Skip to main content

Winter Recipes We Love

Warm Goat Cheese salad with Pomegranate vinaigrette

Salad Ingredients:
Good fresh goat cheese
Dark green salad leaves
Toasted hazelnuts

Dressing Ingredients:
Extra virgin olive oil
Dijon mustard
Balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
Pomegranate seeds


1. Put a tsp. of mustard into a bowl and add 4 large dashes of balsamic vinegar. Mix until emulsified.
2. Slowly add 2/3 T. olive oil while mixing until all the oil has been absorbed into the vinaigrette.
3. Season with salt and pepper, add more oil if needed and gently mix in a handful of pomegranate seeds.
4. Slice goat cheese into disks, place on a baking sheet and toast on both sides in an oven set at 400ºF until light brown.
5. Toss lettuce with the vinaigrette, place toasted slices of goat cheese on top and scatter the hazelnuts over the salad.

Recipe Source:
Penny Gatward, Trek Travel Guide

Costa Brava

Wine Pairing:
Raimat Chardonnay Costers del Segre Viña 27 2007


Trek Travel Winter Recipes


Halibut with Wild Mushroom Fricassee

3 lbs. fresh or frozen halibut
3 T. butter, melted
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
4 strips bacon
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup buttered bread crumbs
1 T. chopped parsley


1. Rub halibut with butter, salt and pepper.
2. Lay bacon on bottom of baking pan and place fillets of top.
3. Make a mixture of sour cream, cheese, crumbs and lemon juice. Spread over the fish.
4. Bake halibut at 350ºF until tender (20 to 30 minutes).
5. Serve sprinkled with grated cheese and parsley.

Serving Size:
6 to 8 People

Crater Lake and the Oregon Cascades

Wine Pairing:
Elk Cove Pinot Gris or 14 Hands Merlot


Best Winter Recipes from Trek Travel


Top 10 Favorite Travel Apps

Duolingo Language Learning App

1. Duolingo

Speaking the local language is crucial to running an excellent trip, but that can be difficult when you run trips in 12 countries. Whether brushing up your skills or starting from scratch, Duolingo is the best way to learn a language on the go.
Learn More»


Uber Ride Share

2. Uber

Available is 45 countries, Uber is the perfect transportation service to find a reliable ride. With five different tiers, you can conveniently request a ride that matches your style and budget.
Learn More»


3. TripCase

Enter your trips into TripCase to manage the information. The app will provide you with everything from flight alerts and weather forecasts to alternate flights and driving directions.
Learn More»


4. Skype

A webcam, internet connection, and computer or mobile device is all you need to stay in touch with family and friends worldwide. Stay close to loves you love while you see the world.
Learn More»


Google Translate

5. Google Translate

Translate between 80 languages by speaking, typing, writing, or taking a picture. No internet connection needed. Get yourself out of a bind or just converse with those around you.
Learn More»


6. AccuWeather

Plan your day, and your outfit, perfectly. Never be unprepared thanks to the daily snapshot, local forecast summary, severe weather alerts, animated weather radar and more.
Learn More»

Hotel Tonight

7. Hotel Tonight

Expect the unexpected with Hotel Tonight. Book a room up to seven days in advance, scroll through a hand-picked selection of hotels, and find exceptional values on the go.
Learn More»


Google Maps

8. Google Maps

The world is at your finger tips with the Google Maps app. Navigate like a local, avoid traffic jams, never get lost, and find the best spots while discovering destinations near and far.
Learn More»


9. Free Wifi Finder

No matter where you are in the world, find free Wifi hotspots using this JiWire app. Search based on your current location, find Wifi in a specific region, or filter by location type.
Learn More»

XE Currency

10. XE Currency

XE Currency offers live exchange rates for every currency in the world. Convert every currency, even without internet, so you never pass up a great deal or pay too much for a meal.
Learn More»


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! 

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

Industry Insider: Ben Coates

Meet Ben Coates. Ben is the Trek Road Product Manager – which according to his loving wife means that, “anything with curly handlebars is under his jurisdiction.” We met with Ben to learn a little more about his life, work, and travels.

