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Ride Across Wisconsin

Last Saturday, 450 fearless riders set out with a singular goal: to ride across the state of Wisconsin. Starting with the first glimpse of sunlight at 6:30AM, we gladly said goodbye to Iowa, crossed the mighty Mississippi River, and set our sights on Lake Michigan. Our objective was clear: a one-day, 175-mile ride to raise money for the Wisconsin Bike Federation. Our sanity, on the other hand, was questionable.

The forecast called for rain and headwinds, but we still showed up. Wisconsinites are a rare breed. The weather doesn’t scare us because we spend most of our year either surviving harsh winters or talking about them. We are proud, and we’ll go to great lengths to express our love for this mid-western home. And most of all, we are strong. Give us a challenge and we’ll raise our glass to wish you good luck.

So with a lot of excitement and a little hesitation we set out on our epic, hard-as-hell ride across the greatest state ever. These are my top five moments from the day:
Trek Travel rode across Wisconsin to support the bike federation

The Awesome Bus

On Friday afternoon we boarded the Awesome Bus at Trek’s headquarters in Waterloo, Wisconsin. There was a sign in the bus windshield that said, “Have a great day,” but surely it was more than great. The cafeteria supplied us with water, beer and plenty of snacks. Our first destination was Madison to pick up the Trek Factory Racing riders and staff. Among others were Linsey Corbin, Bauke Mollema, and Wisconsin-native Matthew Busche.

As it turns out, when you put a bunch of bike-geeks and athletes on a bus for two hours, there is no lack of topics to discuss. I was lucky enough to sit next to Linsey Corbin and easy conversation passed the time. The highlight of the ride came when Linsey said she had never cycled this far before. My first thought was, “Great, we’re all in this together.” But enthusiasm quickly turned to apprehension. “If the five-time Ironman world champion and American record holder hasn’t ridden this far, who am I to do it?”
The Trek Factory Racing team joined Trek Travel to ride across wisconsin

Robbie Ventura and Jens Voigt

Friday night before the ride, Jens Voigt and Robbie Ventura took the stage to get us excited about the adventure ahead. Jens, who later said he used gears on this ride so small that he didn’t know they existed just one year ago, entertained us with stories of burger stops on training rides that landed well among this Wisconsin crowd. Robbie, on the other hand, offered slightly more practical advice with five tips to make this inaugural event a success.

1. Ride Safe: Keep your head up, ride predictably, and follow the rules of the road
2. Be Self-Sufficient: Supporting 450 riders over 175 miles is difficult. Carry gear to fix flat, have a route guide, and bring layers for the weather.
3. Nutrition and Hydration: It is important to stay hydrated (1 bottle an hour) and keep eating (200-300 calories per hour) on such a long ride.
4. Pace Yourself: If you go out too hard, you’re going to make the day longer than it already is.
5. Help Someone: Fix a flat, offer food, slow down to stay with someone, encourage each other, and smile. It will help you as much or more than it helps them.
Trek Travel joined Jens Voigt and Robbie Ventura on the inaugural Ride Across Wisconsin
Jens Voigt and Robbie Ventura kicking off the inaugural Ride Across Wisconsin

The Beloit Rest Stop

With eight rest stops along the course, situated roughly 25 miles apart, the event had incredible support. Holland Dairy Farms offered their front yard, and chocolate milk, to all riders. Monroe let us take over a large city park. But the true stand out was Beloit. The gorgeous riverside park provided nice views while we rested our legs. The Janesville Velo Club was there to cheer on riders as we rode into and out of Beloit. There were folk dancers and gospel singers and even a cheerleading squad!
Four Trek Travel employees rode 175 miles across the state of Wisconsin

The Trek Travel Ladies

We have a great team here at Trek Travel. Evening rides and five o’clock happy hours provide ample time to enjoy one another’s company outside the office walls. But the bonding that occurs during 12-hours on the bike is unique. On Saturday, all four of us woke up with one common goal for the day. Literally and figuratively we pulled each other through. We didn’t converse the whole way. But we always enjoyed the company. We experienced the same views, suffered up the same hills, and reveled in the same glory.
Trek Travel's Top Five Moments from the Ride Across Wisconsin

