Mayo SchmidtTuscany Private cycling tour
We enjoyed the thrills of riding up over the hills of Tuscany based out of Siena. Every day a great challenge, filled with amazing vistas, legendary communities, each with charm, beauty and a warm welcome to cycling visitors.Our host and guide Aigars and photographer and driver Davis could not have done more to fulfill our dreams of a specular holiday on wheels. Aigars was the super host from our quaint hotel, morning briefs on every aspect of our rides, all while providing route alternatives to accommodate our ambitions and energy daily. Aigars proved to be agile and flexible, providing support at every road turn through the countryside for our riding group. He put us on top quality, high performance Sarto handsome handmade carbon bikes which were specular handling like a dream making climbers of us all.
I am excited to consider my next European cycling holiday with Aigars and will certainly book early before the cycling world finds out about this great guide service.
Thank you, Mayo!
Great Tuscany tour with HC, Aigars and Davis. Everything was first class and , of course, completely customized for our group which wasn't always easy between 2 regular bikes and 2 e bike riders. Great company, great tour. This is the second time I've used HC and am never disappointed ( Aigars even delivered perfect weather). One final note. Came close to bringing my bike as usual but last minute decided to rent. The Sarto bikes supplied were first class. Light , responsive, good components and wheels. No doubt I'll rent a Sarto next time.
Until next time, Ciao.
Thank you, Mark!
Thank you Aigars and Davis for a fantastic 5 days in Tuscany. We really enjoyed the trip you customized for us. Every ride was spectacular and showed us different parts of the region. The ebike you found for me worked well and allowed me to keep pace with the boys on their fabulous Sarto bikes. Looking forward to a Sarto ebike on our next trip with you. I will recommend you to all our friends!
Thank you, Susan!
This was our first trip to Spain & our first tour with HC Bike Tours. Hopefully it won't be our last. We could not have chosen a better tour company to introduce us to this wonderful part of the world. Customising the original 7 day tour & accommodating two non-riders was not a problem. We did not want for anything, accommodation was excellent, the route was interesting, scenery unbelievable & the professionalism of Aigars & Janis in delivering this trip was second to none. The Sarto bike, to my surprise, was exactly as Aigars described - a Ferrari of the bike world. I found it to be very comfortable, light & responsive. I would highly recommend HC Bike Tours to anyone looking to do a trip in Europe - we had a fabulous time - thanks to you both.
Thank you, Kerrie!
I have have had four wonderful tours (3 privates and 1 custom) with HC Bike Tours. Each trip has been excellent. Aigars and team have consistently exceeded my expectations.
Two weeks ago, I had a few days between meetings in Milan and London. So, I emailed Aigars. He responded within a few hours with a detailed agenda, strava links, bike rental, hotel and hotel recommendations. I confirmed the next day and had two great days of riding including a Grand Fondo around Lake Como. Aigars met me on the first day at the hotel, provided a great bike that was comfortable and had gearing appropriate for mountains, he fully supported me and took pictures on the rides, arranged a shower and lunch after the Grand Fondo, and dropped me off at the airport (with ample time to make my flight.)
I do not know of another tour group where it is so easy to arrange customer/unique tours anywhere in Europe.
Coincidentally, I had coffee with a friend this morning and described my recent ride. He responded that he had also had a great experience with HC earlier this year.
I highly recommend them and will definitely use them again.
Thank you, David!
It was my second tour with HC Bike Tours, last year I did the Pyrenees! What a great experience and fun to ride with Airgas and Janis! They take care of you and organize everything like A+, all you need to do is to eat, sleep and ride! If you want to feel like a pro with team morning meetings, team rides, team dinners just sign up and enjoy it! Thank you guys for my best cycling vacations ever! I will try to do the Vuelta next year and then I can retire ;)
Thank you, Boris!
I have heard from many people that have taken biking tours and they have always expressed disappointment that a ride was cut short or a climb they wanted to do was not included. This will never happen with HC Bike tours as they are well organized and have researched all the area climbs and will insure that you get your money's worth! I have booked with them before and would never entrust my hard earned money to anyone else.
Thank Aigars and Janis!
