We recently helped client Pedro Campos find and customize a bike tour at the last minute and wanted to share this fun success story! Campos is a competitive road cyclist spending time in London on business and wanted to get in a few days of riding in Europe. He had five free days the week after he found BikeToursDirect, and tour specialist Richie helped him choose the Taste of Tuscany tour and customize the self-guided version to accommodate this last-minute booking and the longer daily distances Campos was looking for. Read on for more on his experience – in his words!
Pedro riding through San Gimignano
The tour was perfect. It was amazing! I loved it! It was completely worth it as it was a priceless experience. I can’t believe we made it happen with such short notice and that everything worked out so smoothly. Thank you so much for all your help throughout that week (including weekends!).
I lucked out with the weather. It was simply perfect. Blue, sunny skies, mid-80’s. Dominick (the owner of Best Tuscan Tours) and Mark went out with me for the first couple hours on the first day and left me with a huge road map and a good idea of how to get around.
From there, I completely disregarded the pre-established routes as I was looking for more mileage. I’d take off in a general direction each day, with a certain plan/cities to go meet, but would purposely get off the main roads and explore. I’d hit up random villages — shouting out “Buon Giorno!” to everyone, drinking cafe macchiattos!
Cycling through Tuscan vineyards
I chose to be in the saddle for at least 6 hrs. each day, did some awesome loops and city transfer rides with a lot of exploring. I’d get lost on purpose, come up to an intersection with signs with the town names and distances, open up my old-school map and lay out a plan / determine my next detour. Each night, I circled on the map all of the towns I rode through.
Some good 30- to 40-minute climbs, amazing descents. At times, I wouldn’t see a soul for hours. Scenery was simply ridiculous. Vineyards, fields, medieval towns… One day a pack of wild boars almost trampled me. Good stuff!
A couple times I ended up in some crazy gravel/dirt roads. Fun for the first 3km but one day it went on for like 15k. That was day 3. Probably the most epic one.
Pedro touring Siena one evening after riding
When I got to Radda in Chianti, after the first day of riding, I was amazed with the hotel. An actual palace with the friendliest staff possible. Wine tasting was across the medieval alley, within wi-fi range, where I could drink plenty of ‘chianti classico’ post-ride. Food was amazing — pasta, pizza, veal, gelato. And at breakfast, people were probably surprised at my eating several thousand calories.
Siena was very fun the last 3 nights as well. I walked around, met a lot of people, went to bars, had good dinners at different restaurants. Wine was crazy cheap.
After the end of my tour, I spent a day in Pisa. Very easy bus transfer (6 euros from Florence, 70 minutes). Now I’m back home and raced a crit on Saturday. I didn’t only crash once, but actually twice due to people crashing right in front of me! More road rash on both knees, elbows and hips! Tough luck lately but I’m in one piece. Thanks again for all your help, Richie!