Last January, I found myself on a flight to Medellín, Colombia with my good friend Denise -- we were off to travel with Tomás and learn about the trips he was building in his home country, in hopes of bringing more American cyclist friends there in the future.
As serendipity would have it, on my flight to Colombia, I found myself sitting next to an Italian man named Lorenzo who has led trips for highly-respected American cycling tour companies and one European travel company. As we descended into Panama City we made plans to reconnect a few weeks later in the SF Bay Area.
My first meeting with Lorenzo in the Bay has led to Dude Girl’s next cycling destination: Tuscany, ITALY!
I wish I could tell you personal stories about my scout trip to Tuscany. I cannot. But I CAN tell you that another serendipitous Colombian encounter led me to a fast friendship with Jessie from Fort Collins, CO. My friend Jessie (she's is the girl throwing hay to opera music in the above vid) scouted the trip for us this fall, and I can assure you her perspective and skills and instincts are better than my own. You will be forever grateful to Lorenzo and Jessie for their exploratory rides and searches for the holy grail of Tuscan adventure, food, wine and lodging. Divine! Along with you, I will discover for myself this unique look into the Tuscan hillsides and villages. I can’t wait!
There are a lot of good, established companies running tours to Italy and France. So, why Dude Girl? Let me tell you that we have our own very special ways at Dude Girl for creating fabulous, meaningful, vigorous and relaxing (really) cycling excursions.
- It’s personal – I can’t help it. The connections that come from travel and exploration on the road flavor each ride, each day on a Dude Girl adventure. It’s also in my blood – to ride and wander and wonder and explore: I have a penchant for creating trips that touch your heart and soul because it is how I travel myself, and “that thing” in my blood began with the very first Dude Girl trip across the Rockies from Laramie, WY to Southern California. It’s a bloodline of adventure.
- It’s the people - There’s nothing like connecting with the people and places of a region you are riding in. This is where the magic happens! We take great pride in introducing you to the people who make the wine in a region, who grew up in the villages we pass through, who cook for you. And there’s nothing like being cared for by a staff whose goal is to ensure a piece of your heart stays in the region you ride in!
- It’s Fueled by LOVE : for cycling, travel, food, wine, cultures in far-off lands… We love to ride hard, and we value time around a table, at a café, at a tavern with the locals in the afternoon. There is something for everyone. You will be exhausted physically. You will be nourished by food and flavor. You will be drunk on the elixir of an as-near-perfect trip to this cherished region of Italy as we can conjur.
- It’s Fun! – Anyone who chooses a bike trip to The Alps or The Pyrenees, or Tuscany, Italy is likely to be a somewhat self-selecting in terms of personality type. You like to challenge yourself, are self-motivated, will work hard and be disciplined about your training (if not – we have solutions for that!). But I’ve found that groups really thrive when there is a spirit of camaraderie and support on the road. Riding among friends should be a positive experience filled with cheers and pats on the back, no matter where you are in the lineup. Followed by laughter poolside and at the dinner table as the day wanes.
Please join us this summer and Fall 2018 and ride and dine your way through the extraordarily beautiful and challenging hills of Tuscany, Italy!