Thank you, Michael!
Great week spent with 15 friends travelling from Nice to Girona. Fantastic support, organisation and accommodation along the way. Aigars and Davis were the perfect hosts - we will definitely be booking them again next year!!
Thank you, Sally!
Thanks to Aigars & Davis for a trip of a lifetime. Unforgettable scenery and perfect route choices. Aigars & Davis were so attentive to our needs. We had 'mechanicals' but we were quickly aided in the repairs and Aigars even came up with 2 spare wheels for 2 different bikes. I would definitely go on tour again with HC Bike Tours. Thanks guys. Mike.
Thank you, Mike!
Aigars and Davis could not have been better hosts - great leadership, encouragement and support throughout our ride from Nice, France to Roses in Spain. A week I'll never forget - for all the right reasons!
Thank you, Don!
Beverly DenbyNice-Roses custom cycling tour, 2017We had a fantastic week. Loved the cycling even though we didn't do quite as much as the others.Fabulous routes through some lovely places and the gorge was amazing. You and Davis were fabulous. I have spent a week cycling and laughing. What more could anyone want...Thanks again to you both!
Thank you, Beverly
Tom & Deborah GarciaLakes Como & Garda + Stelvio custom tour 2016
We both thank you for a wonderful week in Italy. You put together a first class cycling vacation. You, Janis, Arvis, and Davis are exceptional people, a pleasure to know and to have as friends. I learned a lot from you and Janis which has inspired me to work harder and continue to improve as a cyclist. I look forward to the possibility of a future HC bike tour.
Thank you, Tom & Deborah!
Alec CastellanosLakes Como & Garda + Stelvio custom tour 2016
Our trip to the Italian Alps with HC Bike Tours was excellent, and surpassed all of my expectations. Aigars came up with six days of incredible riding, incorporated any requests our group had, and did a great job of making sure that there were plenty of options for those who wanted shorter or longer ride options. Arvis, Janis and Davis, provided great road side support, fitness advice and took professional quality photos along the way. It was great getting to know the entire HC team and learn from their extensive experience cycling in Europe, both as tour guides, and in the racing scene. I would recommend HC Bike Tours to anyone looking for a challenging and well supported bike tour, and am already looking forward to my next trip with them.
Thank you, Alec!
Frederick J RuegseggerLakes Como & Garda + Stelvio custom tour 2016
After going on a 2015 HC Bike Tours ride in the Pyrenees, we came back to Europe again this year for a custom tour in the Italian Alps. I can't say enough good things about the HC team - they not only take care of all logistics, coaching and guiding, but they are great people and we enjoyed our time with them quite a bit. Our rides were memorable and now it's time to think about working with the HC team on a 2017 adventure!
Thank you, Frederick!
Tim GarciaLakes Como & Garda + Stelvio custom tour 2016
Thank you for the great tour. I've been telling family, friends and coworkers about our experience on the Italian alps & lakes tour. I tell them about our 6 days full of exciting and challenging bicycle moments. I tell them about the great people who led the tour, taking on multiple roles: Aigars, Janis, Arvis, and Davis were drivers, photographers, selfie-takers, picnic chefs, fig harvesters, cheese connoisseurs, cycling veterans and professionals. There were rocky moments, like the unpaved, um...rocky uphill climb to start off the first day. But everything challenging became part of a great success story for our group. I would not have changed anything.
Thank you, Tim!
Tammy & BenPrivate tour in French Alps, Annecy 2016
Just wanted to thank you for organising our trip. We had a wonderful time. Thank you for recommending Annecy as a place to stay. It was absolutely beautiful and we really enjoyed our time there. Ben enjoyed the rides very much. Toms was a fantastic host. Friendly, reliable, punctual and helpful. He also took some great photos and emailed them to me. He was at the airport waiting for us to arrive and got us back to the airport in time. We also met his lovely girlfriend Elli. Please thank both of them for us. If you or Toms or Elli are ever in Melbourne please do not hesitate in contacting us. Thank you again.
Thank you, Tammy & Ben!
