Posts tagged with "biking"

Harley-Davidson Museum®: Wild Ones Weekend

Harley-Davidson Museum® brings vintage style, family friendly fun and classic bikes to 6th & Canal during Wild Ones Weekend

Hot on the heels of the opening for “Daredevils: A Century of Spine-Tingling Spectacles” (open through Sept. 8), the Harley-Davidson Museum will keep the thrills coming in July. Milwaukee’s favorite “Send Me Back” Saturday returns when Wild Ones: Vintage Motorcycle Rally takes over campus on Saturday, July 13. The Victor McLaglen Motor Corps will bring their act all the way from Southern California to show off why they are a part of the “Daredevils” exhibit. Read below to see how you can get a taste of their show on Friday, July 12. But there’s so much more in July happening at the crossroads of 6th & Canal, including the return of the Division BMX Stunt Team. And don’t forget about the specials at MOTOR® Bar & Restaurant this month, including some new menu items that offer up fresh tastes of the season.

EXHIBIT
“Daredevils: A Century of Spine-Tingling Spectacles” (through Sept. 8)
Step right up and behold amazing displays of danger and derring-do! Daredevils have thrilled audiences for centuries. What began with horse trick riders in circuses inspired new generations of entertainers on bicycles, motorcycles, cars – even flying sofa chairs. From touring thrill shows to Hollywood movie stunt work, “Daredevils” celebrates the exciting history of these death-defying entertainers who spend countless hours perfecting their exploits. Witness how incredible feats from long ago inspire modern-day risk-takers. The H-D Museum cordially invites one and all, children big and small to behold how daredevils are born! Please note: Select photos from the exhibit can be found at this page.

BIKE NIGHTS
Thursdays, 5-9 p.m.
All bikes unite every Thursday at the Harley-Davidson Museum. Grab your bike (or whatever wheels you favor). Join your fellow riders (and non-riders) forfree live music from some of Milwaukee’s favorite bands, fun and drool-worthy rolling sculptures. Enjoy food and drink specials inside and outside MOTOR Bar & Restaurant, including the Budweiser® Bike Night Koozie Special all-season long (koozies available at The Shop on the Museum campus) and Bulleit ® Bourbon Signature Cocktails.
Sign up for the H-D Museum Bike Night Loyalty Program, to receive a chance to win exclusive experiences, tours and more at the end of the season (for more details and the full entertainment lineup, visit H-DMuseum.com).
July 11 – (Wild Ones Bike Night) – Road Crew
July 18 – Altered Five Blues Band
July 25 – JT & The Gunslingers
Aug 1 – Zac Matthews Band

COFFEE WITH THE MORNING CREW
Friday, July 12, 8-10 a.m.
Hey Milwaukee! Come and drink some free coffee with the WISN 12 News This Morning team on Friday, July 12th. WISN 12 is teaming up with 99.1 The Mix and the Harley-Davidson Museum® to host you for a morning of fun, prizes, and FREE coffee from MOTOR Bar & Restaurant. Enter on site for your chance to win a prize pack! Three (3) Winners will receive: one (1) Harley-Davidson Museum® Prize Pack which includes the following: $50 Harley-Davidson Museum® campus gift card / H-D Museum Hat and T-Shirt / Coffee Mug / $50 Visa gift card / A family 4-pack of general admission tickets to the Wisconsin State Fair. Official Sweepstakes rules can be found here. Plus, member of the Victor McLaglen Motor Corps will offer up a sneak peek of their Wild Ones show (see below).

WILD ONES: VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE RALLY
Saturday, July 13, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Come celebrate Harley-Davidson’s unrivaled motorcycle heritage with a vintage 1940s-style motorcycle rally at the H-D Museum. The daylong activities include the 17th Annual Knucklehead Company Reunion antique motorcycle ride-in show and the AMCA Badger Heritage Chapter authentic motorcycle field games (slow race, plank ride, barrel race, T-ball, ball on cone and weenie bite), with proceeds benefiting Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin. Plus, the Victor McLaglen Motor Corps – a motorcycle stunt and drill team featured in the H-D Museum’s special summer exhibit, “Daredevils: A Century of Spine-Tingling Spectacles” – will bring its bag of tricks all the way from Southern California. Food & Beverages available all day at MOTOR® Bar & Restaurant, CAN ROOM and Outdoor Concessions featuring Budweiser, King of Beers.

Antique Motorcycle Ride-In Show Classes: Stock Knucklehead / Custom Knucklehead / Sidevalve / Panhead / Shovelhead / Other Pre-1970 American-Made models. Entry is just $20 per bike with all proceeds benefiting the Make-A-Wish® Wisconsin.

Easy Rider returns to theatres July 14
The classic 1969 motorcycle film Easy Rider is returning to local Marcus Theatres July 14 to celebrate its 50th anniversary! Show your Easy Rider ticket stub or Magical Movie Rewards membership card to receive BOGO* adult admission to the Harley-Davidson Museum from July 14 to Sept. 2!

GALLERY NIGHT
Friday, July 19, 5-9 p.m.
Take a spin through the H-D Museum’s special summer exhibit, “Daredevils: A Century of Spine-Tingling Spectacles.” From touring thrill shows to Hollywood movie stunt work, this exhibit celebrates the exciting history of these death-defying performers. Enjoy free gallery talks at 6, 7 and 8pm.

DIVISION BMX STUNT SHOW
Saturday, July 20, 1-4 p.m.
In partnership with the Harley-Davidson Museum and its special summer exhibit, “Daredevils: A Century of Spine-Tingling Spectacles,” the Division BMX Stunt Team will bring their squad of elite BMX riders to 6th & Canal to wow audiences visiting the H-D Museum campus. Headed by Micah Kranz, a Wisconsinite who is featured in the “Daredevils” exhibit, the Division BMX riders have been keeping spectators on the edge of their seats for more than 15 years. Watch in awe as riders perform tricks that take them to dizzying heights. Their brand of high-flying, death-defying entertainment brings a high-energy atmosphere to every performance. All shows will be followed by an autograph session where you can ask, “How’d you do that?!”

SATURDAY H-D MUSEUM DEMO RIDES
9 a.m.-4 p.m., through Sept. 28
Demo Rides are now available at the world’s only Harley-Davidson Museum! Visit the Museum campus Saturdays* from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and throw a leg over a 2019 motorcycle to experience the fun and freedom that only a Harley-Davidson can deliver. Visitors with their motorcycle license will be able to choose from more than a dozen of the latest and greatest #FreedomMachines from Harley-Davidson, including Touring, Softail, Sportster and Street models. A pre-determined scenic route through the Menomonee Valley will give riders the chance to explore the Museum’s surrounding neighborhoods.
• Demo Rides will run Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., weather dependent.
• Motorcycles available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
• Riders and passengers must be at least 18 years of age.
• Riders must hold a valid license with a motorcycle endorsement.
• All riders and passengers must wear a helmet, eye protection, shirt, long pants and closed toe shoes with heel strap. A limited selection of helmets, chaps and jackets will be available on site.
*Demo Rides will not be available on Saturday August 31, 2019.

TOUR OFFERINGS
Saturday 3 Pub Cruise (Saturdays, through Sept. 28)
Enjoy an afternoon pub cruise by boat and sample food and drinks from three great riverside locations on one of our captained vessels, either the Brew City Queen II (Red Boat) or Milwaukee Maiden II (Orange Boat). Our new Saturday stops include The Twisted FishermanMOTOR® Bar & Restaurant at the Harley-Davidson Museum® and Riverfront Pizzeria Bar & Grill. Price includes boat cruise between all three locations and drink and appetizer tickets at each location.

