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L'eroica - Tuscany Tour

 29th September to 7th October - 9 days / 8 nights

TRIP DETAILS:
Duration: 9 days (8 nights)
Dates: 29th Sept to the 7th October 2014
Start and finish: Siena - pick up/drop off at Siena train station. We'll be staying in the one hotel for the tour duration. So you can unpack and relax.
Group Size: Up to 12 persons
Cost per person: $4,695  AUD per person based on twin share (single supplement of $300 AUD applicable)
Deposit: $750 AUD - secure your place today
Not included: airfares, travel insurance, excursion costs, meal/snacks outside of those in the itinerary

Limited spots remaining - bookings are required now.

Ride, eat, drink, repeat!  Believe the hype!!
Some of the best riding, the best food, and the best wine; why not repeat it every day!


Tuscany is more beautiful than what you expect it to be. Rolling hills to explore as you follow cypress-lined winding roads. Sleepy hilltop villages, hidden behind Medieval walls. Peaceful farmland with centuries-old vineyards. The flavours of a cuisine that is as simple as it is delicious. Remarkable wines made with pride, following centuries-old recipes. The colours of a landscape that changes with each season. The rhythm of a life, still tied to traditions. Tuscany has a magic that captures you and makes you slow down and enjoy the moment. Join us for a taste of this region, its wines, its food, and its people. Exceptional riding, beautiful landscape, delicious food, great wines and the locals’ charm will all blend together to create a trip of lifetime.


Learn how to live “la dolce vita”.

Trip Wow’s 

  • Take a trip back in time and ride the Strade Bianche in the world famous L’Eroica
  • Visit traditional artisan frame builders 
  • Ride along quiet roads of Tuscan landscape, lined by cypress trees. 
  • Discover the tradition of Chianti Classico from the locals. 
  • Learn how to prepare a Tuscan feast from an Italian chef. 
  • The tour is designed for riders and non-riders, so no one needs to be left out.
 
L’Eroica –The Heroic - It’s recognised as one of the most significant and unique cycling events in the world. It’s like nothing else, it’s truly amazing. Vintage bikes (pre 1987), gravel roads, hilly gravel roads, and the best scenery in all of Tuscany. This is not a race, but a festival and celebration of all the things you love about cycling. The spirit of the event and the riders is overwhelming. 

There are various routes you can do from 35km to the epic 205km. But every route has something in common, gravel road, challenging hills and breathtaking scenery.

All participants must ride a bike pre-1987 and are encouraged to wear vintage clothing.

Tommasini Bicycles

Tommasini takes its name from its founder Irio Tommasini having spent most of his life with bicycles. Irio since 1948 has been a master frame-builder and in his time was a successful rider in the world of racing.  In the 70's by increasing his production capacity the distribution for Tommasini also increased both in Italy and abroad.

The artisan workmanship passed down from generation to generation has enable Tommasini frames to be at the forefront of the industry and to be appreciated for their finish and geometries. Many amateur and professional riders, since inception of Tommasini have relied and to date continue to rely on Tommasini frames to give them the winning edge.

Today as yesterday, the company production remains handmade conferring value to experience and selecting the best material. The Tommasini frames, indeed, are synonymous of quality due to tradition, but also rigorous controls that are followed during each production step.

Tommasini steeped in tradition with its artisan workmanship, coupled with technological advancements and stringent quality control, has made it the frame or bike of choice.

Crisp Titanium

A fairly new artisan frame builder, but one who’s reputation is quickly building. Darren Crisp is an American who is teaching Italians about frame building. Believe it, he makes amazing high-end custom titanium frames - road bikes, mountain bikes, and even snow bikes. He calls Dario Pegorretti his mentor and friend, and those who know about steel frames will know that Dario is a legend. 

Darren has been a racer, and ridden all materials, carbon, aluminium and steel, but it is titanium that his material of choice - ultra light, responsive, low maintenance, resistance to corrosion, and superb ride quality.

He is an architect, blacksmith & sculptor. He understands design and welding. “Know your builder” is not just a throw away tag line, but a belief that a better frame can be made with a true collaboration between frame builder and cyclist. 

What’s included:

Your time in Tuscany includes: 

  • 8 nights’ accommodation in a 4 star converted castle with Buffet Breakfasts & Dinners
  • Superb guided rides with knowledgeable & friendly locals
  • Visit the Tommasini workshop in Grosseto and see how traditional steel frames are made.
  • Visit Crisp Titanium and see a new artisan creates beautiful titanium frames.
  • Visit traditional Chianti winery estates to learn about the wine and do some tasting
  • Take traditional Italian cooking lessons
  • Walking Tours of Siena and San Gimignano
  • Guaranteed entry into L’Eroica – (L’Eroica bikes can be organised)
  • Visit the 3 day L’Eroica fair. An amazing market filled with every vintage part or clothing you can image.
  • (For those with larger feet (45+) if you don’t have vintage/retro cycling shoes, we suggest you source some before you get to Gaiole. You can buy shoes at the fair, but the larger sizes are hard to find.)
  • All evening meals at the hotel or surrounding villages, plus 2 free nights to explore Siena and San Gimignona on your own
  • Transfers to and from the train station
  • A Tour cycling kit valued over $250 – Jersey, shorts, vest, cap, socks and neck buff.
 Not included:  Airfares   Bike hire   lunches    Travel Insurance   Personal expenses

 

Total cost: $4,695 

*single supplement - $300


 Itinerary:

Day 1     Mon 29th Sept       Arrival - A representative will be at the Siena Train station to pick you up and transfer you to the hotel. Siena is easily accessible by train from Milan and Rome.  We'll take you to our castel 30 minutes from Siena. Yes we are staying in renovated castle. It's perched on a small hill with views of Casole d'Elsa and San Gimignano. We'll have time to set up your bikes and take a short ride to shake out the legs.