Tell us your story in 140 characters or less:

Husband, father, cyclist. Living the life making great bikes, traveling the world, and having fun with my beautiful family.

photo-2-200x300What’s the most rewarding part about your job?

Getting people excited about riding bikes. There is nothing like seeing someone get a new bike, especially when you are a part of the development of that bike. You can see the excitement in their eyes – a feeling that most people know – and it is amazing to see someone else go through it.

Favorite place you’ve ever traveled and why?

I love Belgium. Kind of a funny place to love, right? Not if you are bike, beer or frites fan. I happen to be all three. I love the people there because they have tough exterior but warm hearts. They are passionate about family, friends, cycling and beer. The riding is incredible, from the scenic open roads of Flanders to the brutal climbs of Wallonia. You could spend a lifetime riding there and never get bored.

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

I would plan a trip somewhere I have never been but have always wanted to go. I could see planning a trip to a number of places like Patagonia, South Africa, and Mongolia. The list would go on and on. If I had to choose a place to start, I would go with Japan. I have always wanted to see the rice patties and climb from the coast to the highest peaks. There is something mystical about Japan. That is where I would start.

Favorite hotel you’ve ever stayed in and why?

Sundance Resort in Utah. It has an authentic quality and is aligned with nature in a rustic, modern way. I also got married there in 2008.

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

An iPad. I can see my family, read a book, scroll through a magazine, catch up on news, and watch a movie. Definitely the best travel item I own.

What is one thing you never fly without?

My Passport. I left it at home once and had to take a last minute flight to Australia. It was a disaster; I never leave home without it now.

photo-1-219x300Tell us about your best day on a bicycle.

I have had so many, but all of my rides can be traced back to one.  A good friend of mine convinced me to get a mountain bike as my college bike, instead of the normal cruiser.  My parents were not so happy that I spent double what they expected, but that bike took me on my first ride.  It was a ride up Apex Trail in Golden, CO.  I remember that it took me almost 2 hours to climb to the top – a climb that takes less than 30 minutes today. I crashed twice and almost threw up once.  The way down was equally as eventful.  I crashed over the side of the trail and slid down into a creek.  After three hours, huge frustrations, and a lot of blood, I was officially a cyclist.

What’s your favorite type of beverage?

If it was only one drink I would pick San Pellegrino.  If it was only one alcoholic drink it would be Bourbon on the rocks – Angel’s Envy or Beer Barrel Bourbon to be exact.

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

My Mom’s homemade green chile at my parents’ house. If I was going to choose a restaurant, it would be Café Diva in Steamboat Springs, CO. There is something about a small mountain town with a great restaurant that is hard to beat. 

What is your personal motto or mantra?

I got this from my wonderful wife. She probably doesn’t know this but I think about it every day.  Here are the five things that will make me successful and happy in life:
1. Up Early
2. Win
3. Help Others
4. Exercise
5. Disengage

Outside of your family, who inspires you the most?

Historically, I am pretty fascinated by Abraham Lincoln because of the strength of his character.  Integrity is something that I think about all the time and I think that he is the most prominent person in history that truly had integrity. Without his integrity and sense of purpose, the entire world would be a different place today. A living person that inspires me outside of my family is a little harder. I could go the easy route here and say my boss or the president or something like that, which are true but not really insightful or particularly interesting. So, with that in mind, I am going to go with Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia. After all these years, he has stayed true to his heart. Making great products that help people enjoy the outdoors and doing so in the most sustainable and economical way possible, while not losing site of the fact that the products have to be awesome if they are going to make a difference. His philosophy on people, the work place, and the world are close to home.


Behind the Scenes: Puglia

Residing in Ragusa, Italy, veteran guide Gabe Del Rossi knows the ins and outs of Italy like only a true local ever could. He has been known to serenade guests as they climb through the Dolomites or impresses them with his knowledge of four languages. Below Gabe has shared a behind the scenes look at a day in the life of a Trek Travel guide in Southern Italy.

