Ride Description – Tuscany on the Med 2021

OVERVIEW


Join us for 10 wonderful days and nights cycling the beautiful Tuscan countryside! Abundant sunshine, brilliant colors, incomparable scenery, splendid world-class regional wines and exquisite local cuisine await you! Our fixed base tour lodging on the Mediterranean coast in Marina di Castagneto Carducci is perfectly positioned between the sea and the pine forest where you will take long walks either by the sea or through this stunningly beautiful forest. If you’d rather lounge near the sea our hotel provides us with our own private beach just steps from the lobby as well as a pool overlooking the beach. This truly Italian Riviera experience is a once in a lifetime adventure you will cherish for years to come. Please join us!

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COST/ADMIN

 

The price of the trip is $1750 USD per person double occupancy and includes the following INCLUSIONS/EXCLUSIONS just below. A $500 USD deposit per person is required to secure a slot on the trip for each participant. Due date for final payments will be July 1, 2021. If single supplement applies, it will also be collected at the time of final payment due date. Single supplement cost is $500 USD. This ride will follow the Terms & Conditions policy of Cycling Friends, LLC and you will be required to complete the Cycling Friends, LLC registration.

Tour pricing is based on a minimum of 20 participants. If the minimum number of participants is not met at least 6 months prior to departure then the trip may be cancelled.

INCLUSIONS

  • 3 Star cycling friendly hotel lodging located directly on the Mediterranean Sea in Marina di Castagneto Carducci near Donoratico, Italy and approximately one hour south of Pisa, Italy.
  • Per person double occupancy room for 10 nights.
  • Daily traditional continental Italian breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant overlooking the garden.
  • Dinner each evening either in the hotel’s restaurant or the garden (weather permitting) to include 4 courses with choice of meat, fish or vegetarian entrees (choice of entrees for your stay to be selected in advance), house wine, water, coffee and dessert or fruit. There will be no meal repeats during our stay. Dinner on the evening of our day off and on the day of our olive grove luncheon will be on your own and the hotel will provide many wonderful alternatives in and around the town of Marina di Castagneto Carducci and Donoratico. There will be a total of 8 dinners provided and 2 dinners on your own.
  • Daily business meeting and Happy Hour in the hotel garden prior to dinner. Light snacks, soda, wine and beer will be provided.
  • Olive grove luncheon near the village of Castagneto Carducci in the olive grove owned by our hotel. Olive harvesting demonstrations will be available.
  • Exclusive website for participants only which will provide GPS tracks, maps, cue sheets and much more information about the ride and sight seeing opportunities in the area. The website will be available approximately 6 months in advance of departure.
  • Pickup and drop off at the Pisa airport. Dates and times are outlined below. Arrivals and departures should be planned accordingly. Travel time to/from the hotel is approximately one hour.
  • Pickup Date/Time: Departure from Pisa airport on Wednesday, September 8th, 2021 at 4:00PM arriving at the hotel about 5:00PM.
  • Drop Off Date/Time: Departure from our hotel in Marina di Castagneto Carducci on Saturday, September 18th, 2021 at 8:00AM arriving back at the Pisa airport about 9:00AM.
  • Pickup and drop off will include you, your luggage and bike case (if applicable).
  • Bike rental coordination and assistance.
  • Hotel gratuities for front desk, restaurant and maid service personnel at each hotel.
  • Complementary wifi.
  • Secure bike storage.

EXCLUSIONS

  • Airfare and other transportation to and from the pick up and drop off location at the Pisa airport in Pisa, Italy.
  • Hotel room upgrades (available upon request).
  • Sightseeing fees.
  • Bike rental.
  • Laundry.
  • Daily lunches.
  • Dinner on the day of the olive grove luncheon and our cycling day off.
  • Alcohol with meals other than wine, which is included at dinner.
  • Lodging before and after the trip.
  • Personal items purchased during the trip.

SINGLES & SOLOS POLICY

It is recommended that singles seeking a roommate try to find their own, but the Ride Director and/or Ride Co-Director may also assist by attempting to match singles registering for the ride. However, after receipt of the initial deposit, a single without a roommate will be placed on the trip and given an agreeable and reasonable period of time to find a roommate. If they are unable to find a roommate, they will have the option of receiving a full refund or paying the single supplement and staying on the tour. If a single pays the supplement, they may continue to seek a roommate, but must plan to participate without a roommate if necessary. Single supplement payments will be added to the unpaid balance due at the time of final payment.

