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Techniques for Winter Riding

If you ride all year like a growing number of people in the world, I’m sure you have experienced less than ideal riding conditions, especially during these winter months. I’d like to give you a few pointers on good riding technique to keep your ride safe and uneventful!

Eye contact: This is true in all weather conditions, but eye contact with motorists is very important. Don’t assume that people see you 100% of the time. Intersections are a place where the unexpected can happen in a heartbeat. Make sure you have eye contact with someone driving near you. It’s always better to know that someone sees you than to make assumptions.

Lights: The nights still come upon us early and riding without lights is unsafe and sometimes illegal in certain states. Not only does it help with vehicles, but it helps with fellow pedestrians on the bike path. I can’t tell you how often I barely see other riders because they don’t use a light. I can’t imagine driving without headlights, and we shouldn’t be riding without lights either. Personally, I’m a fan of multiple rear lights too–one blinking and one steady. You can never be too safe!

Avoiding Debris: While riding on the roads be careful about riding too close to the curb. That’s an area of the road that collects debris this time of year. Broken glass and a lot of miscellaneous items that can ruin your day live by the curb during the winter months. Riding just a bit further into the lane, away from these potentially dangerous items, can be a good idea to avoid a puncture or flat tire. Also keeping a straight line and riding predictably is much safer than weaving to avoid debris and keeping the cars behind you guessing your next move.
 
 
Winter cycling tips from Trek Travel Logistics Manager

Winter Riding Blues

As Juno covers the East Coast in snow, and others of us have been riding downstairs on the trainer for months, we are all dreaming of those warm 72 degree days. But if you’re brave enough to face the elements, we’re here to provide you with a few tips on riding in the snow and cold.

  1. Don’t bring your bike inside. It’s best if the bike stays the same temp throughout the day. Having the slush/water freeze then melt daily will wreak more havoc on it than just keeping it below freezing all the time.
  2. Keep that chain as clean and lubed as you can. A daily wiping down of the chain is a good practice to get into. All of the road salt will quickly erode any lubrication properties of most chain lubes. Use a good wet lube weekly to keep your chain in tip top shape and don’t forget to wipe the excess off after you apply it. Remember you are trying to lube the parts inside the chain, not the parts you see!
  3. Gear up, get out, and enjoy the ride!

 
 
Winter Riding Tips from Trek Travel

Holiday Must Haves

Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket Trek Travel Holiday Gift Guide

Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket | $199

Indoors or out, and especially on an airplane, this insulated jacket is the perfect travel piece to keep you comfortable without weighing down your suitcase.

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Travel and Leisure subscription on Trek Travel's holiday gift guide

Travel and Leisure Magazine Subscription | $12

The best guide for insider information on top hotels, restaurants, and things to do around the world, Travel and Leisure provides inspiration and insights on every page.

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Wooden bike rack on Trek Travel's Holiday Gift Guide

CB2 Wood Bike Storage | $50

Turn your gear into art, and save space in your home, with this handcrafted wood rack that mounts easily to any wall and holds you bike by the top tube.

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This is Ground Cordito on Trek Travel's Holiday Gift Guide

This is Ground Cordito | $45

With room for up to three cables and two plugs, This is Ground’s Cordito neatly holds your electronic cords and keeps them from getting tangled in your bag.

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Osprey Hydration pack on Trek Travel's holiday gift guide

Osprey Syncro Hydration Pack | $110

This lightweight and ventilated pack is available in three sizes and offers plenty of carrying capacity for multiple hours on a mountain bike or hiking trail.

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Outdoor Tech Speaker on Trek Travel's Holiday Gift Guide

Outdoor Tech Buckshot Wireless Speaker | $50

This small, portable speaker has all the features you want. It’s shock-resistant, water-resistant, and provides crystal clear audio for sixteen hours.