The Finish Party

It’s no secret that getting off the bike after 12 hours in the saddle feels good. And the collective sense of accomplishment as we entered Kenosha was overwhelming. But as Robbie Ventura so accurately stated, “The highlight for me were the people. The relaxed and supportive atmosphere was special and it kept me smiling through a long, wet, hard day in beautiful Wisconsin!” In true Wisconsin fashion, we celebrated the finish by filling up our frosty “Founder’s” mugs and raising a glass to the adventure we shared. A simple engraving on the bottom of our mugs seems to encapsulate it perfectly…Earned It.
Trek Travel participated in the inaugural Ride Across Wisconsin
According to Dave Schlabowske, Deputy Director of the Wisconsin Bike Federation, “We started the Ride Across Wisconsin to showcase the amazing riding we have here. We hope RAW will become an annual tradition for hundreds of home state cyclists and a bucket list ride for people from across the country who want to see why we think Wisconsin is America’s Best Ride.”

Speaking for all of us, thank you to the Wisconsin Bike Federation for putting on a great event. It was truly the ride of a lifetime.
Trek Travel, Jens Voigt and the Trek Factory Racing team rode across Wisconsin

Industry Insider: Emily Maye

In the years since her first assignment at the 2011 Tour of California, Emily Maye has made a name for herself photographing the pain and glory of professional cycling. By capturing the drama of a race and the faces behind the scenes she brings the sport to life, telling a timeless story that cannot be seen on television.

Get behind the scenes of professional cycling with photographer Emily Maye

Tell us your story. What inspired you to pursue a career in photography?

I have been interested in storytelling as long as I can remember. I grew up in my mother’s ballet school in Santa Barbara and spent my whole childhood involved in ballet. At around 13, I fell in love with cinema and ultimately I went to USC Film School & Colombia University to study film and screenwriting. Photography was something I gravitated towards to tell visual stories and in time that became my primary focus. I love every part of the process and I am really happy with where I ended up.

What is the most rewarding part about your job?

I love photographing people and I find that the most rewarding. It’s a real challenge to capture something authentic in people and bring that out in a photograph. I gravitate towards the quieter moments and it’s so satisfying when you can capture something that may not have been obvious at first glance. I also like that in my job photographing the Trek Factory Racing Team, I get to react to a lot of different environments and race situations.
Get behind the scenes at the Tour de France with Trek Travel and Emily Maye
Get to know profession photographer Emily Maye
What is the most challenging aspect of photographing world-class athletes?

It is wonderful to photograph people that are at the top of their field. They perform with intensity and have the proper form and movement that makes my job much easier. The travel has been the most challenging part for me personally. It’s a lot of days away from home and in hotels. Everyone on the Trek Factory Racing Team is very comfortable with my presence so they make my job easier in that way. It’s been three seasons now with this team and no one is surprised to find me in a corner somewhere taking photos of them.

Tell us about your most unexpectedly adventurous day of work.

I think Tim Vanderjeugd alluded to it in his interview, but we went to Colombia for 48 hours as part of the new Behind The Stripes series that we did this year. We didn’t find out we were going to get to go until right before and all of the sudden we were in Colombia (I had never been to South America) and starting a project that we weren’t even sure how we would shape at that time. Everything I saw there was an adventure. I wish I could have stayed much longer!
Cycling photographer Emily Maye goes behind the stripes with the Trek Factory Racing team
Meet Julian Arredondo as captured by cycling photographer Emily Maye
What tips can you give our readers who are interested in improving their travel photography?

Look for nice light! There is no better way to show your friends and family the beautiful places you have been than through nice light. I also suggest trying to find things that resonate with you in the way that they reveal the tone and culture of place beyond just the famous monuments. Try to convey the sounds and smells, not just the sight.