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LODGING

 

Our 3 Star hotel, I Ginepri (www.hoteliginepri.it/en/), is perfectly positioned between the sea and pine forest where you can take long walks either by the sea or through this stunningly beautiful forest.

The rooms all have modern contemporary furniture and private bathrooms with a hairdryer, air conditioning, satellite TV, telephone and radio. Wireless internet connections are also available in the rooms as well as the common areas to include the garden area and even the private beach directly on the Mediterranean! There is also a Solarium on the 4th floor offering a complete panoramic view of the area and a favorite spot to watch the beautiful sunsets. And, for those with just too much energy or taking a break from riding, a gym is available for your workout.

We are very excited about our return visit in 2021! To let you in on a secret, the hotel is very excited we are returning!

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ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE

 

Arrival and departure for the trip will be at the Pisa airport. Luxury shuttle transportation will be provided from the Pisa airport to our hotel in Marina di Castagneto Carducci, approximately one hour’s distance. Note there will be only one date and time pickup and drop off per trip and times stated will be prompt. See INCLUSIONS in the COST/ADMIN above.

You may also choose to arrive by train at the Donoratico rail station, for example either from Pisa or Rome. However, you must be prepared to arrange your own transportation from the train station to the hotel, less than 3 miles, at your own expense. Cycling Friends, LLC, if available, can pick you up if arranged in advance of your departure from home.

Several options exist in planning your arrival and departure to/from the Pisa airport (PSA). However, the recommended approach is by scheduled airlines flying from either London Heathrow (LHR) or Gatwick (LGW) or Rome (FCO). To avoid the issue of transporting and storing your own bike, high quality bike rentals will be available. See OTHER INFORMATION above. Details on air transport to/from Pisa and bike rental options may be discussed with the Ride Director and/or Ride Co-Director for the tour.

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OTHER INFORMATION

 

RIDING IN TUSCANY

Rather than wasting time and energy packing and unpacking each day, worrying about making it to your destination without getting lost, etc.,fixed base riding will do in and out (loop) rides of 35 to 50+ miles of varying but moderate terrain, returning to our hotel early to mid afternoon each day.

Riding in this area of Tuscany the terrain is varying but moderate with our range of daily climbing from 1500 to 2500 feet. None of the daily rides offers terrain from the norm described above although the Ride Director and/or Ride Co-Director can direct you to more challenging climbs and descents in the area if you prefer. The ride rating for this ride is People Cycling rating Moderate (less than 50 miles/80 kilometers and 2460 feet/750 meters of climbing).

All roads we will ride are paved and consideration has been given to avoiding high traffic areas. GPS tracks, maps and cue sheets of the suggested daily cycling route will be available in advance of the departure date and can be discussed with your Ride Director and/or Ride Co-Director who has personally ridden each route many times. Plan to make 2 to 3 stops sampling the quaint coffee shops and take lunch (not included in the trip price) in one of the many villages along the way. You are welcome to join one or two group led rides each riding day that will follow the ride schedule published on our private ride website for participants only.

BIKE RENTAL

Bike rentals will be available from one of our trusted rental suppliers to be decided within at least 6 months prior to tour departure, when we will start the rental process. We will provide rental coordination and assistance when ordering and at delivery and pick-up.

RIDE SUPPORT

Mentioned in RIDING IN TUSCANY just above, we offer daily group rides for our scheduled and published ride of the day. We offer a couple of groups split not so much by riding ability but more by the actual participants themselves desiring to ride with their friends.

Our guides on each ride will not let anyone fall away from the group and you will not be left on your own. Although we will not have a dedicated sag vehicle, in case you get stranded on the road we will do whatever necessary to get you back safely to the hotel. We will publish a phone number list prior to trip departure in case of an emergency or if you need assistance.

WEATHER

September in Marina di Castagneto Carducci have average temperatures of 77 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit respectively with highs and lows of 78 and 58 Fahrenheit respectively. Fall in Tuscany is gorgeous!

NON-CYCLING ACTIVITIES

Cyclists on our trips with non-cycling partners need not fear of a lack of things for the non-cyclist to enjoy in the area. It is also possible to rent a car locally and drive to many attractions close by. However, Marina di Castagneto Carducci and Donoratico offer a wide range of activities. The Ride Director and/or Ride Co-Director can direct you to the Marina di Castagneto Carducci Tourist Office located within steps of our hotel. This office has a multitude of information about sights to see in and around the area.