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Black Diamond Headlamp on Trek Travel's holiday gift guide

Black Diamond Storm Headlamp | $50

Equipped with a fully waterproof construction, this incredibly bright headlamp is perfect for helping you work in all conditions and levels of daylight.

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L'Occitane Hand Cream on Trek Travel's Holiday Gift Guide

L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream Trio | $28

Born of Provence, L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream will keep your hands from drying out on long flights. A perfect winter stocking stuffer for men and women.

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Mophie Space Pack on Trek Travel's Holiday Gift Guide

Mophie Space Pack | $150

An iPhone battery case with built in storage, bring the Mophie Space Pack on your next trip to ensure that your phone never dies right when you need it most.

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Cycle Ops PowerSync trainer on Trek Travel's Holiday Gift Guide

Cycle Ops PowerSync Trainer | $900

Take your indoor training to a whole new level. With programmable resistance and virtual training software, you’ll never get bored on a long winter rider again.

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Leap Wireless Headphones on Trek Travel's Holiday Gift Guide

Leap Wireless Earphones by Yurbuds | $100

These sweat-proof, comfortable earphones have exceptional sound and Bluetooth connectivity. Lasting up to 6 hours, never let wires get in your way on a ride.

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Artifact Uprising Photo Book on Trek Travel's Holiday Gift Guide

Artifact Uprising Hardcover Photo Book | $70

Document your adventures or tell your story with a, premium quality photo book. Beautifully share your best photos with family and friends this holiday season.

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TRX Suspension Trainer on Trek Travel's Holiday Gift Guide

TRX Suspension Trainer | $200

TRX suspension training uses your bodyweight for a fast, effective, total-body workout. Set it up anywhere so you never lose fitness while you’re on the road.

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Grid Foam Roller on Trek Travel's Holiday Gift Guide

Grid Mini Foam Roller | $25

Finally an easy to pack, travel friendly foam roller. This 4-inch roller helps mobilize tissue and aid in recovery by providing targeted compression.

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Stumptown Coffee on Trek Travel's holiday gift guide

Stumptown Coffee Rambler | $185

Whether you wake up near rocky mountain, desert dust, hotel minibar, or skyscraper, coordinates matter not. The Rambler makes a damn good cup wherever you find yourself.

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Bontrager Luggage on Trek Travel's Holiday Gift Guide

Bontrager Mallorca Carry On | $220

Big enough for riding essentials but small enough to fit in the overhead, this roller bag features wet and dry compartments to separate clean and dirty clothes.

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Nuun Sampler Pack on Trek Travel's Holiday Gift Guide

Nuun Energy Sampler Pack | $20

The perfect supplement for any ride, Nuun electrolyte tablets provide the essentials for performance through balanced hydration and sustained energy.

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Guest Post: Shut Up Legs Tour

This article, “Cycling road trip with Tour de France hero Jens Voigt a thrill for Edmonton lawyer,” was written by Trek Travel guest Don Mallon and originally published in the Edmonton Journal.

“In every relationship there are defining, watershed moments such as a first kiss or a birth of a child. These are instants in time that foretell your life is about to change, take a new direction. The instant a few weeks back when my wife walked into our bathroom to find me shaving my legs had the potential to be such a moment — and not in a good way.

Fortunately she knew this was merely the last step in a long summer of preparation for a cycling trip with one of the world’s top cyclists: Jens Voigt. I am a recreational road cyclist, a roadie. To train for the trip I had upped my weekly cycling mileage significantly, lost over 15 pounds and worked to increase my endurance and leg strength so that I could ride alongside this cycling legend without embarrassment.

Jens Voigt on Trek Travel's Santa Barbara Bike TourRoad cyclists theorize, backed by recent wind tunnel testing, that by shaving their legs they significantly improve aerodynamics. My wife knew I was looking for every advantage for this bucket list quest so the limb deforestation came as no surprise.

