This trip is May 5 – 12, 2019.
Wander with us for a 7 day cycling trip in rural Spanish countryside. We will send 5 days cycling segments of the Vuelta, sipping wine by campfires, staying at gorgeous Spanish Villas and swimming in the blue Mediterranean with no buildings in sight. Athletes will travel on rural Spanish roads in two groups.
The A group will be led by Jeff Gaura a 7 time TeamUSA duathlete who has competed at sprint, standard and long distance duathlons. The B group will be led by Leigh-Ann Mueller, an Ironman and Ultra distance runner with two young children. In addition, there will be daily wanderings for non-athletes with Megan Riley, Head Wanderer of Big Fat World Tours. On the agenda are Spanish vineyards, castles, national parks on the edge of the Mediterranean & Alhambra in nearby Granada. Daily wanderings are open to all.
*Note – This trip is geared towards intermediate cyclists, aquathlon, aquabike & triathlon participants. For a more serious riding, check out our other trip.
Arrive in Velez Rubio, take bikes to the Villa (where they will be kept securely during the week.) After some relaxing, we will shuttle you to your hotels.
The A group will complete two 55 km loops in and near the Sierra Maria-Los Vélez National Park. The B group will complete one lap. This famous nature reserve includes rocky summits, and contrasting landscapes of arid plains and densely wooded views. We will have a professional photographer taking custom pictures when you reach the summit for you to take home. We will return to our Villa to jump in the pool and eat a fresh-cooked Spanish meal, prepared by our hosts. We will drink wine and sit by a bonfire watching the sunset over the Velez Valley.
The A Group will ride to the foot of the Sierra Nevadas and climb Alto Velefique. This day includes 15k feet of vertical climbing and will be one of the most memorable rides of your life. The B group will shuttle to the base of Alto Velefique before attempting the climb. (Alto is the hardest and highest climb in all of Europe)
This is a rest day from cycling. Both groups will come together an explore the local countryside.
Both the A and B groups will leave the Villa and head due south for a 100 km ride with the Mediterranean as our destination. Once we reach the sea, we will all swim in the clear blue water inside a National Park at a locals-only beach, not found on tourist maps. Following our swim, we will break the bikes down and shuttle them back in our vans.
The A and B groups will test themselves against the clock as we conduct a staged time trial on part of La Vuelta’s course. Riders will do a warm-up ride followed by staggered releases as they ride a course that will demand they go at threshold, but only for a few minutes before the clock will stop and they can cool down. In addition to awarding for the fastest time trial, KOM and QOM will also be awarded for the descent that’s part of the course. Afterwards, we will all pile into the vans and head to an awards dinner this evening with distribution of jerseys, medals, and a souvenir.
Today is departure day. Cyclists and Plus 1’s will prepare for transportation back to Madrid for departure.
Jeff is a Seven-time World Duathlon Championships competitor for TeamUSA. He has ranked as high as 10th in the world during his 5+ years of cycling. He has competed in 6 Ultramarathons, including the Annapurna 100 in Nepal. Jeff is a certified USAT Level 1 Coach, and has previously ridden the Pyrenees as part of his lead up to the Powerman Zofingen in 2015. Jeff is married with 2 children, a daughter-in-law, a brood of hens.
Leigh-Ann Mueller began competing in triathlons in 1993 and has been coaching multi-sport athletes since 2002. She is a two time Ironman 70.3 World Championship finisher (three qualifications) and an Ironman World Championship qualifier and finisher. Her PR 140.6 is 10:45 and her PR 70.3 is 4:40. She is the owner of LGM Performance Coaching and enjoys helping athletes of all abilities to achieve their goals. She lives in Davidson, NC with her husband, Jeff, and her two teenage children, Jenna and Chase. She relishes the adventures that they share together in life.
Megan started Big Fat World Tours to fulfill a passion for travel. In her 4th year, she has successfully taken groups on running, trekking, food & wine trips to Iceland, Croatia, Portugal & Nepal.
