Posts tagged with "cycle"

European Cycle Routes for Newbies

Knowing where to go in Europe for a leisurely cycling vacation can be tricky. It helps to have good advice from the experts. Freewheel Holidays, the international specialist in self-guided bicycle vacations in Europe, suggests three routes for those new to multi-day bicycle touring who may prefer routes without steep climbs or descents.

UK-based Freewheel Holidays arranges bicycle vacations along mainly traffic- and challenge-free routes. Because guests cycle across mostly flat terrain, the fatigue and frustration factors of challenging inclines are kept out of the equation.

Following are Freewheel Holidays’ suggested itineraries for newbies in Spain’s Catalonia, along the Danube in Austria and in the Loire Valley of France. As with all of its self-guided vacation programs, rates (per person, double) include lodging with breakfast, detailed route notes, point-to-point luggage transfers, 24-hour emergency support, complimentary bike rentals and suggested attractions along each route. E-bike options are available on all of these itineraries. For additional vacation-by-bicycle suggestions see: http://www.freewheelholidays.co.uk/.

The 7-day Catalonia Greenways itinerary begins with an exploration of a preponderance of extinct volcanoes in Garrotxa Natural Park in the Girona Pyrenees. After wandering the streets of the 13th century market town, Olot, and sampling the local goat cheese, Garrotxa, it’s on to a disused rail line, the traffic-free Carrilet Olot cycle path, downhill through the wood countryside in the mountains, destination the medieval town of Girona. The beach on the Costa Brava awaits, with perhaps a dip in the sea on the northeastern tip of Spain. The per person double rate is from £789 with departures beginning in early January and continuing through end October 2019. See: https://www.freewheelholidays.co.uk/cycling-holidays/all-cycling-holidays/family-cycling-holidays/catalonia-greenways

The 8-day Danube Cycle Path – Passau to Vienna itinerary explores an ancient military and trading route on paths along the Danube River once traversed by Romans, the legendary Nibelungs (think Wagner) and even Europe’s powerful kings and emperors. The adventure begins in the baroque town of Schärding or in Passau, the town of three rivers, before moving on through Upper and Lower Austria and finally to Vienna. The per person double rate is from £549 with departures beginning in early April and continuing through mid October 2019. See: https://www.freewheelholidays.co.uk/cycling-holidays-austria/passau-vienna-danube

A 7-day Loire Valley Castles itinerary guides guests through the Loire Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage region, that is also known as “garden of France.” Here is a display of one-time wealth and imminence as reflected in the more than 200 castles. Among these is the Clos-Luce manor in Amboise where Leonardo lived for three years (and died) and where some of his remarkable inventions are on display. Cycling through this luxuriant countryside rife with fields of wheat and barley, poppies and centennial oaks is joy in and of itself, with opportunities aplenty to sample the wines of this renowned food and wine region. Concluding the tour is one of the most famous and majestic of all Loire castles, Château de Chambord, that lends its name to a liqueur and that after 288 years in construction, served as a royal hunting lodge. The per person double rate is from £609 with departures beginning late April and continuing into mid September 2019. See https://www.freewheelholidays.co.uk/cycling-holidays-france/loire-valley-castles

To check trip availability, make reservations, or to find out more about Freewheel Holidays’ leisure cycling tours call +44 (0) 161 703 5823, email info@freewheelholidays.com or visit www.freewheelholidays.co.uk.

Bike Messengers x The Red Bulletin

(Article Courtesy of The Red Bulletin)

Every year, bike messengers from all over the continent gather at the North American Cycle Courier Championships to compete, carouse and commiserate. This is their story.

Hunger pangs give way to an enthusiastic greeting as Nico Cabrera is among the last to arrive at a watering hole in Milwaukee’s East Side neighborhood. He’s welcomed by a cadre of misfits whose belligerence varies — one says he’s been drinking all day — each with unkempt hair. Most of the men and women haven’t seen the likes of a straight-edged razor in years. A guy wearing a Sponge Bob shirt has a mullet that looks straight out of “Boogie Nights” and another’s beard is so biblically long, there’s reason to question if it got caught in the wheels of the bicycle he rode to Good City Brewing, parked among some 200 others outside.

All are dressed like they just raided a Goodwill store, except Cabrera, who dons the onesy of an Olympic cyclist. There’s a reason for that: He just rode the 90 miles up to Milwaukee from Chicago, where he lives.

“Biking is more than just a job,” Cabrera says. “We race our bikes on the weekend or we go on long bike rides. We go bike camping. We just generally get around our daily lives on our bicycle. It’s a big deal when it’s like, ‘Hey, I’m taking the train today.’ ”

His shoulder-length hair, trim body and regular use of words like “rad” make him a better fit for a group of surfers on the left coast, though he was raised in suburban Chicago.

Cabrera is the most recognizable among the group. He’s here for the North American Cycle Courier Championships (NACCC, pronounced “Nack”), a conclave of the best messengers from around the world, who participate in a grueling, hours-long race that calls for competitors to have marathon-like athleticism and navigating knowhow. Cabrera is the NACCC’s reigning champion and is fresh off a third-place finish at the World Championships in Montreal.

Read the full article at The Red Bulletin