Jens Voigt has just retired after a long career in which he entered 17 Tours de France and won many races. He was a “rouleur” or all-rounder. At 6-foot-3 he was too big to be a favorite for the overall title in the mountainous multi-stage races but he was a first rate domestique, a rider to be counted upon to catch a breakaway or lead the charge up a hill for his team. He would endure pain and sacrifice his standing to help his team’s favorite rider achieve the winner’s podium.

Most domestiques, while talented in their own rights, melt into the background — but not Jens. For instance, there was that time in the Tour de France on the classic mountain Alpe d’huez when, shortly before the summit, he tossed his empty water bottle as a souvenir toward a young five-year-old fan. It was intercepted by an adult male.

Jens stopped mid-race, rode back down to the fellow and embarrassed him into giving the bottle to the kid. Voigt then got back on the saddle and rode to the finish to a round of applause usually reserved for the stage winner. His honest and outspoken nature won him countless fans around the globe, including me.

Jens Voigt on Trek Travel's Shut Up Legs Bike Tour In CaliforniaSo when Trek Travel offered a four-day cycling tour in California over the Halloween weekend with none other than JV, I signed up immediately.

The trip consisted of four days of riding in the Santa Ynez valley. Nestled between the ocean and the Pacific Coast mountain range the area is warm and dry and has an overall look similar to the southern Okanagan valley with some added palm trees.

Our hotel and base of operations was the Alisal Guest ranch, a historic 10,000-acre property first established as a working ranch in the early 1800s. In 1943 the then-owner altered the business model to include guest rooms. Today it is an interesting mix of cattle operation, hotel, golf course and dude ranch.

Our exceedingly competent and convivial Trek guides collected us on the first morning at the Santa Barbara Airport and bussed us to the Sanford Winery, one of a multitude in the area. There we ate lunch, tasted wine, got fitted for our bikes, introduced ourselves to the other 29 participants and eagerly awaited Jens’ arrival.

We didn’t have to wait long. He arrived, having travelled almost directly from Germany, a tall, lanky, smiling, walking, talking vortex. He was, as advertised, funny, self-effacing and energetic. In no time the talk was over and we set out on the bikes for a 40-km cruise through parched countryside and the Danish town of Solvang to our ranch hotel.

IMG_1313_Jens_VanJens initially set a pace of around 35 km/hr. I rode up to his back wheel and, like many past contenders of the Tour de France, into the wind protection of his draft. I was stoked. After a while, he dropped back to chat with as many riders as possible and a group of four of us, all seniors, pace-lined and hotfooted it to home base.

Overall it was a very good day, but it didn’t end there. Trek had prearranged dinners and social activities with Jens and our group for the entire long weekend. We had a lovely evening meal on the patio of Root 46 restaurant in the Danish-themed town of Solvang and chatted with Jens and each other for many hours.

Day 2 was the day of the big climb. The distance from bottom to top of Mount Figeuroa “the Fig” is 10 miles and the elevation gain is over 4,500 feet — yikes! The grade runs from a pedestrian six per cent to a leg and lung searing 19 per cent. To add an additional dimension of cruelty, the powers that be have left a steep section unpaved. Riders must navigate their skinny high-pressure tires over rocks, sand and gravel for more than a kilometer.

As we rode towards the base of the mountain every rider took a turn at the front with Jens for a photo. I chose to fake a sprint past a “fading” Voigt, something that would only happen in my dreams. Like a great sport, he played along. I now have a photo about which I can lie boastfully to my grandchildren.

IMG_9953_DonJens_FigThe mountain climb was as tough and long as expected but reaching a summit is always satisfying and this was no different. The long and fast descent took us to Los Olivos, a small town jam-packed with wine-tasting salons, where we lunched on paninis, had espressos and then paired scrumptious cupcakes and wine samples at Saarloos & Sons tasting room.

Then it was back to Alisal for a well-earned massage. A Halloween party that evening further allowed the tour group members to gain each other’s and Jens’ acquaintance. The group was an interesting mix of people from many walks of life. Among the riders were doctors, a rocket scientist, bankers, homemakers, retirees, a geologist and moi, the sole lawyer in the crowd.

