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Do homework before flying with a bike

To fly with a bike or to rent one on the road is the money question, says Jim Potter, owner of Vecchio’s Bicicletteria in Boulder, Colo. The destination often dictates the decision. If you’re traveling to a place with a strong bike culture, you can probably rent a serious bike. Touring companies like Trek Travel usually have access to fancier bikes. “More often than not, standard bike shops rent recreational city bikes with a generic fit,” he says. “If you’re tall or short or looking for performance, you’ll probably be more comfortable with your own bike.”

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MTB for Newbies: Take the road less traveled

We all love a good shred sesh, but what if you’ve never hit the trail on a mountain bike? Hear from Michael Flieg, a second-year guide, lifetime dirt lover and co-founder of St. Louis Mountain Bike Camps on his top tips for learning how to ditch the skinny tires and take the road less traveled.

1. Braking

Always use your brakes simultaneously, equally pressuring the front and rear brakes will optimize your ability to stop. Always brake with your pointer fingers only, this allows you to grip the handlebars with all your other fingers. Always keep that pointer finger resting on the brake for quick braking.

2. The right tires

Running the proper tire pressure for your rider weight with all gear plus the right tire tread for your trail conditions are crucial to getting the best traction and the overall best experience during your ride.

Trek Travel Tips for Mountain biking

3. Equipment

Hard tail bikes take a lot more effort from the rider and make it harder to learn. Full suspension bikes are much more forgiving and will allow for more playful fun even in the learning stages. I recommend the Trek Fuel EX series. It’s a great bike for all levels of trail rider.

4. Practice, practice, practice

Mountain biking is a hard sport and learning how to climb like a champ, roll over rocks and roots and fly through the air takes a long time to master. Don’t be deterred by having to walk your bike or by taking a minor spill. Keep trying and it will be worth it once you’ve learned what not to do. Take an MTB course to hone in your skills and learn the basics.

5. Choose the right trail

Don’t go your first day on the new mountain bike attempting to ride the double black diamond trail. Take it slow, ride greens and blues. Ride the same trails repeatedly to maximize your ability to learn. When there are less surprises you can focus on learning instead of controlled chaos.

Trek Travel Mountain Bike 1000x667

6. Learn on flat pedals

Get a nice set of grippy flat pedals and sticky rubber bike specific shoes like the Bontrager Flatline. Learning on flats will prevent you from developing bad habits and a dependency on the clipless pedals while also allowing you to dismount the bike quickly if you end up in a sticky situation.

7. Safety

Always wear a helmet and any other protective equipment like knee, elbow and shin pads. Also don’t forget to pack enough water and snacks to keep you going and always ride with a buddy.

Trek Travel Mountain Biking 1000x667


See you out there

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Pilot Cove: A Pisgah Oasis

After 20 years as lawyers, Lane and Beth decided to leave the law and take their family on a 13-month, 42-country trip around the world. It was after this sojourn they met Collin and Jenni. And Pilot Cove was born.

Trek Travel Cycling vacations Pilot Cove Brevard NC

Tell​ ​us​ ​a​ ​little​ ​about​ ​yourselves,​ ​what​ ​did​ ​you​ ​do​ ​before​ ​you​ ​created​ ​this​ ​much​ ​needed​ ​oasis​?​
Collin: After graduating from college, I built multi-use trails with Trail Design Specialists for a few years. We were working much in Western NC, which brought me to the area. I currently own Altamont Property Group based in Asheville, focusing on real estate and land tract brokerage in the region. Pilot Cove evolved over time after becoming friends with Lane and Beth while they were looking for real estate. We hatched the idea and things took off from there!
Lane: Beth and I met in law school and married in 1994. In 2013, after practicing law for 20 years we planned to take a year off and travel with our three sons Mac (14), Wiley (12) and Levi (12). 13 months and 42 countries later we decided try something different. Instead of making a living helping people out of trouble we wanted to help people have fun. We returned to the U.S. and moved to Asheville. This is where we met Collin and Jenni.

