Destination – Lucca, Tuscan Cycling Experience

Tuscan HillSpring is in the air.  All my northern friends are coming out of hibernation.  After months of indoor swimming, running on treadmills and biking on CompuTrainers, everyone is thinking about the outdoors for those long bike rides on rolling country roads, trail runs in the nearby hills, strolling at sunset and more.  March is the perfect time to begin planning trip that delivers these options.  And Italy is the perfect destination.  Anytime friends mention Italy; we all respond ‘I’m in’ without even inkling about where in Italy.  It must be the only country which has a love affair with the world.  Without question, Italy is a special destination that top to bottom offers a piece of heaven for all travelers.  I would like to begin by introducing the town of Lucca.

LuccaLocated 30-minutes by car from Pisa International Airport, Lucca is the ideal location to experience Tuscany.  Florence, Siena, Cinque Terre and more are all within a 60-mile radius from Lucca. 

Lucca is gorgeous, a beautiful old city that smacks of love at first sight with its rich history, handsome churches and excellent restaurants. Hidden behind imposing Renaissance walls, it is an essential stopover on any Tuscan tour and a charming base for exploring the Apuane Alps and the Garfagnana.  Lucca has barred all general traffic from driving within the city walls and the locals tend to cycle everywhere. There are many places to hire bicycles, both by the city walls and within the Tuscan Bikingcenter. It is an excellent way to get around and see the city and would mean you could easily manage both the city center and a trip around the walls all within one day.

We have partnered with DWL Travel to offer an exciting, new cycling experience in/around Lucca.  The trip encompasses cultural immersion, mouthwatering cuisine, off-the-beaten path tours integrated into daily endurance training activity.  Some of the training activities will be led by local Lucca athletes who are anxious to share with other like-minded people.  We are confident you will have a unique meaningful, fulfilling experience that you Lucca Cuisinewill want to share with all your friends and training partners. 

I hope you decide to join us.  For more details check out ‘Tuscany Cycling Experience – Lucca’

Hope to see you in Lucca this year!!

Deepak Patel

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Resource for the Multisport Athlete

While many of you know Premium Plus Sports (PPS), I thought the best way to begin a monthly blog is to start at the beginning.

Beginning in 1986, Premium Plus Sports, originally Contrail Travel, Inc., began providing traditional travel services to athletes competing at the Bud Light Ironman Triathlon in Kona.  We quickly surmised a need for athlete focused services to alleviate the stress of race prep.  Over the next 3 years, we fine-tuned our offerings in Kona by providing a welcoming atmosphere, athlete friendly accommodations, course tours and onsite race-week & race-day support.  The feedback suggested a fulfilling experience for the participants, their family & friends.  This model program allowed the competitor to do their best by allowing us to do what we did best.  And this was the beginning.

The success indicators of the service model led me to reengineer Contrail into a specialty company.  So began the transition to Premium Plus Sports, The Athlete Travel Company.  Ever since we have proudly provided global logistics support to Eco-Challenge Race, Ironman events, ITU World championships, University training camps and Olympic team training.  PPS has evolved into more than a traditional travel agency by providing resources not readily available in the market.  We are a niche 1-stop logistics company that encompasses all athlete related needs from event selection to coaching to travel and tourism under one umbrella.  Over the past 25+ years, we have ensured more than 20,000 participants get to the start line and we have cheered them at the finish line.

2013 promises to be another memorable year.  We have added cycling and yoga.  Feel free to visit our website at for details on all our programs.  We continue to add to our partners’ area and you can ‘Like Us’ on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.  As you browse through our website, please share your comments & feedback.  We want to continually provide you with relevant information so you can have a ‘Memorable Experience’.  This monthly blog is one of many ways we will accomplish this task.

PPS is collaborating with many of its partners to provide pertinent material to our audience.  My monthly contribution to this blog will provide you with race & destination report along with tips for traveling as a participant.  Feel free to comment or share these blogs.  If there is a subject or destination you are interested let me know.

I look forward to seeing you someplace in the world

Deepak Patel, mettatraveler

Did you know?

  • Per Yahoo, the typical travel shopper visits 22 websites in “multiple shopping sessions” before booking a trip.  Where do you fall, < or > 22 website visits? Share in the comment
  • Per Deepak, PPS can match or beat any international airfare 95% of the time.