Monthly Archives: March 2012

Is this YOUR year for a trip to the Tour de France?

Lourdes, center of Pyrenees Cycling. The brave will buy a map and go on their own. Smart people go TREKTravel!
TREKTravel presentation April 25th in Redwood City! The most-fun and no-hassle way to see the Tour de France.

I’ve been to the Tour de France… 10 times? 11? I’ve lost track. I started the 2nd time Lance won and have missed just one since (in 2008). The first two trips, I was a beta-tester for what would become TREKTravel, and the experience got me hooked.

In the years since, my brother Steve and his wife Teri have done a number of trips with TREKTravel, both domestic and overseas, and look forward to a trip with TREKTravel to Spain this coming June. But since I know the Tour de France like few others, that’s what I’m going to talk about in this post.

“Being there” takes on new meaning on a moutain top at the ‘Tour!

If you haven’t traveled outside the US before, particularly to a place where English isn’t the normal language, I’d highly recommend the TREKTravel option. It’s a “no worries” experience, with every detail covered including choice hotels, transportation, meals… there’s not much you have to think about. They even supply bikes! And not just any bikes, but high-quality TREK Madone road bikes (or a hybrid if you prefer, and on some trips, you can even arrange for an electric-assist model).

Time trials are great opportunities to get photos of your favorites, one at a time

TREK is going to offer a variety of trips to the 2012 Tour de France, and it’s not too late to book one. Yes, they do have a lot more offerings that just Tour de France trips, but since I’m kinda obsessed with France and the ‘Tour, that’s what I’m going to cover here. Leave your navigational and translation skills at home and leave everything to them.

If you want the ultimate French col (mountain) experience, you can’t do better than this. 10 days riding the most-famous climbs in France. The Galibier, Alpe d’Huez, Ventoux, Tourmalet, Peyresourde and one of my favorites, the Port de Bales. In addition you’ll have some beautiful rides through the lavender fields of Provence and rolling farmlands surrounding Lourdes. July 12th-21st, with several opportunities to view the Tour de France (which won’t be visiting Alpe d’Huez or Ventoux this year; you get those as bonus climbs!).

Kevin's getting a "Climber's" jersey signed by Richard Virenque, famous French cyclist, at the depart Village in Pau.

Want something more special? TREKTravel offers a VIP tour that includes access to the Village (the fenced-in pre-race departure area where you’ll be able to get autographs from the racers and mingle with celebrities) and the opportunity to ride the final 50k of a stage a few hours before the race and be photographed atop the podium! I’ve spoken with Chain Reaction customers who have done TREKTravel VIP tours in the past and heard stories of once-in-a-lifetime behind-the-scenes experiences.

TREKTravel has a full array of options for the 2012 Tour de France. And again, they take care of everything, including amazing food & depending upon the trip, even wine tastings! You’ll be getting a wonderful, no-hassle vacation of a lifetime. And if a taste of France isn’t your fancy this year, TREKTravel offers Napa Valley Wine Coutry, Moab, Vermont and a variety of other dream cycling vacations a bit closer to home.

We’ll have an informative evening with TREKTravel people April 25th in our Redwood City location. Click on the image in the upper-left of this piece for the details. Most important things to know are that it’s free and it will be fun!

 Thanks-  –Mike & Steve Jacoubowsky


Every day on a bike is great, but today was better

Tuesday’s ride was was useful after all; you need to define the lowpoint of your season, and that ride delivered! Today was, thankfully, a huge improvement. I felt like my old self again (maybe I should say former self again, as it was Tuesday’s ride I felt seriously old), taking longer to get dropped on Kings, being able to contest a few sprints, and feeling later in the day like my legs actually did something. I even rode up through the park (the tougher way of getting up Kings) without having the honor of watching the fast folk ride off into the distance.

Much of the credit does in fact go to my bike. This morning I was on my Madone 6.9 with its carbon wheels and a frame that says “give me more and we’ll fly up this hill together” instead of that riding-through-sand feel I get on my rain bike. And it’s not as if my rain bike isn’t a nice ride; that 2002 Trek 5900 has taken me to some amazing places and represented state-of-the-art back in the day, but two things are undeniable. First, the current Madone 6-series bike is so good it leaves you wondering what they could possibly come up with to replace it. Second, the 5900 is set up for the elements, with heavy tires designed for traction in the wet (which they deliver) but at the expense of liveliness. OK, there is a third item. I’m getting older and need all the help I can get!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a roll call, but I’m going to try and get back in the habit. We had Kevin (son, not the pilot), Nigel, Karen, Karl, Todd & Eric. Not as many as Tuesday’s ride, when George, Jon, Kevin (pilot) and Marcus were witnesses to my season’s low-point.

I really did feel good this morning. Compared to the others, nothing to write home about, but just being able to get that feeling that my legs hurt because they were doing something more than just turning the pedals because they had to… they were turning the pedals because they wanted to. I live for that feeling.