The bus stops in Bari, but I don’t understand where I am. The light of the rising sun prevents me from spotting the train station. “È lì,” the bus drier tells me. “Right there. You’re on the other side of it.” I couldn’t recognize where I was because I was on the other side of the thing I knew.

A new point of view in a familiar place. My day began by taking a bus from Sicily, through Calabria and into Puglia — all beautiful areas, but the night ride is something unique. As my friend Fabio would later say, “You cross southern Italy by bus and you expect nothing to happen? Anything could happen!” This is not the Fabio that belongs on a romance novel cover. He is from Monopoli, Puglia and studies medicine. He helps his father with their taxi business, and he helps his friends get out of trouble. Friends like me.

Anything can happen, that’s why we travel to southern Italy. PugliaIt’s a far cry from the Piedmont palazzos and the Tuscan villas. But that is part of its allure. I drag my bags into the station looking for the train headed for Martina Franca. There is no sign. There is no conductor at 7:00 in the morning. I have to make an educated guess: small town, small train, small track. Maybe a track at the end of the station? The back of the station? The back where the bus dropped me off. I double check the big yellow time tables that are on the walls and, sure enough, my guess pays off. I’m on my two-and-a-half-hour train ride to Martina Franca – about 70 kms away.

I pass out. The rocking of the train helps me catch up on the sleep that I couldn’t get on the bus. At around 9:30 I get a text from Sonja, my colleague who was kind enough to pick me up from the station: “I’m here.“

I drop my bags in the back of the van and we head for breakfast. Sonja is a light-framed, two-handed cappuccino drinker. We head straight for the bar and get three cappuccinos and one café macchiato, for the two of us. We wash that down with a few mezzatonda: a pastry popular in Puglia’s Murgia filled with cream and blackberry jam. That will do it. I’ve had my coffee and pastry fix. Let’s get to the bikes.

The ride to our base is simple. About ten minutes away from Martina Franca in a couple of trulli: those characteristic cone-topped houses. Puglia TrulloHistorically they were a means of tax evasion. Now they house Sonja, myself, and our other colleague Diane who has been working on all kinds of trip details such as written instructions and .gpx files. She’s happy to see me.

There is something uncommonly romantic about tuning bikes in the front yard of a trullo pugliese. Between each prep, I look around me and appreciate my surroundings at every wretch stroke. I live in southern Italy, and there is something familiar about this part of the world. It is a very comfortable place where the people and environment make you feel at home.

At lunch we go for a ride. The rolling countryside is alive with the feel of spring. The orange blossoms are blooming and at the top of every small ride sits another trullo. We stop for some simple focaccia for lunch: ham and local caciocavallo cheese, or broccoli and local mushrooms. We keep it light since we still have a few kilometers until we get back to our trullo. And then it’s showers, time to organize the trailer, upload the routes to the Garmins and a few other tasks before the day is done.

The afternoon sun presses down. Puglia SunsetIt is usually warmer in the afternoon around here. The morning will often bring rain and the late-day sunlight just makes the rest of the day humid. But not in our trullo, where the temperatures stay cool throughout the day and night. So cool in fact that we have to turn on the heat in the evening. A strage fact for Riccardo (the owner of the trullo) since most people don’t ever ask for heat in Puglia.

It’s six o’clock and just a few hours before dinner. This is also the time that Diane shows her true colors, namely “crimson” , “brink red” and randomly “rosé.” From her stash of red wine Diane pulls out a negroamaro, and a primitive. Naturally, it would be a sin to be this far into the soul of Puglia and not know its wines. And six o’clock is a great time to get to know them well. We chat and relax as night falls upon us, nibbling at sundried tomato paste, tarralli, and local cappocollo from just down the road in Martina Franca. Sonja whips together a fantastic salad with local veggies she had gotten earlier in the day and there is our evening: three bottles of wine, salad, and fresh meats and cheeses.