The rest of the weekend blurred by. Unexpected and unusual rain slicked up the roads on the third day causing one rider to crash on a downhill hairpin turn. While the damp and crash subdued us, his return to the ranch that evening with stitches and stories for his grandkids buoyed us back up.

I rode beside or near Jens most of the weekend. My goal was to do that and not get dropped. Mission accomplished. I was also interested to observe how a pro-peloton rider handles himself among those of us who are comparatively DNA challenged. On the second day, within a few kilometers of the ranch, an inexperienced but determined rider was struggling to keep with the group. “Go on” she said “I’ll get there on my own.”

Trek Travel guest cycling with Jens Voigt in Santa BarbaraJens’ response was that cyclists are a community. He told her we look out for one another and we make sure everyone makes it to the finish — together. He rode beside her the rest of the way home.

I cycle for fitness and for the thrill of achieving speeds under my own power, unattainable without the mechanical advantage of gears and chains and light weight carbon. But I agree with Jens that there is more to it. We are a community. Most of us are just domestiques but, as he demonstrated his entire career and continues to demonstrate, that is an honorable role.

I am back home now with autographs, photographs and memories. Jens does not yet know his plans for the coming years but there is a reasonable chance he will repeat this “Shut up Legs” tour with Trek next fall. I’ve decided to take it easy this coming week but after that the serious training starts over — just in case.”

Meet Our Team: Ann Christianson

Meet Ann Christianson, creative expert here at Trek Travel. Advised by her parents to avoid a career in art or computers, Ann became a graphic designer. Armed with a college degree and a handmade bicycle, she started her own business. The rest is history.

What do you do at Trek Travel?

I create marketing materials for Trek Travel, like the annual Trip Planner. I have always been artistic and always drawn to (pun intended) anything creative. My medium of choice is acrylic painting, but I also like to draw, sew, and mess around with crafting like Ukrainian Easter Eggs.

My favorite part about working at Trek Travel is the camaraderie and spirit. Put simply, it’s inspiring. I have also always been a cyclist, and I love the rolling hills of riding country roads. But I don’t limit myself to only one kind of cycling; truly, if it has two wheels and pedals, I love it.

Ann Christianson 1977 BikeTrek Travel Bucket list trip?

E’tape du Tour and Pyrenees Sea to Sea.

Favorite post-ride beverage?

  • Post-Ride: Grapefruit juice.
  • Post-Post-Ride: Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa 2009)
  • Post-Post-Post-Ride: Irish Whiskey

Tell us your story.

When I was young, my parents (mom, a talented artist and dad, a computer programer) gave me a few pieces of advice, including what do to for a living. They advised me to avoid any career in art because it doesn’t pay AND not to do anything pertaining to computers because I was sure to burn out early. Not taking my parents advice, I decided to do both and I couldn’t be happier. Let me give credit where credit is due: my father also used to say, “Do what you love and the world will come to you, or if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” Nothing could be more true for me than those statements.

My interest in cycling began just like many. I was given a red Radio Flyer tricycle, with the fixie front wheel and the panel to stand on in the back. You know the kind where you have to take your feet off the pedals when you go downhill? Then, in 1976, I was given my first two-wheeler which I affectionately named my “Bicentennial Bike.” It was a special bike, handmade by my Grandpa Frank out of old lawn mower, tractor and chainsaw parts. This, I believe, is the exact moment that the beauty of bicycles and cycling entered my soul.

In high school, I bought my first bicycle after one month of working at my first job. I put money down on a Raleigh 10-Speed and it took me four payments of $50 to pay it off. Total cost was $250.

Fast forward to 1999. New to the Madison area and recent college graduate with a design degree, I accepted a job at a non-profit organization designing for their trade monthly magazine. During the day I worked on magazine layouts, and at night I worked on freelance projects. In 2001 I transitioned from a few freelance projects to starting my own design business.