Inside H-D: All-Day Experiences (July 31, August 2, August 14, Sept. 6 and Sept. 11)
The Inside H-D: All-Day Experience is an in-depth immersion into the world of Harley-Davidson. This guided tour kicks off in front of The Shed on the Harley-Davidson Museum® campus, where you’ll learn about the humble beginnings of the world’s most iconic motorcycle brand. Then it’s time to go inside the Harley-Davidson Museum for an exclusive guided tour featuring new exhibit content and conversation with the Curatorial, Archives or Conservation professionals who are behind the engaging stories on display and behind-the-scenes at the Museum. After the tour, the group will head over to Harley-Davidson Corporate Headquarters located on Juneau Avenue – which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Lunch is served while employees from HDMC and the Harley-Davidson University will swap stories and provide a glimpse of the inner workings of H-D. Upon returning to the Museum, tour participants are invited to enjoy a special discount for The Shop at the H-D Museum™, where you’ll find unique clothes and merchandise found nowhere else. The day concludes with happy hour at MOTOR® Bar & Restaurant.

Bikes Brats & Beer Tour (Thursdays at 3 p.m. and Sundays at 10 a.m., through August 29)
Get an authentic taste of American history and culture on Harley-Davidson Museum’s Bikes Brats & Beer Tour, offered in partnership with Milwaukee Food & City Tours®.
The 3 1/2-hour excursion begins with a guided H-D Museum tour, highlighting Harley-Davidson’s journey from backyard shed start-up to iconic global brand. Next, you’ll board the tour bus for a close-up look at Milwaukee’s legendary beer- and sausage-making heritage, traveling through the Menomonee and Miller Valleys and downtown Milwaukee.

Highlights Tour (Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.)
Our Visitor Experience Associates offer an engaging guided tour, “Journey through the History of Harley-Davidson.” This tour is available on Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and lasts approximately 45 minutes and is sure to get your gears turning. For groups of 12 or more, please call 414-287-2799 or email groups@h-dmuseum.com for more information or to book your Highlights Tour. Learn more about our Group Tours offerings by visitinghttps://www.harley-davidson.com/us/en/museum/visit/group-tours.html.

SAVE THE DATES:
Rally Weekend, Aug 29-Sept. 1

About the Harley-Davidson Museum
A walk through the Harley-Davidson Museum® is a walk through the history of America. With an unrivaled collection of Harley-Davidson® motorcycles and memorabilia, a 20-acre, park-like campus, and a calendar full of activities, the H-D Museum™ is one of Milwaukee’s top tourist destinations for visitors from around the globe. A visit to the H-D Museum™ is an experience that will stay with you for a lifetime. Make your plans to visit the Harley-Davidson Museum® at H-DMuseum.com.

Contact:
Tim McCormick
Tim.McCormick@Harley-Davidson.com
414-534-6180

MOTOR® Bar & Restaurant is bringing some new items to the menu that highlight the season of sun-splashed patios and ice-cold refreshment. New summer sides, a sundae to end all sundaes and fresh monthly specials will make MOTOR your destination for brunch, lunch, cocktail hours and dinner. Book your reservation now.

NEW MENU ITEMS
Big Bore Belly Buster Bucket Sundae ($49.95, serves 8-12)
Grab your crew and indulge in this unbelievable giant sundae with a cake bottom, piled high with loads of ice cream, Twinkies®, Ho Hos®, M&Ms®, chocolate and caramel sauces, whipped cream and cherries. All of this served in a Harley-Davidson souvenir bucket that you get to keep!

Kale Salad ($13.95)
Fresh kale with beer-braised red quinoa, toasted pine nuts, Kalamata olives and goat cheese. Tossed in homemade honey vinaigrette

Beet Salad ($13.95)
Spring mix and arugula tossed in shallot chardonnay vinaigrette topped with roasted beets, red onion, shaved fennel, goat cheese and toasted pine nuts

Summer Sides
* Baked Beans – Homemade baked beans with peppers, onions and brown sugar
* Broccoli Salad – Fresh broccoli with chopped bacon, red onion and craisins
* Cheddar Bacon Potato Salad – Shredded cheddar and chopped bacon

JULY SPECIALS
MAC DADDY BURGER
An 8-oz., hand-packed beef patty with lettuce, tomato, onion and bacon. Topped with cheese sauce and deep-fried mac and cheese. Served on a brioche bun ($15.95).

ASIAN SESAME WINGS
One pound of chicken wings smothered in a sweet and savory sauce with a little kick ($12.95).

BLT SALAD
Spring mix, arugula and cherry tomatoes tossed in a homemade balsamic vinaigrette. Topped with smoked pork belly and finished with crumbled Boursin cheese. Served with ciabatta toast points ($14.95).

BLACKBERRY SPIKED ICED TEA
Nothing is more perfect than a sweet iced tea while sitting in the sunshine! Our fresh brewed tea, spiked with vodka, blackberries and a hint of citrus and mint cut from our garden compliments the cool breeze while sitting on the patio ($7).

Brewery of the month: Cigar City Brewing, featuring Jai Alai (IPA), Maduro (brown ale) and Florida Cracker (Belgian-style white ale)

Mac Mondays
Build-your-own Mac ’n Cheese all day, every Monday. Mondays are best spent with a bowl of MOTOR’s delicious homemade Mac ’n Cheese. Create your own custom Mac with special toppings!

Bike Night Thursdays (5-9 p.m.)
Enjoy free live music and $3 koozie beer specials as Bike Nights return to the great outdoors all summer long. Exclusive giveaways and specials from 5-9 p.m. make this a weekly must-do! Plus, in May, select drafts from Milwaukee Brewing Co. are just $4.

Friday Night Fish Fry
What’s a Friday night in Wisconsin without a fish fry? At MOTOR, the all-you-can-eat Wisconsin Fish Fry is available open to close and features golden fried cod, crispy French fries, fresh jicama coleslaw, homemade southern-style cornbread and tartar sauce for only $14.95.

BBQ & Blues
Every Saturday, take in live performances from a rotating lineup of blues musicians, plus all-you-can-eat, hickory-smoked BBQ chicken, pulled pork, smoked brisket and grilled sausage links for $29.99. Add an order of Memphis-style, dry-rubbed ribs for just $5 more. All platters come with French fries, jicama coleslaw, BBQ baked beans and made-from-scratch cornbread.

About MOTOR® Bar & Restaurant
The only Harley-Davidson Museum® restaurant, MOTOR® Bar & Restaurant offers guests riverfront dining and Midwest camaraderie with a dose of genuine Harley-Davidson® attitude. MOTOR™ takes diners on a culinary road trip of great American food and drink from its location in downtown Milwaukee. Guests can enjoy burgers, BBQ, seasonal favorites and a whole lot more. For more information and to learn about the latest menu, visitmotorrestaurant.com or call 414-287-2778.

OXYGEN: A SECRET WEAPON FOR FITNESS? 

Expert Offers Insight into the “Oxygen-Enhanced Exercise” Trend & Shares Breathing Tips to Improve Health & Enhance Your Workout

Have you seen anyone at your gym wearing unusual face masks as they workout? If not, you are sure to encounter this soon and when you do, there is no need for alarm. It’s called oxygen-enhanced exercise, and it’s a holistic approach to fitness that has recently skyrocketed in popularity. Once available and common only with Olympians and pro athletes (like Tiger Woods, Michael Phelps, and Mario Lemieux,) this training method has hit the mainstream and now at-home-exercisers and workout warriors across the country are using it as an all-natural way to gain an athletic advantage.