Do you have a personal favorite photograph that you can share with our readers?

There’s a photo of Fabian from last year on the bus with his headphones on and it was the morning he ended up winning Flanders. I really love that photo because it feels like a calm stolen moment. You don’t really imagine that I am there taking the photo in that picture and to me that is when I have done my job most successfully. But it’s really hard to pick just one. It’s been an amazing adventure to spend that much time inside of the team these past three years.
Professional Photographer Emily Maye captures Fabian Cancellara before the Tour of Flanders

What TDF means to Trek Travel

As traveling staff members schedule their out-of-office replies and guests call in to finalize their trips to the Tour de France, I sit here wanting to go with. Then I realize I have little idea what is about to even happen.

I’m the new intern here at Trek Travel. So when people around the office start talking about the tour, I can’t begin to imagine everything that goes into it from Trek Travel’s point of view. I know that it is a huge collective of hours and hours of work put in to make the trips happen flawlessly. But along with the hard work comes a trip of a lifetime. I want to be in their shoes, experience the tour, be surrounded by cycling-fanatics and take in the biggest cycling event in the world from stunning views. Until then, I’ll listen to their stories and daydream. Read about the Tour de France from the eyes of the Travel Travel team here in Madison.

Featured in this story:

Meagan Coates, Trip Design Manager
Brie Willey, Guide Manager
Mark Thomsen, Marketing Manager

Briefly, describe how Trek Travel is involved in the Tour?

Meagan: Trek Travel offers the premier trips in the industry at the Tour de France, hands down. From trips that allow guests to ride the routes on the same day as the pros, to trips and spectator vacations with Official Tour Operator VIP passes and Trek-Segafredo team access to Paris finish packages, and even supported trips at the Etape du Tour, we have something for every fan of the race. We put a lot of effort up to a year or more in advance to the race being announced to source the prime locations for on course viewings and hotels and overall we have a team of designers working on Tour de France year round.

What would you say is one of the “I can’t believe this” moments for a Trek Travel guest?

Meagan: This is very personal for everyone and depends on the drama that unfolds throughout the race. But I think nearly all guests have a moment during their trip–perhaps while sipping a glass of champagne at a perfectly-situated on-course viewing spot looking out over the French Alps–and they realize they are actually there in person and not watching the Tour footage from the helicopters as broadcast on tv.

Trek Travel Tour de France Paris Finish Photos

What’s going through your mind on your way to the tour?

Mark: Typically trying to learn as much as I can about the areas of France the Tour will visit for that year. I like to find fun facts that are not obvious. Also I like to have a solid understanding of the top cyclists that could podium or win a green jersey. Guests love talking shop, so I have to keep up.

Brie: Study! It is imperative to study maps, regional highlights, trip materials, pro riders and more. You want to be as prepared as you possibly can be heading into any trip. The TDF takes it to the next level. All guides have to be firing on all pistons to make these trips successful and awesome! Other thoughts always include daily back-up plans and what ifs! Our job is to deliver a Trip of a Lifetime, in order to do that, we have to be prepared for absolutely anything. A saying we use often: “It is the Tour. Anything can happen. Always have a Plan B!” Roads close earlier than they are supposed to, thunderstorms roll into the mountains in a matter of minutes, bridges give out weeks before a stage causing a complete reroute. You name it, it can happen at the Tour. “Fun and Flexible” is the name of the game and Trek Travel guides are the masters!

How many times have you been on this trip, and how does it change year by year for you?

Mark: I’ve guided it four years’ worth. Personally I always looked forward to the mountain stages as I love to climb. I loved the variability of the Tour as well, always having to think on your feet was fun to me. Road closures, crazy fans, our incredible viewing sites halfway up mountains. It’s always hectic, but I tend to thrive on that. I also always love going into Paris at the end. It’s a great party at the Automobile Club where all the guides and guest come together for one last big party. It’s the perfect way to wrap up three weeks of crazy Tour de France trips.

