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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Cycle Italia

This is a match made in Paradiso!

We've married our unabashed passion for Italy with our extensive experience leading high-performance bicycle tours to produce hand crafted, small-group tours that we personally guide through cycling heaven - Italy. In no other country will you feel such respect for the sport of cycling. Come share the Italian passion for all good things in life: friends, food, wine, beauty... and the sport that comes from the heart.

What sets us apart?

CycleItalia was formed to serve those whose passion for cycling is matched only by their passion for Italian countryside, wine, and cuisine. For over a decade, we've heard your requests for longer trips, smaller groups, more riding days, authentic local foods, and unexplored regions. In 1998, we responded by creating CycleItalia with trips for those who love to "pedale forte, mangia bene" (ride hard, eat well)

Why ride in Italy?

The Best Place to Ride on Earth. Period.

Chef’s woo you. Drivers cheer you. Strangers make you family. Bike factories measure you for custom builds and legends pedal beside you on endless, rolling lanes. Welcome to Italy, the land where cycling is a national passion.
From “La Dolce Vita,” Bicycling magazine, November 2003

I is for Italy, the greatest place to be a cyclist.

I am unsure whether the Italian life interests your average American cyclist, but I constantly ask myself, Why not become a part of the world’s most beautiful culture? Why not taste the Italian specialties? Why live a day without seeing the excitement with which those in their prime can infect the elderly? That joy can only be found following in the footsteps of Coppi and Bartali.
From “Bobke II” by Bob Roll Velopress

Cycling in Europe is fun, but it's more than fun.

When they SAY Travel Broadens, they mean riding your bike in Europe. If you haven't been to Europe with your bike, please do not imagine that riding over THERE is just like riding HERE except for the food and languages. It's not like riding near your home or my home at all. I'm going to focus on Italy, 'cause that's what I know best and love best. I'm not going to talk about the food, the best food anywhere. You probably know more about that than I do. And I don't think I need to dwell on how nice Italian people are, how helpful, how empathetic, how gracious they are. Or how beautiful their country is. Not news, is it? You can read about all that in the travel section of your paper. The travel section won't tell you how you'll FEEL as an American cyclist in Italy. I'm an American cyclist. I've been to Italy. I'll try to give you an idea. You're climbing some endless pass in the north of Italy. As you pedal through a tiny village, narrow main street, tiny shops, one café, a black-shawled old woman cheers as you ride by. Forza, strength, she says. As you ride, you see names and words painted on the road. You read about this road in bike magazines. This climb has strung out Giro d'Italia fields year after year. You're pedaling on hallowed ground. Back home, you'd have to be driving around the track at Indy to equal this. You're riding down the shoulder of a busy two-lane secondary road between Milan and Lake Como. Kilometers roll under your wheels. It dawns on you that none of the cars and trucks zipping by will hit you. Nor will they skim by and scare you. You realize that in Italy you're welcome on the road. Tension eases between your shoulder blades. For the first time in your road-riding life, maybe, you feel safe.

Check out this website. I unhesitatingly recommend Larry and Heather's work, having had great trips with them in Italy. As many times as they've done this tour-guiding routine (for other outfits and now on their own) they have always shared their clients' joy, always been part of the group. I'm in email contact with them year 'round. It's no pose. They've never gotten over the wonder of cycling in Italy. Nor have I and neither, I'm betting, will you.
Maynard Hershon, 2000

A note from Torelli's Chairman Bill

A while back I was talking to Larry, owner of CycleItalia. He was lamenting the difficulties of highlighting the special touches that he and his wife, Heather, do to make a cycling vacation with CycleItalia special.

"Why don’t you just explain it all on your website?"

Larry explained that he did not want to engage in bragging or in any way run down his competition. The first, because he is such a gentleman and dislikes hype of any sort. The second, because he believes that whether or not a cyclist chooses his company or some other, the client will have a wonderful time. It’s just that the client will have a better time with CycleItalia. It’s a bit like the Italian frames and bikes Torelli sells. My competitor’s frames and bikes are all fantastic. They really are. At Torelli we do things a little differently to make them a bit better and a better value than the others. But, it’s degrees of perfection that we’re talking about.

Since Larry is asking you to spend a serious sum of money and a lot of time with him, perhaps it might help to know him a bit. Each December, Larry escapes frozen Iowa and comes to California. Carol and I get to have him for the better part of a single day. We feel cheated, but we take and enjoy the ration we are given. When he comes, he sits down in a chair in our living room and just talks and tells stories. The tales and stories keep coming, like that Greek vase that kept pouring wine. We never get bored. No story is repeated. He just fills up the room with fun.

That’s the point. Fun. I take my fun seriously and so does Larry. After all the scorecards are compared, the passion to enjoy life is what sets Larry apart. It may be why I like him so much. An example: Meals must be worth sitting down to eat. Mauro Mondonico and I have a nickname for Larry. It’s "Foodman", because he takes the importance of the table so very seriously. He wants others to have the same pleasure.

I could go on, but I think I said quite enough.

Cycling’s fun. Italy’s fun. Larry’s fun.

I prevailed upon Larry to send me a note about the specific things he and Heather do that are unique and special. I hope he suppresses his reluctance to shout about himself and puts this all on his website.

Chairman Bill
Torelli Imports

the site


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