Michael LysykTour de France Pyrenees tour, 2016
2016 was the second trip I have taken with these guys and it surpassed my previous experience. With Aigars planning and coach Janis technical support, HC Bike Tours will ensure that you do all major Tour de France climbs. There is no other viewing like it based on the shear area you will cover. In my two trips, I have totaled 80k ft. of climbing in both the Alps and the Pyrenees and look forward to more in the future. If you want to get some biking in, as well as watch the tour, this is the company to book it with!
Thank you, Michael!
Sam LlewellynGran Canaria camp 2016
Thank you HC Bike Tours and Aigars Paegle for an exceptionally well organised training camp catered to our goals whilst touring the beautiful island of Gran Canaria. Thoroughly recommended for any cycling enthusiast and i will be back!
Thank you, Sam!
Bronwen LaceyGran Canaria camp, 2016
I had a blast at the Gran Canaria training camp. Challenging but doable. Gran Canaria was beautiful and the roads were great. Your pre-ride descriptions were very accurate and although the weather did not always cooperate you were able to plan a good ride. Thanks for being a great guide and providing support during the rides.
Thank you, Bronwen!
Matthew BlandGran Canaria camp, 2016
I joined the HC Bike Tours Spring Training Camp in Gran Canaria in 2016. 2 great weeks – lots of challenging (and picturesque) riding made great fun by Aigars and his team. A lot of thought had gone into the schedule and routes and the team were very flexible and adaptable to cater for differing ability levels, fatigue levels and, for the first week, unusually unpredictable weather. Lots of great training tips were offered, the on road support was second to none and the camaraderie and vibe made the whole trip a pleasure.
Thank you, Matthew!
My son and I recently completed the 2015 Pyrenees Tour de France tour - 6 great days and a real challenge. It was made exceptional by the HC Bike Tours team (Aigars and Janis). Everything was well planned and executed - accommodations, rides, support - all of it. By the end of the tour I felt we had made new friends and plan not only to stay in touch but look forward to another tour in the future. I cannot recommend HC Bike Tours enough - small tours with a personal touch and great people. Hey, they put up with an old guy trying to keep up finish the climbs each day. Great job guys!
Thank you Frederick!
2015 will forever live in my memories as the vacation that allowed me to learn what it means to “climb” as well as view the races of the Tour de France. An avid “crit” racer who lives in Florida, my previous climbing experiences have been little or non-existent when compared to the 39,000 ft. I tackled on this journey. With the aid of them leader Aigars Paegle and coach Janis Musins, I received the personal attention necessary to allow me to achieve my goal of climbing the mountains of the Tour de France. HC Bike Tours specializes in catering to small groups that are hard core cyclists so you will never find a excursion like this, that will be allow you to fulfill your cyclling needs and special viewing set-up complete with satellite dish and gas grill.
Thank you Aigars and Janis for fulfilling the dream of a lifetime!
Thank you Mike!
I joined HC Bike Tours as a guest on Tour de France 2014 Alps tour. I had the great opportunity to climb the most beautiful climbs in Alps that were included in Tour de France stages. It was a bit hard core, as it should be. Days when we watched the Tour de France live were really exciting - seeing how pro cyclists are climbing the same climbs where we had been just few days ago was amazing! HC bike tours truly provided perfect service and organisation for our well being. It was a great week in Alps! Thank you!
Thank you Lasma!
Marion Clignet was a guide on a cycling tour that I undertook through the French Alpes in July 2013. Marion's love of cycling was very evident right throughout the tour. She was more than happy to share little tips and tricks to help either improve our cycling in general orgreat benefit. I would be more than happy to take part in another cycling tour that was guided by Marion.
Thank you James!
I road with Aigars, a co-founder of HC Bike Tours, for five amazing days in the Alps during the 100 year anniversary of the Tour de France. I will never forget that trip, and highly recommend cycling with him. Aigars helped create the most epic moments, like descending a pass in the pouring rain or sprinting for French city signs. Yet he also took great care of me. He navigated crazy country roads, lead me to amazing food and shelter, and simply matched my pace on a tough climb. I'm already looking forward to my next trip!
Thank you Nick!