I had made a few cyclist friends who worked at Trek Bicycle, and an opportunity arose to work on a pro-bono project for their annual Breast Cancer Awareness ride. It was a cause that was personal to me and I got a free T-shirt, socks and registration into the ride. I was happy.

At the ride I was introduced to Tania, the president of Trek Travel, who was in need of some marketing and design assistance. For me it was a ‘meant-to-be’ kind of meeting. I couldn’t have created a more perfect opportunity combining two loves: cycling and design. The cherry on top was the company’s service they provided, guided travel by bike! Though my travels were limited to driving or day trips, mainly because of my young family and limited funds, our bikes always came with us.

Based only on our initial meetings, I knew Trek Travel was what I had been looking for. They were passionate about cycling, had such enthusiasm for travel, and you just knew they did what they did because they loved it.

Tell us about your best day on a bike.

I made my way to The Netherlands in the Summer of 2012. It was a three-week long work trip that left my weekends free for exploration and adventure. I had mentioned to local colleagues that I was interested in seeing some early impressionist art, and they suggested the Kroller Muller Museum. Plan in hand and navigation set for the museum, I set out on my day adventure.

Trek Travel Graphic Designer in the Netherlands

I arrived in Otterlo, a very small town set at one of the entrances to the Stichting Het Nationale Park. Located in the center of the park is the Kroller Muller. At the park entrance, you are given the option to drive to the museum or take a bicycle provided by the park. I, of course, chose the bike option and set off with my camera and a map. My anticipation of the destination made me quicken my pace. I went about a mile and a half through a thick wooded area and reached a clearing where I could see for miles. The scenery stopped me in my tracks and I realized this was one of those moments when it is as much about the journey as it is the destination. So, in the profound words of the youth of today, I slowed my roll.

Trek Travel Graphic Designer

An hour later I arrived at the museum. This part of my perfect day was absolutely not a disappointment. It is a quaint, unassuming setting for a museum. You would not know that it is full of original paintings by some of the most admired impressionist artists, such as Renior, Seurat, Picasso, Mondriaan, and of course, Van Gogh. Unlike other museums with laser security and alarm trip wires set to keep you back, the viewing of this artwork is intimate and impactful. It’s as if you are in someone’s living room and they are showing you their personal collection.

After pausing my tour for a slice of the most amazing lemon cheese cake and cappuccino, I made my way through the sculpture garden and got back on my bike for a few more miles of adventure through the park. I stopped reading the map and just let the paths take me at will. A little over an hour later I arrive back in Otterlo. I was about to go back to my car and head home when I noticed the parking lot was barricaded and a large crowd people were walking towards the town center. I asked the park attendant if I could keep the bike and use it to go into the town. She approved and I went on my way.

As I approached the town square, I noticed all of the spectators were gathered along the street, gazing in the same direction like they were waiting for a parade or a race. Around the corner comes a group of racers in cycling skin suits and bullet helmets. They are not on bicycles, but roller blades!

Ann Christianson Netherlands Trek Travel Blog

I made my way to a café hotel with outdoor seating and spent the rest of the afternoon and evening cheering for the racers and drinking wine. I made new friends with some locals seated next to me, who spoke very little English, and were unsuccessfully trying to teach me Dutch.

When the streets opened I returned the bike to the park. On my way back to my living quarters, I thought about the day’s events and it occurred to me that everything that happened seemed to be destined for me. The landscape and the bicycle. The art and the food. The festivities and people. I will forever remember that day as one of my most perfect.

Thank you, Ann! You can view Ann’s work in Trek Travel’s catalog or visit her website!

National Bike Challenge 2014

At Trek Travel, we strive to encourage a passion for cycling. It is our mission to show people the world by bike, and for that to be possible, we need safe places to ride and people to ride with. Thankfully we aren’t the only ones with this dream. We have allies on our side helping to fight the battle.