By now the sun has long disappeared and the moon and stars sitting clear in the night sky tell us tomorrow will have spectacular weather. I shuffle into my bedroom and begin to organize my clothes. Day one begins and I’ll be unloading ten bikes by myself. I’ll need to make sure I have a clean pair of clothes on when Diane arrives with our guests. Sonja is on picnic duty and judging by her salad tonight I think our group will be blown away by her magic. In this region of southern Italy, it is the element of surprise that is so appealing. “Anything can happen.” Yes it can, and it does. There is no pushing or stress. Everything works out as it should, whether it is an impromptu bike ride, another slice of focaccia (thank you, grazie!), a surprise three-bottle night, or a four coffee morning. No one is held to conventional standards here. Just enjoy.

Ok. Shirts folded. Pants ready. Now all I have to do is organize my route guide and make sure my phone and GPS are recharged for the morning. Done.

Time to set the alarm for 7:00. Before you know it, 7 will be here…..

Culinary Delight

A great meal is about more than the food on your plate. A perfect atmosphere makes any meal taste richer, effortless company makes it more fulfilling, and the right beverage helps it go down easily. A wave of nostalgia always sweeps over us as we sit down to our first meal at home. We crave the flavors and the environments of far away places. Though Healdsburg and Tuscany may top our list, we know that our next vacation will bring new tastes to savor, new friends to laugh with, and new landscapes to adore.

Healdsburg, CA by Meagan Coates

I sat down at my desk after returning from a weeklong bike trip in California’s wine country with a request to write a piece on my favorite North American restaurant and I have found it nearly impossible to pick a clear winner. Napa and Sonoma biking trips with Trek Travel

My first inclination is Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg—an obvious choice as they receive so many nods in the culinary world with their fresh, local and seasonal food that is perfectly paired with a supremely local wine list and formal but non-stuffy service. Diners enjoy fresh caught fish, local duck and an array of farm-fresh vegetables in a hip and beautiful dining room with expansive ceilings and large windows.

Our Trek Travel groups even have the unique opportunity to dine in the intimate wine library off the hotel lobby after spending a day on the bike and an afternoon at the pool or spa on property. We cap it off with decadent desserts like the chocolate tart with pear sauce or the variety of fresh sorbets served in an old-fashioned soda jerk style container.

california-wine-country-weekend-02-1600x670However, I would be remiss not to mention other Healdsburg haunts like my new favorite—The Shed—located just off the square behind Hotel Healdsburg. Area farmers showcase their handmade products and provide the makings of super hydrating “shrub” drinks at the fermentation bar. I sampled the strawberry, carrot and kumquat but ultimately loved the blood orange best.

Or, just steps away are other amazing restaurants such as Willi’s Seafood, Ravenous, Bistro Ralph, Barndiva and countless others. Savor a craft cocktail at h2’s Spoon Bar (like the cucumber martini!) or just stroll around Healdsburg and you are sure to find something that suits even the most discerning palates. After visiting restaurants in every corner of the world, Healdsburg is definitely the best kept secret for foodie’s looking to travel in North America.

Tuscany, Italy by Kari Kruckow

But close your eyes and take a 6,000-mile journey across the Atlantic. Rolling green hills lined with cypress trees, sun kissed vines, slow food and delicious wines…oh and Roberto. Welcome to Tuscany!

Last week I was able to cycle through this beautiful region and experience its culture. The way Trek Travel invites you to be a local for 6 days on a Trek Bike is amazing. Cycling was the biggest highlight for me on this trip, but food was not far from the top.

I encourage you to grab a little something to munch on…I promise you will get hungry as I tell you about my favorite lunch spot on this trip: da Roberto, Taverna in Montisi.

Roberto made us all feel at home as soon as we rolled in on our bikes. He is a countryside cuciniere (cook), whose only claim is to feed himself and guests honestly. Roberto is a true joy and lives to feed people at his table. His mantra is to wake up every morning happy and build a space of peace, balance and harmony to offer to people that dine at his Taverna, which ties perfectly to the experience that you have cycling through Tuscany.

Aside from the comfort and ambiance, the food prepared was as honest, delicious, and as inspiring as the hilltops that overlook the Tuscan valley. The three-course meal was not a surprise on this Trek Travel trip, being as every meal and break on the bike offered plenty of fuel for the calories burned that day.

