Giro d’Italia, ElliptiGO-Style

Imagine riding through the Italian countryside, swooping on graceful downhills and gliding on dedicated bike paths along sparkling rivers. For two groups of lucky ElliptiGO riders, this dream was a reality this past September. Pete and Lynn van Nuys of Bicycles San Clemente helped 20 riders discover Italy and surrounding countries on two unique itineraries.

Group 1 was aptly christened “Inn to Italy” and was a repeat of last year’s popular ElliptiGO tour of Switzerland, Austria, and Italy. Open to anyone with an adventurous spirit, several group members even included those who never stepped foot on an ElliptiGO bike. The nine day, eight night adventure started in St. Moritz, riding down the Inn and Adige River valleys to Bolzano, with an overall loss of elevation over 4,000 feet. A highlight of the trip was riding down the Olympic bobsled run from St. Moritz to Celerina. Riders enjoyed incredible scenery, rich cultures, complex history and great food.

Group 2’s “GO Italy” tour was more challenging and included many returning riders. Pete spent a year developing the Bolzano to Venezia routes and itinerary. The tour contrasted the German speaking Italian culture of Sud Tirol with the traditional Italian culture of the northern Po River country, running from the Dolomites down the sea level on the Venetian lagoon. Pete discovered tiny, remote roads ferreted out with Google Earth, and the routes proved to be magical:  little or no traffic, dense woodlands, endless vineyards and orchards, and wide open agricultural plains. The eleven day, ten night tour featured about 9,400 feet of climbing total on the second through fourth day.

Both tours covered about 200 total miles over the course of manageable daily rides, ranging from 20 to 42 miles. When asked his favorite moment, Pete was hard-pressed to pinpoint just one. “I loved riding to Merano along the Adige bike path and going to the remote fishing camp for lunch, the endless switchback descent into Riva del Garda from pines to a Mediterranean climate past lakes and through villages, remarkable food and beer almost anywhere you want it, watching Venice rise on the horizon as we approached, just to name a few,” he shared.

For Lynn, the goal of the tours was for people to enjoy the beauty of Europe and fully take in the experience, and the ElliptiGO bike was the perfect vehicle for this.

“There are so many reasons why ElliptiGO bikes make great touring bikes:  the vantage point, their relative speed, the familiar comfort of the position for non-cyclists and the fun of descending on your feet,” she said. “Bicycle touring is really the ultimate travel experience. It teaches climate, weather and geography better than any other touring mode. ElliptiGO bikes open up the possibility of bicycle touring to people who say they wouldn’t ride a bicycle. Our tours enable runners and ‘regular folks’ into having an incredible adventure they would otherwise never consider.”

ElliptiGO explorers can look forward to some fun adventures Pete is cooking up, including a return to Italy and Switzerland and possibly touring the Pyrenees, France, New Zealand, Costa Brava. Keep an eye on for future announcements.

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