LOCAL AMENITIES

​You will be riding in beautiful wine country passing by some of the most famous vineyards in all of Italy on La Strada Del Vino and home to wines like Ornellaia and Sassicaia and through the hilltop towns of Bolgheria, Castagneto Carducci, Sassetta, Suvereto and Montescudaio just to name a few.

Within a short bike ride or on foot (through the pine forest) from the hotel are numerous shops in Donoratico to include quaint coffee and pastry bars, banks (ATMs), a book shop, clothing stores and grocery stores (our favorite is CONAD). Or, you may choose to stay close to the hotel which has several nice shops, fine restaurants and coffee shops.

Another great shop in Donoratico is the local cycling shop, Ciclosport, where you can arrange for a tune up or buy the latest Italian cycling wear. The shop is a favorite of Diego Ulissi, a professional rider for UAE Team Emirates. In fact his Aunt and Uncle are owners. Diego has won stages in the Giro d’Italia and won the Tour of Slovenia in 2011 and rode the Tour de France in 2017. He also won the Junior World Road Race Championships two consecutive years in 2006 and 2007. Also, on occasion the shop is frequented by Andy Hampsten (the only American to ever win the Giro d’Italia and a 1992 Tour de France stage winner), Connie Carpenter (1984 Olympic Women’s Road Race Champion) and Davis Phinney (past winner of two stages in the Tour de France of 7-Eleven Team fame and 1984 Olympic Bronze medalist in the Team Time Trial). You may even spot Paolo Bettini, the 2006 and 2007 World Road Race Champion and 2004 Olympic Road Race Champion, whose childhood home is only four miles north of Donoratico in the village of La California.

Finally, on your day off you can easily walk to the Donoratico train station and catch a train to Pisa, Florence, Sienna, Lucca and many other destinations for the day, easily returning to the hotel mid afternoon or early evening. A favorite destination before or after our trip is Cinque Terre, a series of 5 seaside villages within a national park directly on the Italian Riviera in the Liguria region of Italy very close to the city of La Spezia. For Cinque Terre we recommend a minimum of 2 days to fully enjoy the sights.

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REGISTRATION

Congratulations! You will love this trip!

The deposit amount for this trip is $500 USD per person and is due at registration. Please note if there are any allowed discounts these will be deducted at the time of final payment. You will be notified in advance by Cycling Friends, LLC of your final payment amount if different than outlined below.

The balance of $1250 USD per person (double occupancy or single with a roommate) or $1750 USD single supplement ($1250 USD + $500 USD = $1750 USD) will be due on or before July 1, 2021. Depending on currency exchange rates, there may be some minor changes in the amount of the final payment but this is unlikely. If this occurs you will be notified in advance by Cycling Friends, LLC.

Please review the 2 steps below for registration and making your deposit.

First, complete the registration form below. Every participant, whether cycling or not, is required to complete the form.

Second, you have two choices for signing the Release of Liability (aka RIDE APPLICATION WAIVER OF LIABILITY, ASSUMPTION OF RISK and INDEMNITY AGREEMENT) and making your deposit payment.

1) You can choose to electronically sign the Release of Liability and make your deposit payment by credit/debit card which flows through PayPal. You do not have to be a PayPal user to make payment. All fees associated with a credit/debit card payment are paid by Cycling Friends, LLC. Note you must do both, electronically sign the Release of Liability and make credit/debit card payment through PayPal or go to option 2) below and complete the process manually. This is your choice.

2) Or you can print the Release of Liability, date and sign it for each participant and then mail it and your deposit check(s) made payable to ‘Cycling Friends, LLC’ to the address below via USPS.

Cycling Friends, LLC
Tuscany On The Med 2021 (if applicable please indicate Section attending)
2294 Seven Lakes Drive
Loveland, Colorado 80538 USA

In all cases of payment, whether electronically with a credit/debit card or through the mail, you will receive notification by email that your Release of Liability and check(s) or PayPal payment have arrived safely and been recorded and deposited.

Tuscany on the Med 2021 Registration Form

Every participant, whether cycling or not, must complete the form below and agree to the Terms and Conditions in order to be officially registered for the trip. By agreeing to the Terms and Conditions you are electronically signing the RIDE APPLICATION WAIVER OF LIABILITY, ASSUMPTION OF RISK and INDEMNITY AGREEMENT so please read carefully. For those choosing to print the RIDE APPLICATION WAIVER OF LIABILITY, ASSUMPTION OF RISK and INDEMNITY AGREEMENT and mail along with their deposit checks, you will be presented with this choice after you click on the Submit button below.