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Inspiration, Stories / May 4, 2020

Bike Tour Memories: Round Four

Y’all keep sending us goodies, and we are here to share. Here’s the latest in bike tour memories from BikeTours.com clients.

Paris to London photos

From: Terri Brotze

Amazing [Paris to London] bike tour!! Thank you, BikeTours.com! See you after the pandemic has subsided!!

An interesting Italian evening

From: Melanie Wood

Nine of us from my Portland, Oregon women’s biking club did a self-guided tour in Umbria, Italy in September 2018. We toured beautiful farmlands, rode among vineyards and olive groves, through small Italian towns that we wanted to live in, and saw ancient churches with art that made you want to weep. We saw so many beautiful and interesting sights that I could write an entire travel article about them. But I’d like to share one evening that was funny, interesting, and a good example of no matter how far you travel or what culture you experience, people are generally the same.

Our second and third nights were spent at the Countryhouse Casco dell’ Acqua, which was lovely, clean, modern, and supplied wonderful breakfasts. For our second night’s dinner, after riding and exploring 40 miles, our host suggested a local restaurant only a five-minute walk away. She said the food was excellent and the beer was cold. She called for reservations, booking an outside table under fairy lights and the stars.

It was magical. We ordered several pizzas, salads, beer, and wine and had a good time reviewing the day’s ride and reveling in the fact we had not gotten lost once. Someone noticed the staff setting up a long table a few feet away with some decorations, indicating it was a celebration of some sort. People of various ages started arriving, some with similar looks, and we guessed this was a large extended family gathering.

After a while, an attractive older couple arrived, perhaps in their 60’s, who seemed to be orchestrating the event. The woman was on her cell phone a lot and then started arguing with her husband. The argument accelerated in volume and energy. We looked around at each other, wanting to escape this very private happening, but short of leaving our table or perhaps crawling under it, there was nowhere to hide. So we sat, eating and drinking, trying to be invisible while the fight raged on a few feet from us. Finally, the woman stormed off, and eventually, everyone else left, too. No one ate or drank anything. The staff attending them just shrugged their shoulders and started clearing the table.

Although I did not understand the Italian or hand gestures flying back and forth, I remember thinking one thing was for certain: she was really angry and he was in a heap of trouble.

Hopeful for future tours!

From: Mary Jo

I’m happy to share some photos from our self-guided tour from Passau to Budapest. It was an amazing experience & we were planning to ride through Switzerland this coming summer — COVID-19 ruined that, but we’re hopeful that we can do it in 2021.

A delightful adventure

From: Dan M.

My wife and I enjoy a physical challenge, but because we are “older,” not an overly strenuous one. We also like to travel and experience new adventures on our own without guides. We have found, that in our 70’s, BikeTours.com’s European self-guided tours fit us perfectly.

I am a more serious biker, but my wife has biked infrequently for many years, so for our first tour we decided on the upscale Danube Bike Path from Passau to Vienna in mid-May. We decided to choose our own dining adventures. The daily mileage, varying from 25 to 37, was within our ability with refreshing stops for tea, coffee, pastry, beer or wine, and to explore trailside attractions.

Once we followed the off-path signs to a delightful fresh fish restaurant nestled in the woods in the middle of the country. The hotels were all at or above expectations, the bike path was well maintained and well signed, and the scenery along the river and in the small towns, countryside, and villages was colorful and interesting. The locals were friendly and helpful.

Once in a small village, I paused to ask my wife if she’d recently seen a bike path sign. After she stated she had not, up from behind an adjacent stone wall popped a lady, who had been weeding. She asked us if we were going to Vienna or Passau. When I replied we were going to Vienna, she assured us we were on the correct route and that in about a quarter kilometer we would see a sign directing a left turn to remain on the bike path.

One overnight lodging (Landhotel Stift Ardagger) was both significantly off the riverside path (by about three kilometers) and up a short, but steep climb. We determined it was well worth the effort after we explored the ancient but beautifully decorated nearby church, enjoyed our well-appointed room, and ate a gourmet meal on the hotel’s outdoor balcony overlooking a beautiful garden with an outdoor wedding venue.

In summary, bike touring in Europe, when arranged by BikeTours.com, is a delightful adventure. We can’t wait for the pandemic to pass and immunizations to be available so we can again discover new European adventures.

Camino to Lake Constance

From: Linda Croft

What started out as a suggestion to hike the Camino became a cycling trip with four girlfriends. The four of us got together and looked at the possibilities. We spoke with the BikeTours.com staff and agreed upon cycling Lake Constance. I hesitated as it was toted as one of Europe’s most popular cycling paths. In hindsight, it was the best choice for us as it was our first cycling trip!

When we arrived in Constance the energy level was high. We visited the tour operator’s bike warehouse to get fitted and pick up our bikes. Keep in mind none of us had ever been on a cycling trip! We had trained, however, and we were confident we could do the [difficulty] level 2 and [handle the] daily distances.

Our hotels were beautiful. The food was delicious. The maps were great with only a few hiccups finding the bike path.

We stopped along the daily cycling route for photos, cappuccinos, lunch, and sightseeing. We arrived at the hotel at the day’s end, relaxed, and used the amenities. We befriended a group of Austrians who were cycling the same route. Life was good!

We all had a great time keeping fit and seeing the countryside at a relaxed pace. We have continued to take additional bike trips in Europe! It’s a wonderful way to expand one’s horizons and experience a country’s culture at a leisurely pace!

Perhaps you’d enjoy:
Bike Tour Memories: 1st Edition
Bike Tour Memories: Photo Edition
Bike Tour Memories: A Second Helping
Bike Tour Memories: Poetry Edition
Bike Tour Memories: Round Three
Bike Tour Memories: Family Edition

If you have a memory you’d like to share, email us: tailwinds@biketours.com.

Tags from the story:

Client profiles, Lake Constance, England, France, Italy, Danube, Umbria

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