Dolomites, Lake Garda & Venice Ride

What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

It's difficult to pick out just one moment in a week packed with so many. Undoubtedly, just cycling through such amazing landscapes, with snow-capped mountains visible throughout must rate as one of the best parts. Also, wandering through the streets of each of the towns and cities in which we stopped was very magical. As were the many coffee stops, lunches and suppers we had together, particularly on the last night in Venice.

What did you think of your group leader?

Michele was a fantastic leader, who ensured that everybody had the best possible experience during the week. On the very few occasions when there were problems he was quickly there to deal with them efficiently and with very good humour. His local knowledge and enthusiasm was invaluable, particularly when it came to finding lovely cheap places to eat and drink really great local food and wine. Everybody was clearly in awe of his fearless approach to managing the group and traffic when we came to major roads.

Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Exodus were very helpful in providing encouragement when we were beginning to have doubts whether we'd bitten of more than we could manage, as well as advance information about the kind of bicycle we would be riding. So getting in touch is always worthwhile. We were extremely lucky with the weather. It only rained once in the centre of Verona, but it was a torrential downpour, so a good range of clothing is essential. Wraparound sunglasses are also a must, not just for the sun but also dust and insects. Some in the group brought their own saddles. We brought gel covers, which worked quite well in conjunction with padded shorts, but even so sitting on the bikes for a whole day was certainly a bit uncomfortable at times. Most of the hotels were good, with some in excellent locations and with terrific views, but at times they were fairly basic. It's worth specifying if you'd prefer twin or double bed accommodation, as most seemed to be rather narrow twin bedded rooms.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

We'd have no hesitation in recommending this trip to anyone who enjoys cycling. We're already think where to go next.