Oxygen-enhanced exercise is a scientifically proven phenomenon that’s said to benefit the body by reducing the physical stress of exercise, accelerating recovery, helping you sleep, giving you more energy, and improving your metabolism.

According to breathing expert Michael Grant White, oxygen is crucial for peak athletic performance.

“Playing sports, weight-lifting, circuit training, or any other intense physical activity, of course, burns calories and builds muscle, but many people don’t consider the wear and tear it has on their body. Lack of oxygen ages the body at a much greater rate…”

…says White, who has studied breathing over the past 24 years and has seen a rapid rise in interest for oxygen-enhanced exercise. As anti-doping initiatives spread across the country, and athletic drug testing becomes more prevalent, many athletes are turning to oxygen-enhanced exercise as a way to amplify their workouts without the use of drugs, chemicals, surgery, or invasive techniques.

We all know oxygen and exercise go hand-in-hand, but in case you missed this high school biology lesson, here’s a quick recap of the science: During exercise, your muscles have to contract and work harder, which increases their demand for oxygen. The amount needed is much more than you are taking in. Your body first burns the existing oxygen in the red blood cells and when this runs out, the body turns to fermentation for its energy needs. Instead of using oxygen, the muscles convert glucose into lactic acid and this is when fatigue sets in. Oxygen-enhanced exercise leverages the body’s already-existing system for oxygenating the blood before this happens.

If you’re not ready to sport an oxygen mask, you can still enhance your workout through mindful breathing. According to research, proper breathing should be one of your main focuses during exercise. It’s easy to underestimate just how much it impacts our overall health and fitness. Oxygen helps the body maintain pH balance, it increases neuronal energy metabolism in the brain, detoxifies the blood, and strengthens the immune system by killing harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Oxygen also plays a huge role in the recovery process because it helps restore pre-exercise ATP levels and helps your liver break down lactic acid into simple carbohydrates.

“Not all breathing is created equal, there are breathing techniques you can do to enhance your workout…”

…says White who has trained athletes to use proper breathing techniques and seen first-hand how better breathing can help strengthen endurance, lower lactic acid production, and improve stamina for cardio-centric activities (like running, swimming, biking, etc.) In addition, simple breathing techniques can help athletes (at any level of fitness) recover more quickly from high-intensity activities.

In short: better breathing = better health.

Michael Grant White is on a mission to awaken the breathing consciousness of the world. He has insight into the oxygen-enhanced exercise trend and can share breathing tips people can use at home to improve their health and their workout.


IN AN INTERVIEW / ARTICLE:

  • Breathing Tricks to Improve Your Health & Enhance Your Workout
  • Unlikely Ways Your Breathing Impacts Your Life
  • Fascinating Link Between Breathing & The Brain
  • Insight into the “Oxygen-Enhanced Exercise” Trend: An All-Natural Approach to Improve Health & Enhance Workouts

ABOUT MICHAEL GRANT WHITE:

Michael Grant White is a holistic health expert, author, and international speaker who has dedicated his career to helping people improve their health through better breathing. As an Optimal Breathing Coach and the founder of My Oxygen Machine and Breathing.com, White is on a mission to make the world healthier one breath at a time.

For More Information Visit:

 https://breathing.com

Why Knoxville Rocks

360 Magazine Culture Editor, Tom Wilmer explores Knoxville—the third largest city in Tennessee.

When people think of Tennessee, Nashville and Memphis get the prime spotlight, and they most often make the top of the to-do list for travelers. But Knoxville has an abundance of attractions that are alluringly unique.

Knoxville’s first iteration as a world-class travel destination happened with a bang when the town hosted the 1982 Knoxville World’s Fair. Today the two remaining iconic vestiges are the Sunsphere tower, and a stunningly beautiful riverside performance amphitheater.

Knoxville is graced with historic architecture, both in the urban core, and surrounding residential neighborhoods, but its the friendliness of the people is an essential ingredient that makes the town so attractive.

Most of the businesses are locally owned. There’s been a recent explosion of new upscale eateries (more than 80 in the urban core) and trendy brew pubs that keep the downtown core hopping in to the wee hours of the night. Festivals like the annual Rhythm and Blooms Blues Festival in May is just a sampler of the live events that take place downtown throughout the year.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW KNOXVILLE VIDEO SLIDE SHOW

Outdoor hiking, biking and kayaking are viral endeavors for locals and visitors alike. Knoxville rightfully touts its super popular Urban Wilderness with more than 1,000 unspoiled acres right in the heart of the city.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE NPR One/KCBX PODCAST INTERVIEW with Angie Wilson at Visit Knoxville to hear the backstory on just why this vibrant town bustles with new, locally-owned businesses.

Carol Evans shares insights about the city’s Urban Wilderness adventures for hikers, bikers. and kayakers. Sam Carlton at the four-star The TENNESSEAN Hotel talks about the Knoxville World’s Fair back in 1982, and how the momentum instilled by the fair continues today.

Tom Bugg, general manager at the city’s two historic theaters—the Tennessee and the Bijou Theatre—paints a vivid picture of Knoxville’s past and present, and how the renovation of the theaters served as an economic stimulus for other downtown revitalization projects.

David Butler, executive director at the Knoxville Museum of Art talks about community engagement through showcasing regional art, educational outreach and gratis admission.

The 1982 Knoxville World’s Fair “Sunsphere”still graces the skyline in the heart of town

Ciclismo Classico Cycling

Ciclismo Classico Cites Four Bike Trips In La Bella Italia That Burn Up The Road, Gelato and Carbs

The calories are climbing. But who’s counting? You are climbing, too, on a bike somewhere in Italy, burning up the road, gelato and pasta carbs as leisurely as you can.

Food — and the pursuit thereof — is a passion of Ciclismo Classico, the first company to launch small group guided bicycle tours in Italy 30 years ago.

Lauren Hefferon, founder and owner, recently asked her Ciclismo Classico guides in Italy about the gustatory delights guests can anticipate. Here are inner foodie-inspired sketches of specialties in four distinct regions.

Puglia, Basilicata, Campania, and Calabria

Pedaling Sea to Sea across the Italian peninsula is the scenery and gelato-driven Bike Across Southern Italy, part of the Giro del Gelato series, a six-day immersion (from $5,995 per person) in everything beautiful. The 2019 departures are Aug 27-Sep 7 and Sep 24-Oct 5. A tour of Matera, the famous city of stone, may be hard-pressed to compete with the fact that guests enjoy unlimited gelato (ice cream) daily, sampling flavors from some of the best artigianale gelateria (shops/stands offering artisanal ice cream). There are also demonstrations on how to create gelato and granita, a semi-frozen dessert usually made of fruits.

Cycling (an average of 39 miles daily) from Fano to Porto Ercole, the real Mediterranean diet emerges: pastas including tube-shaped paccheri, vermicelli with anchovies and wild fennel, linguine with lemon, spaghetti with clams and a 20th century creation, scialatielli; veggies; olive oil; fresh seafood; buffalo mozzarella, eggplant parmigiana and pizza! Also included:

  • The constant perfume of orange and eucalyptus
  • Amazing guided visits of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites
  • “Old World” hospitality from Italian natives
  • Breathtaking rides along the cliffs of the Cilento Coast
  • Sampling freshly-made Mozzarella and fresh peperoncini
  • Guide Frank Yantorno treats his guests to a cooking class where wife and husband together show how to prepare their fresh produce. These may include home-made scialatielle (a short and thick version of linguini), a pretzel-shaped fried pizza and le fritte, (French fries) over which home-produced honey and rosemary are drizzled. For details see here.

