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How To Cycle Europe Without A Leave Pass

25th January 2016

For many years I enjoyed racing all over the world. However the travelling lifestyle was far from glamorous – and it certainly wasn’t relaxing. I had my head buried in the chase to win, barely noticing the magnificent countries we passed through. These days I have the luxury of less pressure and (slightly) less competitive company, where we can not only enjoy the culture and scenery we pass through, but also some of the luxuries you sacrifice as a professional athlete.

A Cycling River Cruise For Riders...

There is nothing better than rolling through beautiful countryside, along small quiet roads, with like minded people who quickly become friends. Stops along the way – to have a good laugh or share tips, stories and coffee – make it even better. Over the 15 years of my professional career I came to know the best cycling destinations – the drive to train fueling a great sense of adventure taking me even further to find the best roads. Today I use satellite mapping to find new roads and it’s still a passion to share not only the experience of riding the road-less travelled, but the knowledge of classic rides well known too.

Our rides on the cycling river cruise will vary from very flat days to days that take in challenging hills on routes carefully selected between 55 and 85km. The hills will be similar to any found in outer suburban Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney and are able to be managed by almost every level weekend warrior. I’m looking forward to riding from port-to-port, through destinations known and discovering new ones, but most of all, in sharing the experience with you all.

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...And For Non-Riders Alike

On seven of the 15 days, I’ll disappear into the misty hills beyond the rivers in Europe for rides with many partners and companions. But each day, we’ll return looking forward to rejoining loved ones and new friends for an incredible time off the bike. Many cyclists live with negotiating a ‘leave pass’ to indulge their passion and, while I am still privileged in this respect, none of us would be here without the support of our stalwart partners and non-riding companions. Taking in 15 cities and five countries, this Cycling River Cruise gives new meaning to the ‘leave pass’ as a totally inspiring holiday experience riders and non-riders can share and revel in for the holiday’s duration.

My goal is to share the love of cycling with fellow adventurers – not so much as the passion to ride, but rather as means of exploring and travelling with new friends. Choosing which days to ride allows time to recuperate between rides and ensure all the riders, including me, are involved in other activities with friends and fellow guests. Each day we will return to the luxurious Avalon Impression with different experiences to share and I am looking forward to experiences both on and off the bike equally.

I’ve ridden in almost every part of the world, living out of a bike bag from hotel-to-hotel. I’m so looking forward to unpacking and sleeping in one place, but being presented with the unique opportunity to wake up in different atmospheric cities and towns to explore every day. Each evening I’m looking forward to sharing some of my stories with non-riders who perhaps share a passion for the Tour de France. Between myself and Phil Liggett, there will not be a dull moment as we gather over a coffee or ale as the cruise unfolds.

Your 15-day cycling river cruise with Phil Anderson includes all meals on board and free wine, beer and soft drinks with dinner, 7 separate rides^, and sightseeing with local guides.