What inspired you to start Pilot Cove? And to go into hospitality? Why this area?
Collin: The growth in tourism is apparent throughout Western NC, and we saw the potential for a unique project in Brevard and Transylvania County. We see many travelers come to Asheville for great food, craft beverages, shopping, and a thriving art community. Travelers are drawn to Brevard for many of the same reasons, but also for the world-class outdoor recreation so accessible from town. We designed Pilot Cove to be approachable to travelers from all walks of life, yet focused on cyclists and outdoor recreation enthusiasts. Our 124 acre property offers ride in–ride out access to Pisgah National Forest!
Lane: We chose Asheville because we love the mountains and were excited about the changing seasons. I am a native Floridian and Beth and I spent our first 20 years together in St. Petersburg, FL. Having just traveled for 13 months we felt we had some insight into the hospitality industry. We stayed in all kinds of lodging from tents and hostels to castles and resorts. Collin had the idea of starting a resort that catered to bikers. We started looking at properties and were fortunate to find our current location. It was the perfect spot, surrounded by Pisgah National Forest and with direct access to some of the best biking in the country. We were most excited about creating a career where the focus is helping people have fun and get the most out of our amazing natural playground.

Trek Travel Cycling vacations Pilot Cove Brevard NC

How did you all meet?
Collin: My wife Jenni and I connected with Lane and Beth when they were looking for real estate in the area. We were joined by our property manager Syl Neel before we started construction. I met Syl on the Appalachian Trail in 2008 and we’ve stayed in touch over the years. He has been instrumental in the development of Pilot Cove.
Lane: Once we decided to move to Asheville, Beth emailed multiple realtors in the area and Collin was the first and only response.

What has been the most rewarding part about this change in venture?
Collin: The community response has been tremendous! We saw demand and designed a project that would fill it, but never envisioned the support we would receive from the community. We can’t say enough great things about Brevard and Transylvania County. The people, businesses, and civic leaders care deeply about their community and great things are on the horizon.
Lane: I love seeing the dream become a reality. We spent two years figuring out how to turn a forested mountain side into Pilot Cove. In the process we became good friends with our contractors, graders, designers and workers. My old college roommate saved the day with the wonderful forest lodging design. Local artisans built the furniture from local resources. I’m happy to say that the final result has exceeded our expectations. Remember we were lawyers and not developers. Pilot Cove is the result of lots of people buying into an idea and coming together to create something special.

Trek Travel Cycling vacations Pilot Cove Brevard NC

What’s your favorite part about the nearby Pisgah National Forest?
Collin: For me it’s the four distinct seasons. Spring brings rebirth and blooms. Summer is great to hit the trails, waterfalls, and swimming holes. The Fall season is my favorite, offering cooler temps and breathtaking leaf colors that sweep across the mountains. Winter brings less crowded trails, fishing holes, and endless views with leaves absent from the trees. There’s something for everyone in every season.
Lane: Pisgah is truly one of nature’s greatest playgrounds. It offers outstanding hiking, road and mountain biking, waterfalls, sliding rock, rock climbing, fly fishing, mushroom hunting, wildlife viewing, and I could go on and on. I went to camp one summer in Brevard when I was a child. I remember riding up Hwy 276 to Sliding Rock along the Davidson River and thinking this is the most beautiful road I have ever been on. Now Pilot Cove’s entrance is right on 276 at the entrance to the forest and I get to take that ride on a regular basis.

<img src="" alt="Trek Travel Cycling vacations Pilot Cove Brevard NC" width="1000" height="667" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-30684" />

Top three things to do in Brevard?
Collin: 1) The local music scene is great, be sure to catch Mountain Song Festival in September hosted by local favorites the Steep Canyon Rangers. 2) Enjoy Brevard’s quaint downtown! The Heart of Brevard is a great resource for authentic locally-owned business. 3) Enjoy the forest and mountains! Pisgah National Forest and DuPont State Forest offer a world of possibilities on foot or in the saddle.
Lane: 1) Sliding Rock. Nothing refreshes and brings a tired body back to life like a trip down Sliding Rock into cool pool below. 2) Black Balsam hike. Just off the parkway this hike takes you along the Art Loeb trail and over a 6000 foot bald with amazing views in every direction. 3) Dupont State Forest. 15 minutes from Pilot Cove with spectacular waterfalls and mountain biking.

Favorite bike ride you’ve ever been on?
Collin: Tough to say! We frequent Breckenridge CO, and the Peaks Trail is a favorite when there in Summer. For road cycling we are lucky to have the Blue Ridge Parkway so close to home.
Lane: Locally, I love Ridgeline in Dupont. A bombing two mile downhill with flowy lines and bermy curves. Best ever, biking down Cotopaxi (the world’s highest active volcano) in Equador with Beth and our boys.


Visit Pilot Cove as you adventure from Asheville to Brevard

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Top Mountain Biking Trails: Bend, Oregon [Video]

Bend is synonymous with amazing beer and even better dirt. Central Oregon is loaded with flowy, purpose-built single track through dense forests and dramatic volcanic landscapes. The expansive network of trails is approachable for any level, whether you’re new to knobby tires or a professional rider. Watch Freehub’s latest video capturing the trails in Bend, then ride them for yourself on our newly designed bike tour.

