After a pre-tour in Rome, we began the tour with a couple of days riding on the beautiful Isle of Elba, before going back to the mainland to tour Tuscany.
1998 - Tuscany: Santana Cycles trips became our travel focus, with a tour in Tuscany as our next stop. For this trip we had our long-awaited, coupled, custom Bilenky tandem. It was a pretty bike but we never really got along well with it. Even though it was custom, it didn't really fit me well. We ultimately sold it and moved on to Co-Motion, which has proved to be a good decision. Anyway, this tour was fun and was our first non-French European adventure. Our dear friends Joe and Cheryl went with us for this trip.
The cycling part of the tour was organized for Santana by Andy Hampsten, a very classy guy, a gentle soul, and an unbelievably strong cyclist.
Days riding: 6.
Distance ridden: 236.9 miles.
Elevation gained: 16,640'.
1998 - Scottsdale: This was a Santana Cycles rally, our first with them. (They are now Santana Adventures) The venue was Scottsdale, Arizona where we spent a week, riding on our own and with the rally. This began a long relationship with Santana and with owners Bill and Jan McCready, whom we now count among our close friends. In fact, our close friend list now includes many couples we have met over the years on Santana rallies and tours. For this rally we took our custom Co-Motion Java, the first and only time we flew with a non-coupled tandem. That we gave it up after one trip might tell you something!
Days riding: 4.
Distance ridden: 125.6 miles.
Elevation gained: 3600'.