If you think your Spanish jamon couldn’t taste any better, try eating it after cycling up the side of a mountain for several kilometers straight. I realize that for some this proposition may sound like anything but a vacation, but traveling across Andalusia by bike is actually an incredible way to cover a lot of ground - stopping in small villages you might not otherwise have time for - without having to rent a car or being stuck on a tour bus. It also allows you to interact with your environment.
After much internet research - looking at high-end cycling tours that lacked top-notch bikes despite big price tags, as well as more affordable options that seemed isolating and labor intensive - we finally settled on Trek Travel.
The best part about Trek is that despite their fancy race bikes and super fit cycling guides, your trip is - above all else - a vacation. No pace lines, no obligatory climbs. Don’t want to get back on the bike after too many glasses of CruzCampo beer at lunch? Just hop in Trek’s magical white van and head back to the hotel to relax in the indoor pools. Or need a sugar fix to keep you energized before your final descent into town? The van’s got a full range of treats whenever you need it. In short, Trek makes breaking a sweat mountainside, rather than beachside, a whole lot of fun.
Still, Jason and I were admittedly a little nervous as we waited to meet our fellow cyclists at the Seville train station on day one. Normally the notion of a traveling with anything resembling a formal “tour group” sends a chill down both of our spines (our shared distaste may be one of the reasons we fell in love). Luckily, Trek treats socializing just like it treats cycling - do it at your own pace. Our group was a mix of people at different phases of their lives - CEOs, small business owners, scientists, retirees - many of whom we’d be unlikely to ever interact with back in NY, due to lifestyle or location. But much like the landscape and architecture of Andalusia - the surprising fusion of personalities and backgrounds seemed to work just fine; and together as a patchwork pack, we climbed to some of the most stunning vistas on the planet.