 'Generate Itinerary' button.
What is the accommodation like on tour?
Comfortable 3 and 4 star hotels and country estates
Accommodation of the most suitable standard is chosen on research trips of the route. All rooms have en suite facilities, and are usually at least at a 3 star level but in the bigger towns we can source great 4 star properties. In the smaller villages or more rural areas we often get lovely and interesting accommodation full of character and personality, or a country estate to enjoy for the evening.
We choose accommodation that is bicycle friendly, with good restaurants and near to town centres.
Sharing rooms – how does it work?
On the online entry form you can nominate any travelling companions that you would like to share a room with and/or be accommodated close to so that couples or friends can be grouped together. This can be in a double bed or in twin beds. If you are travelling alone like some of our riders, you can choose to 'twin share' where single riders are paired with other riders of the same gender and changed at each accommodation to create interest in sharing rooms. Single Supplement is also available for those who would like their own room for the whole trip. If you are a chronic snorer or have other habits that may affect your fellow room-mates we suggest booking your own room.
Not a problem! You’ll find other like-minded cycling companions taking part in our rides. If you’re a solo traveller we will pair you with other solo travellers of the same gender in twin share accommodation or you can opt for Single Supplement (additional cost) to receive a room of your own.
Snorers can enjoy their own room
If you are a chronic snorer or have other habits that may affect your fellow room-mates we suggest booking your own room (single supplement cost). This is not just a courtesy to your fellow travelling companions, but will also give you the space & privacy you need to enjoy your sleep after a long day on the bike.
Is the riding safe?
European motorists have a great reputation for being cyclist-considerate. We at AllTrails have a great safety record however cyclists have to play their part in keeping well over to the side of the road where possible. You will also be briefed before each day's ride pointing out parts of the road that may get narrow or have any known hazards.
What is the weather likely to be?
Our tours have been specifically scheduled to take into consideration the best time of year to travel to that destination. This takes into account the temperate range, possible rainfall and the prevailing winds. Of course, we can’t ever control the weather however this only adds to the adventure and excitement of your travel experience!
For more specific weather and climate information visit www.bom.gov.au or for our international tours visit www.worldweather.org
Can I rent a bike?
Yes, you can hire a bike and we encourage you to do so. Hiring a bike will help you avoid any hassles that arise on occasion with travelling on airlines with bicycles. You can also bring your own seat and/or pedals to give you that little bit of 'home comfort'.
Hire bikes available:
Road Bike: with 'drop' handle bars, 30 speeds and 700 X 25 tires. Lightweight, responsive and comfortable Van Nicholas Titanium frame bikes. Bikes come with a combination of Shimano Ultegra and 105 components.
Hybrid Bike: flat handlebars, 700 X 35 tires and an innovative internal hub gearing system that offers you the same range as a traditional 27-speed hybrid. Originally designed as a compromise that blended the efficiency of a road bike with the trail-worthiness of a mountain bike, hybrids have become a popular choice with riders who prefer a flat handlebar and a more upright position.
Hybrid Mixte Bike: (sometimes called 'womens bikes') hybrid bikes with a step-through frame for shorter people or for people who don't want to swing their leg over a standard frame's top tube. Internal hub gearing system that emulates 27 speeds and 700 X 35 tires.
When you make your booking just tick the box for bike hire and we will organise it for you.
What bike mechanical assistance is provided
A tour guide with bike mechanical knowledge will be part of our crew and will have most items that are required, including a good stand-pump for different valves. Cyclists with rare or different bikes are asked to contact us at AllTrails as parts can often be very difficult to obtain.
What kind of bike is best?
Road bike is best but you could also choose a hybrid or mountain bike with slick tyres. Contact us to discuss the terrain of your chosen leg(s). In some places that we go to, bike shops and spare parts can sometimes be difficult to find so you need a good reliable bicycle.
We can organise bike rental through our local contacts in Europe.
A specialist road bike is best on our European route as the roads are generally very good although flat handlebars will give you more stability and maneuverability and you will also be able to increase your awareness of the amazing scenery and atmosphere from a more upright position.
A strong, light frame, straight or drop bars and comfortable seating position. Smooth road tyres, triple crank set, with 15 gears or more. This ride is about seeing the scenery, the lifestyle of the local people and the many things that present themselves on the journey.