Price of this trip is $2300 for each wanderer and their plus 1’s or $4200 for couples. Please inquire about single room pricing.
This Spain Andalusia Cycling Trip is designed for active wanderers who are intermediate cyclists, aquathlon, aquabike & triathlon participants, who would like to explore the real Spanish countryside and enjoy the outdoors before tourist season, and before it gets too hot. If you have questions about physical specifics of this trip, please contact Jeff (email@example.com). Trip prices are based on accommodation and an American tour guides for duration of the trip. All trips will have an orientation (in person if geography suffices) for all guests approximately 4 weeks before departure.
Deposit Requirement: 20% deposit is required immediately with each booking request. A booking cannot be guaranteed without a deposit.
Deposits can be paid by check, Venmo or credit card. All credit cards are processed through Stripe. There is 2% a discount for payments made by Venmo or check. Contact us if you would like to pay by Venmo.
Trip Costs: This trip must be paid in full prior to 4 months start of trip. If trip fees are not paid within this time-frame, trip deposits will be forfeited.
Refund Policy: There is a 10% non-refundable fee per person on all received cancellation requests, regardless of the period when the cancellation is submitted. This trip is only 50% refundable if the request is made prior to 4 months. If cancellation request is made after, no refund will be issued. This is due to the strict booking policies for desired hotels.
We apologize for any inconvenience of this policy. You can however, transfer your reservation to another willing participant in the event you need to cancel. Just notify us if this is the case.
Tour Cancellations: Big Fat World Tours reserves the right to cancel any trip for any reason and will notify each guest as soon as possible. All deposits and monies paid will be refunded 100% in such an event. Trip Insurance is required for all cyclists.
These policies are strictly enforced due to logistical partners in country and reservations made with local hotels and providers.
This affords an opportunity to hang out with other athletes who share a similar interest long after ITU Worlds are over. The trip offers 2 distinct active participation levels (A and B) while affording for quality day trips for the plus 1 in the group to visit rural Spain.
Andalusia is one of the least developed regions of Spain, and nearly all the roads will be void of traffic, most of the time. Crime is generally not an issue in the area. The greatest risk is sunburn from the long days in the Spanish sun.
We have 2 daily rides, A & B. For the A level rides, anticipate longer days in the saddle (3-6 hours, depending on group consensus). For the B level rides, you will be going well below threshold at a recovery effort.
Jeff Gaura is a USA Triathlon certified coach who focuses on endurance training. He is available for a monthly fee, with a 3-month minimum engagement.
We will be operating a hub and spoke arrangement for our daily tours and activities, so items may be carried in suitcases. There will be laundry facilities for all participants. Cycling excursions require a kit, helmet and sunglasses. Day trips for plus 1’s should require only comfortable clothing and sunblock. Since we are in the desert part of Spain, the threat of rain in minimal, and rain gear can be left behind. The days will be warm and the nights cool, requiring only a lightweight jacket. We will be sitting by a bonfire, drinking wine and beer, so make sure that what you bring is OK to get a little bit smokey. Since there will be swimming options both for the pool and the Mediterranean, a swimsuit or two is recommended.
If you start on the A group and decide to switch to the B group, we can accommodate you, as we have 2 SAG vans. If you If you get injured or can’t go any further that day, you can always get in the van and ride the rest of the day, without shame. This is your vacation, after all.
There will be a shuttle bus that takes you from the TeamUSA hotel to the airport, with your bikes. We have included bike shipment costs to Andalusia as well as airfare into the price. We will pick you up at the airport and shuttle you to the Villa where you will keep your bikes. You will sleep in a small hotel up the hill from the Villa, but you will spend most of the day either at the Villa or away on an adventure.
Yes, we have built activities around the expectation that the ones whom have supported you as your built up for Worlds will be there with you! They will get pampered during the day by Megan Riley as the more adventurous/rigorous ones go on the bikes into the Spanish Countryside.
Megan will be taking a group to the Mediterranean coastal towns during at least one of the days, offering opportunities to shop.
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