Touring Tuscany from the Seat of a Bike
Nobody cares about road bikes anymore. But I’d argue these light, fast, and efficient machines are still great for exploring—something that was reaffirmed when I rode a Pinarello F10 through Italy on a trip with InGamba tours.
Pedaling up to six hours each day, I had an unobstructed view of the countryside that I would have missed while sitting in a tour bus. I met locals and got a close look at vineyards and medieval fortresses that I would have otherwise whizzed past in a car. And thanks to all those calories I burned each day, it felt great to eat heaping platefuls of fettuccine with ragu Bolognese every night, washed down with glass after glass of Chianti classico.
Photo: The group rolls through Castellina in Chianti, a small town of 3,000 people just north of Siena.
In Tuscany, you can ride for miles without passing a car.
Chatting with a local in the piazza outside the Rocca di Castellina.
Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of vineyards along the road in Tuscany.
The food was simple, fresh, and plentiful. InGamba jokes that if you lose weight on one of its trips, you get your money back.
The Italians drink espresso at least a couple times a day. It’s rare to find a to-go cup and almost sacrilegious to take milk in your coffee after 11 a.m.
InGamba tours are not cheap—the company’s late-August trip starts at $6,950—but that’s because all the details are handled. Riders get their own kit and locker, plus a team mechanic who ensures all the bikes are perfect each day, and the company supplies all the food, coffee, and wine you can consume. Even better, it offers an end-of-day massage.
Fresh bikes waiting for the riders.
Resting at the Borgolecchi Inn in the town of Lecchi.
The medieval town of Siena, which is famous for its Palio di Siena, a bareback horse race that takes place around the palazzo.