Experience our Bend Mountain Bike Tour.

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Special Guest: Part 1 with Tracy Moseley

Don’t get us wrong, we love finding unbelievable roads to cruise along. But our fast descents, winding turns, big climbs and scenic mountain passes aren’t confined to pavement. The fun keeps going when we veer off into the dirt. This rider knows that all too well. Meet Tracy Moseley, mountain bike pro racer, downhill specialist, Worcester-native and special guest on our upcoming Norway mountain bike tour. We caught up with her to learn more about the real T-Mo behind the handlebars.


What are you excited about most in your Trek Travel trip to Norway?

I have always wanted to ride my bike in Norway as the pictures I have seen always look amazing, so I am just excited to get the opportunity to visit this beautiful country and to experience a Trek Travel trip!!

What have you been up to this winter?

I have had a really busy winter as I have been transitioning from a full-time bike racer into a brand ambassador for Trek Bikes and many of my other sponsors too. I have been doing more coaching, talking at events and shows and planning some fun adventures for 2017!

What does your 2017 schedule look like at the moment? Races, trips planned, special projects, etc.

I am going to be doing a great mix of races, coaching with the British Cycling XC team and some kids camps at home on my parents farm, alongside attending a number of events across the World for Trek and my other sponsors.

Ride incredible singletrack in Norway with pro racer Tracy Moseley

Tell us a little bit about your history with Trek?

I have been riding for Trek since 2009 when I joined the Trek World Racing downhill team. I had 3 amazing years winning the Downhill World Championship title in 2010 and the World Cup Overall in 2011. I then set up my own team T-MO racing with the support of Trek UK in 2012 as I retired from DH racing and wanted to have a go at some different disciplines. In 2013, I raced the first season of World Enduro and became World Champion. In 2014, Trek set up a Factory Enduro team and I joined back on a Trek Factory Team and won two more World Enduro titles in 2014 & 2015! I am now trying to retire from racing and have stepped into the role of ambassador for Trek to continue to be involved in the industry with product development and encouraging more people to discover the love for bike riding.

What bike are you currently riding most?

I ride my Trek Fuel EX 20 mostly as it’s such a great all round bike for the terrain I have close to my home.

Where did you grow up and where do you currently live?

I grew up on a dairy farm just outside Malvern, in the UK. I still live there!

Tell us a little bit about the time that you discovered that your life would be about riding mountain bikes.

I think that it has taken me many years to discover that my life would be about riding bikes as it was never my plan or dream, it just seems to have evolved from a kid that used to do a few bike races that her brother was going to, to someone who found a natural talent for a sport and decided to give it a go for a few years, to become someone who now loves riding bikes, far beyond the competition and now will spend the rest of my life with bikes very much at the centre and with such a passion for the sport that I want to share the amazing joy and life that bikes can bring to everyone. It’s been a 20-year journey that I feel has really only just begun…

Do you have a most memorable day on a bike or a most memorable ride?

My most memorable day on a bike for me will always be the day I won my first World Championship title in DH in 2010. Pulling that rainbow jersey over my head on the podium and listening to the National Anthem of Great Britain playing for me was just incredible…nothing will ever beat that, after so many years of dreaming of it!!

Ride incredible singletrack in Norway with pro racer Tracy Moseley

Rapid Fire!

Favorite ride snack?

My homemade energy balls.

Favorite riding destination?

Verbier, Switzerland.

Window or aisle seat?

Window always so I can take my pillow and sleep!

Coffee or tea or….?

Neither, can stand the taste of either.

Place you’ve never been that you want to go. Why?

Galapagos Islands, as I would love to see all the amazing animals only found there.

If not riding bikes for a living, what would you be doing?

A farmer…

Album you’re listening to right now.

I am terrible with music and just listen to whatever is playing on the radio!

Who should we be following on Instagram that we’re probably not?

Lorraine Troung – fellow enduro racer who is going through a long rehab process after crashing two years ago at a race and suffering from a traumatic brain injury…such an amazing rider, lovely person and someone who is going to go on to inspire and educate us all about concussion and its effects in our sport. @lorrainetruong

Trek Travel trip other than Norway that you’d like to go on.

Vietnam and Cambodia as they are places I have never had chance to visit and would love to, especially if I can take my bike!!

Ride with Tracy in Norway.