ALL BIKES NEED:
- Good braking system.
- New tyres (smooth road surface tyres, no nobby tyres)
- New tubes
- Rear-vision mirror. Cyclists often deviate a metre or two out on to the roadway when turning their neck around to see what is behind them, so a mirror is very helpful to see who and what are behind you and how close. When you get used to using one they are great.
- Triple chain ring. There are a few hills that are quite steep and a triple chain ring on the front set is a handy helper when you have run out of gears when climbing.
We also strongly suggest:
- Allen key set (self serve)
- Bike computer to keep track of your distance, speed, elevation etc.
- Bum bag for your camera and other valuables.
Do I need to carry anything on my bike?
We suggest you carry a spare tube, a full water bottle and your own personal goods such as camera, wallet and perhaps rain gear if it’s threatening. We transport your luggage, day packs, food & extra water. A detailed list of what is required and provided will be sent to you in your pre-tour info pack.
What sorts of people join our rides?
People from all parts of Australia and overseas. Ages generally range from 30 - 70 with the average age about 50 years old. Adventurous cyclists usually about 40% women & 60% men with a mix of singles, friends and couples.
Do I need a Visa?
In many cases you will need a visa to enter countries on our Cycle Legs route. A visa is a form of permission for a non-citizen to enter, transit or remain in a particular country. We do not issue visas for overseas travel and cannot provide definitive information on visas. Only the representatives of the countries you plan to visit can provide up-to-date information about their visa requirements. For all countries, contact your nearest embassy or consulate of the country you intend to visit well in advance of travel. For Australian passport holders, additional advice can be found on the Smartraveller website www.smartraveller.gov.au.
Do I need Travel Insurance?
Yes, yes, yes. Make sure that you are covered for every country that you are travelling to and ensure that you are covered from and including the day you leave and arrive back home. Due to the nature of our rides we are sometimes in remote areas during the course of a ride. Ensure that you have medical insurance that would cover the cost of a helicopter ambulance to transport you to the nearest hospital.
We also recommend getting your travel insurance in place immediately after you book your ride so that you are covered for any events which may lead to you having to cancel your trip.
What if I need to change or cancel my tour?
We highly recommend that you purchase travel insurance for all our Australian rides at the time of deposit and ensure that it includes coverage for cancellation fees if for some reason you are not able to travel. For our international tours we require all participants to have Travel Insurance to assist you in the event of a medical emergency, lost baggage, personal liability, cancelled tour or any other trip related issues.
Should you wish to change your booking with AllTrails to a different tour, there will be a very reasonable service charge. We try to keep this figure as low as possible to allow flexibility where we can as we want to make sure that you get on the right tour for you.
For cancellation and refund policies for your tour click the ‘Terms & Conditions’ button on the relevant tour page of our website.
What to pack?
We recommend you bring a soft bag or backpack. We advise against bringing a suitcase as they are bulky, difficult to stow on board vehicles or trailers and heavy. You may be required to lift or carry your own luggage from time to time, e.g. into accommodation. We expect your bag to be no heavier than 15kg, making it easy to manage for you and the staff. Any excess luggage may need to be stored or forwarded on to your final destination at your own expense. Information about what to pack is included as part of your Pre-Departure information. Generally we advise that you pack as light as possible.
Who are our local tour operators/guides?
We have some very impressive and knowledgeable local bike tour operators that we partner with in each region that we visit on our Cycle Legs route. Experience Plus, our chosen partner bicycle tour company in Europe, has operated for 40 years and has many high credentials. These local partners will be helping us navigate through their countries assisting us in understanding and appreciating the local cultures and people and also helping with communications and guiding. You can find more information about our local partners in the information section of each ride.
How can I stay in touch with home?
Part of the appeal of a holiday is to get away from the hassles of everyday life! If you can’t leave home without your mobile phone, check with your service provider to see where you will have coverage overseas and also that global roaming has been activated on your phone.
As you may not always have mobile phone coverage, particularly if you travel into remote locations, it is sometimes good to purchase a phonecard or calling card when you arrive at the start of your tour, as many public telephones do not take coins. Otherwise it may be cheaper to purchase a local SIM card on arrival at your destination, or you can purchase a 'Travel SIM' which is SIM card that you put in your phone and works in many overseas countries. For more info see: www.travelsim.net.au.