Brie: My first year guiding at the Tour de France was in 2012 in the Alps. I’ve guided TDF trips every year since and head to France in a few short days for the Etape this time around. Each year the route changes throughout the beautiful Alps and Pyrenees mountain ranges but always ends in Paris. From the most challenging days on a bike to the utmost breathtaking views I’ve ever laid eyes on, the Tour de France has been a real pleasure to experience with Trek Travel over the years!

How do you prepare for the tour?

Mark: Ride, Ride and Ride. See above, love to climb. Also we do a lot of pre-trip research as guides. We’ll go out for a couple weeks prior to our first group, to review all routes, hotels, meeting locations, etc. As guides we like to know as much as possible before any guests arrive.

What’s going through your mind on your way home?

Mark: Can’t wait to sleep in my own bed!

Brie: Guides are pretty exhausted at the end. I typically sleep the entire plane ride home. From take-off to landing, no joke. Tour de France trips run at a high level mentally, physically and emotionally. When headed home there is often the feeling of, “I survived…that was the craziest trip ever…I CAN’T wait to do it again next year!” That was how I felt in 2012, it hasn’t changed since.

Favorite TDF moment?

Mark: The first time I climbed Alpe d’Huez the day the pros did. It was my first year guiding and only second trip guiding ever. You get to the base and it just looms overhead…21 switchbacks to the top. The crazy thing was that all the fans were already lining the route. They cheered us on as though we were pros. And the Dutch corner was a sea of orange. Truly an incredible experience and one I can’t wait to get back to some day.

Brie: There are many! Paris is always a favorite. I love seeing the pure joy on guest’s faces—they are loving life and thrilled to experience the tour finale in such a stunning city. As of late, I have also really enjoyed seeing the happiness and relief on my guide’s faces in Paris. Once you reach Paris, it’s a home-free feeling for guides. You have the opportunity to relax a bit, drink champagne with colleagues and have a grand ol’ time in the City of Lights. Other memorable moments include helicoptering guests off the top of Alpe d’Huez at the end of a mountain top finish to their luxury hotel on Lake Annecy. A VIP experience they never forget.

“I survived…that was the craziest trip ever…I CAN’T wait to do it again next year!” That was how I felt in 2012 and that feeling hasn’t changed since.

Race Access on Trek Travel's Tour de France Cycling Vacation

Ride the best climbs in France on a fully support Trek Travel bike tour

Read more about our team.

Industry Insider: Katie Compton

Meet Katie Compton, known to her fans as KFC. Trust us, the “F” isn’t for Francis. Compton earned her middle initial the hard way, powering through nine grueling seasons of cold, muddy Cyclocross mayhem. Turns out powering through is sound strategy: Compton was the first American to win the Cyclocross World Cup overall title. F’n cool.

Tell us your story in 140 characters or less:
Wife, dog lover (especially Rottweilers), bike racer, lover of the outdoors, wine enthusiast and foodie with some food allergies. A delicate body but strong will.

Tell us about your best day on a bicycle:
That’s a hard one to answer, I’ve had a lot of really good and fun days. I want to choose a specific race where I felt great and had great legs but those, unfortunately, don’t happen as much as one would like. The one that stands out the most for me is winning the 3k tandem pursuit at Paralympics in Athens in 2004 (I was a pilot for a blind athlete). I had great legs that day and just felt fast. My tandem partner and I had a perfect race to win and it was just a great day. Other than that, winning a Cyclocross World Cup in Roubaix, France after a bad start. I had great legs and only passed people the whole time. Winning on the Roubaix velodrome is also very special.

What is your favorite travel destination and why?
It’s probably Japan. We were there for a short trip but the country is beautiful, the people are so nice and polite, and the food is amazing. I loved everything about that trip. It snowed and was cold while we were there, and I was really happy to find hot tea in vending machines as well as heated toilet seats in every bathroom, even in highway rest areas. I also had the best Unagi I’ve ever eaten in Tokyo.