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Ride incredible singletrack in Norway with pro racer Tracy Moseley

Behind the Scenes: Norway Trip Design

Tucked deep in the Moors of Telemark lies a place where you’ve dreamt of riding. Except it’s one of those elusive dreams; the kind you can’t recall when you wake up in the morning.

It’s a place where ancient battles were won and lost. Where pilgrims made their journey for a thousand years. Listen to Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” and you’ll know the place. A hidden retreat on a tiny isthmus, surrounded by over 100k of legitimate, undiscovered, flawless singletrack. After a decade of meticulous planning, Norwegian adventurer Jan Fasting’s vision has culminated in the birth of this dream. A real mountain bike retreat.
Trek Travel Norway Mountain Bike Trip Research

“We come from the land of the ice and snow,
From the midnight sun where the hot springs flow.”
– Led Zeppelin, The Immigrant Song

In May of this year, I walked off the jetway in Sandefjord, Norway and into what I would soon discover was a singletrack Valhalla. Following a two-hour car ride among rolling hills, atop flawless pavement and down a rugged, 10-mile gravel road and I was on a bike. Jet lag had set in. My heart-rate was around 130. Excited, tired, a little nervous.
Trek Travel Norway Mountain Bike Vacation Research
Granite domes the likes of which I’d only seen in the eastern Sierra were all around. Hundreds of crystal clear streams and small lakes akin to those found high in the Wind River Range of Wyoming sliced and dotted the landscape. The familiar strong scent of giant conifers that blanket the slopes of the Cascades of Central Oregon overwhelmed my senses. The trail crested a hill. And there, all alone in a tiny valley, was a collection of canvas, Mongolian style yurts. Colorful doors. Tiny oil lamps. A giant fire ring.

We shared saunas, drank beers, talked music, and brainstormed ideas. Ultimately, we rode. We dreamt. We planned.

My hosts for the week were renown adventurer, TV producer, epic storyteller and Canvas founder Jan Fasting and Vebjørn Haugerud, a local rider, trail builder, family man and Canvas Hotel co-owner. Of course, the cast of characters that I’d get to meet, ride, dine and dream with for that 10 days included a number of other passionate, talented folks: our professional photographer/in-house mechanic Thomas Svendsen, Canvas’s own reggae-jamming, Zimbabwean chef Desmond (he smiles 24/7 – probably in his sleep), and two new amazing friends from Trek Norway – Eivind Martensen and Knut Lonnqvist. I was introduced to families, and taken sailing. We shared saunas, drank beers, talked music, and brainstormed ideas. Ultimately, we rode. We dreamt. We planned.
Trek Travel Norway Mountain Bike Trip Design
Over the course of 10 days, with the help of my new friends, strong coffee, a full notebook and over a dozen rides, we stitched together a true Trek Travel mountain bike experience. Combining perfect, 18” wide singletrack and the charm and authenticity of my new Norwegian friends, with the Canvas Hotel at its heart, I boarded the plane back to the states with something we’re proud to share.
Trek Travel Norway Trip Design

Experience Norway

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Meet Our Team: Tony Ferlisi

Behind every great Trek Travel trip is a trip designer that has spent countless hours handcrafting the most perfect experience from start to finish. For our new collection of mountain bike trips, that person is Tony Ferlisi. A guide for Trek Travel since 2006, Tony drew upon his years of experience in the field when he designed our trips to Peru, Iceland, Whistler and Switzerland.

Tell us your story. How did you end up at Trek Travel?
I’m originally from Jacksonville, Florida. It was a great place to grow up but after college, I yearned for something different. At 22, I moved to Jackson, Wyoming, worked at a resort hotel in Teton Village and fell in love with the west. Soon after moving to Jackson, I met Mark Thomsen, our Trek Travel marketing manager. He was a bellman at the hotel at the time. In addition to working together, we climbed, skied and drank beers together. One summer, he got a job with Trek Travel. We kept in touch that year while he guided at the Tour de France, in the Alps and other spots. All along, I was discovering that the hotel management career track wasn’t something I was inspired to pursue. I asked Mark about my chances of becoming a guide and at his behest, I applied. That following March, I put the few things I owned in storage and started with Trek Travel. I’ve been with Trek Travel since 2006 but took the years of 2010-2012 to attend graduate school in Idaho, work as a Wilderness Ranger with the US Forest Service and run a program with a small conservation non-profit in Wyoming. I returned to Trek Travel full-time in 2013 and have been guiding since.

