I am happy to announce that a long time dream of mine will come true this2010 spring. FinKraft, in partnership with our friend Paolo Zenoni who lives in Bergamo, Italy will provide a fully supported cycling experience in Italy. Often called “the mother country of cycling” in many people’s eyes, we will be riding on legendary roads and routes that the Giro d’ Italia and other classic road races like Giro di Lombardy have passed through over the years. There is no other country with such a strong history in cycling and such amazing scenery. Cycling here is a culture and if you love cycling, this trip is a dream come true.We will leave in the evening from the US on May 21st and arrive in Milan the following morning (May 22nd). If traveling from a different destination all arrivals have to be on Saturday morning to enable a convenient airport pick-up for all clients at the same time. We will have a support van (Team bus) which will be our transportation during our stay. Each client is responsible for his or her own airline ticket and bike transport to Milan, but group discount for airline tickets might be available. Upon arrival at our base camp Hotel Cascina Belvedi (http://www.cascinabelvedi.it/) we will get settled and after a short nap we will assemble our bikes and go for a light spin before dinner. The personnel is English speaking and our accommodations include a big breakfast and a nice real authentic Italian dinner every day. The ride program will be flexible with weather conditions and logistics such as travel to and from different locations.
Here is a preliminary route schedule:
Saturday: arrive at the airport; bus transfer to the hotel; bikes assembly and short easy facultative ride.
Sunday: scenic loop, relatively flat and visit to the old city of Bergamo (Citta`Alta). Spouses take public transportation (easy) and meet up in Citta` Alta. Riding time: 4 hours
Monday: hilly ride, Passo San Marco. Spa day/hiking for the spouses (stores are closed Monday morning but open in the afternoon around 3:30pm so shopping not possible in the am). Riding time: 5 hours.
Tuesday: bus transfer to the beautiful town of Stresa and flat ride around Lago Maggiore. Spouses can enjoy strolling through the town and taking a ferry ride on the lake, visiting the isles and the enchanting gardens. Riding time: 6 hours.
Wednesday: hilly ride to Madonna del Ghisallo and visit to the museum of the cyclists and to the sanctuary of the Madonna del Ghisallo. Spouses take bus to Bergamo and train to Milano to shopping/sightseeing – full day for them and rest afternoon for us. Riding time: 4 hours.
Thursday: travel by bus to Bormio. Climb the Mortirolo and the Gavia passes. Spouses have the opportunity to see this alpine town, where the World Ski Cup is held every year and ride by bus to the ski town of Livigno enjoying breathtaking mountain views (1,5 hour by bus from Bormio) and tax free shopping. Riding time: 6 very tough hours.
Friday: easy ride around the Bergamo area. Relaxing in countryside for the spouses. (Idea: take local bus to either 1) horseback riding in Valle Imagna for a few hours, 2) visit to winery locally, 3) indoor swimming pool for fun with the kids, etc) Riding time: 3 hours
Saturday: Giro d’Italia day! Bikes will be left at hotel and everyone can have a fun day watching the hill finishing 20th stage of the Giro (Bormio – Ponte di Legno – Tonale) – bus trip to location to watch stage and back later to hotel.
Sunday: Nice ride through the rolling vineyards of Franciacorta; bikes packing. Wives bus to Bergamo, train to Lake Como for the day) Riding time: 4 hours. Monday: Bus transfer to the airport. Program may change due to weather reasons.
Monday: Bus transfer to Airport Total riding time: at least 32 hours with some extremely challenging climbs.
Deadline for sign up is March 31st, 2010. There are a lot of logistics for this trip , so the sooner the better.