May 24, 2016 | By Collette Peck
First, I want to mention that I’m not an avid cyclist! However, that doesn’t matter with Backroads, an active travel company that offers cycling, hiking, walking and even camping tours. These active trips are geared towards folks at most abilities.
I recently joined a Backroads three day trip through hilly California wine country with people that wanted to bike 30 to 40 miles beyond the 19 to 23 miles per day we ‘amateurs’ were doing. I must admit, it was definitely my wine enthusiasm that got me to sign up in the first place. Sure, I’ve been to California wine country many times, but this felt more intimate to be cycling along the rows and rows of vines.
After a nice morning of cycling at our own pace, we finished mid-day at a winery with a tasting and fantastic picnic lunch. My active and foodie selves were satisfied. The Backroads tour guides are smart, young, enthusiastic people that really make these journeys all the more enjoyable. Not only do they have to know how to fix a flat tire, but also how to make a pesto orzo salad for your lunch, AND present it with the panache of a bistro chef!
In the evenings, you can have a soak in the Jacuzzi or enjoy a spa treatment at one of the fine hotels that you’ll be staying in. After that, it’s off to an enjoyable dinner to hear all the biking stories of the day from your traveling companions.
Backroads rates their different tours according to the typography, and if you are looking for a challenge, I was told that Tuscany can prove to be one.
The combination of active touring, wonderful intimate sights along the way, fantastic ground crew and fabulous meals makes these Backroads trips a must.
P.S. I did cheat a little on the cycling. Backroads has what they call E-Bikes. When you find yourself struggling up a hill, your E-Bike kicks in to give you a little boost. Who doesn’t appreciate a little help now and again?