Sicily

  • Tastes turn to love and gelato come spring. Enrico Pizzorni, guide, says Sicily (and southern Italy) have the best gelaterie (ice cream shops) in the world. Gelato was birthed here when Romans stored snow from Mt. Etna in caves to be delivered it to the rich who in turn mixed in fruits and honey, creating sorbet. Today suited business men enjoy gelato or granita in a brioche (a cool morning sandwich) on their way to work. Whipped cream, pistachios, almonds, ricotta, honey and lemon can also be folded in. Other infusions include rosemary, onion of Giarratana, Moscato (wine) and Aztec chocolate with hot pepper. On the Aeolian Islands flavors vary by season: watermelon, fig, prickly pear and peach.

Focacce, pizze, calzoni, pidoni, scacce, arancini, and panelle are among the salty or sweet snacks villages display. In Palazzolo Acreide, a tiny village the Greeks founded some 2500 years ago, is Corsino that serves state-of-the-art sweet pastries highlighting their locally treasured almonds and ricotta.

Guests bike some 28 miles a day on the 2019 nine-day La Bella Sicilia, from $5,695 per person: April 21-29, My 5-13, May 20-28, Sept. 15-23, Sept. 29-Oct 7, Oct. 13-21, Oct. 27-Nov. 4 and Nov. 10-18. For details see here.

Puglia

The charms that lie in Italy’s boot until recently have been largely ignored. But Ciclismo Classico has a soft spot in its heart for La Bella Puglia, a nine-day tour from $5,395 per person. Departures in 2019 are April 26-May 4, May 25-June 2, June 7-15, Sept. 6-14, Sept. 20-28, Oct. 4-12 and Nov. 2-10. Guests bike on average 39 miles a day exploring fertile valleys, the cone-shaped dwellings (trulli), cave dwellings (sassi) and villages perched on steep limestone hills. See here.

For guide Henrick Murphy this is a journey of the senses through orange groves and eucalyptus trees, sampling freshly made mozzarella and fresh pepperoncini and imbibing what he calls a “cycle-food bomb” of fava bean puree with cicoria (chicory) at a farm in Alberobello. A guest favorite is cime di rape (turnip tops) with orecchiette (little ears pasta).

In Puglia peasant traditions are still intact. The cuisine reflects roots born of necessity and sometimes scarcity. Seafood, olive oil, artichokes and dense bread are plentiful, as is the ubiquitous orecchiette with tomato sauce. One town is famous for its capocollo, a traditional dry-cured neck of pork, typically sliced very thin.

Piedmont

This region of the northern Apennines is a favorite of both Enrico and Henrick. Enrico’s passion for gelato is satisfied here with what he calls “killer fresh, fruit-based gelati. He can’t get enough of a hazelnut torrone (nougat) made from a secret recipe.

Added Henrick, “On the last day on our Piedmont: Barolo & Truffles trip we stop in to meet with honey producer Giuseppe Pitarresi who has been producing honey and various other related organic products since 1990. We are lucky enough to visit the hives and afterwards have a taste of il Re (the King) of energy boosters — honey!” We’re zooming up those hills after that!”

The per person rate for this eight-day immersion into the food and wine of the Piedmont is from $5,195. Departure dates still available in 2019 are August 23-30, Sept. 20-27 and Oct. 4-11. Guests cycle an average of 35 miles daily, enroute enjoying:

  • Sumptuous dinners at Enoclub in Alba and Schiavia in Acqui Terme;
  • Introductions to vineyard-laden hillsides of world-famous local wines such as Barolo, Barbaresco and Barbera with private wine tastings with local hosts and sommeliers;
  • A meet-up with a truffle hunter and his dog for a lecture on truffles.

The Piedmont is considered Italy’s greatest single wine region. Piemontese cuisine blends northern Italian and French influences. Truffles and mushrooms are seasonal key players. Come autumn cyclists may sample Tartufo Bianco (white truffle) at Fiere del Tartufo (International Truffle Fair) in Alba, Moncalvo and Acqui Terme.

La cucina Piemontese is a mosaic of more than a thousand recipes from the diverse areas and tiny valleys. Two foodie experiences include cucina casalinga, dishes made over generations at home. Young people are creating locande (inns) that serve authentic dishes with a slick, innovative presentation. See here.

For more food and wine themed tours from Ciclismo Classico see here.

For a full listing of trips in Italy and across the globe with additional information, detailed itineraries, trip availability and reservations please contact Ciclismo Classico by phone: 800.866.7314 (US & Canada) or 781.646.3377 (outside of North America), or visit online.

About Ciclismo Classico

Small group sightseeing through Italy by bike was a new concept in 1989 when Ciclismo Classico burst onto the scene to become the first company in the world to specialize in active cycle tours of Italy. Leading this charge was Lauren Hefferon who established another world-first: a woman-owned bike tour company.

This company’s rallying cry then and now is “Pedal Your Passion!” Tours are led by native-born guides who on average have each served Ciclismo Classico clients in excess of 10 years. Daily rides are carefully blended with a variety of cultural and culinary experiences and served up as the Ciclismo Menu that includes musical evenings, language lessons, wine and beer tastings, personalized cycling clinics, cooking demonstrations and opportunities for spontaneous discovery and cross-cultural interaction. Guests are carefully matched with a tour style and pedaling pace perfect for them, then outfitted with a quintessentially Italian, high-performance Bianchi bike. Having now expanded beyond Italy to represent tour destinations worldwide, Ciclismo also offers hiking itineraries, private and custom trip planning, photo tours and the ease of touring by electric bike. Recognized by media icons such as National Geographic Traveler and Outside Magazine, Ciclismo Classico is widely considered to be one of the premier active travel companies in the world.

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Morro Bay Bike Ride

Public Invited to Ride across Amgen Tour of California Stage 4 Finish at the Morro Bay Bike Ride Pre-Event and Party at the Pro Cyclists Meet & Greet

Cycle through the Stage 4 Finish Line on Race Day, Meet Former Professional

American Cyclist and Author Bob Roll and other Pro Cyclists at The Siren, Volunteer and Watch the Race Front and Center, Book Race Day VIP Lodging Packages or Hotels along the Race Route

The public is invited to participate in Amgen Tour of California Stage 4 race day fun in #cyclingmecca Morro Bay. The 2019 Amgen Tour of California announced Morro Bay will host the Stage 4 Finish of the men’s race on May 15, 2019 following the scenic route the Amgen Tour took in 2017, when Peter Sagan won the sprint finish. After passing through picturesque Morro Bay State Park, where riders get their first glimpse of iconic Morro Rock, Morro Bay’s busting waterfront before sprinting uphill into downtown Morro Bay for the big finish.

“Of all sports, it is cycling that has the most beautiful stadium and this ocean front Stage 4 Finish in Morro Bay is a stunner,” according to Bob Roll, former professional American cyclist and author. “With perfect year round riding weather, the world will get its chance to experience what the locals have enjoyed for years: varied terrain, wide open roads, first class dining and drop dead views. Can’t wait to be there!”

Morro Bay Bike Ride Pre-Event: Ride Across the Amgen Stage 4 Finish Line

Join event producer RaceSLO on race day for the Morro Bay Bike Ride May 15, 2019 from 1:30 to 2:30 pm. This ride ends with a sprint through the Amgen Tour of California Stage 4 Finish line on Harbor Street! All levels are welcome to this celebratory cycle pep rally with three participation options: kid-friendly, recreational rider or seasoned cyclist. Enjoy vendors, food and beverages as the crowd awaits the professional racers to start crossing the finish around 3:40 pm. Participants receive a collectible event t-shirt and free bike valet. Ride proceeds go to local non-profit partner Bike SLO County.