Some towns may have an internet café or access to an internet terminal, so you may be able to check your emails from time to time while you’re away. If you don’t already have a web-based email account, it is a good idea to set one up before you leave, e.g. Hotmail, Yahoo or Gmail.
BE VERY CAREFUL WITH USING YOUR MOBILE PHONE TO ACCESS THE INTERNET OVERSEAS. PHONE PROVIDERS CAN CHARGE EXTREMELY HIGH RATES.
Political unrest, natural disasters, and other issues in the local area?
Full reconnaissance trips are done along the route of our Cycle Legs tours before we host a tour on that route and we avoid any places that we deem to be too dangerous to ride through. Safety is without question our number one priority. Phil and Susan, owner-operators of AllTrails are often part of the crew and riding group on the legs to London so safety will be constantly monitored before and during the trip.
In saying that, a Cycle Legs ride is more like an expedition than an average bicycle tour, so there may be times when we are faced with unexpected and unavoidable difficulties. We will tackle these hurdles with the utmost consideration and professionalism as we have always done. We recommend that you visit your local government travel advice website such as www.smartraveller.gov.au (Australian passport holders) to learn more about your destinations, and feel free to contact us in regards to any specific queries that you may be concerned with.
What to consider when buying a new bike or upgrading?
If you are purchasing a new bike for this ride or wanting to make some upgrades here a few points to consider:
Bike set up: Unless you are accustomed to riding long distances or are very flexible set your bike up for comfort rather than optimum aerodynamics. A more comfortable upright position is most easily achieved by raising the handle bar and moving the seat forward.
Wheels: Do not go too light. High-end road bikes often allow you to choose different wheel sets or if you are considering upgrading, the lightest wheels might be the fastest, but they are not always the strongest. The heavier you are the more important this is. Cheaper wheels are heavier and generally have more spokes, but are also quite robust and easy to repair, so if this is your price bracket then there is not too much to worry about. If you looking at getting some fast wheels and you are over 90kg ask your bike shop for advice and even do some research online or within your bike community.
Tyres: Durability is the most important feature for long distance rides. When choosing your tyres look for features like anti-puncture and Kevlar lining. A harder rubber also allows you to get more kilometres out of each tyre. A popular choice amongst our cyclists are the Continental Ultra Gatorskins in either the 23mm or 25mm width.
Gearing: As a rule; the more gears you have the easier it is to climb hills. The standard configuration of gears found on road bikes does not suit everyone. If you find yourself running out of gears while climbing, needing to get out of the saddle to get over a hill or ride with a high cadence it might be worth considering one or both of these options. Replace the cassette with a larger one (more teeth)and/or get a compact crank. A compact crack tries to do what the triple chain ring crank does in just two chain rings. If you already have a triple, this is not for you. The compact crank slightly reduces your big chain ring size and significantly reduces your small chain ring size making it much easier to climb hills and spin your legs faster rather than harder.
What’s not included in the tour price?
• Airfare and transportation to and from the tour pick-up/drop-off locations
• Accommodation before and after the tour other than stated on the 'day to day' inclusions (pre & post accom can often be booked by us - check the ‘Optional Extras’ under the ‘Pricing’ tab)
• Personal accident or travel insurance
• Personal items purchased during the tour
• Some meals may not be included allowing you the opportunity to explore the regional cuisine and choose your own meal. Check tour details for more information.
• Optional activities and sightseeing
Brochure. How can I get one?
You can download an AllTrails brochure from our homepage, otherwise contact us with your postal address and we will mail you a copy.
Can I talk to someone who has ridden one of your tours?
Absolutely. We will be happy to give you the names and telephone numbers of people who have participated in the ride or a similar ride to the one which you are considering. Where possible we will provide you with the details of someone within your city or state.
Another good place to look is our ‘Testimonials’ page.
I have a group who would like to know more. Can I book an info session?
Contact us if you would like to find out about booking an info session for your group of friends, or if you would like to find out about a travel talk happening near you in the future.
Be inspired, hear from the experts, learn more about a destination and even book your tour on the night.
How and when can I book?
Right here, right now. Click the 'Book Your Place Today' button, or call us in the office on +61 3 9645 3355 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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