January 2012 Rambler Newsletter

by ExperiencePlus! - Thursday, January 5, 2012 ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours Rambler Newsletter

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Welcome to the January 2012 ExperiencePlus! Rambler

Dear Folks,

Happy New Year! We can’t help but feel 2012 is going to be a year filled with fun and rousing adventures.  Most exciting for ExperiencePlus! is our 40th Anniversary. We invite you to join us for a few “birthday” celebrations:  a weekend trip, April 28 -29, here in Fort Collins with our Colorado based staff, and an exclusive opportunity to ride from Pisa to Venice with ExperiencePlus! founders Rick and Paola along with Maria Elena and Monica (possibly with baby Lidia…) who will partake in at least part of the June 6 – 17 ride.

New Year’s doesn’t feel complete without a list of memorable moments from 2011, so here they are in no particular order:

  • ExperiencePlus! Travelers sponsor 2 miles of the TransAmerica Bike System and provide hundreds of dollars to the Federation of Italian Bicyclists by selecting “charitable donation in lieu of a gift.”
  • The ExperiencePlus! cycling trip along the Danube is recognized by National Geographic Traveler as one of “50 Tours of a Lifetime”.
  • Maria Elena and Monica are recognized by National Geographic Traveler as two of “10 Great Guides” of 2011.
  • New destinations take off. Our new tours in Scotland and Belgium both successfully premiered in 2011. It seems that great beer and whisky combined with incredible cycling is an excellent mix.
  • Italia 150 ExpeditionPlus!: In May 2011, 27 ExperiencePlus! cyclists road 1,400 hilly miles from western Sicily to Torino in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy.
  • 2011 marked a big change for some of our staff. Jonathan Hancock and John Giebler both got married, Monica, Jonathan, and tour leader Philipp Schmitt all had beautiful baby girls, and Maria Elena got engaged.
  • ExperiencePlus! continued to grow and the Fort Collins office welcomed a dynamic new staffer, Jo Baldwin.
  • Revamped itineraries in Costa Rica make it easy to get away for a quick week (or more) to explore this tropical oasis.
  • More ExperiencePlus! travelers joined us in Argentina and Chile than ever before though the numbers for 2012 are close behind.
  • New hybrid bikes in Europe combined with our titanium road bikes and tandems to give ExperiencePlus! riders one of the best fleets available anywhere.

If you are resolving to bike more this year, we can help – send us an email or give us a call!

Happy New Year and we wish you all the best next year,
Maria Elena and Monica

40 Years of Cycling by Maria Elena

As we celebrate the 40th Anniversary of our first tour across Italy back in 1972, we thought it a perfect time to look back at the ups and downs we’ve found along the way.

Check out Maria Elena’s timeline of our first 40 years.

Accommodations We Love: Part 4

Ever dreamed of spending the night in a Moorish castle? How about a medieval guesthouse?

Read more in the 4th installment of our favorite accommodations, including memorable hotels in France, Germany, and others!

Northern Argentina – Get Off the Beaten Path

Would you like to ride through multi-colored canyons, rich tropical and cloud forests, green valleys dotted with vineyards and estancias, across surreal salt flats, through mountain valleys? Northern Argentina has all of this and so much more…

Discover more about Northern Argentina or skip right to the itinerary.

Movie Review: Cave of Forgotten Dreams 

Chauvet Cave paintings

Cave of Forgotten Dreams offers you a front row seat to explore the otherwise inaccessible paintings of the Chauvet cave in southern France. Directed and narrated by Werner Herzog and shot in 3-D this documentary is stunning and gives us a privileged glimpse at remarkable paintings from 30,000 to 35,000 years ago.

Read more about The Cave of Forgotten Dreams.

Cotechino Sausage with Lentils

Image courtesy of eGQ&A.

Though our recipe is a little late for your New Year’s celebration we thought we’d go ahead and share this traditional New Year’s dish that combines two of Italy’s culinary symbols for good luck, the lentil and the pig.

Check out this delicious recipe for Cotechino Sausage with Lentils.

Happy Cycling until next month!

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