We'll have welcome drinks by the pool and dinner in the small village of Strove

Day 2     Tue 20th Sept                      Easy ride –  Casole D’Elsa , Coll di Val D’Elsa & San Gimignano

Today we do a fantastic loop from the Hotel to Casole d'Elsa and San Gimignano, it's about 60km long, but features hill top castles, olive plantations, cypress trees, vineyards, friendly Italians, a terrific coffee stop in Casole and lunch in San Gimignano. This is just a small entree of what will be repeated everyday.

This afternoon and Dinner, we'll have a winery tour and private dinner.

Day 3     Wed 1st Oct                    Visit the Tommasini Factory and tour 

This morning we drive towards the Tuscan coast to Grossetto to visit the Tommasini factory and have a tour. You see how Tommasini still make beautiful handcrafted steel frames. Iro Tommasini has even made bikes for Eddy Merckx. Tommasini make steel, aluminium, titanium and carbon frames. But thier passion is for the traditon of steel.
After the factory tour, we'll have a quick transfer and ride to another hill top city of Massa Marittima. This is a great 70 km loop with finishes with a challenging climb into the city centre. We'll have lunch here before return to the van and driving back to the hotel.                                       
 
Day 4     Thu 2nd Oct                    Visit Crisp Titanium – Castiglion Fiorentina
 
This morning we drive to Castiglion Fiorentina, a town to the west of Siena, where Darren Crisp now calls home. Darren is an American who now lives in Tuscany and is a frame biulder specialising in beautiful highend custom Titanium frames. Darren was a racer in his day and a trained architect, but was drawn to frame building after sustain an injury.
After we leave Darren we'll drive to the region of Crete, and ride a fantastic loop throught the moon scaped fields. This is one of the traditonal vistas you've come to see in Tuscany. The land and soil has been shaped by wind and rain, forming spectular peaks and cliffs. The locals protect the land by tilling the clay, to keep it from eroding further.
Day 5     Fri 3rd Oct                         Chianti ride – L’Eroica practice day on the Strade Bianche
We ride in the heart of Tuscany today, wine country, Chianti Classico. Cypress trees, Romanesque churches and castles are scattered amoung dense woodland and vineyards. This is a noble land, that lives without dependance on Florence or Siena, who long fought to control it.
The perfect terrain that produces great wine, is also great for riding - challenging hills, sweeping descents, quiet back roads and magnificent scenery. Today we also practice riding on the "strade bianche" or white roads.
Day 6     Sat 4th Oct                        L’Eroica Fair and pick up registration details 
We'll have a quick leisurely ride in the morning before we make our way to historic start of L'Eroica, Gaiole. We'll spend the most of day at the fair where you can find practically anything you need for your vintage bike. You could event buy a new vintage bike. Vintage parts, jersey's, shoes, caps, frames, tyres, nuts and bolts. Anything and everything you can think of you'll probably find here. Make sure you bring your haggle and your cash.
Day 7     Sun 5th Oct                       L’EROICA!!!!!!
 
The big day. This will ride will have you smiling from ear to ear when you arrive back in Gaiole. What ever course you choice to ride, you will not be dissappointed. Choose the short, medium or long. It doesn't matter, it's not a race, you have all day to soak up and enjoy the amazing atmosphere and spirit of L'Eroica. It's a spirit of the event that makes this event so special. I can on about the ride, but my words will not do it justice. It will surpass any expectations you have of the event.
Day 8     Mon 6th Oct                      Recovery day 
After yesterdays long day, we'll take it easy this morning and do a nice coffee ride from the hotel to Pievescola. We can talk about yesterdays ride over 2 or 3 coffees. When we return to the hotel, you'll unfortunately have to pack up your bikes.
In the afternoon we'll have another winery tour and tasting before we have our special farewell dinner.
Day 9     Tue 7th Oct             Departure - All good things must come to an end. We'll transfer you to the train station in Siena where you can make your way to your departure airport or continue on your European adventure

 

Daily Rides: Average 50-100 km's per day 

The exact bike ride routes will be varied, interesting and challenging, they will be changed depending on the group and how you feel on the day. We have limitless route options, each day you’ll be amazed by what you see, and the views will be a welcomed distraction as you make your way up the climbs. Each day we’ll ride between 60 to 100km  through the amazing country side around Siena. We’ll have time for a quick coffee stop or the best panini you’ve ever had. 
After a day in the saddle you’ll enjoy the local cuisine even more, and you’ll sleep like a baby in the quiet Tuscan country side. 
Authentic Food: Dine where the locals eat
 
We've chosen a variety of dining experiences for you, with a focus on local produce and traditional menues. We keep away from the main tourist restaurants, but have searched for dining experiences with a difference, you'd often drive or walk past them if you didn't know they were there. We want to give you an insider's experience to eating and drinking in Tuscany. I hope you bring you taste for adventure with you.
 

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