How do you spend your off-season?
I call Lander, Wyoming home and typically dedicate a good chunk of my off-season to being there. Chopping wood for the woodstove is a daily activity (warm yourself twice!), cooking, spending time with friends, reading and skiing are a big part of those few months. I’ve spent considerable time the past few winters riding my mountain bike in Moab, Utah, Sedona, Arizona and Southern California, but regardless of the activity or location, the off-season is a rejuvenating time for all guides at Trek Travel.
Trek Travel Trip Designer Tony Ferlisi
What is your favorite trip you’ve ever guided and why?
I draw consistent inspiration in my life from the ancient landscapes of the Colorado Plateau. I’ve had the opportunity to guide there, more specifically in southwestern Utah for over 10 years with Trek Travel. The privilege of being able to witness the reactions and responses of our guests as they ride across those vast, remote landscapes of Escalante, Bryce and Zion canyon country brings me renewed joy every single day I go to work there. When some aspect of that place resonates with one of my guests or a co-guide, I know that I belong there.
Trek Travel trip designer Tony Ferlisi in Utah
Is there an especially memorable story from the road that you find yourself telling again and again?
Too many to count. One in particular comes to mind that folks seem to enjoy hearing, except for my mother. Guiding in Glacier National Park years ago, I had a day off and decided to hike to a lake I’d heard amazing things about. On the hike, alone of course, I encountered a grizzly bear on the trail. If I hadn’t looked up, I probably would have walked right into him. I thought my time was up. Long story short, I’m still here.

Tell us about your best WOW.
This past fall, Zack Jones and I guided a private trip in California Wine Country. Most of that trip takes place up in Sonoma and Napa Valleys. Beautiful, super unique country. In casual conversation, a few guests mentioned that they had never been to the Pacific Coast. Zack and I decided that we had to do something about that. After a quick morning brainstorm, we scrapped the original ride. As a group, we rode out along the Russian River to the Pacific Coast Highway and north to Bodega Bay (accompanied by a stout tailwind), ate lunch at a crab shack right on the Salmon Creek estuary overlooking the ocean. To cap it off, we loaded up bikes after lunch and drove everybody back to taste wine at one of their favorite wineries. It was pretty awesome.

You recently took on the role of Trip Designer, creating our new mountain bike collection. What is your process in designing a trip?
With the trips that we’ve designed for our mountain bike collection, we took an already outstanding product provided by Big Mountain Bike Adventures and re-shaped it a bit. This involved a few specific trip itinerary changes to reflect our Trek Travel standards as well as creating an entire marketing and guest services platform. Everything from arranging pre and post trip logistics to how we would present these new trips to the world. There’s a creative element to trip design that I really enjoy. From beginnings as a sketch on a paper napkin to a full-color spread on our website, witnessing the growth of a brand new trip is pretty exciting.

How has your guiding experience influenced your role as a trip designer?
I think about it like this: My friend and housemate Mark builds furniture. I think we’ve probably had three different kitchen tables in the time we’ve lived together. He builds one. Learns through the process of building. We eat at that table for a year. Maybe it’s a little too tall. It blocks the kitchen door a little too much. He builds and replaces it with another, taking into account a year of feedback and the lessons he learned from building the first one. Same process again. All along, he gains a better understanding of what makes a good table, not only for our house but for any house it lives in. As a guide, you quickly gain a keen sense of understanding what works and what doesn’t in the field. We always encourage our guests to provide us with feedback while we’re on the trip. Often times, they’ll offer thoughts on what might be done differently and why. All this feedback carries equal weight when it comes to making decisions to refine the details of our trips. After years of receiving feedback and tweaking trips from my guide role, I’m really confident in my ability to identify trends and nuances that make designing a trip from the ground up much simpler.
Trek Travel trip designer Tony Ferlisi
What excites you most about Trek Travel’s new partnership with Big Mountain Bike Adventures?
We’re thrilled about this new partnership. In teaming up with Big Mountain Bike Adventures, we now have the opportunity to take the Trek Travel level of service and meld it with the logistical expertise of one of the world’s preeminent mountain bike guiding companies in some of the most sought-after destinations on the planet. There’s some really exciting things to come from this.

Whistler, Switzerland, Iceland or Peru. Pick one and tell us why.
I knew you would ask this question. Not an easy one. I appreciate open space. Coming to the realization that you are in on your bike in a truly wild place is intoxicating for me. All of these regions provide for that but something about Iceland is a little different. Riding between remote backcountry huts is a pretty surreal experience. The adventure here extends far beyond Iceland’s awesome trails.

