Are You Planning a Summer Vacation?
by Christine Mazurk
Some of my fondest memories are of the trips my husband and I took on bicycles. That's right, viewing the country-side from the saddle of a bike.
We rode across IRELAND!! It was the year the Tour de France started in Ireland, and we were fortunate enough to ride some of the course, including two very tough mountain climbs - The V and Wicklow Gap. We rode with SEAN KELLY - winner of 9 monument classics and 193 pro races in total. He was also a four time GREEN JERSEY winner in the Tour de France. We rode through his home town, Carrick-on-suir, and the entire town stood on the sidewalks, clapping and screaming out his name!
Not only is Sean an incredible cyclist, he's an amazing person with a great sense of humor. One day, he rode up behind the sag vehicle and opened the hatch, leaning over his bike, he stuck his head inside the car just to say HELLO to the sag team. And when I got a flat, guess who changed it? Yup, Sean Kelly!!!
On one of our rides, we stopped to watch the Tour teams practicing the climbs. I spoke to JAN ULRICH in French, wishing him luck for another win. He was the YELLOW JERSEY WINNER the prior year.
We watched the Prologue, Stage 1, and Stage 2, before the race moved on to France.
It was magical to see the beauty of Ireland from a bike. How green the land is, that sheep stop you as they cross the road. The mountains, the water, and how friendly the people are. The food was phenomenal, the sites were glorious, and the group we rode with hilarious. It's been over 15 years and we still laugh about some of the group's antics.
The trip was hosted by VELO ECHAPPE, which is French for Bicycle Escape. Check out the trips they offer at: www.veloechappe.com !!! If you book a trip, tell Brian Rounds, John and Christine sent you!
Several years after the Ireland trip, we took a TREK TRAVEL trip and rode across SOUTHERN UTAH. We rode through a blizzard as we left BRYCE CANYON, and did several steep climbs in ZION NATIONAL PARK. We even took a day off the bikes to hike THE NARROWS in Zion.
Red rocks surrounded us on each of the rides, the scenery spectacular. If you've never been to Southern Utah, you're missing some amazing land. Trek Travel offers a variety of trips, check them out at: www.trektravel.com - They offer rides for all levels of experience!
Writing about these memorable trips makes me want to take the bike out for a few loops in the park!!
It is time for a break - so I'm off. Until next week. Hugs <3