If you were a trip designer at Trek Travel, where would you design our next bike trip?
I’d create a trip in New Zealand, probably riding through their wine country. I love their wines and both of the islands are beautiful. The food is also really good no matter where you go. It would also be fun to take a few days, rent a boat and sail around the northern coast of the north island. I think that’s the best way to see the coast.

What is your favorite hotel and why?
A high-end hotel in Tokyo, Japan. The service was above and beyond and the room and bathroom were amazing. The hotel offered so many amenities to enjoy, along with the view of the city. The breakfast was also one of the best I’ve experienced.
Learn more about professional cyclocross racer Katie Comptopn
What is your favorite unnecessary travel item?
I bring my aeropress coffee maker and coffee beans. A good cup of coffee is the best way to start a day of travel and you never know if the hotel’s coffee is drinkable.

What is one thing you never fly without?
My Westone earbud headphones. They cancel the noise and have the best sound quality. They also pack small and don’t take up much room in my carry on.

What is your favorite type of post-ride beverage?
I love a nice bottle of wine, usually I choose New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs in the summer and California Red Zinfandels in the winter. If I didn’t have to worry about my weight then I would add White Russians to my list of go-to drinks. I love those, but I can’t stop drinking them.
Meet cyclocross world champion Katie Compton
What and where was the best meal you’ve ever enjoyed?
It’s a tie between two. The first is Unagi in a very small and hard to find restaurant in Tokyo. The eel is fresh everyday and the place closes when the cook runs out of it. They only sell Unagi and the only choice you make is how many pieces you want. The second is a breakfast at a hotel in Prague, Czech Republic. They had an amazing buffet of fresh food all professionally prepared and it was the best breakfast I’ve ever had. My husband and I actually stayed long enough to eat two breakfasts that morning.

What is your personal motto or mantra?
Never quit. Do what makes you happy and what makes you feel good.

Who inspires you the most?
I don’t really have any one person who inspires me, I get the most energy from anyone who struggles to accomplish something difficult or challenging, and anyone who has true grit to work hard for something they want.
Trek Travel interviews cyclocross champion Katie Compton

La Gazzetta dello Sport

Perhaps the greatest thing about guiding bicycle trips that interact with big races and follow Grand Tours is the opportunity to travel off the beaten path. We venture to parts of the world that tourists simply do not travel. This was no truer than at Trek Travel’s 2009 Giro d’Italia “Behind the Scenes” trip with the Astana Pro Cycling Team.

It is May 25th, 2009, and the sun is getting lower on the coast of Pescara, Italy. I glance down at my watch: 6:45PM. Dinner is scheduled shortly at a luxurious hotel in Francavilla al Mare, a tiny beach town set on the eastern Abruzzo coast of Italy. This is not just a simple meal, but rather, we have a dinner engagement with the Astana Team.

We had just picked up our crew of Trek Travel adventurers that morning, and immediately experienced an adrenaline-pumped, epic bike ride on the Giro race route. We literally rode up the mountain pass in front of the pros, to the cheers of locals. The Abruzzo region is known for being rugged, and today’s roads were no exception. They were narrow, bumpy, steep and fast. The crowds cheering at the top of our brutal climb were local: I would reckon roughly 98% Italian. But somehow, our group of Trek Travelers, when atop a bicycle, well, we somehow fit right in.
Trek Travel Giro d'Italia Race Vacation
The energy matched the elevation atop our mountain pass, as we eagerly awaited the pros to cross the top. I stood next to a hobbit-sized, elderly, Italian lady with a face leathered and wrinkled by decades of hard work. In her arms she held a stack of bright-pink newspapers. I knew them instinctively: La Gazzetta dello Sport. It’s the title sponsor of the Giro d’Italia, and the inspiration—no truly, the reason—for the race-leader’s pink jersey. The breeze turned chilly as the riders crested the hilltop with much bravado and fanfare. The small, wrinkled hobbit slowly reached her weathered hand in front of her, a pink newspaper clutched in it. As riders prepared for their descent in the frigid, mountain air, they looked around for something warm. Rider after rider eagerly snatched a pink paper from her, stuffing their jerseys with their newly-found insulation. With a smile on her face, she repeated this again and again, barely bothering to look up, as if it were the most natural thing in the world. But of course riders would be chilly on top of a hill; of course they would need something to keep warm on the descent.
Trek Travel Giro d'Italia race Vacation Graham Watson Photograph
I turned our Trek Travel van around the corner to the team hotel, where we met the mechanics who were cleaning and prepping the bikes, and met with behind the scenes support staff who ran us through their process of managing team logistics, the particulars of wrenching from the team car, and shared some of the team’s quirks and lesser-known details.