Trek Travel joins League of American Bicyclists in National Bike Challenge

The League of American Bicyclists strives to create
 safer roads, stronger communities, and a more bicycle-friendly America. They believe that bicycling brings people together. So do we. They believe when more people ride bikes, life is better for everyone. So do we. They believe the bicycle is a simple solution to health, economic, and environmental problems. So do we.

In 2012, the League of American Bicyclists first presented the National Bike Challenge as a way to unite current bicyclists and encourage new riders. It’s a free and easy competition designed to get people to ride their bike. The challenge rewards those who ride most consistently, not necessarily the greatest distance. Riders receive 20 points for every day they ride a bike, and one point for every mile they ride. Fast forward three years and the National Bike Challenge united 47,000 people to ride 23 million miles in just five months. Wisconsin, our home state, came in first nationally.

Trek Travel has participated in the challenge for the last two years. Last year we accumulated nearly 30,000 points. This year: 50,000. Together, 17 of us rode nearly 20,000 miles, burnt over 1 million calories, and saved nearly $10,000. We rode in sun and rain…and even tornado warnings. We rode in soaking-wet humidity and bone-chilling cold. We rode in the early morning and late evening, saw sunrises and sunsets. We rode in new places, near and far. Next year we plan to up the ante again, and we encourage you to join us. Start a team or join an existing one. Get your friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors to ride with you. Log your miles. Challenge yourself. And most importantly, enjoy the ride.

 

Sunshine-NBC High-Viz-NBC Rainy-Day-NBC Ben-and-Mark-NBC

Photos from the road during the 2014 National Bike Challenge

The Art of Finding a Great Hotel

The difficulty of finding a great hotel, one that meets everyone’s needs, is a pain that all travelers have felt. Yet our trip design manager, Meagan, tells us that booking the perfect hotel doesn’t have to cause headaches and anxiety. Today she shares her secrets on where to look and what questions to ask in order to get it right the first time.

“Whenever I am traveling (especially to a new destination) and I need a place to stay, I simply start by asking my friends. There is nothing quite as relevant and dependable as a strong personal recommendation. I’m lucky since most of my friends are in the travel industry and their word of mouth carries some serious weight.

Inle hotel on Trek Travel Myanmar bike tripsIf I can’t find a place I love based on what my pals have to say, I look to my favorite travel publications to see what nods they give hotels in the area that I’m planning to travel. Afar, Travel & Leisure, and the NY Times, as well as websites such as Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Relais Chateau, are all great places to look. I also check out online reviews, blogs and booking sites (such as Trip Advisor) to see how different hotels rank in the area.

Once I settle on a few options, I like to dig into the exact location on a map. Is it within walking distance to all of the attractions I would like to visit? And more importantly for me personally, what kind of restaurants are nearby? The hotel website is my next reference—I look at the rooms and room types to decide what best suits me. I look for super detailed information about the hotel breakfast and coffee options. If they don’t have great coffee I am not going! It’s sometimes nice to have tasty dining options on site and entertainment as well, even if it is just a cozy lounge or terrace with a view to enjoy a beverage.

Amorosa Hotel on Trek Travel's Bike Ride Across ItalyOf course, the amenities and services are important to keep in mind. Does the hotel have a sauna, mini bar, bike rental or fitness center? I look around the hotel site for special offers and sometimes (gasp!) even pick up the phone to see if I can talk to the friendly reservation department about getting the best room available at the best price or complimentary valet, breakfast or another perk.

After all that, I just kick back and imagine myself on vacation! If I am lucky, I won’t spend too much time at the hotel because I will be out riding my bike or exploring.”

Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge, Meagan! 

Industry Insider: Jenn Dice

Meet Jenn Dice. A rockstar both on and off the bike, Jenn is the Vice President of Government Relations at the People for Bikes Coalition. A mountain bike extraordinaire, you’ll find Jenn crushing the Leadville 100 or screaming down Mount Kilimanjaro whenever she’s not working hard to make bicycling more accessible.

