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We have returned to the cycling center almost every summer for many years; after the first visit it quickly became the highlight of our cycling season. Cycling in the Veneto is unbeatable; the roads are great, there is an ideal mixture of hills, mountains and flats, and you’re surrounded by breathtaking scenery and centuries-old history on every ride. Not to mention that there is always someplace to stop to get a great cappuccino and a pastry. When we’re out training at home, riding the same old roads and stopping at the same old gas stations for Gatorade, we are motivated by the thought that our preparation will pay off when we get to the cycling center.
George and Pat are great ride leaders, taking us to interesting destinations on back roads you’d never know existed and showing us the many points of interest along the way. We have learned so much about Italian history and culture riding with them.
At least as much of a highlight as the riding are the meals at the Locanda—Angela and her crew are incredible and get better every year. The whole staff has always gone out of their way for us and made us feel welcome. The accommodations at the Residence are ideal for us, nothing too fancy, but comfortable, tranquil, and with everything you need for you and your bike.
If you want a day off the bike, there are a lot of places you can explore within easy reach: Venice, Treviso, Padova, Vicenza, and don’t miss the very-close-by and extremely interesting city of Bassano del Grappa, which you’ll pass through on many rides. It is definitely worth returning to explore Bassano on foot.
I’ve been visiting the cycling center almost every year since 1988, and it is the highlight of my cycling year. Those two to three weeks are a mix of fantastic climbing in the Dolomites, rolling rides in the pre-Alpines and wonderful recovery rides to Palladian villas out on the Venetian plain. There’s no need to worry about daily shifts of gear from hotel to hotel, as in most tours. Even after my nearly 30 visits, I find new, unexplored and beautiful routes.
The challenging rides and restful late afternoons and evenings make for a wonderful vacation, not to mention the genuine Venetian cuisine!
Each year as winter becomes spring in Maryland, my thoughts turn in anticipation to riding at the Cycling Center in Borso del Grappa, where I have gone every year since 2003. What has kept me coming back? Hundreds of fabulous riding options ranging from epic hard rides that push the geographic limits of a day’s sojourn from camp, to relaxed social rides through picturesque villages and vineyards. There’s a friendly and congenial atmosphere with fellow riders and our wonderful Italian hosts at the restaurant and locanda, along with great food and lots of wine. And there’s George, who at 85 is an inspiration and a testimonial himself to good riding in a great place.