We believe the world is best seen from the seat of a bike. Tell us about your best view from a bike seat.
There was a light post just down the road from the house I grew up in. When I was just a little guy, my mom only allowed me to ride my bike as far as that post before I had to turn around. The day that she told me that I could ride past that old light post, my world grew 1000%. It was all in front of me now. Those childhood dreams of whatever laid beyond that light post are the realities that I see today from the seat of my bike. Subalpine Crested Butte singletrack, remote stretches of Montana highway, the Lander dirt jump park or the grocery store parking lot. Pretty good views.
Trek Travel guide Tony Ferlisi

Industry Insider: Chris Winter

From a young age, passion for the outdoors has been the driving force in the life Big Mountain Bike Adventures owner Chris Winter. And whether it’s professional freeskiing or founding a charity, Chris pursues every endeavor with the same fervor. It is this thirst for world-class adventures and focus on incredible experiences which makes us excited to call Big Mountain Bike Adventures an inspiration in the industry. With this level of energy and enthusiasm behind us, there’s no telling what the future holds.

Meet Chris Winter, Founder and President of Big Mountain Bike Adventures
Briefly, tell us your story.
I was born into a cycling family, and my parents began running European cycling trips in 1972. Their trips were more like journeys that lasted three weeks to a month and covered impressive swaths of the European continent. In 1992 I moved to Whistler, British Columbia and joined its passionate, forward-thinking mountain bike community. In the late 90’s I co-founded “Joyride” mountain bike event that evolved into Crankworx, the world’s largest mountain bike festival. Then, in 2001 I started Big Mountain Bike Adventures. I’m also a professional freeskier and founder of a Whistler-based charity, Zero Ceiling Society, that provides transformative mountain-based adventure for at-risk youth and young adults.
Big Mountain Bike Adventures Founder Chris Winter
What inspired you to start Big Mountain Bike Adventures?
Big Mountain Bike Adventures melds my favorite things in life: mountain biking, travel, adventure and sharing amazing experiences with fellow riders. Since the first trip to the Swiss Alps in 2001, I’ve travelled and explored the world extensively with my mountain bike. It’s my dream job!

We believe the world is best seen from the seat of a bike. Tell us about your best view from a bike seat.
Of all the locations I’ve ridden, Iceland trumps them all for best views. It really is like nowhere else; around each corner you’re presented with yet another other-worldly view of lava fields, spectacular glaciers, gushing geysers, ice-covered volcanoes and earthy colors like you’ve never seen. Bring an extra memory card if you go to Iceland, because you’ll be pulling out your camera every five minutes!
Trek Travel Iceland Mountain Bike Tour with Big Mountain Bike Adventures
Whistler, Switzerland, Iceland or Peru. Pick one and tell us why.
Whistler. Yes, it’s where we’re based so I’m partial. But after having spent a lifetime exploring the world on my mountain bike, every time I return home to our backyard trails I am reminded that it’s one of the best places to ride. Besides a seemingly endless network of super-fun trails in the region, it also boasts pristine lakes, a super-passionate riding community, and diverse experiences from vibrant Whistler Village to the remote South Chilcotins…and so much more.
Trek Travel Whistler Mountain Bike Tour

Bring On Old Man Winter

It’s that time of year when fat bikes are out in hoards. Although they have only recently become popular, fat bikes have been around for nearly 10 years and they are a ton of fun to ride.

Trek Travel Logistics Manager Sean Peotter on a fat bike
Over the holidays my brother and I rode our Trek Farleys out in Spearfish, South Dakota on some amazing trails. We have been riding together for many years and we rode plenty of miles in the Minnesota snow long before fat bikes were around. But we had such a blast this Christmas, reminiscing about how much fun we had back then and how much more fun it is with bikes that are actually designed for snow. Even with new bikes, however, some things never change. Like the laughter that ensues after going over the bars right into a big, soft pile of snow. Did I mention we had an awesome time?
Winter cycling tips from Trek Travel Logistics Manager
“Isn’t it so cold,” you might ask? Well, I won’t lie. It can be cold but you warm up quickly. Just like any outdoor activity, it’s all about the right layers and keeping your hands and feet warm. Having bar mitts makes a world of difference in keeping your hands toasty, and the right footwear is a must as well. I prefer to ride clipped in, though many people like to ride with a simple platform pedal. In the end, it really makes no difference so long as you have a dedicated winter boot to keep your toes warm. The Bontrager OMW Winter Shoes (yes, it does stand for old man winter) are really awesome. I bought a pair to replace my old winter boots and I absolutely love them. They are warm, keep the snow out, and are a great option for clipless or platform pedals. Pro Tip: Buy one size bigger than you typically would. Trust me.
Trek Bikes Farley and Old Man Winter Shoes
There are more and more places that cater to fat bike riding as well. Riding on a groomed trail is really a treat, and these are popping up in many cities as more people turn to fat biking for their winter activity. I know there are plenty of ice races on frozen lakes in Minnesota, which are super fun to watch and even more fun to participate in. Pro Tip: If you are riding on ice, be sure to have a good set of studded tires. You can buy them pre-studded or you can stud them yourself, but make sure you have them. The large footprint of the tire isn’t enough for traction on the ice, and studs will make a world of difference (no promises you still won’t slide out once or twice).