Tuscany LuxuryRoberto started off the lunch with a unique bean and carrot salad. It goes without saying, but the beans sourced from a local farmer, the carrots grown in his garden behind the restaurant. Food aside, one of the best “accents” to the menu was Roberto’s story behind each dish, his amicability is contagious with every guest that comes into his “home.” Next was the homemade pasta with a true Italian Ragu sauce, to coin a phrase, “mama, mia!” The lunch ended with three dessert options, my favorite was the panna cotta with berries. It provided just enough guilt and enough fulfillment to encourage the balance of the gorgeous ride that afternoon.

Roberto is proud of his food by identifying flavors by gathering fresh, local ingredients, protecting the value of biodiversity, and visiting farms for fresh cheeses and to certify the quality of his meal.

Roberto’s lunch experience was enriching on all levels and what made for a perfect afternoon was the short bike ride to a beautiful accommodation, which felt like an estate and offered a very relaxing evening.

What can I say, Tuscany is tasteful in so many ways. And it is certainly my favorite culinary delight in Europe.

That’s A Wrap! The 2014 Cobbled Classics

With Liège-Bastogne-Liège in the books, the 2014 spring classics are now over. Although there is a lot of fun still to be had this season, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on the extraordinary racing that was witnessed during this year’s monuments. Katy, a Trek dealer at Corley Cycles, was gracious enough to share her experience from Paris Roubaix. With true British wit, her thoughts vividly illustrate why every cyclist should experience the pain and glory that are the Belgian cobbles.

Ok where to start…It’s the beginning of March, the phone rings. It’s Mark, our Trek account Manager, offering up an amazing opportunity to have an all-inclusive 5-star trip to Paris-Roubaix. A swishy hotel, tour guides, VIP tickets, the list of “wow’s” goes on. Trek had kindly offered Phil a place on this exciting trip.

Here is where it gets interesting.

Our resident king of the Jollies (Phil) happened to be on a “jolly” in South Africa participating in Cape Argus and being wined and dined by Cervelo.

Heard the phrase, you snooze you lose? Never so apt in this case.

It was left to myself and Nick to argue over who would go. This argument involved me telling Nick that he should go and Nick telling me that I should go. Seriously, what’s wrong with us?!

After some [not so deep] thought but mainly logistical workings out—the daughter, the dogs, the shop, and the husband…not necessarily in that order—I took the opportunity and accepted the invite.

Mrs. Excited from Milton Keynes!

Friday 11th April. All set for my trip, smooth Eurostar, great breakie, easy transfer to Kortrijk, time for some shopping, and all finished off with a nice spin on the Trek Domane 5.9 that Gabe from Trek Travel had set up for me.

Here is where the dilemma started (to be precise, 9pm just before dinner). Since the March phone call I was doing the 45-mile route, taking in 6 sections of cobbles including the infamous Carrefour d’labre. To be honest I always knew that 45 miles was a bit short for me but the jump to the 90-mile route was never going to happen. I can count on one hand the amount of times my bum has been on a saddle for that long, all of these rides have taken place in Majorca on smoother roads, in the sun, and in a whooshing peloton.

A quick decision: do I eat for 45 miles or go to town with the Chateaubriand and Dame Blanche. This is me and food we’re talking about…90 miles it was!

An early start, time for a power nap on the bus before myself and 22 other lucky Trek customers arrive in Roubaix. We arrive to thick fog and a temperature of 2 degrees. I’m not sure about women being indecisive, but as the only female with 22 men, I left them to worry about clothing choices, take jackets on and off, apply copious amounts of Chamoix cream and generally faff while I stuffed my back pockets full of food and wondered what would be ahead to me.

We rolled out from Roubaix, myself and Mark Jaggard had made a pact to keep a steady pace of around 16mph. This in theory should be achievable for 90 miles. No heroes, just get round. After all, our theory was “We’re on holiday, right?”

After 2 hours and 15 minutes we had averaged 19.5mph and we were getting close to the Arenberg Forest—the first section of Pave. Boys will be boys! In reality it did bank some easy flat miles very quickly.

