Carrie and Tobias,
I just wanted to thank you both once more for putting on such a wonderful tour. Thank you for arranging everything for a worry-free tour. Also, thank you for the personal touches; an amazing unexpected treat. The trip fulfilled my expectations, and I hope to be able to join you two on another tour soon.
In reflecting on the tour and the Maratona during the seat time in the airplane, it came to mind that in fact renaming the Tour from the “Maratona Tour” to the “Limoncello, Maratona, ‘I’m alright Dude,’ Tour” maybe more appropriate! In all seriousness, I just wanted to thank you guys again for a great tour experience. The Maratona was an experience I think all serious cyclists should get to enjoy… riding with 8000 plus other passionate cyclists with the roads closed was awesome!!! And climbing the Stelvio at the end of June in a snow / rain will certainly be an epic story to tell for a long time! You guys do an excellent job, and it is greatly appreciated.
Take care! Ciao,
Good Morning Tobias,
Thank you for your kind words and for the efforts that all the GF staff extended to make our first Italian tour so memorable. The climbs, the scenery, the people, the food, the accommodation, the weather and the expertise of your entire crew all conspired to make it a wonderful experience. I’d like to think that I have a vague idea of the amount of behind the scenes organization that is required to pull off a venture like that, and I am particularly grateful for your attention to detail and thoroughness on our collective behalf. I copied all the DVD’s and distributed them about a week ago. John attempted to select a representative sample of the photos from the DVD and failed miserably when compared to the wonderful job that Carrie did with her slide show. There have been a number of requests for a copy of her fine work, so I will pass along your comments regarding receipt of a copy upon your return to the lower 49. Once again, many thanks from the crazy Canucks and best wishes for a safe and successful summer tour season. Train hard and smile often.
Thanks again for a great tour – in my mind I’ll likely always think of it by the nickname “The Limoncello Tour” as much as a Maratona tour. Our fun post-dinner gatherings were just as much a highlight of the tour as the spectacular climbs of the Dolomites themselves! I’m convinced that the camaraderie of a good tour is just as important as how many vertical feet one bags. It was a pleasure meeting you, riding with you, and laughing over Limoncello with you, Tobias. I enjoyed the fun and level-headed way you handled the tour, and I’ll be sure to check out prices on Limoncello at my favorite local liquor store. As I sip a glass, I’ll send a silent toast in your honor!
Cheers, Ciao, and Arrivederci,
Thanks for the picture. It looks amazing. Your holidays have everything. I am sure, that given the sadomasochist nature of some cyclists; your picture of the Stelvio will bring you additional clients. I wanted to let you know that my family and I enjoyed your tour tremendously, and I personally will keep great memories from this trip. The Maratona was a great experience and all of the riding was superb. Your choice of hotels was also excellent. I hope to be back sometime soon. I hope your season is going well and please send my regards to Kaycee and to your wife.
Carrie and Tobias are perfect hosts and have a talent that graces only a very few in the travel industry. While I may be able to ride at such a high level again, I cannot imagine another group of like-minded travelers who were not only a nice plus to a dream vacation, they were the dream vacation, and that’s one of the astonishing things life happily endows a very few lucky individuals.
Hi Tobias, Carrie and Sean,
I just want to say again how much fun Niall and I had on the Grandfondo Pinarello trip! It was truly one of our best vacations and honestly, that’s saying a lot since we have both been on some major adventures all over the world.
Roxanne and Niall
… I’ve been meaning to write to you to let you know how much we enjoyed the trip. Based upon your web site descriptions and pictures, my second hand knowledge of the Granfondo, and my other European bike adventure, I had very high expectations. My expectations were exceeded! …
… And speaking of “well organized, very efficient, and high quality” I should conclude with a few words about our hosts, Tobias and Carrie Panek, and their company Granfondo Tours. The web site does a very good job of emphasizing the tour strengths of the company. This is about enjoying long hard climbs, spectacular mountain vistas, and hours in the saddle. Our routes were very well selected, well mapped and explained every day, and well chosen to alternate a challenging day with a recovery day. After a week, we were all ready to ride the Granfondo. The routes were extremely well supported, and had long and shorter options so that everyone could find an enjoyable length and degree of difficulty. Including local guides like Gaetano and Massimo was terrific! This vacation is first and foremost a bicycling adventure, and is so well designed that both those who came to race and those who came to tour had a wonderful time.
… The entire tour unfolded with an easy rhythm that mixed incredible variety with plenty of free time to take an impromptu ride, stroll to the piazza for gelato, or just hang out on your balcony and enjoy the magnificent mountain vistas. If I start to tick off the activities – the walking tour of Verona, the days in Venice, a boat ride on Lake Garda to Catullus’s Roman villa, the visit to “Otze the Iceman” in the Bolzano Natural History museum, the trip to the hot springs – the tour sounds hectic before you include the bike riding. However the organization and pacing was perfect, the trip was extremely relaxing, never feeling rushed. But with all the great times spent together at meals and seeing the sites, the bike rides up Perre Fosse, over Stelvio and Gavia, through the Alps and Dolomites are still the part I rejoice in, every day …
… Riding with you is the very best way to enjoy Italy!
See you next year, Bill and Joanie.
… I don’t know how to convey to you what it’s like to climb the passes on this tour. These are some of the most legendary climbs in cycling, and for good reason–they ‘re very tough (but attainable) and stunningly beautiful. It’s been five months since I was there, but I don’t go two days without daydreaming a little about those climbs–they’re that good. Like I told one of my cycling buddies: if you love cycling, climbing, and the mountains, your life will not be complete until you’ve cycled the Italian Alps…
The tour was the best time my wife & I have ever had Thanks Tobias I still can not believe how great our time in Italy was!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!