On that note, traction is directly proportional to tire pressure. You will think I’m nuts when I say that I ride with 3-5psi in my tires. Yes, you read that right: 3-5psi! And the difference from 3psi to 5psi is still incredible when it comes to the amount of grip you can get when cornering. Your standard floor pump won’t be able to give you readings like that, so you’ll have to get a low pressure gauge. I actually carry my gauge with me in my seat pack in the event of a flat tire because it’s really hard to tell pressure by just squeezing these tires.
Trek Bikes Farley is perfect for winter training
Ultimately, fat biking is just a really fun way to extend the riding season. I’m sure that if given the chance, most of you would rather be outside on a bike as opposed to riding a stationary a trainer. Am I right? Besides, why wouldn’t you want another bike in the quiver?

In case you were wondering, my personal choice (go figure) is a custom Di2 Trek Farley. I had a lot of fun building this up exactly how I wanted it and have almost as much fun riding it.
Trek Travel Global Logistics Manager Sean Peotter's Trek Farley

Industry Insider: Gary Fisher

A pinstripe suit, fedora hat and handlebar mustache are not what most people expect when they first meet one of the founding fathers of mountain biking. But for Gary Fisher, this bold style is matched by his larger-than-life personality, and it is his unwavering passion for bikes, not his attire, that catches our eye.

Gary Fisher on a Trek Travel Cycling Vacation
Briefly, tell us your story. What inspired your passion for bikes?

I started riding and racing when I was just 12 years old. I found the sport on my own. I met some 16 year olds who road raced at the bike shop where my father bought me a 10-speed, and they told me I was too young and too little (89 lbs.). This only furthered my resolve and I refused to turn around. That first ride was better than 20 miles. I was accepted! I soon fell in love with the endless roads, the strategy of racing, and the science and art of the world’s most efficient transport.
Gary Fisher as a young bike racer
From the time you and your partners founded the company “MountainBikes” in 1979 until today, what do you believe has been the single most important development in the bicycle industry?

Bikes in the ’70s were like a regulation piece of sporting equipment. They were essentially the same from year to year. The old steel bikes were works of art, but the new technology in bikes is the way to go if you want a fast, comfortable ride. In one word, it is: carbon. What you want is a carbon designer and maker with a lot of experience. I am happy to work with that group, and it has been all about creating real bikes we only dreamt of, and making a lot of people very happy.
Gary Fisher Mountain Bikes
You once said, “Anyone who rides a bike is a friend of mine.” In your opinion, what are the three keys to getting more people on bikes?

1. Education: How to ride a bike, starting young. How to drive a car around a bike. How riding a bike can be key to solving your health issues. How riding a bike can make you happier. Why it makes sense for cities to invest in biking and walking.

2. Law: Protecting venerable users. Those that control the massive power rolling down the street have a greater responsibility. Many countries have or are adopting these laws. More of these laws need to come to the United States.

3. Infrastructure: Bike routes are sort of a new thing. But they have proven to work really well and be really good for cities financially. We have built them and the people have come. Next up will be making real investment. Making bike routes that are really fast, safe and even fun. Creating places that invite people to walk, ride a bike and interact with each other. The “five-minute community”, where you can walk or ride to do most (or all) of your daily errands in five minutes or less, have shown lower health costs. Cities are changing fast and the younger generation wants to move back. 100 years ago, families of wealth and power would raise their children in the city, where culture was. Raise your kids in the city? Yes, that’s just where city leaders want to go. Exciting times.

You have seen much of the world from the seat of a bicycle. What is your favorite travel destination and why?