Pro Cyclists Meet & Greet at Siren Rhythm & Booze

Stick around after the race and head to the FREE Bob Roll Pro Cyclists Meet & Greet Event at The Siren May 15, 2019 at 5:30 pm, produced by RaceSLO. Get some cool cycling swag and raise some cold craft pints while helping raise funds for Bike SLO County during a LIVE Auction. Enjoy live music and catch a glimpse of Amgen competitors up close and personal. The event is over 21 only and FREE, but seating is limited so you must pre-register and present a ticket at the door.

Volunteer at Amgen Tour of California Stage 4 Finish

Amgen Tour of California is a Tour de France-style cycling road race created and presented by AEG that challenges the world’s top professional cycling teams to compete along a demanding course that traverses hundreds of miles of California’s iconic highways, byways and coastlines each spring. Tour officials say the 2019 race will be the longest and most challenging in its 14-year history. Many volunteers are needed to make this event a success. You don’t have to live in Morro Bay to participate. Click here to sign up and see the race up close!

Book Lodging Along the Race Route or Amgen Tour of California VIP Packages

Book your stay at a hotel along the Amgen Tour of California route to get a front row seat as the riders pass by. Or, book a suite or waterfront room in one of the participating Morro Bay hotels and receive exclusive access into the Amgen Tour of California VIP tent filled with perks and goodies! Hospitality Passes provide exclusive access into the main VIP Hospitality Tent located adjacent to the FINISH Line. VIP Hospitality Includes:

  • Swag bag of goodies that you’ll receive upon check-in
  • Premium Viewing Location right at the finish line
  • Gourmet foods catered from local restaurants throughout the area
  • Open Bar (includes beer and wine)
  • Lounge Style Seating with closed-circuit tv viewing
  • Live Race Coverage (last two hours of the broadcast)

For additional information on hotels in Morro Bay check out our booking engine here. Recently named one of the Best Small Towns in CA by Country Living Magazine, Morro Bay offers year round mild weather, perfect for epic outdoor adventure all year long. For more information on visiting Morro Bay, go to www.morrobay.org. #multisportmecca

About Morro Bay

A true #outdoormecca, this active seaside fishing village with bustling waterfront offers a picture-perfect getaway for travelers who seek food, wine and outdoor adventures found in nature. Located along coastal Highway 1 in San Luis Obispo County just south of Big Sur, midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Morro Bay offers year-round activities in an unspoiled slice of California. From ocean-side golf, kayaking, sailing, hiking, fishing, surfing, biking, and bird watching, to kite flying, shopping, dining, wine bars, local craft brews and miles of unspoiled beaches, there is something for everyone.

Sitting majestically between the beach and the harbor lays the iconic and historic landmark Morro Rock, welcoming travelers from miles away as they approach Morro Bay. Located just minutes from world-renowned Hearst Castle, historic missions, breathtaking Montana de Oro State Park, and surrounded by vineyards from Paso Robles to Edna Valley, Morro Bay is a destination designed to fit any style and budget for families, couples or groups. Morro Bay also offers a myriad of year-round events including food, wine and music festivals, art fairs and car shows unique to the town. For more travel information visit www.morrobay.org or follow Morro Bay on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

6 Choices to Make Your Mental & Physical Goals a Success in 2019

According to U.S. News, approximately 80% of resolutions fail by the second week in February. Why? Because dramatic and immediate changes are not sustainable long-term.

So this year, make 2019 not a year of resolutions or diets but one of incremental changes to instill habits that create real long-lasting results. Here are 6 tips:

Do What You Enjoy:

Commit to trying new things or even old things to remind yourself of what you enjoy. This is especially true for keeping active and fulfilling your body’s desire for movement and exercise. This can be taking frequent walks through nature, biking, dancing, hiking, or yoga. Start taking ballroom dancing lessons that you promised yourself you would try years ago. Take a barre method class where you can let your inner ballerina shine. Better yet, put that music on full blast while you are preparing dinner and dance like no one’s watching. It is not about perfection, it is about finding what you love to do and what brings a smile to your face, then it becomes fun and not something you want to do.

Add Things, Don’t Remove Them:

If your goal is to improve your nutrition to lose weight and improve your energy levels, try adding foods into your diet like vegetables. Find fun ways to prepare them to fit your taste buds. Often times if you start with a deprivation statement like, “I am going to stop eating all carbs,” then the only thing you will think about is carbs. When you introduce something new and start noticing the benefits of that change, then you are often inspired to move on to add the next change. Think addition not deprivation!

Stop Eating by 6pm:

If you want to encourage the body to burn fat for energy, stop eating by 6 or 7pm. This allows the body to put most of its energy into rejuvenating and restoring the body for the next day. It also gives the body all time it needs to use up all the sugar storage in the liver so then it can start burning the fat cells for needed energy.

Take 5 Minutes to Stop & Breathe:

If one of your goals is to start being more mindful or to simply start incorporating some relaxation techniques to help you react to stressful events with more ease then perhaps going from not meditating to promising to meditate every day for 45 minutes a day may be a bit overwhelming.

Try this simple strategy, wake up in the morning take a deep breath, record in a journal or on your phone one thing you are grateful for, appreciate or just makes you happy. Read it out loud and then follow with 5 slow breaths and really feel that joy. This way you are starting the habit and getting your body used to what relaxation and being in a state of gratitude feels like. During the day when things get hectic, pull out that book or play that recording and take 5 deep breaths. Fast, easy and often times very effective for decreasing the effects of those stress reactions.

Go to Bed 15 Minutes Earlier:

Work on getting a good night’s rest. A healthy amount of sleep helps you to be more alert, make better decisions, maintain a healthier weight and helps you to look and feel younger. Go to bed 15 minutes earlier each week for a month so you total an hour more of sleep. Remove all electronic devices in the bedroom that gives off artificial light and creating a bedtime routine that signals the body that it is time for bed.

Spend Your Time with Like-Minded People:

Make an effort to spend more quality time reconnecting with family or friends.  Individuals who have social connections suffer less symptoms of depression and may live longer healthier, lives. Also, establishing a support group can help to stay on track with our goals. This may look like once every two weeks to a month spending some time with your girlfriends or skyping or face timing them to catch up.

Making these gradual changes can help you to create habits that will help to feel more energized, feel less stressed, think more clearly and make better choices for you. With each choice comes the opportunity to be the person you have always envisioned.

Eudene Harry MD is the medical director for Oasis Wellness and Rejuvenation Center, a wellness practice devoted to integrative holistic care. She is a veteran physician with over 20 years of experience. Dr. Harry earned her medical degree and performed her residency at Thomas Jefferson University.

Dr. Harry is the author of three books designed to empower the individual to get started on their path to optimal health. She has published extensively on the topics of reducing stress, healthy lifestyle choices, and regaining youthfulness. Her most recent book, Be Iconic: Healthy and Sexy at Any Ageis now available on Amazon.

FREDERICKSBURG

By Alexandria Baiz × Vaughn Lowery

Fredericksburg, Texas the destination of historical sites and culture welcomes us. With the hidden treasures of food, wine and goods the Texas Hill Country is a must-visit.

