Originally Posted by rolexdaytona
I think most people are just so completely ignorant of cycling in this country. How did you get your bike to Europe? Did you rent one there? Did you go as part of a tour package? I have to see if my cousin would like to do that.
We did Italy with Backroads, a US based tour group, they aren't cheap, but they totally accommodate you all the way and after going with some other groups, we'll try to always use them as they just have the deal down so well. They do give you bikes with your trip, and they aren't bad. they were Specialized aluminum frames, compact geometry with Shimano XT derailleurs and triple cranks (you needed them in Italy!) and all in all the bikes were in good repair. I might never have let my chain get so dirty, but mechanically they were sound.
You should make a trip of it with your relatives, even simple recreational cyclists would enjoy the trip as the routes for each day frequently vary from less than 20 miles to over 60 depending on your desires......
Needless to say with my wife the triathlete, we ALWAYS did the long rides! Ironically we also ate and drank heavily every day and I came home almost 10 pounds lighter than when I left, and forget about the ride the next day after getting home!!! I was passing CAT 3 racers on the ride!