We arrive at Arenberg. Gabe had positioned himself perfectly, we met him with a big smile, and he was chuffed to bits to see me here. I think deep down he expected me to head for the cut off point some 15 miles prior to the Arenberg.

We offloaded our gilets, topped up with extra fluid, took a big deep breath, and hit the cobbles. Nothing prepared me for it. Everything shook, the speed that I carried in to it from the slight descent soon declined, and here unlike later sections there was no easier line. With white rope fencing off any slightly smooth line, it was a case of sticking it in the 50-13 and holding on for dear life.

At no point was I going to feel smug about passing hoards of riders with puncture; karma will always bite you on the bum.

I got through the Arenburg Forest still smiling and enjoying “my holiday”. The rest of the day was spent looking at my top tube and working out how much relief I’d get on the roads before the next pave section. My sticker had 18 pave sections all with stars categorizing difficulty and also denoting the feed stations, or my name for them—waffle stations.

Coming from an MTB background I’m pretty good at picking a line. On around 7 sections of Pave you could ride in the verge, half on the grass and half on the gritty, less cobbled edge of the road. We were ticking the secteurs off surprisingly quickly. Bunch riding was virtually impossible, on each road section you would just about create a group then before you knew it more pave and yet again you were on your own, left to fight your own personal battle.

I had one “moment” when the group of four we had created diminished to just myself and Mark (aka the cobble monster). We were in theory about 8k away from the next and last waffle station. Hunger, shakiness and my sense of humor started to wane.

I looked at Mark and stated that if the feed station wasn’t round this corner I’m stopping regardless, consuming whatever was left in my pockets, finding anything that was big enough to hide me for a much needed comfort break and giving my bum a much needed rest. To quote the cobble monster: “oh me arse”. Thankfully there it was; waffles, toilets, water and a rest from the saddle. 30k to go now and after a nice break I was feeling good. The sun was blazing the remaining secteurs were tough, long, and wearing on the whole body.

Mark and I ducked and dived in between groups and before we knew it we were on our way back into Roubaix. No major mechanicals, no punctures, no breakages in bikes or bodies, maybe sore some sore bottoms, but all in all a very successful jaunt. We may have developed a little bit of tourettes combined with a fit of giggles which was fun, but we did it, we really enjoyed it, and we were left feeling pretty proud of ourselves.

Neither Mark nor I had realised that we would actually finish in the Velodrome. This was pretty special, although I am bearing a grudge with Mr. Jaggard. After towing the cobble monster into Roubaix, he went and did me on the sprint for the line. Rude, plain rude.

We were handed our medals, posed for a few photos, then headed straight to a bar for frites and recovery drink (leffe). Here we re-grouped and the story telling of everyone’s ride began.

Back to the hotel for a quick shower then out for more food. Gabe from Trek did an absolutely sterling job of organising every little detail. I’m not quite over the fact that our Saturday night Brasserie was up two flights of stairs though…ouch!

Sunday and a 4.30am alarm clock; I thought I was on holiday? More sleep on the bus meant the ride down to Compiegne went quickly. We all sounded like OAP’s getting up but we made it off the bus without a stair lift. The early alarm was worth it. Up close and personal with the main men and their machines. A fantastic atmosphere and the excitement was building.

The pro’s set off and we headed to St. Python, or Corley corner as it was named on our trip last year. The peloton flew through and we were left eating their dust. The reality of how quickly they ride over the cobbles in relation to Joe Bloggs really hit me. The power and strength was phenomenal.

Our bus had a TV so we watched the race unfold, devoured our baguettes and headed in the direction of Roubaix. VIP entrance, trackside seats, beer and nibbles. Oh yes, yet again we were spoilt. My family arrived to watch with me; the race was really heating up and the day was perfect.

With 10k to go, Amelia and I got one of the best seats in the house and our tummies were full of nerves for the powerhouses that were about to hit the Velodrome.

Terpstra had attacked and at first we thought there was no way he would hold that gap, but the velodrome was nearing. He could actually do this…when he hit the track the stadium erupted. His wife was directly opposite us and the emotion was overwhelming.

