What Our Guests Say

Tour de Lucca 2019 – What Our Guests Say

How I discovered LuccaSmiles all round

Lucca had always been on my cycling and travel bucket list since my wife, Jo had visited a couple of times as part of a cycling / yoga trip. She had enjoyed some daily bike tours in Tuscany with Paladino and the professionals at ChronoPlus and thought it would be right up my alley.
As an avid amateur cyclist based in Brooklyn, New York where the roads are like pancakes the thought of climbing some challenging Tuscan hills definitely had wet my appetite.
I booked with ChronoPlus for the last tour of the 2019 season in late October for the Lucca Bike Tour.
Then the countdown and my serious training began with most weekends spent in upstate New York getting my legs in climbing gear.

My bike tour in Lucca with ChronoPlus

Enjoying the group rideOn arrival I was greeted at the airport by Gabriele and Max and instantly felt in the company of old friends as we made the short car ride into town discussing cycling and coffee – my two passions.
The bike fit out was perfect and the Pinarello felt like an armchair that needed some tiny adjustments.
Monday was a nice short warm up ride to allow us to make these adjustments.
Tuesday was the first serious test of the week with a ride up Monte Serra. My climbing style on a bike can be described as a turtle and I maintained a slow and steady pace following Paladino, Gabriele and Giacomo up the switchbacks before enjoying the thrilling descent towards the outskirts of Pisa and back to Lucca.
The cycling vacation just got better as the week progressed.
Wednesday was a private ride up the royal summit of Pizzorne with Paladino.
Thursday a wet, windy but enjoyable gravel ride we dubbed the “Strade Bianche of Lucca”.
Friday we were joined by our U.S friend Ryan and former Pro cycllist Jan Wynants for a seaside ride to Viareggio.
Saturday was an epic grand finale ride in the Apuane Alps.
Afternoons and nights were spent walking and photographing beautiful Lucca.
Meals were at traditional trattorias and it was a privilege to spend time with Gabriele, Paladino, Max, partners and friends.

Let the countdown begin…

Great memoriesIt has been some weeks since I settled back into NYC life after a wonderful time in Lucca.
Now the countdown begins to 2020 and which ChronoPlus cycling tour I will book myself on.
The options sound interesting they meniotned bike tours such as:  Strade Bianche bike tour, Via Francigena Bike Tour, Dolomites bike tour, Lucca & 5 Terre Bike Tour and many others.
I look forward to riding with you guys in the near future.
Arrividerci amici miei.
Dan
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Lucca, a cycling mecca – What Our Guests Say

How we discovered Lucca

Last year I had a cycling holiday in Spain with some members of my local cycling club.  We stayed in four towns for a week each and it was a fantastic experience.  A few of them had done a

similar cycling holiday to Italy a few years back and had visited Lucca.  I was told that I ‘must visit Lucca’ and when there I ‘must go to Chrono Bikes’ –  I was assured that I ‘would love it’.  When I returned home to Melbourne I got in touch with ChronoPlus and started planning my bike tour in Italy for myself, my husband and fellow cycling friends.  First stop Lucca.

Our bike tour with ChronoPlus

Monday morning  we met up with Gabriele and Paladino from ChronoPlus.  Our near new Pinarello bikes were ready for us and were fantastic bikes to ride.  I had travelled with my own bike on previous bike holidays but for this trip I decided to try hiring a bike. I was very pleased with the convenience of hiring and the quality and fit of the bike. We had sent our measurements ahead so the bikes were fitted very quickly and we were off.

ChronoPlus provided us with custom made riding experiences every day.  They knew we were coming from winter in Australia and continuing onto The Dolomites so they started us with a comfortable easy ride and increased the elevation each day.  We had beautiful rides through the country-side, tiny little villages and a good number of 5-10 km climbs to strengthen our legs. Every aspect of the ride had been considered and incorporated into the day in a very subtle way.  The routes were quiet and extremely picturesque.  Cool water fountains were found whenever our bottles were running low and the breaks to catch our breath coincided with spectacular views or tiny villages for coffee and gelato stops.  We always felt safe and confident with our guides, they seamlessly lead us through round-a-bouts and in and out of towns while we adjusted to our new bikes and riding on the opposite side of the road.  Gabriele and Paladino were constantly sharing their local knowledge with us, pointing out Puccini’s house on the far bank of Lake Massaciuccoli, riding us through Collodi, the town of Pinocchio and riding under an intact Roman aqueduct.  On the last day when Gabriele and Paladino had to leave for a cycling tour in The Dolomites we were treated to being guided by five times Woman’s Giro winner Fabiana Luperini she who showed us her favourite roads and pointed out where her mentor Mario Cipollini lived!  The rides were beautiful and as a bonus, Gabriele had taken photos and videos galore which he shared with us.  I have since looked back through the photos and watched the video and the warm, relaxing vibe is tangible.

ChronoPlus  not only provided excellent rental bike service and guided rides but they also provided us with a full Lucca experience by going the extra mile every day.  They gave us advice for places to visit on our rest day and local restaurants even inviting us to dinner with their family and friends including six-times Tour de France rider Jan Wynants,  who joined us for a ride the next day.  Giacomo who works with ChronoPlus  as a masseur was racing one evening in a local bike race and Gabriele, Paladino and their wives kindly drove us an hour to Livorno to have dinner and watch the race.  It was a great experience.

ChronoPlus is…

ChronoPlus is an excellent company that provides a high quality product for cyclists. Our visit was easy to arrange from Australia and exceeded our expectations.  Not only is the ChronoPlus store situated within the walled town, with a bar for pre ride expresso on one side and post ride gelato shop on the other, but it is owned and managed by an excellent team of genuine, caring, engaged and generous cyclists.

We were sad to say goodbye to Lucca, to the warm weather, pretty countryside, spectacular riding and the ancient local architecture.

We were also sad to say goodbye to Gabriele, Paladino, their staff and family.  They had taken us under their wing for a week and made us feel at home in Lucca, a cycling and historical mecca.

For sure we will be back.

Megan

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