Beginning with a stay at the one and only Hanger Hotel. This hotel has a WWII hangar of the romantic 1940’s to it’s design with fine woods and custom carpets. Famous for the Observation Deck on the second floor with views adjacent to the airport to see the planes come and go from one end of the runway to the end.

Later a stop to the Pioneer Museum Complex preserved from the 19th century German Pioneer days. In the mid-1840s Germans faced every obstacle to come to Texas and create a unique German colony in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. The Museum strives to preserve and tell this story. With a combination museum and historical site, it reaches over 3.5 acres on Main Street in downtown Fredericksburg.

Dinner at Das Peach Haus that houses delicious jams, jellies and sauces made by Fischer and Wieser Speciality Foods. The Historic roadside fruit stand offers gourmet products with unique flavor combinations. The Tasting Room offers tastings from two Texas wineries, which change out every two months. Vintage wines are paired with international assortment of cured meats and cheeses. Fischer and Wieser include more than 70-award-winning products, which each inspire culinary adventures around the world by being able to purchase online.

Clear River Ice Cream and Bakery does things differently with hot-from-the-oven baked goods, homemade ice cream and house deli. Homemade ice cream with high-quality ingredients has been voted as the third best ice cream in Texas. For a bite to eat the deli and salad selection is notable with house favorites like the Chipotle Ranch Chicken Wrap. Fresh baked goods can satisfy any sweet tooth with an Apple Strudel, Peach Cobbler and everything in between.

Tour at the George H.W. Bush Gallery at The National Museum of the Pacific War dedicated exclusively to telling the story of the Pacific Theater in World War II. The Museum is noted for its historic materials with iconic elements of the Pacific War era. Guided tours debut the newly renovated Pacific Combat Zone, a realistic environment for a deep understanding of the momentous struggle between Allied Forces and Japanese forces.

For lunch we enjoy an Arts District Stroll through the Peach Tree Gift Gallery and Tea Room. With the Cottage style restaurant, you will find a combination of fresh, homemade breads, soups, salads, sandwiches and desserts. For over 39 years this family owned business has been a destination in Fredericksburg, because of the seasonal fruits and vegetables they use.

After lunch, we took an art tour through the streets of Fredericksburg to meet with the area’s top galleries. Insight Gallery represents the cities artists and sculptors that today work on landscape, figurative, impressionistic, still life, wildlife and western art. The Good ART Company is beautiful with a contemporary fusion in a restored 4,000+ square foot historical building with high ceilings and limestone walls. The gallery features an array of genres with some of the best regional, national, and international artists. Koch Gallery owned and operated by Bert E. Koch a trader/broker for traditional, contemporary and modern Native American Art. For over 30 years it continues its long tradition of providing important works of art from all major cultural regions in North America. Artisans Gallery makes your artistic dreams reality with unique pieces that come in every medium, size and price range. RS Hanna a jewel for fine arts with original works of acclaimed artists. Workings range from oil, watercolor, bronze and wood. Gallery 330 is the newest addition to the art scene representing contemporary established artists whose works include sculpture, painting and prints, serigraphs and watercolors.

The Holiday Wine Trail takes us to Texas’s countryside to travel along Wine Road 290 with visit to award winning wineries.

The trail begins at Stout’s Trattoria at Grape Creek Vineyards a 100-acre vineyard estate. With oaks and vines surrounding the tasting rooms there is a romantic Tuscan setting that is truly unforgettable. The Vineyards have won over 100 medals in the last two years for their wines.

In the heart of the Texas Hill Country, 4.0 Cellars offers a relaxing and elegant setting to discover the infamous Texas Wines. In a private tasting room we enjoy a wine and chocolate pairing. With four award-winning chocolate truffles from local chocolatier with four carefully selected dry red wines.

Dinner at August E’s, known for it’s organic produce and superb local suppliers. August E inspired by his Thai roots and years in various culinary pursuits throughout the world has created a Nouveau Texas Cuisine. Utilizing ingredients like: Niman ranch Natural Premium Aged Angus steaks and local farmers fruits and vegetables year round. Menu specials change seasonally based on the creative mood of Chef Leu like duck from Maple Leaf Farms and Sashimi Grade Fish.

A favorite in the Texas Hill, we enjoy dinner at Otto’s German Bistro. Menu changes weekly with the season so each visit is an exciting adventure. Dedicated to local, organic produce ingredients that are always fresh and the highest quality.

We enjoy breakfast at Java Ranch a locally owned coffee stop. The ranch serves the finest hot or iced coffee drinks anywhere including lattes, cappuccinos, Hill Country roasted brewed coffee, Americanos and mochas. To start the day off we dive in a breakfast taco or kolaches, house favorites.

We take a visit to the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park for a “Texas style” morning. During his administration, Johnson signed more education bills into law than any other president. In respect to that we see his first school where he signed the landmark Elementary and Secondary Education act of 1965. Other stops include the family cemetery and the LBJ Ranch Show.

In the afternoon we endow in lunch and a beer tasting at Altstadt Brewery Fredericksburg’s newest brewery an authentic Bavarian brewery. Dedicated to creating the purest drinking beers the 120-acre old world destination features a fine dining restaurant, brewery tours and a beautiful venue. Brewery exclusives include traditional brews like Schwarzbier, a traditional German “Black Beer.”

With over 150 specialty shops, shopping is one of the primary reasons visitors come to Fredericksburg. In store we see everything from clothing, upscale home accessories, to unique collectibles and more perfect items for holiday shopping. Blackchalk Home and Laundry originally an old laundromat had been transformed into an electric home goods store. The hip store features gifts, kitchen goods, and one of a kind rugs. The infamous Christmas Store open year round specializes in collectibles. For collectors, this store is paradise with Department 56 miniature villages and Christopher Radko blown glass ornaments. The Hill Country Outfitters and The Grasshopper offer products to fit the hill country lifestyle in downtown Fredericksburg. Brands like Ugg and The North Face are housed in the Outfitters. The Narrow Path Tasting Room inside is an intimate space with French cafe feelings in the air.

To continue the Holiday Wine Trail, a stop at Signor Vineyard in the rolling hills of Central Texas. Where the Pedernales River meets Grape Creek, established by a friendship spanning three generations of two Texas families. Their focus is growing premium varietal fruit with soulful wines reflective of the unique terroir.

Our stay is perfect timing for the Fredericksburg’s 61st Annual Holiday Home Tour. A self guided tour showcasing unique local homes decorated in their holiday finest. With more than 22 vendors each year selling personal gifts, homemade foods and holiday items.

For dinner we dine at Navajo Grill, which encompasses an unusual blend of Hill Country craftsman design. Enjoying Southern cuisine composed with old and New Mexican flavors with a touch of Creole & Caribbean influences. Specialties like the Sunday Chicken Fried Steak dinner are served with housemade sauces and dressings.

After dinner drinks at Elk Store Winery & Distillery. Since 1895 the business has carried a family tradition that pays homage to the spirit of realizing the American Dream. In the footsteps of their great grandfather Todd Smajstrla along with Scott Hladky, produced moonshine, gin, rum, and whiskey. Since then, the business serves Incredible wines from all over the world. Along with small batches of handmade liquors by the bottle or cocktails.

Dinner at Rathskeller a full-service breakfast, lunch and dinner spot in downtown Fredericksburg. The menu selection is extremely versatile featuring German dishes and daily specials. On Friday and Saturday nights enjoy live music that house the restaurant.

Nothing better than the taste of handmade tortillas for breakfast at Hilda’s Tortillas. Hilda’s is a small family owned and operated business. Specializing in authentic Mexican fare their breakfast tacos and burritos are a must try. Twice a week 300 or more pounds of tortilla chips are produced within the restaurant.