Tell us your story in 140 characters or less:

I work at PeopleForBikes, a national movement w/ 845,000 members to make bicycling better in America. I organize the Business Network to help build political clout.

What’s the most rewarding part about your job?

Working with passionate people every day. We work to change the world through bikes.

Favorite place you’ve ever traveled and why?

Tourmalet, France. On the Trek Travel Etape de Tour trip a few years ago we got to climb the Col du Tourmalet and spend a week in France (including Paris on the final day of the Tour de France). It was mind blowing and life changing all at once. So much fun, so challenging and so gorgeous. Being a female riding a road bike in a male oriented ride was also fun. I got a lot of cheering and support.

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

Jenn Dice BlogArgentina – I just got married and we are planning to honeymoon there this fall. Can I just pay Trek Travel to organize our honeymoon?

If you could only bring one unnecessary item on a trip, what would it be?

My French press.

What is one thing you never fly without?

Smartwool socks. Planes are freezing and I love Smartwool socks.  Makes you feel all warm and cozy like slippers.

Tell us about your best day on a bicycle.

As part of a WorldServe fundraiser, I got to hike up and mountain bike down Mt. Kilimanjaro. The amazing people of Africa and 13,000 feet of downhill will change your life.

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

Another hard one, you people ask tough questions. I’m a foodie and read lots of foodie blogs and magazines. I seek out hot new places in cities when traveling (which is a lot). My work takes me to Washington DC, regularly and my favorite is Little Serow. Two years ago it won a bunch of awards and it’s Thai and prix fixe. The chef brings out many dishes throughout the night which is always a great surprise. I love it when a meal is interesting, spicy, adventuresome and extraordinary.

Favorite hotel you’ve ever stayed in?

21C Museum Hotel in Bentonville, Arkansas. I am obsessed with modern art and design and you are surrounded by it in this creative, boutique hotel. That combined with world-class mountain bike trails right out the backdoor makes it pretty much my nirvana.

What is the best advice you’ve never followed?

Sleep more.

Outside of your family, who inspires you the most?

Mark McKinnon – I would love to be 1/10 as smart as Mark someday. His ability to listen, learn, interpret, strategize and communicate on any topic and issue is mind-blowing. And, his love for his amazing wife Annie. I want to be them when I grow up.

*Mark is a political advisor and Global Vice-Chairman of an international communications consultancy. 

What is your personal motto or mantra?

“Be an agent for change.”  That and … “Get s*&$ done.”

 

A Closer Look at the Trek Domane

We talk about our bikes all the time. You hear us say how excellence comes standard on all of our trips, with our first class Trek Bikes included in the price. We brag about the Trek Domane 5.9 with Shimano Di2 Electronic Shifting. But for those of us who aren’t racers, who don’t spend free time reading gear reviews, and can’t understand the technical jargon, we find ourselves wondering what it all means.

So I’m here to break it down for you – to put into layman’s terms what makes the Trek Domane the best bike for you. It’s a top of the line road bike, but it is perfect for riders of all abilities. If you’re used to riding a hybrid, the switch to a Domane is nothing to lose sleep over. If you’re an experienced rider, the Domane will be something to write home about.

First, the Trek Domane is equipped with Di2 electronic shifting. While this may sound intimidating, Di2 stands for ‘Digital Integrated Intelligence’. The shifters will look the same as those on your road bike at home, but they will function better. 13domane-300Instead of having to move the lever to switch gears, the Di2 system allows you to change gears with simply the ‘click-of-a-mouse-button’. This makes it easier for people with small hands. It makes shifting effortless. It allows you to focus on enjoying the ride rather than worrying about gear malfunctions.

Secondly, the Trek Domane is an endurance fit road bike. You’ll hear shop guys and techies talk about the relaxed geometry and higher head tube. But to break it down, endurance fit simply means the Domane is a smoother ride. Rather than being stretched out and bent over, the Domane allows you to sit more upright if you wish. It is the perfect solution for long rides or multiple days in the saddle.

