ExperiencePlus! is doing a photo contest. Seemed like fun so figured I’d dig through some of my old cycling related photos and reminisce in the process. Update: turns out they have a People’s Choice contest going too. You can vote for one of my pics by clicking one of the Vote! links below and following their directions.

There are three categories and you can submit three photos in each category.

  • Food & Local Culture: Photos of locals, outdoor markets, indoor markets, fabulous meals, grapes on vines, beautiful monuments.
  • Panoramas & Vistas: What did you marvel at on your trip?
  • Cyclists: You, your travel buddies, or locals who share your love for bicycling!

Below are my submissions in each of the categories.

For Food & Local Culture:

My first pick is of a very memorable lunch in the town of Peratallada in Catalonia, Spain. After a morning of cycling from the beaches of the Costa Brava we pulled into this small town for a very welcome lunch. We started with this very fresh salad of olives, tomatoes, greens, onions, tuna and egg topped with tapanade. This was at the restaurant at the Hotel Pati in Peratallada.

My second entry in this category comes from Tuscany near Castagneto Carducci. We were cycling through the small towns in the western part of Tuscany and pulled into this little market. They specialized in Cinghiale – or wild boar. They even had a stuffed one, to let you know exactly what you’re eating. Here, Leon gives the boar a little chin chuck.

My third food entry comes from the peak of Mont Ventoux in Provence in France. The climb up Mont Ventoux is a legendary stage of Tour de France. After the grueling 21.8 km climb you’ll find some enterprising folks have put market tables up there and you can snack on pastries and even sausages! At this point you’ve definitely worked up an appetite so dig in.

Vistas

One of my favorite pictures and memories came while I was cycling down the west coast of the south island of New Zealand. As you head south down the Haast Highway, one of the towns you pass through is Fox Glacier. We over-nighted in Fox Glacier and at the crack of dawn headed out to do a hike around Lake Matheson near there. If it’s just still enough and clear enough, you can get a great reflective view of Aoraki/Mount Cook and Mount Tasman. A little mist in the morning air made it all the more interesting a scene in my opinion.

The ride from Girona, Spain over to Tossa de Mar has you passing through rural countryside and then over some steep hills before you hit the coast. You come down out of the hills on a winding, steep road and suddenly the Mediterranean is there before you. As we cycled our way into Tossa, I stopped by the side of the road to take this picture of Tossa de Mar from a distance. What a fun day and ride that was.

Perhaps one of my all time favorite cycling routes was a day cycling in Provence. From Sault heading south toward Gordes you can go by way of the road that winds its way through the Gorges de Nesque. Out of Sault, you climb, climb, climb and then – a glorious descent, for miles and miles down twisting roads and fantastic scenery. In this photo, I’m just about to head down the descent, with the cycling Mecca Mt Ventoux in the distance. That’s not snow on the Mt, it’s the barren rocky top of Mt Ventoux.

Cyclists

This photo comes from a cycling trip to Moose Mountain Lodge in New Hampshire. It’s not far from Vermont and what trip to Vermont doesn’t include a photo op next to a covered bridge? In this case, the Union Village covered bridge. In the picture, me and Kem.

On the road to Peratallada in Catalonia, Spain the riding that morning was pretty effortless and everyone was all smiles. It definitely got hilly later but we were having a lot of fun on this flat section. Somehow from the seat of my bike I was able to circle around to catch Larry, Joe, Chris and Cindy just right.

Cycling the hills of the Sonoma coast isn’t all that easy. There are plenty of challenging hills. But Kem (foreground) makes it look easy here.