For some fresh air we bike the quiet country backroads with Jack and Adams Bicycles. At Jack and Adams you can rent out Road, Tri-bike, Cruisers and even kid bicycles and accessories from a variety of brands. The Hill Country scenes with its rolling hills and panoramic views, is considered the cycling capital of Texas.

In addition to the speciality shops we visited above there is a collection of shops specializing in different festive treats. Emma + Ollie bakeshop takes classic treats we grew up loving and elevated them. The shop prides themselves on using only fresh ingredients; no processed foods, no artificial sweeteners, just pure dessert. The founder Rebecca Rather wanted the shop to feel as if customers stepped into an upscaled version of their own grandma’s kitchen. Chocolat store creator, Lecia Duke, was the first to introduce European-Style, liquid centered chocolate in the U.S. The truffle chocolates are of course a house favorite as the delicate shell gives way to the pure liquid flavor casades in your mouth. In addition there is also colette’s, creams, silk fudges, nut clusters, barks, and caramels. Fredericksburg Pecan Company provides fine quality of pecan products grown in the Texas Hill Country. Owners are dedicated to providing excellent quality pecans available for online order at reasonable prices with the best customer service. Pecans are flavored and glossed in everything from pecan brittle to pecan coffee.

Rustlin Rob’s Texas Gourmet Food is not your ordinary gourmet food, not limited to people who cook but to “foodies” of all ages. The store is enjoyable because it caters to anyone who loves to eat. With over 350 gourmet foods we can sample from ranging from peanut butters, mustards, bread mixes, and some 5 Alarm hot sauces.

Fredericksburg Pie Company mission is to serve pie that is as good as, or better than your mothers or grandmothers made. In store pies are made from scratch and selections change daily with up to 20 kinds of pie. While here, we enjoy an option of coffee, milk, and more with our slice of pie and even a book selection. Sugar free pies are also available with a call in a day before.

Lunch at the Farm Haus Bistro in the Fredericksburg Herb Farm, with an American menu with French and Italian influences. Owners Dick and Rosemary Estenson take us on a tour of the B&B Cottages based upon the design of the early historic Fredericksburg “Sunday Houses. These houses are inspired by German settlers who built these small “city houses” to use on the weekends to buy provisions and attend Sunday church. We also visit the Nature Spa area dedicated to a truly unique relaxing experience.

Exploring Main Street is incredible when we can enjoy Eisban, an outdoor ice skating on real ice. Alongside Marketplace and the Christmas Pyramid. Afterwards a trip to Luckenbach, Texas made famous by Waylon Jennings’ and Willie Nelson’s 1976 classic country hit.

For our last destination Dinner and wine pairing at local Cabernet Grill Texas Wine Country Restaurant. Chef/Owner Ross Burtwell’s wish is to create a lasting impression of culinary craft where guest feel at home. Known for his speciality in preparing the freshest seafood, Certified Angus Beef, wild game and ranch fare. The wine selection is also superb with over 75 selections from around the State of Texas. Tripadvisor has ranked the restaurant Top 10 in the nation and we know why.

The good art company, gallery, art, Fredericksburg Texas, 360 MAGAZINE

August E's, 360 MAGAZINE, Fredericksburg Texas

War museum, Fredericksburg Texas, 360 MAGAZINE, Vaughn Lowery

Altstadt Brewery, Fredericksburg Texas, 360, 360 MAGAZINE, Vaughn Lowery

Chocolat, lecia Duke, 360 MAGAZINE, Fredericksburg, Vaughn Lowery

GRINGO IN GRANADA

Gringo in Granada

By Robert Grant

Parque Central is the perfect inception to your exploration of Granada on a summer day. To stand here is to truly be transported back in time. As one of the oldest European settled cities in the Americas, the remnants of the colonialist era endure here brushed in a palette that seemingly exploded from an artist’s wildest imagination. The square, encased by Spanish-style churches and government buildings is a busy place. Horse-drawn carriages line the perimeter awaiting tourists to hire them and vendors fill the center offering a bit of the place to take home.

Old meets new in Granada. A quick stroll down the avenues will expose you to the beautiful provincial architecture whose brilliance is not lost by the splash of color that the locals have introduced. The vibrance of the city is best experienced on foot and you’ll easily fall in love with this bike-friendly town.

Like most of Nicaragua, the city of Granada is surrounded by lakes and volcanoes offering a real treat for the adventurer in you. After grabbing a bite near the square (plenty of eateries nearby) take a tour using one of the local services. If you haven’t booked an itinerary beforehand, most restaurant and shop owners can point you in the direction of a tour agency. Leo Tours comes highly recommended and takes groups to Las Isletas de Granada (Islets of Granada) and the nearby volcano Mombacho. If you’re touring the volcano it’s advised to arrive early in the morning (around 5 am) as this is an option that consumes an entire day.

The trek to Las Isletas begins with a bike ride from the city to the nearby port from which you can board a motor boat or kayak to traverse the waters of Lake Nicaragua. Wear comfy shoes and be sure to pack a bathing suit as things are soon to get a little wet and wild. Leo tours offers both bilingual and Spanish guides -depending on your proficiency- who will help you navigate the lake and provide tons of historic information.

The best way to experience the beauty and tranquility of Las Isletas is to go via kayak. If you haven’t kayaked before be advised that this tour is not for the faint of heart. There are no rapids, but lake Nicaragua is a massive lake-the 2nd largest in Central America and 19th in the world- that reaches depths of 85 ft. The tour itself takes about 3 1/2 hours with 2 1/2 of that spent on the water.  Once underway you’ll sail past some of the most beautiful wildlife and flora you’ve ever seen. Formed by the eruption of nearby Mombacho thousands of years ago, the islets are numerous are very unique ecologically. Various species of birds and particularly monkeys can be seen here before arriving at the famous isla de mono (monkey island). The islets on the periphery of the lake are also home to many wealthy Nicaraguans. Former presidents, executives and foreign diplomats take residence in the many mansions that line the path.

A good guide will make this tour very memorable for you and take great photos while giving you lots of information. If you opt to take the tour later in the day (last leaves at 2:30 pm) it’s the ideal time to enjoy the sunset on the lake.

Your visit to Nicaragua is not complete without a stop in Granada, the crown jewel of this volcanic nation. A less known oasis is quickly becoming a well known tourist attraction. For a stop a that’s affordable and gringo friendly, look no further.

Sports Tours International Anticipates Banner Year for Amateur Cyclists

Cyclo sportives and Gran Fondos are lengthy, challenging, mass participation cycling events that follow the same routes conquered by professional racers. Participating in one provides the opportunity to ride on some of the most notable and legendary climbs and descents in competitive cycling history.

Sports Tours International (https://www.sportstoursinternational.co.uk/) offers travel and support packages to ride in a wide variety of the world’s finest cyclo sportive and Gran Fondo events. They secure entries for many annually over-subscribed events including perennial favorites such as La Marmotte, Maratona d les Dolomites and L’ Etape du Tour. These are also quite popular with North Americans looking to combine a cycling event with a European vacation.

L’Étape du Tour 2018 on July 8 is the only cyclo sportive that allows amateur riders to test themselves on closed roads on the exact same route as a Tour de France stage. It is almost always in the Pyrenees or the Alps and often falls on a Tour rest day so it makes a great highlight in any trip to follow Tour de France’s mountain stages. L’Étape du Tour 2018 takes in stage 10 of the Tour de France, Annecy to Le Grand Bornand in the Alps. Riding out from Lake Annecy will be 15,000 cyclists on a 169km route that takes in Col de la Croix Fry, Col de Romme and an unusual gravel section. The finish is at Le Grand-Bornand, a resort in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in southeastern France.