Lastly, the smooth ride provided by the Domane will keep you coming back for more. The Domane is equipped with an IsoSpeed decoupler. Never heard of a decoupler? Neither had I. It’s a fancy term that means the seat tube is isolated from the rest of the frame. What you really need to know is that it absorbs a lot of the road vibrations. Combined with padded handlebars, every road is instantly transformed into brand new blacktop.

Ultimately, if you’ve always wanted to try a road bike but are nervous about making the switch, this is the bike for you! Its tires are just as wide as the tires on our hybrid bike, so you don’t have to worry about stability. And I think we’ve established that its smoothness is unparalleled. Without sounding too cliché, riding the Trek Domane is as easy as riding a bike!

As for the racers who are reading this, the Domane is Roubaix-tested and race-ready. Fabian Cancellara rides the Domane and has been on the podium in his last 12 monuments. It has even been in yellow at that famous race in France during the month of July. I assure you this bike will make you feel like a champion.

And just in case you fall in love with riding this bike on one of our trips (after all, you wouldn’t be the first one), you will receive $300 off a 5 or 6 series Trek Domane or Madone, or Project One purchased at your local Trek retailer.

No Such Thing As The Slowest Rider

Ever wanted to go on a cycling vacation but feared you’d be the slowest rider on the trip? Or maybe your travel partner is a much stronger rider than you and you’re worried about getting left behind.

At Trek Travel, we want to ease your fears. Rest assured that on a Trek Travel vacation you can choose your mileage. Part of our mission is to show people the world by bike, at their pace, every time, with unrivaled support and flexibility. Trek Travel trips are built for riders of all disciplines, fitness levels and skill sets. We understand that it is your day and your vacation, and we want you to decide how to spend it. Consequently, our trips are defined by flexibility.

yourdayWe strive to accommodate the wishes of our guests, while also maintaining the integrity of the trip for the entire group. You can ride as much or as little as you’d like. You can ride at your own pace and stop for a coffee if you wish. You can opt out of any event or ask us to facilitate the addition of an event. Tell us what you’re comfortable doing, and we’ll make it happen. But how?

First, each day you will be provided with three different ride options. There is a featured ride, a short route, and an avid route. Our expert trip designers know the regions, and will never take you into uncharted territory or untested roads. Choose your preferred route in the morning based on how you’re feeling each day, but know that you can always hop in the van if your legs aren’t up to the task or add on extra miles if you’ve still got energy to burn.

guidesSecondly, almost all trips will have two guides to support your rides. One guide will provide support from the van, and the second guide will provide support from the bike. We do our absolute best to ensure that the van driver sees every rider at least twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon. Furthermore, guides riding support are expected to “float” through the group, avoiding sticking with any single guest or group for the entire ride.

But how effectively do we provide the unrivaled support that we boast? It has been described as ‘magic’. Guests have said that every time they turned a corner, needed water, or wanted to take off their jacket, a guide was there. But we’ll let the testimonials speak for themselves:

“The guides were all exceptional, and did a great job of supporting all riders across the spectrum of ability. It was great to be able to enjoy some challenging rides and not have to think about logistics/mechanical issues/water etc. The level of support throughout the whole trip was truly excellent.” – Marta

“I felt the guides did a great job of juggling the demands of a varied group…my husband could enjoy the demands of the big days and hills while I could be shuttled over some passes yet still enjoy the stellar views on the coast. I was never made to feel I was a ‘bother’” – Nancy

“The trip design was excellent. There were several ride options each day, which allowed individuals to challenge themselves or take it easy and have a rest-day of sorts. I enjoyed the opportunity to climb some challenging “hills” and the support from the guides along the way made me confident that I could tackle any route option.” – Jonathan

Private

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.

Luxury:

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.

Explorer

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

Combined

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.

Self-Guided

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