I think Italy has to be my favorite place to go ride a bike because there are so many different roads, paths and trails. You get to be in the postcard. The bike riders are not only fun to ride with, but they are also properly emotional and never boring. The events are classic but verging on insane. And you know about the food. Need I say more?
The story behind Gary Fisher's Style
What is the influence behind your very distinct style?

My family.

My grandfather worked for Warner Bros in Hollywood for 50 years. He created the job “Script Director” and would bring home big actors. He also took me out on the set. He taught me how to speak, and how to hold myself in front of a camera.

My father had a very successful architecture firm in Downtown San Francisco, right on top of Tadich Grill. We always had art in the house. When he started his new firm, he made the furniture in our little apartment in the Sunset district of San Francisco. He later bought many classic iconic pieces for the house. I sit in an Eames chair he bought me when I was 14 years old. My father also did Abstract Impressionism, and one of his paintings from the ’50s is on our wall. We even had a darkroom. He did some remarkable black and white photos of the very best road racing in the USA in the mid-sixties.

Ultimately, my mother taught me how dress and be social. She went to Beverly Hills High School.
Meet the Founder of Mountain Biking, Gary Fisher
Tell us about your most memorable day on a bike.

I have spent so many great days on a bike! I did more than 300 rides in 2015! I could never narrow it down to any one day. I continue to be pleasantly surprised that I still have many great places to go and great people to share these times with. I am completely grateful that I can ride a bike.
Gary Fisher Mountain Biking in Utah
Trek Travel Interviews Mountain Bike Founder Gary Fisher


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What is the Difference?

Ultimate Luxury:

Savor some of the most spectacular, 5-star properties in the world. Exuding luxury and elegance, these one-of-a-kind accommodations offer the chance to rejuvenate at award-winning spas, dine at Michelin-starred restaurants, and more.


Enjoy luxurious accommodations handpicked for a refined experience. From signature spa treatments to delicious local cuisine, you’ll be more than provided for; you’ll be pampered.


These handpicked hotels provide relaxation and fun in a casual and comfortable environment. Delicious cuisine and great service mix perfectly for a memorable stay.


On select cycling vacations, you’ll stay at a mix of Explorer and Luxury hotels. Rest assured, no matter which hotel level you’re at, our trip designers carefully select every accommodation.

Activity Level

Level 1:

Road: 1-3 hours of riding. Up to 25 mi (40 km). Up to 1,000 ft (300 m).

Gravel: 1-3 hours of riding. Up to 20 mi (35 km). Up to 1,000 ft (300 m).

Hiking: 1-3 hours of hiking. Up to 5 mi (8 km). Up to 1,000 ft (300 m).

Level 2:

Road: 2-4 hours of riding. 20-35 mi (35-60 km). Up to 2,500 ft (750 m).

Gravel: 2-4 hours of riding. 15-30 mi (25-45 km). Up to 2,000 ft (300 m).

Hiking: 2-4 hours of hiking. 4-8 mi (6-12 km). Up to 1,500 ft (450 m).

Level 3:

Road: 3-5 hours of riding. 25-55 mi (40-85 km). Up to 4,500 ft (1,500 m).

Gravel: 3-5 hours of riding. 20-40 mi (35-60 km). Up to 3,000 ft (900 m).

Hiking: 3-5 hours of hiking. 6-10 mi (9-16 km). Up to 2,000 ft (600 m).

Level 4:

Road: 4+ hours of riding. 40-70 mi (60-110 km). Up to 8,000 ft (2,400 m).

Gravel: 4+ hours of riding. 30-50 mi (45-80 km). Up to 4,000 ft (1,200 m).

Hiking: 4+ hours of hiking. 7-15 mi (11-24 km). Up to 4,000 ft (1,200 m).

What are your trip styles?

Classic - Reserve:

Savor the finer things as you relax in luxurious 5-star accommodations and wine, dine, and ride in some of the most unforgettable destinations around the world.

Classic - Signature:

Explore beautiful destinations by bike, enjoy extra inclusions, savor delicious local cuisine, and enjoy the perfect mix of accommodations.

Classic - Discover:

Enjoy a casual cycling vacation with fantastic routes and comfortable accommodations.

Ride Camp:

Train like the pros in some of their favorite riding destinations.

Pro Race:

See the pros in action at the biggest cycling events of the year.

Cross Country:

Tackle an epic adventure that takes you point-to-point across mountains, countryside, and more.


Enjoy a bike tour on your schedule with just your chosen travel companions.

Single Occupancy

Sometimes it’s more convenient and comfortable to have your own room while on vacation. We understand and that’s why we offer a Single Occupancy option. The additional price guarantees a private room all to yourself