Spain Bike Tour March 6 – 13, 2021.
Your Next Adventure?
Dates of trip: 6-13 March 2021 (Saturday through Saturday)
Southeast Spain is a cycling and vacation paradise. Threshold Academy uses our annual trip to Spain for two distinctly different purposes.
· It gives avid cyclists a “training camp” experience, where they can train where the pros train and get a jumpstart on their cycling fitness early in the season, and
· It provides ideal landscapes and country sides for those who don’t cycle to enjoy Spain on excursions lead by Linda Gaura while their significant other rides their bikes.
Our cycling adventure in Spain use a “home base” service model. Athletes and the Plus 1s stay in the same location each night, eating breakfast and dinner together. After breakfast each day, the cyclists leave the villa and head out for a day in the saddle. The Plus 1s leave and go to local attractions like farms, vineyards, mountain tops, beaches, and shopping centers. On some days, all of us do an adventure together, and during two evenings each trip, everyone is on their own to explore the area. Local staff provide recommendations for dining and adventure in the afternoon to accommodate your needs.
None of our cycling routes use overlapping roads of any length (only a few km), as you ride on new roads and see new vistas each day. In that sense, the experience mirrors that of a traditional point to point cycling adventure. However, the disadvantage of packing and unpacking all your stuff everyday is removed, as you stay in the same bed each night.
Minimum number of participants: 8
Maximum number of participants: 16
Excursions that don’t include cycling are led by Linda Gaura. Linda loves finding out of the way places to explore and discovery, and she is a fan of country living. Not every day on this trip needs to be a cycling day. On those days, Linda is your guide. Her friends find her to be extremely gifted in all things related to hospitality. She loves a good farmers market, a beautiful garden and a perfect glass of wine. Linda has raised two wonderful young men, Michael and Alex, and she served on a board of a non-profit helping women recover from breast cancer.
Questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Whether you're a recreational cyclist or a serious athlete, our adventure cycling trip over the 2021 Spring Break is for you. With multiple ride groups going different distances and paces each day, cyclists and triathletes are able to find the group that works for them.
Maps of our rides
For details of the individual rides, please click on the Strava links below.
Confrides loop (Vuelta derivative): https://www.strava.com/routes/16889036
Ebo/Tarbena/Rates loop: https://www.strava.com/routes/18774027
Gallinera-Planes-Benimassot loop: https://www.strava.com/routes/12092461
Ebo, Planes, Gorga, Guadelest, Tarbena: https://www.strava.com/routes/5080191
Valencia - Parcent (hillier option): https://www.strava.com/routes/21547048 is an optional one.
- Training Camp Experience
- Email Jeff
- FAQs for Cycling and Spain
- Typical Day with the Plus 1
|Day 1: March 6||Shake out ride up Col Du Rates||Villa|
|Day 2: March 7||100 km in the Alcala valley area/PLUS 1: hiking the Col Du Rates||Villa|
|Day 3: March 8||110 km Confrides Loop/PLUS 1: Shopping at the Beach||Villa/local vineyard|
|Day 4: March 9||110 km ride to Valencia/PLUS 1: Explore Valencia||On your own|
|Day 5: March 10||60 km, R/T to the beach and back. PLUS 1: Day at the Beach||Villa|
|Day 6: March 11||R65 km double loop ride to the north/PLUS1: Farm/vineyard tour||On your own|
|Day 7: March 12||Riders choice/PLUS1 choice||Villa|
|Day 8: March 13||Fly home||Home|
Some riders will treat this as a training camp, while some will treat this as a cycling vacation, and we accommodate both types of riders. It can serve as a “peak week,” for those athletes who are periodizing and getting ready for the upcoming racing seasons. The climbs are sharp, but none of them are Cat 1 or H/C climbs like you would see in a Grand Tour, making it great for training and preparation. There will be lots of other cyclists on the road with you from the European continent, all doing what you are doing, with lots of chances for experience sharing. Expect to have some celebrity cyclist spotting while you are here.
For collegiate athletes, there is a “trifecta” of possibilities, in that there are some great running routes outside the front door of where we are staying and opportunities for open water swimming in the protected harbors on the coast. Jeff will run at least a few times while we are there and can show you some great runs with stunning scenery. Alex can take you to do some open water swimming as well. There are harborside cafes on the shores of the Mediterranean within a few yards of where we swim, making a post workout meal an unforgettable experience. All of our routes can be found on Ridewithgps.com by searching “Threshold Academy Spain.” There is one day where riding twice and swimming once is a reasonable choice, as are many days where brick workouts will be available.