Riders and guests will enjoy a festival of cycling over the weekend in Annecy, an alpine town known for canals and cobbled streets. Sports Tours International’s L’Étape du Tour 2018 four-day/three-night tour package includes guaranteed entry. The company is one of only a handful of operators who can guarantee entry to the event. The package includes accommodations at a range of hotels, round trip airport transfers from Geneva, overland bike transfer, bike rental and storage, complimentary coach accommodations for traveling companions to witness the excitement, three breakfasts, and, depending on the hotel, three dinners, staff support along the race course and more. Per person, double occupancy rates begin at £549 and go up to £699 for four-star accommodations. Self-drive packages are also available. While guaranteed, an additional cost is the actual entry fee to L’Étape du Tour 2018. For non-riders, a free coach from Annecy to the finish in Le Grand Bornand is offered with return to Annecy later in the day. See: https://www.sportstoursinternational.co.uk/event-categories/etape-du-tour/

La Marmotte Gran Fondo (French) Alps also on July 8 is an extremely tough event for the 8,500 riders. This is a 170km alpine climbing bonanza between Bourg d’Oisans and Alpe d’Huez with 5,000m of climbing. The event does not take place on closed roads but there are rolling road closures. The Marmotte is a firm favorite for foreign riders with the field containing just 20% French riders. There are no cut off points enroute.  Packages similar to L’Étape du Tour 2018 are available. See: https://www.sportstoursinternational.co.uk/events/la-marmotte/

2018 Maratona dles Dolomites on July 1 exemplifies closed road Italian Gran Fondo riding at its very best. This event with 8,500 riders is one of the toughest cycling events around, tough not for distance (138km) but for the amount of climbing packed into the route. The climbs are steeper, in general, than both the Alps and Pyrenees! Participants and guests lodge in the Alta Badia area for seven or four nights. Most hotels are on a half board basis with breakfasts and dinners included. Some have spa and wellness facilities. Packages similar to L’Étape du Tour 2018 are available. See https://www.sportstoursinternational.co.uk/events/maratona-dles-dolomites/

Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 on July 29 forms part of the London 2012 Olympics legacy events for cycling. This is an opportunity to cycle on closed roads around London’s many landmarks and into the county of Surrey. Most importantly for cyclo sportive riders is riding a route that replicates much of the 2012 Olympics Road Race course. Some 20,000 riders are anticipated. The new Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46-mile distance event takes place on the same day as the 100, setting off after all the “100” riders have departed. This is ideal for those wanting the RideLondon experience, without the stress of riding 100 miles. Climbs on Leith Hill and Box Hill on this ride aren’t meant to replicate the exertion it takes to climb in the Alps. The race returns to Central London for a finish on The Mall. Later in the afternoon there will also be a Pro cycling event. Packages similar to L’Étape du Tour 2018 are available. See: https://www.sportstoursinternational.co.uk/events/ridelondon/.

For more information, available packages, space availability and reservations please visit online: www.sportstoursinternational.com, email: sales@sportstoursinternational.co.uk, or call: (+44) 161 703 8161.

Sports Tours International is Europe’s leading specialist in sports travel. Since inception in 1973 they have hosted thousands of participants and spectators at major sporting events worldwide. With the tagline, Fanatical about Sport, the company’s initial roots came from a devotion to running when founder Vince Regan began taking runners to the NYC Marathon. Since the early 2000s, the company now embraces international cycling events and triathlon competitions, sports training camps and corporate hospitality.

DISCOVER SOUTH AFRICA x TAX REFUND

It is that time of the year again, when Americans start preparing their tax returns, but there’s good news as most taxpayers can expect to receive an average refund of $2,895 according to the IRS. This year, South African Tourism is once again launching its Tax Refund campaign to encourage savvy travelers and adventure seekers to make the most of their refund with an out-of-this-world trip to South Africa. Partnering with the top US travel trade partners South African Tourism unveils six new exciting packages priced between $1,700-$3,200 to reflect the average tax refund. The packages offer a variety of experiences focusing on romance, adventure and culture throughout South Africa.

 

Today’s favorable exchange rate also guarantees US travelers’ hard-earned refund money goes further than ever in South Africa. South African Tourism is also excited to collaborate with TurboTax® this season on a blog post inspired by South Africa’s 10 most Instagrammable locations which will be live onwww.blog.turbotax.intuit.com/.

 

Whether a history buff, art and culture enthusiast, foodie, adventurer or nature lover, South Africa has something to offer every discerning traveler looking for an affordable vacation. This year’s exclusive deals include:

 

 

  • Gate 1 – 8 Day South Africa Tour with Game Drives & Flights — 8 days and 6 nights
Enjoy the best of Cape Town by exploring Table Mountain and then visit either the Winelands or Cape Peninsula. After a few days in the “Mother City,” head on to Johannesburg to transfer to the safari portion of your trip. You’ll be able to spot all kinds of wildlife while enjoying South Africa’s natural beauty. From US$1699/ Per Person Sharing (includes US $260pp savings with promo code SATD260).
This week, you’ll take a deep dive into exploring Cape Town’s gorgeous sites and vibrant culture. Whether biking through Cape Point, whale watching from the golden shores, or hiking Table Mountain, you’re sure to fall in love with Cape Town. From US $1,999* Per Person Sharing.
  • Great Safaris – Zululand Express Safari — 6 days and 4 nights
Explore the beautiful coastal town of Durban to see a different side of South Africa. Here, you’ll experience the historical melting pot of Indian and African cultures or spend a day relaxing on the beach. Afterwards, you’ll transfer to Thanda Safari Private Game Reserve to partake in game drives and learn about the Zulu tribe members that originally lived there. From US $2,195 Per Person Sharing.
  • Indus Travel – Super South Africa & Dubai — 13 Days and 9 nights
Guests can explore the vibrant city of Johannesburg and a guided tour to the Soweto Township, a cultural melting pot with a wealth of heritage sites that will fascinate any visitor. Visit Kruger National Park before continuing on to Stellenbosch in the heart of the Cape Winelands. Then Visit Cape Town, regularly voted one of the most beautiful cities in the world. From US$2,799* Per Person Sharing.
Enjoy scenic beauty, culture and world class restaurants in Cape Town. Marvel at spectacular views of the Atlantic seaboard from the top of Table Mountain. Explore the Cape Peninsula, on a full-day tour that offers dramatic scenery and endearing penguins. From US $2,999* Per Person Sharing.
Experience the perfect mix of safari and city with this trip to South Africa. After 3 nights of game drives in malaria-free Pilanesberg Game Reserve, couples can retreat to the beach suburb of Cape Town to relax. From US $3,199* Per Person Sharing.

 

 

“South Africa is blessed with breathtaking natural scenery, world-class safari experiences, and adrenaline pumping adventure activities; and with celebrations around the Nelson Mandela Centenary planned throughout 2018, now is the ideal time to visit,” said Bangu Masisi, President of South African Tourism, Americas. “These packages from our partners showcase the variety of exciting travel experiences that are made possible by using your tax refund”. To book these packages or view additional South Africa travel deals, please visit southafrica.net/deals. For more information on South Africa’s rich and diverse offerings visit www.southafrica.net, follow @SouthAfrica on Twitter and @VisitSouthAfrica on Instagram and Facebook.