Tuscany Cycle Tour
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Leader Qualifications: Trip leader for Pikes Peak Group since 1993. Leader of High Altitude Mountaineering Section (HAMS) trip to climb Via Ferrata in the Dolomites of Italy from July 22 to August 5, 2000. I am also leading the Haute Route in Switzerland in August of this year. I have extensive experience in bike touring within Colorado and internationally, including the Triple Bypass in Colorado in 2008, a 121 mile one day tour over three mountain passes, a self-guided trip of Tuscany in October 2007 (using the same company that I propose to use on this trip), a self-guided tour on Vancouver Island in 2009 and a self-guided tour of the Czech Republic, from Vienna to Prague, in 2011.
This bike tour explores the lesser known, but no less beautiful areas of Tuscany to the west of the renowned Siena region. The tour includes seven days of cycling with the opportunity to cycle three more days. In the seven cycling days we will cycle 254 miles, averaging 36 miles a day with a maximum day of 50 miles. We will have three optional days that can be used for rest, sightseeing, or cycling.
The Tuscan countryside is in many respects a cyclist’s dream – a heady mix of vineyards, olive groves, poplars and cypresses, rolling hills and charming medieval hill towns steeped in atmosphere and tradition. Tuscans have a tradition of cycling, so cyclists are held in esteem and treated with courtesy by other road users.
We will spend three nights in Florence, known as the cradle of the Renaissance. We will also spend two nights in Siena's Gothic brick-built hill town which contrasts with Florence’s Renaissance marble. The city, perched on three steep hills and enclosed by extensive walls is crammed with art and architecture. We will also spend three nights on the island of Elba, part of the Archipelago Toscano National Park, an incredible mosaic of natural scenery – gulfs, headlands, precipitous coastline, sandy bays, wooded mountains and terraced vineyards all surrounded by the deep blue Mediterranean.
It would be well worth visiting Tuscany just to enjoy the food and drink for which the region is justifiably famous. Tuscans love to cook – and locally produced fruity olive oils, pecorino (sheep’s) cheese, and truffles feature widely on the menus. The vineyards of Tuscany yield Brunello, Chianti Classico and Vino Nobillo.
All accommodations are included. The standard accommodations are family run hotels. Generally, these have around 10 to 20 guest rooms and the owners live on the premises. Italian hotel are classified by a star rating system – from one to five stars – standards for each category may vary a little from region to region. Most of the hotels that we will have fall into the three star category – though we occasionally will have two and four star hotels. In almost all cases the bathroom facilities are ensuite (self-contained within the room). Some of the smaller hotels do not have a restaurant, but there will always be several options close by, within easy walking distance.
Skills & Training Requirements:
Pre-requisites for the trip are very good physical conditioning & screening by trip leader. You should have some prior experience biking on roads in traffic. You should have the ability to bike seven days, with an average of 36 miles/day with 1700 ft of vertical gain per day, and one day of 50 miles. It is preferable that you have some bike touring experience.
This will be arranged in 2015
Included in Trip Fee:
Transport to and from the airport in Florence, train transport from Florence to Sienna and back, the ferry to Elba and back, all lodging and breakfast, 8 nights dinner, luggage transfer to all the hotels en route, bicycle rental and maps of the route.
Lodging will favor smaller, more intimate family-run establishments (guesthouses, bed and breakfasts and family run hotels) that boast local char
Cancellations before May 31st, 2015: If a wait-listed person takes your place, all payments will be returned (less a $50 change fee). If no replacement is available, all money (less the deposit) will be refunded.
Cancellation June 1 through July 26th, 2015 inclusive: If a wait-listed person takes your place, all payments will be returned (less a $50 change fee). If no replacement is available, 60% of costs will be refunded.
Cancellation on or after July 27th, 2015: 30% of costs will be refunded (without regard to possible replacement from a wait list), with no refund if cancelled on or after August 10, 2015.
All requests for cancellation must be submitted in writing (letter or email) to one of the trip leaders, not to the CMC office. Participants are encouraged to have the trip leaders confirm receipt of cancellation notices.
Participants are STRONGLY encouraged to purchase trip insurance at the time of booking flights, or when said purchase is suggested by the trip leader.
All requests for cancellation must be made in writing to the trip leader. Cancellation requests should not be submitted to the CMC office. E-mail requests for cancellation will satisfy the written requirement, but a canceling party should verify that the request has been received.
ALL PARTICIPANTS ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO PURCHASE TRAVEL/CANCELLATION/EVACUATION INSURANCE.
Payment Schedule:1. A $500 deposit is due upon receipt of approval for the trip.
2. Payment of $1500 is due in the CMC office on March 31st, 2015. Leader will send e-mail reminder.
3. The final payment of $2721 will be due on May 31st, 2015.