We’d like to highlight two of our members, Dave and Mandy Kliber, who recently biked across Europe! Read their account of their amazing adventures!
“One of the reasons we belong to Elite Sports Clubs is so that we can remain active and be able to do the things we want to do. One of those activities is biking and traveling. We would like to share a passion and experience of ours…biking in Europe!
Imagine going on vacation to magical places in Europe where a bicycle is your method of transportation, taking you through northern Italy, Spain, Czech Republic, Germany, and Austria (along the Danube river). We were able to do just that! It seems all we had to do is show up, bike, and enjoy Europe while being taken care of by two bi-lingual professional local guides. An added bonus is that we also biked with 18 other people sharing the same interest who all became our friends by the end of the week.
We have completed multiple trips to date but our travel story always begins at the airport, where we are welcomed by our trusted representative, who takes our baggage and shuttles us off on our biking travel adventure….
We met our biking group at the first unique boutique hotel that is usually characteristic of these trips and then acquainted ourselves with our bicycles, helmet, water bottle, and “Gucci” bag (our bike carry-all), all provided by our travel company. After a warm-up ride with our fellow travelers, we later enjoyed a welcome cocktail reception, lovely meal, and had an overview orientation to the week ahead.
Our lodging was typically 2-3 nights in each hotel. Our daily routine involved putting our bags by the room door (if it was a transfer day), eating breakfast in our biking outfits, having a group meeting to review our day ahead, learning some local language and cultural practices, and viewing our map for our ride. On our prior trips, we chose “easy” level trips, biking an average of 15-35 miles per day. The guides were all delightful and were available anytime should one experience a flat, need a tweak of a wrench, or desire a ride in the shuttle. Sometimes we stopped to see the sights, get on a boat, take a train or a shuttle bus, or enjoy a meal or activity with a local family or artisan.
We recently discovered the joy of e-bikes that are now an option. Our next trip to Croatia will be a bit more challenging, however we have signed up for e-bikes, so we are not worried! Hill?…What hill!!?
On each trip, we greeted locals along the way, stopped any time we wanted to take photos, wandered to shops, churches, museums, castles, forts, waterfalls, etc. There was no rush, no race. The leaders simply kept track of everyone, and made sure we were safe along the way and made it successfully to the next hotel or destination. We biked with others or sometimes just the two of us as everyone had their own pace. We managed to get “lost” in Spain but had fun doing so. Part of the adventure was talking with locals figuring out directions. Recently, GPS options were added for smart phones that show the suggested routes. We loved the route guidance and stayed on course on our last trip!
Each day brought new and awesome sights and activities. We felt good because we exercised together and enjoyed the local cuisine and drinks, while learning the history and ways of life in the area. When we were done riding for the day, we had time to browse the town, enjoy pools, spas, beaches, and even a massage. Sometimes we made our own plans for the evening or decided to enjoy a group dining experience. Other than our bike riding, there was little to no work because our itinerary, hotels, and many meals are all included and taken care of. It was great to just show up, bike, and enjoy!
It is amazing how incredibly beautiful the scenery was, especially when viewed on a bike. We soaked in the sights, smells, sounds, and met people in the local communities. We so enjoyed rural northern Italy biking on a former railroad trail from the World War I era, going through towns and taking in the scenes of a mountain valley. Biking in Catalonia, Spain, took us along the Mediterranean. Our most recent trip was in Czech Republic, Germany, and Austria, as we headed east along the Danube river biking the beautiful Wachau valley.
When the week comes to an end, it’s always hard to say goodbye to our new friends, trip leaders, and bike. We always enjoy the last farewell dinner where we reminisce about the awesome week we all had together. We leave feeling great, have many incredible pictures and memories of our active vacation with a great group of guides and new friends.”
Dave and Mandy Kliber are long-time, active Elite members who bike regularly in both the Spinning Classes and the summer Saturday morning Biking Group in Mequon. They highly recommend these trips to others who love to travel and be active. If you are interested in a quality trip like this, don’t hesitate to contact them for more information about their upcoming trip to Croatia! They would love to have other Elite members join them!
Email: [email protected]
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