For details of the individual rides, please click on the Strava links below.
https://www.strava.com/routes/21547048 is an optional one.
What does the trip cost?
Price of this trip is $2,395 Please inquire about single room pricing. Trip prices are based on accommodation and English speaking 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: A deposit is required immediately with each booking request. A booking cannot be guaranteed without a deposit. Deposits can be paid by check or credit card. All credit cards are processed through PayPal. You can make your deposit here: https://www.paypal.me/thresholdacademy Trip Costs: This trip must be paid in full 90 days prior to the 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 60 days before our published start. If cancellation request is made after, no refund will be issued. This is due to the strict booking policies for desired hotels. Tour Cancellations: Threshold Academy 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 recommended for all participants. These policies are strictly enforced due to logistical partners in country and reservations made with local hotels and providers.
- Transfers to and from the Alicante Train station
- All lodging in Marina Alta (double occupancy)
- 5 dinners and 7 breakfasts
- Some beer and wine
- Ride Leader (Jeff and Alex Gaura)
- All excursion costs
- Transportation in Spain
- Threshold Academy Jersey and Water Bottle
- Cycling Support Vehicle and mechanical services
What's Not Included
- Trip Insurance
- Bike Rentals Specialized nutrition Lunches while cycling and 2 nights of meals out on the town
How does payment and tipping work?
A deposit is due upon booking. This amount is fully refundable if cancellation is made 91 or more days from the start of the trip. The final balance is due 90 days from the start of the trip. Cancellations made between 60 and 90 days from the published trip start date are eligible for a 50% refund. Any cancellations made within 60 days of the published trip start are non-refundable unless Threshold Academy cancels the trip. Tipping is not expected for any Threshold Academy employees, owners or staff; however, wait and in-country support staff may be tipped, upon guest discretion.
What training should I do for the trip?
It is somewhat difficult to give a generic answer that is true for all cyclists. All Threshold Tours have a physiological demand built into their agenda and require greater fitness and endurance than a typical week at home. For an ‘average’ rider signing up for a Threshold Tour, we suggest that you aim to be riding 3-4 times per week (indoor training ‘counts’ on this scorecard) in the 3 months leading up to the trip. The cumulative duration of those rides should build up to at least 10 hours per week in the last 4-6 weeks of preparation. You should have at least one session of no less than 80 miles, and you should be building in some intervals or ‘efforts’ of 15-30 minutes duration to 2-3 of your weekly rides. Give attention to your descending skills as well as to your ‘base fitness’ and climbing ability. It is very valuable on any of our trips to be able to descend safely and confidently. If you’d like any more personalized advice on training reach out to either Jeff or Alex, and they will be happy to discuss your own circumstances in more detail. If you need a detailed plan to get your ready, Jeff is a certified coach and available for hire, with a 3-month minimum coaching commitment required.
What gearing do you recommend I ride on the big climbs?
Inevitably, the answer to this one is going to be entirely down to your strengths as a rider. Stronger/lighter riders may well be content to ride a standard 53/39-tooth or ‘semi-compact’ 52/36-tooth chain set – usually couple with a rear cassette ranging from 11-25 or 11-28. Those of you who find the climbs a bit tougher or prefer to ‘spin’ a gear will find a compact 50/34-tooth chain set more suitable and may opt to match that with an 11-32 cassette to give yourselves a true ‘bail out’ option that will keep you pedaling on even the steepest sections. If you’re still not sure what will be most suitable for your specific trip and riding style, email us and we’ll be happy to advise.
How do you manage groups to cater for a wide variation in rider experience and riding speed?
Jeff and Alex are both Eagle Scouts and can handle variety in fitness levels. A key ‘success factor’ in enabling this to happen is that we need all riders in the group to take an efficient approach to all of our rest breaks, meal/café stops and col-summit regroupings. Your ‘job’ during a break period (as well as relaxing, eating, drinking, taking your photos & celebrating your successes) is to make sure you are properly prepared to move on when we ask you to.
On some mornings, we will give ‘head starts’ for the steadier riders in the group, sending them off a few minutes before the faster participants after each refreshment stop or col-summit regrouping. The composition of the ‘lead group’ may vary from day to day (if fatigue starts to play a part) or even on individual sections of the ride depending on terrain (some steadier climbers may be excellent descenders or very strong on flatter / rolling roads). The real key to the success of this approach is collaboration within the group – the faster riders showing some patience in allowing a head start to accumulate and the steadier folks being sufficiently well organized to get ahead when we ask them to.
