The effect of the Coronavirus on the tourism industry has been extensive all around the world. In this series of articles and interviews I will talk to a number of operators in different parts of the world and today I bring to you Luca Ruggeri of Road Bike Tours, an Italian based tour operator who runs a small business in the Northern parts of Italy.
Road Bike Tours Italy was set up thanks to a desire to share our appreciation of the beautiful landscapes, history and culture which Italy offers together with a passion for cycling.
To ensure optimal service Road Bike Tours Italy is totally focused on attention to detail to provide the best cycling holiday experience. For an approximate cost of Road Bike Tours, Luca, brings to you pre-planned scheduled tours and customised tours that deals primarily with smaller groups (under seven people). This is not a restriction however, as Luca can also plan for larger groups and customized tours. There is no age limit, however, there is a limit of fitness that customer understands that is a requirement for such a tour. Luca is a first-aid certificate rescuer, and in case of necessity, we call the emergency national number, if there is a health issue that requires close attention.
The operation is based in Sonico, a small town in Lombardy, Northern Italy and with the two owners and some seasonal partners to share the load, they design their GPS routes for the tours all over Italy, which are mainly Tuscany, the Dolomites and Northern Lakes Area. The routes can be downloaded into the customer's device for following along the way. The routes planned are usually for 7 days, however, a 10-day plan is available such as the “Coast to Coast” tour for those who want to get in a little more culture and scenery. While the Tuscany tours take place mostly on rolling hills only on paved roads, the Dolomites, Northern Lakes area tours take place on the most popular “Giro d 'Italia” (the famous yearly race fixture) roads.
When asked about the perfect party size that is manageable so everyone can get a great experience,
“we’ve chosen to organize trips only for small groups (min. 4 / max. 7 persons). Since we wish to take care of our customers personally, right from when you get in touch with us and throughout the entire trip, we prefer to personalize our attention by taking care of just a few participants”
It is important that the cyclists feel that they have everything is taken care of so they can just concentrate on the enjoyment. The tours include all accommodation, dinners, drinks and supplements for the trek, bike guide, bike rental service, back up van assistance, museum visits and of course the wine tasting. All of the tours include the important backup van for the mechanical repairs and if you have had enough for the day, you will always get to your hotel.
Usually, we rent our own bikes, helmet and pedals but especially on the mountain tours, often our guests bring their own bikes. The bicycles available are carbon frame road bikes Giant, and we have Pinerrello E-road bikes available to broaden the customer base of people that want to take a tour. Cycling tourism is a rapidly rising genre. It is all through Europe, what better way to explore a country and the off the trail culture. We strongly believe in slow tours, cycling and hiking, it is undoubtedly the best way to get in touch with local nature, food and culture. The tours are usually off the main thoroughfares. We are always in a small group, where possible we choose only peaceful back roads, where not, we ride rigorously in line in a safe distance.
With regard to the Global pandemic that has gone all around the world, It is too early to say something about how it has affected our business, we do not know how long we will be under these conditions. We have definitely cancelled all of our tour in April, May, June and July this year and look to the second half of Summer to see if the travel restrictions have been lifted. Right now we have been concentrating on capturing the local Italian clients to fill these early positions on the tours. Right now we are also looking to 2021 season for promotion so we are using this time to invest in more marketing and take on more tours in the next season.
We hope you enjoyed this blog post and we invite you to have a look around the website at our Perfuro Gear Products.