Then we went inside to enjoy dinner and met with the team managers and some members of the team: Levi Leipheimer (most-improved outgoing personality), Jose “Chechu” Luis Rubiera (kindest cyclist), Jani Brakovic (most gentle, honest rider), Viatcheslav Ekimov (best mullet), and more. After we enjoyed an exceptional Italian feast (many kilos of pasta were eaten that night), we sat around talking and laughing with other members of the team. I had this keen sense that—aside from being able to ride their bike really fast—these guys were just the same as any of us. Here they were, an international group of talented athletes, in a country far from family and friends. An excited group of Trek Travel cycling fans traveled to this small, Abbruzzese town to cheer wildly for them, to share their stories, to encourage them. It was clear that some of our energy and excitement infused back to the team that night.
Giro d'Italia Race Viewing Vacation and Bike Tour
We stopped for a quick round of billiards and a nightcap with the mechanics and support staff before drifting back to our beachside hotel where the group regaled each other with their own perspectives and highlights from a night of excitement and stimulation. Someone remarked that the trip had been a success and that they could go home happy right then and there, which brought a smile to my lips.

Because that was just day one.
Trek Travel Giro D'Italia Race Cycling Vacation
About the Author: Jacob Young, a guide and trip designer who started with Trek Travel at the very beginning, is happiest when showing people new places, a passion he discovered 15 years ago while guiding a friend up Mt. Rainier. When not guiding bike trips, you’ll find him handling logistics for the biggest bike races in North America, or out leading yoga retreats in tropical destinations.

Industry Insider: Tim Vanderjeugd

As the public relations and media manager for Trek Factory Racing, Tim Vanderjeugd is essentially the eyes and ears of the team at races. He is the director of communications, the team’s spokesperson, and first line of contact for media. Traveling over 180 days a year, learn more about Tim’s life on the road with professional cyclists.

Tell us your story.
I’m a former sport and travel journalist and photographer, and joined the world of professional cycling as press officer in 2011 with Leopard Trek. I’m from cycling-crazed Belgium and live only a couple of pedal strokes away from the steep Kemmelberg that fans of cycling will definitely know.

How long have you been riding bikes? What is it that called you to cycling?
I have been riding bikes since I was a little boy. Very early on kids learn how to ride bikes in my country and I was six years old went I started riding to school every day on my own. I was doing track and field all my adolescent life so riding mountain bikes and race bikes was not a major part of my life until I got my Masters in literature and linguistics. I picked up mountain biking and then very quickly also bought my first race bike.

Tell us about your best day on a bicycle?
My best day on a bike would be somewhere ‘out there’. I have amazing memories from my bike holidays in Corsica, Iceland and Senegal. When you travel with all your luggage on your bike, the suffering is immense but so incredibly rewarding. I can’t wait to take on another adventure. I’d like to go back to Argentina, but this time by bike! Or to New Zealand. Or to the Pacific Coast in the US. Or so many more destinations!

Trek Factory Racing Press Officer Tim Vanderjeugd with Julian

What inspired you to become a journalist?
The stories. I believe everyone has a great story. It’s just a matter of asking the right questions. I love my job as a press officer too. It’s different, but in a way I make sure that the riders’ stories get told, through the media but more and more directly to the fans. This season we have started our #BehindTheStripes stories where photographer Emily Maye and myself visit the riders in their homes, to show their lives to the fans in a context outside of racing. We get to see what they have to leave behind when they travel because often we overlook the costs their families must bear. Everyone at TFR, riders and staff, took a different road to get where we stand now. This variety of stories is what makes TFR such a beautiful family.

