Cycling in Europe

 Index.. 

My Cycling Tours

 My Cycling in Europe.. 

Since 2002, I have traveled to Europe to do fifteen cycling tours, the first seven with Erickson Cycle Tours, and the last eight with Veloski Sports. These trips were

  • The French Alps in 2002 (starting from Ferney-Voltaire, France, near Geneva), which included my first ride up the L’Alpe D’Huez, as well as live viewing one day of the Tour de France as it came up the nearby Col des Saisies.
  • The Swiss Alps tour in 2003 (starting from Appenzell, east of Zurich), which proved to be a strenuous series of rides, including my first visit to Bormio, Italy via my first ride over the Stelvio, and too, a climb of the Mortirolo, certainly one of the hardest climbs on a bike in the world, its slope averaging just over 11%, though most of it is steeper, sometimes more like 16-18%. This was the last bike tour I did with other than what is known as a compact crankset.
  • The 2005 tour through the Dolomites (starting from Castelfranco, near Venice) of Northern Italy. I flew to Venice for the first time, started in Castelfranco on a loop that included Asiago, Cles, Bolzano, a hotel at the summit of the Passo Pordoi, and a stay in Cortina. (I was to fly to Venice twice more, in 2009 and 2014, and start again in Castelfranco.)
  • The 2006 tour through the Maritime Alps of France. I flew to Nice, and started from Vence (near Nice) on a route which included a ride up Mont Ventoux.
  • The 2007 tour through the Pyrenees. Following a few warm-up rides from our starting hotel in Pau, France, I started the tour with a 95-mile day with 12,000+ feet of climbing. More epic days followed. I dearly want to go back to the Pyrenees.
  • The 2008 trip through the Jura Mountain region of Switzerland (starting from Ferney-Voltaire, France). This tour had some epic 10,000+ foot days (of climbing on the bike) into destinations like Delemont and Grindelwald.
  • The 2009 trip through the Dolomites followed the same route as 2005. I arrived early to meet my friend Tony and make a trip back to Bormio, where we got to ride over both sides of the Stelvio in one day. Not to forget, but on that trip I managed to rent and drive a Ford Mondeo with a manual transmission, and drive it hundreds of kilometers, including over the Stelvio to Bormio, Italy, and over the Gavia on the way back to Venice, quite an adventure on roads that are steep, narrow (yet two-way), and clogged with cyclists.
  • The 2011 tour through the Italian Alps. Starting in Innsbruck, the tour which allowed us to ride to Bormio, and back east as far as Cortina and Ravlascletto. I finally realized my dream of a one-day ride on the loop including the Mortirolo and the Gavia. From Ravlascletto, I got to ride up Monte Zoncolan, which certainly remains the hardest bicycle climb I’ve ever done, and possibly ever will do.
  • The 2013 Route des Grandes Alpes had me flying into Geneva, starting in Evian-les-Bains on Lake Geneva, and ending in Vence, near Nice, after a dip into the Mediterranean. I rode over 30 named cols (mountain passes), many of them often used in the Tour de France.
  • The 2014 tour through the Dolomites of Northern Italy starting from Castelfranco). This tour proved similar to my 2005 and 2009 tours, though this time with certain Veloski modifications and enhancements.
  • For the 2015 Alpine Crescent tour, I flew to to Milan and did a grand loop ride starting from Alba, Italy, (southwest of Milan) that ended on the shores of Lago Como in Italy.
  • For the 2016 French Alps “Sea to Ski” tour, I flew to to Nice and did a sort reverse direction of the 2013 tour, starting from Vence, France, and ending in Annecy, France.
  • For the 2017 Lombardy Lakes and Alps tour, I flew to Verona, Italy, was brought to Costermano sul Garda, and did a loop which started and ended at the Hotel Boffenigo.
  • For the 2017 Dolomites Vines and Climbs tour, I flew again to Venice, where the Veloski van picked me up and brought me to Castelfranco Veneto, to stay at our old friend, the Hotel Alla Torre. This tour was much the same as the 2014 tour.
  • For the 2018 Rhône Alps tour, I flew to Geneva on June 16th, started the tour from Gex, France, and ended it in Annecy, France.

For 2020 and beyond, there are no plans yet.

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