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Lowe Charity Bike Ride - Tuscany June 2008  - Da Pisa (Lucca) ad Assisi (Perugia): Gara Ciclistica

The 2008 cycle tour is being planned by Mike Fennings to raise money for the Lowe Syndrome Trust for medical research into Lowe Syndrome an incurable children's disease who suffer from cataracts (blindness and glucoma), arthritus, Kidney desease and autism. Classic Bike Tours will be managing the actual event on our behalf which will include lead rider, support vehicle, a Doctor and lead car to set up refreshment stops.

The adventure begins again!!!!  

After 3 annual bike rides to raise funds for the Lowes Syndrome Trust and having a great time, the planning has now started for the 2008 Lowe Syndrome Bike Ride which will take place in Tuscany around the end of May beginning of June (exact dates TBC) .

The bike ride will be over a distance of around 250-300 miles and will be over a  4 day period. The plan is to fly out on a Sunday , and cycle from Monday  - Thursday . I am then looking to get the option for people to stay onto Sunday perhaps with their families.

The planned start is from Lucca , a provincial town which is a jewel of Northern Tuscany , going down into Pisa , whilst passing Pienza ( English Patient fame) , San Gimagnano and a few other places before we finish in Montepulciano . The route is still being finalized but will focus on scenic routes through quite lanes and villages rather than large towns. Before anyone says anything I know I am sounding a bit like Judith Chalmers!

I am looking to arrange the accommodation in Agro Tourismo's (working vineyards) so that we can experience the traditional flair of true Tuscan hospitality with great food and wine in spectacular settings .  Classic Bike Tours will be managing the actual event on our behalf which will include lead rider, support vehicle, a Doctor and lead car to set up refreshment stops.

The cost of the ride is still TBC but  am looking for this to be between £500-£700 per person . As per usual any funds raised through sponsorship will go towards the Lowes Syndrome Charity.

I you have any suggestions for the ride , route or anything else please let me know as we are still sorting this out and all feedback is welcome. Numbers will be strictly limited to around 25 and I wanted to ensure that you had the first opportunity to confirm if you would like to take part in what has become a highlight of the year .

All the best Mike Fennings

mike fennings [mailto: mike @ network2supplies. com]


Pisa (Lucca) to Assisi Bike Challenge

Our bike challenge takes place mainly in Tuscany and partly in Umbria. We’ll cycle through Tuscany on quiet roads from Lucca to Montepulciano. Only on our final day of cycling do we leave this region and cross the border into Umbria as we head towards the finish at Assisi. A truly amazing challenge through stunning countryside.


Day 1: 

Fly to Pisa. Short transfer to o/n accommodation in Lucca.
Day 2:                                                                                                                              90km

Lucca - Volterra

This route is along the old Via Francigena (part of EuroVelo Route 5). It is also called the Pilgrim Route which for centuries was the way to Brindizi - a port of departure for pilgrims, crusaders and knights leaving for Jerusalem. 

From Lucca we cycle south following quiet lanes in Monte Pisano region past hidden llas, monasteries and medieval hilltop villages. We cycle the famous hillside landscape of  Tuscany at altitude of about  300 m.                                                                                                 
Day 3:                                                                                                                              80km

Volterra - San Gimignano - Monteriggioni - Siena. 

We take minor roads from Volterra to San Gimignano through the hills. Cycling peaceful  Tuscany. We’ll make a short visit to San Gimignano, which is one of the renaissance cities of Tuscany. San Gimignano rises on a hill (334 m high) dominating the Elsa Valley with its towers. From San  Gimignano to Siena another renaissance Tuscany highlight, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.                                                                                                         
Day 4:                                                                                                                               75km

Siena - Pienza - Montepulciano

Our third cycling day in the classic Tuscany landscape. The landscape will change dramatically on the way to Pienza, where The English Patient was filmed. We’ll ride through a couple of villages that time has forgotten. The kind of landscape we like to associate Tuscany with. Importantly, the roads we cycle on are quiet. We finish at Montepulciano whose artistic and architectural heritage led it to be called the Pearl of the Cinquecento.


Day 5:                                                                                                                               90km

Montepulciano - Assisi

On this our last day of cycling the first stretch of the road is downhill until Chiusi. Continue to the shores of Lake Trasimeno, still has very little traffic. The cycling is now in the province of Umbria which is known as the "Green Heart" of Italy and our route is surrounded by vineyard clad valleys and hillsides covered with olive trees and ancient walled cities. Our route will take us under the walls of Assisi to the finish point.

Celebratory meal.                                                                                                                     

Day 6:

Day of rest/sightseeing. Evening flight to UK.  

Please note this itinerary is subject to a full recce and may change.

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