What is the vision behind Trek Factory Racing and how is it being received?
Well, we live in an amazing time where we can reach fans in the fastest and easiest ways imaginable. The fans love our communication, they send us very positive feedback. We will keep on trying to surprise them and bring the stories of TFR to their doorstep, because what would cycling be without its fans?

You speak seven languages. What excites you about learning a new language?
Speaking a language is a privilege. It’s wealth that can’t be taken from you. Being able to speak a language with someone is unlocking a door to a whole new world. Besides this cultural approach, I am very interested in language specific things like grammar and phonetics and this helps me to learn a new language. I’m taking on Portuguese now.

Trek Factory Racing Press Officer Tim V

You spend over 180 days on the road each year. What is your favorite destination and why?
That would probably be Italy. It’s just the most beautiful place in the world: the cities, the countryside, the food, the fans of cycling. There are many things that the country could improve on, but there’s even more things that make me fall in love with it every time I go there.

Tell us about your best adventure from the road.
Life on the road is a constant adventure. A lot of it is efficiently solving problems, because there’s not a day when there’s not a little something that needs mending. That’s the part I like most about my job. A great example is when we were doing the home visit to Julian Arredondo on the weekend of the National Championships in Colombia. It was the most ‘exotic’ time on the road, I think. I ended up being Julian’s mechanic for the day. Our driver had never been in a race before. It was one of those days without a script.

What are the five must-do’s while traveling in Belgium?
Visit Ghent to experience the perfect blend between the old city vibes and a very energetic urban energy. Take a day trip to Ieper and its surroundings to learn about the First World War and the atrocities mankind is capable of. Explore the Ardennes by mountain bike. Ride your bike around Oudenaarde and learn what it is to ride on cobbles. And finish up in Antwerp for some great shopping, live music and dining. If you feel adventurous, do the same things in Brussels. It’s a little more hidden in alleys and supposedly shady neighborhoods, but it’s worth it!

What does your perfect day look like?
It would include coffee in the morning and red wine at night. Bikes would be in it, though there’s no need to ride five hours. A good debate/discussion with friends about life or love – possibly with the before mentioned red wine at hand. There would need to be live music and lots of great food. All of this could be anywhere in the world, but preferably somewhere spectacular and memorable. Oh, and there should be an éclair in it too! I love éclairs!

Trek Factory Racing Press Officer Tim V


In Focus: America’s Grand Tour

This week ‘In Focus’ we’re throwing it back to the 2010 Amgen Tour of California. The fifth anniversary of the race held lots of excitement for our guides and guests as Australian Michael Rogers fought to hold off Americans David Zabriskie and Levi Leipheimer.

Captrued by Trek Travel Marketing Manager Mark Thomsen, the photo below was taken at the Stage 4 start in San Jose. Looking back at our 2010 itinerary we see many similarities to this year’s trip, with stays at the Westlake Village Inn and Lake Arrowhead Resort and a live race viewing of the stage finish on Big Bear.

Five years later, this year’s race marks the 10th Anniversary of the Amgen Tour of California! Ride along the Pacific coast and into the mountains above Santa Barbara’s “American Riviera”; attend the individual time trial at Big Bear; and enjoy the suspense of a summit stage finish at Mt Baldy. Cheer with the crowds as they urge their heroes onwards and sip cocktails at an exclusive Trek Travel party. To top off this ultimate Tour of California vacation, spend the last two days riding and relaxing in the beauty of the Santa Monica Mountains and Malibu coastline.

Drawing from our years of experience providing unparalleled vacations to cycling’s greatest races, we promise to bring you closer to the action than ever before.
Trek Travel Tour of California race cycling vacation

In Focus: “Schleck Travel”

We are excited to announce that Andy Schleck will be joining us on a handful of cycling vacations in 2015. Join us in welcoming Andy to the Trek Travel team!