Quick Step had done it. Not in the form of Tom Boonen, but Niki Terpstra had won the Hell of the North! Cancellara was in a small group just behind with Geraint Thomas, Peter Sagan, Brad Wiggins et al. A good sprint completed an awesome race…one not to be forgotten.

My holiday was fantastic, the Trek Domane I rode handled every cobble superbly, and the weather was on our side. I highly recommend a trip to see The Queen of the Classics; it is one event that every cycling fan should experience.

See you on a 2015 spring classics trip!

Trek Travel’s Hotel of the Year

Being experts in the world’s best bicycle vacations is not a title we take lightly.

TT14_Hotel_logoWe’ve spent years researching the ins and outs of every place worth visiting. Collectively, we are a team of seasoned travelers who have been to almost every corner of the Earth. We have experienced firsthand the tranquil hilltop villages of Tuscany, the ancient temples of Myanmar, and the dazzling shores of Costa Brava. Fortunately for you, we want to share our passion. Our hotel of the year award is designed to highlight the best of the best, the hotels that standout above the rest. They are magical places where moments are pure and experience is everything. Together they redefine charm and exceed every expectation of hospitality. Winning our Hotel(s) of the Year Award, it is our pleasure to honor Moraine Lake Lodge and Chateau de Mazan.

Dreamy. That is the word that comes to mind when we think about Moraine Lake Lodge in Banff, Canada. The photos can speak to the beauty of the lodge but cannot capture the oasis away from busy life that the owners have created. It is a place without phones or TVs to interrupt relaxation. This spectacular lodge is the ultimate spot for a getaway to the pristine Canadian Rockies. It is situated just a short distance to Lake Louise, one of the most photographed sites in the region. From this dreamy launch pad, breathe the fresh mountain air and create lasting memories with your travel partners or family. Moraine Lake Lodge Enjoy delightful days filled with adventure, be it biking, hiking, or canoeing. The water on tap at the lodge is some of the freshest in the world, coming straight from their alpine mountain well. The food is nothing short of divine; the lodge has one of the top gourmet restaurants in the Park. The Walter Wilcox Dining Room offers an outstanding menu showcasing regional specialties like our favorite dish, the deer tenderloin with red currants and juniper berries. In sync with the natural surroundings, the lodge is self-sufficient and has high environmental standards. When it comes to service, this place is exceptional. Their staff is knowledgeable about the area and treats you like a friend from the moment you step through the door. What more could you want on your Canadian Rockies adventure? For the World’s Best Awards, Moraine Lake Lodge is consistently rated nearly perfect in guest evaluations. In the words of a guest, “We were thrilled with the Trek Travel selection of Moraine Lake Lodge.” So are we.

Now travel across the Atlantic Ocean, replace fresh Rocky Mountain air with the scent of luscious lavender, and transport yourself to France. La belle vie spills over in Provence. The leisurely pace of life, the cozy cafés, the local markets, and the historic relics meld to create la vie Provençale. For avid bikers, the epic climb of Mont Ventoux stands waiting to be conquered. For foodies – Michelin-starred meals, wine tastings, and a renowned cooking course tantalize your taste buds. Welcome to Chateau de Mazan—a member of the prestigious Chateau et Hotels Collection. PRL_chateaudemazanNestled in the tiny town of Mazan only a short distance from the base of Mont Ventoux, this 4-star property is undeniably beautiful. Originally built in 1720 during the Regency Period, it became the property of the notorious Marquis de Sade and hosted the first Theatre Festival. Fast-forward to 2001 and the new owner, Mme Lhermie, transformed the Chåteau into the quaint, charming hotel it is today. The hotel staff is focused on the essence of hospitality—welcoming each and every guest as part of their family and making everyone feel truly at home. As distinguished guests of Trek Travel you will be treated as trusted friends and you will be put at ease in a manner that is only possible in Provence. Just 30 rooms, a perfectly landscaped garden, and a French gourmet restaurant await. Chateau de Mazan will wow you. And the evening before you ride the famed Mont Ventoux, you want nothing less.


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 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