How do you handle food/nutrition on the trip?
Every athlete has their own beliefs, education, and perspectives on nutrition while riding. Regardless of which type of diet you adhere to, you will have a need for a lot of calories on our rides, and we do our best to make sure you get enough to be successful. We often rely on our hotel partners to provide either breakfast or dinner for our riders, and lunch is often addressed by our support team, as we eat from coolers and grocery store purchases at lunch time. If you have special food requirements that can’t be addressed at either grocery stores or hotels, please bring with you what you need (special energy bars or energy drink powders, for example). In general, there will not be stores on our tours that are stocked with cycling specific nutrition. We do spend efforts to keep everyone hydrated, reminding everyone to drink, often.
Jeff is an omnivore and Alex is a vegetarian, so you can ask either of us for additional perspectives.
I have some fear of all this climbing and all the distances. Can I really do this?
You are going to have a “peak week” in terms of training levels, both on duration and intensity. You need not have “done” a week like the one you are about to do in order to be ready. You need only have done a few sessions in the weeks leading up to a Threshold Tour to be ready. Pacing yourself, especially on the climbs, has no substitute. Although some in the group will attempt to race up the hills and compete for KOM and QOM titles, most people won’t.
How is it possible to recover and go hard day after day?
Jeff has studied this and attended seminars on this. Without question, the most important factors that you can control to make sure you recover are nutrition and sleep. We get up early every day, so we encourage and strongly suggest that you are in bed with the lights out early enough to get all the sleep you need. Since you will be training hard, we encourage adding no less than 2 additional hours of sleep at night.
I don’t want to ship my bike. Are rental bikes available and what is the quality?
We cannot control what the airline does with its handling of your bike, so it is commonplace for rental requests. We partner with local vendors to provide you a carbon framed bike with climbing, non-aero wheels. You should provide your own pedals, helmet and riding gear. We will provide assembly and basic bike fitting for you. If you do rent a bike, we will ask you to provide three measurements from your current bike to get your seat and handlebars in a near equivalent position before you arrive.
How many guides are on a tour, and what kind of support is there on the road?
Depending on size, all rides have at least one guide and one support vehicle on the road with you. For rides with at least 5 riders, there will be a pair of guides and a support vehicle. The support vehicle will contain packages snacks, water, basic repair tools and parts to assist you with minor bike repairs on the road.
If I am travelling alone but am not paying the single supplement, will you assign me a roommate?
Our tour pricing is based on double occupancy. We will assign you a roommate of like gender, but we can’t guarantee that we will be able to do so. If we are not able to assign you a roommate, then a tour specific single occupancy supplement will be assessed.
How do I get to the start of each trip?
Detailed information about starting and ending times and locations, airport and hotel van transfer locations and transportation options will be included in tour information emailed to you. If you wish to make airline reservations before receiving this information, please contact us for times and locations of your trip start and end.
Each trip begins and ends in or near a town accessible by mass transit as noted in individual trip descriptions. If you wish to drive to the trip start, please review the trip information emailed to you or give us a call for departure times and parking options.
How do refunds work, and do I need travel insurance?
Once you place your deposit, you are agreeing to pay for the cost of the trip, in full, no less than 60 days before departure. Based on when you cancel, you may forfeit your payments.
In the event you must cancel either before of during the trip and not able to receive a refund from Threshold Academy, travel insurance represents your next fall back. We encourage and recommend the purchase of travel insurance for all Threshold Tours.
Is the trip guaranteed to run?
Threshold Tours have a minimum number of participants required for the trip to run and the published price. For 2021, we need at least 6 to run the Spain trip, 4 for the Blue Ridge Parkway trip, and 6 for the Pyrenees trip.
In the event that we do not have enough participants, we will offer you the ability to pay additional amounts to keep the trip. If a trip is cancelled due to a lack of participants, you are eligible for 100% refund.
In the event we have too many people sign up, we will split the trip into two different weeks, allowing the first who sign up to pick which time frame is best for them. We will always keep the original published week as one of the options. For those who are unable to make either week and who sign up late, there will be a full refund of 100% of the amount you paid.
Can my school aged children come on this tour?
There will be other high school aged children riding their bikes on our routes. However, children less than high school aged (less than 13 years) are not allowed on our trips.