We already introduce you to the Trek Factory Racing team through our race trips. We already give you the chance to ride with Jens Voigt in places like Solvang. Now, we’re adding Andy Schleck to our pro roster. He’s signed up to join us on our Etape du Tour trip in July and Mallorca Ride Camp in May. If you’ve ever wanted to be on a first-name basis with one of history’s finest riders, here’s your chance.

Choose to join a few thousand other crazy cyclists at the Etape du Tour and ride your way through a Tour de France mountain stage. Or visit the enchanting island of Mallorca to test your legs in Andy’s old training grounds. There is simply no other way to ride with this former champion. And no excuse to pass this opportunity by.

We call it ‘Schleck Travel’. Are you ready?

Andy Schleck partnering with Trek Travel

Gear of the Week: Trek Factory Racing Team Kit

Along with a new year comes an all-new team kit! Featuring the signature pinstripes as well as trims to match the team bikes, Trek Factory Racing gear is sure to turn heads in the peloton and your club ride alike.

Use the hashtag “#ShowYourStripes” to join the team and participate throughout the 2015 racing calendar by posting photos of in the team kit on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Show your stripes and get ready for another exciting season of epic racing.

Get yours today at your local Trek dealer.

Trek Factory Racing 2015 Jersey on Trek Travel's Blog

Industry Insider: Jordan Roessingh

Meet Jordan Roessingh, technical director for the Trek Factory Racing team. While talented riders put on a show, men and women like Jordan are behind the scenes making it happen.

Tell us your story in 140 characters or less.

Born in Canada, raised in Wisconsin, live in Luxembourg. Engineer by trade, cyclist by heart. Trek-y since 2008. Now Technical Director at Trek Factory Racing.

What’s the most rewarding part about your job?

Helping our riders go faster.

Favorite place you’ve ever traveled and why?

It’s tough to name one favorite, but Siena, Italy would rank high. It combines Tuscany and the Strade Bianche–one of the most beautiful places in the world and one the best bike races to spectate in the world. The race finish in the Piazza del Campo is amazing.

If you were a trip designer at Trek Travel, where would you design a trip?

I would design a monuments trip. I would challenge guests to complete the full distance of all five one-day monuments (Milan San Remo, Tour of Flanders, Paris Roubaix, Liege Bastogne Liege, Tour of Lombardia). You’d have to train a bit for that trip, though.

Tell us about your best day on a bicycle.

Tough to choose a best day, but the best road I’ve ever ridden? Gotthard Pass in Switzerland. A 13km cobbled climb, closed to traffic.

Favorite post-ride beverage?

Apfelshoerle. It’s a German drink made with sparkling water and apple juice.

What and where was the best meal you’ve ever enjoyed?

Casa Gala Restaurant in Montecatini Alto, Italy. Marginal hotel, but amazing restaurant. The meal? Steak with porcinis and a bottle of Chianti. Incredible setting, even better food.

What’s the best advice you’ve never followed?

“Stay close to home.”

Outside of your family, who inspires you the most?

Markel Irizar. He is a cancer survivor on the Trek Factory Racing team who embodies his personal motto: Bizipoz (Basque for “Joy for Life”).

What is your favorite travel song?

“Goin’ Home” – Dan Auerbach

Favorite hotel you’ve ever stayed in and why?

Pax Montana, near Sarnen, Switzerland. Located in the foothills of the Alps, overlooking an alpine lake. The hotel is from the 1800’s and recently renovated. Decidedly old-tech (no, there are not TV’s in the rooms), but the setting and views more than make up for it.


If a date is marked as Private, it is reserved for a private group.

Looking to travel with a small group or looking for a custom date?
Call our trip consultants at 866-464-8735

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 hotel levels, from Explorer to Luxury to Ultimate Luxury. Rest assured, no matter which level of hotel 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