What documents should I expect to receive?
You will receive a guest confirmation the same day that you make your deposit. An itinerary and info sheet will quickly follow which gives the route and lodging information for yourselves and those at home. A week prior to your trip start you will receive an email about our start meeting location, time and any last-minute information that you will need to know before your first day. Daily briefings while on guided tours are given as well as info guides and daily maps or cue sheets, allowing you to ride with complete confidence that day.
What is the weather the time of the year we are going?
Parcent Area weather during the early March Season ranges from the mid-50s to the upper 70s, during the day, and the 40s and 50s at night. The low humidity and relatively low change of rainfall make this ideal training weather. However, we still recommend dual water bottles on the trips, due to the low humidity and higher than normal sweat rates observed in these unique conditions.
Why are the distances and destinations of this trip vague?
This is an “early in the season” tour, and cyclists don’t have the same fitness in March that they do in the summertime. We do a shake out ride when we first arrive, and we assess everyone’s fitness levels. Since there are several world-class loops available out of Parcent, we determine which ones we will do after we assess everyone’s fitness levels. Since the Vuelta Espana comes though this region every other year, we have several long valleys that we can ride, as well as a several famous climbs. During the day, some group members will “do it all,” taking on all the climbs, whereas others will ride only the valleys. As such, rider distances and mileage will vary.
Is this trip meant to be a Training Camp, since you market as “train where the pros train?”
Some riders will treat this as a training camp, while some will treat this as a cycling vacation, and we can accommodate them both. It can serve as a “peak week,” for those athletes who are periodizing and getting ready for the upcoming racing seasons. The climbs are sharp, but none of them are longer, Cat 1 or HC climbs like you would see in a Grand Tour, making it great for training and preparation. There will be lots of other cyclists on the road with you from the European continent, all doing what you are doing, with lots of chances for experience sharing. Expect to have some celebrity cyclist spotting while you are here.
For collegiate athletes, there is a “trifecta” of possibilities, in that there are some great running routes outside the front door of where we are staying and opportunities for open water swimming in the protected harbors on the coast. Jeff will run at least a few times while we are there and can show you some great runs with stunning scenery. Alex can take you to do some open water swimming as well. There are harbor-side cafes on the shores of the Mediterranean within a few yards of where we swim, making a post workout an unforgettable experience. All of our routes can be found on Ridewithgps.com by searching “Threshold Academy Spain.” There is one day where riding twice and swimming once is a reasonable choice, as are many days where brick workouts will be available.
I don’t want just to ride all the time, as my plus 1 is there with me. Are there opportunities for us to do things together?
Each day’s ride is optional. If you wish to sit in the van instead of on the bike seat, you can do so, without anyone’s permission. We always want you to get the most out of this trip, but we do not take ownership of defining what “most” means to you.
I don’t speak Spanish. Is that a problem?
There is no substitute for fluency in the local language. However, the inability to speak Spanish does not inhibit your ability to ask for directions at roadside cafes or order at local restaurants, as they cater to European guests all the time, many of which use English as the international language of choice. Nearly all stores have English speaking clerks, and bank ATMs offer options to use the screens in English.
Do I need Euros before I arrive?
Cash is the preferred currency, as opposed to credit card, in rural Spain. As such, you should have either Euros with you upon arrival or an ATM card, so you can withdrawal them from a bank ATM at either the Madrid or Alicante airport. There is an ATM in Parcent, as well, if you need more Euros during the week.
Our Gift to You
As a participant of our trip, you'll receive one of these fabulous Threshold Academy biking jerseys and a water bottle with the same logo.
Plus 1s get to explore this part of Spain, with excursions selected and lead by Linda Gaura. Linda is a gardener and lover of people. She appreciates rural landscapes as well as the beach. She also can't turn down a vineyard stop or a chance to pick an orange from the side of the road.
Typically, the cyclists and their plus 1 have breakfast and dinner together but are separated during the day. After the cyclists are gone, Linda will present a series of local options for the group that accommodate both the weather and amount of the time/logistics.
Examples include shopping at the market and cooking a meal, vineyard visits, wine tastings, mountain top visits, visits to local cities (Murcia, Grenada and Valencia are all on the list), trips to the beach and shopping.
On some days, both cyclists and plus 1s do an adventure together, and during two evenings each trip, everyone is on their own to explore the area. Local staff provide recommendations for dining and adventure in the afternoon to accommodate your needs.