To any/all folks poking around the internet, trying to track down a reputable, small-group cycling tour with great challenges and greater guides, I could not recommend HC Bike Tours enough. My father and I just wrapped up a week-long battle through some fantastic Pyrenees climbing, and walked away feeling like the experience was essentially unmatched. The rides are very well guided, flexible for varying levels of experience and fantastically well-supported. Despite near-100f temperatures all week, the HC Tours van kept us very well fed and hydrated throughout all of our rides, allowing us to focus on completing some historical climbs and enjoying the atmosphere surrounding Le Tour. Honestly, could not say enough things about the company. Thanks for a great week, guys!
Thank you Colin!
Sandris PavlovsCantabria & Austurias Tour, 2015
Nearly two months after our Cantabria&Asturias Tour all the physical tiredness is gone and only good and positive memories cross my mind when I remember this trip. The route was very interesting and HC Bike Tours was very flexible to adjust it in order to match different fitness levels in our group. Half of our group had only some MTB experience and it was the first time on decent road bike for us. In the very beginning to climb Lagos de Covadonga seemed mision impossible, but we did it only 4 days later :) It was a great achievment for men who are not very regular cyclists and quite often prefer pub to the bike :) . All this was possible because we could concentrate only on cycling and HC Bike Tour did the rest, spoiling us with excelent service and assistance en route and perfect after-cycling program with nice diners and accomodations.
Cantabria&Asturias itself was very nice with scenic nature, perfect roads, friendly people, good cuisine. Definitely it's worth to go there but be prepared for heavy pedalling in some sections:). However it's not that tough if you are in safe hands of HC bike Tours !!
Thank you Sandris!
HC Bike Tours is a good tour company if you would like to do a lot of riding in the high mountains and a lot of kilometers. Good food, well organized. It’s a good idea to travel with HC Bike Tours. I plan to travel with HC Bike Tours in future and recommend that to my friends as well.
Thank you Rich and see you next year!
Thank you, Aigars, for the live opportunity to witness such an amazing event as Le Tour de France 2014! As a non-rider I initially expected a boring time in some cycling camp and was not sure how will I fill in my free time. However, it turned out me having no free time whatsoever! Every day was fulfilled with new impressions, activities and amazing sightseeing of Alps. Looking back at the trip I am amazed by HC Bike Tours professional investment to create the trip as it was. I could fully rely on the organisers; everything was carefully thought through in advance even for me as a ‘city cyclist’ - regardless if that was joining the group in mountains, receiving other special service or enjoying amazing company. Exclusive opportunity to ride the Tour de France track myself on the electro bike and then seeing Tour de France live for sure was a highlight! It was extremely emotional for me to have that special presence feel of thousands of fans involvement. Thank you for the comfort in race viewing areas, the service level is impressive! My friends also appreciated the grilled camembert cheese with French jam :). I would very much enjoy exploring new places in future with the service as this.
Thank you Liene!
Just returned from our Tour de France Alps Tour w HC Bike Tours. First, this was my first trip to Europe and a first bike tour. And HC Bike Tours company made it a memorable, hard but enjoyable and well organized experience. Couldn't have asked for anything more...I attempted many hard, beautiful climbs in the Alps...minus the heat, I think I would have fared much better. But the overall experience was awesome and Aigars Paegle and Janis Musins "Coach" were awesome hosts. Took care of you when it was needed. Left you alone when it was warranted. They were very accommodating and generous. Felt like many "Sunday"rides with a handful of your buddies. If you are thinking of some serious riding in Europe, consider HC Bike Tours to even accommodating your custom tour. The routes they select are awesome and breathtaking. The accommodations are clean and comfortable. Prepared food are delicious!!! I wish I can do a Tour with them several times a year.... Thank you Aigars and Janis for the experience and memories.
Thamk you Clement!
Overall really enjoyed the bike tour. The tour was well organized for the whole tour and in particular for the days we watched the Tour de France. The locations for viewing of Le Tour were great and the amenities provided were awesome. The itinerary for the tour covered all the major Cols in the region with options that helped eliminate “junk” miles. In addition, as sometimes happens on holiday, forces beyond your control change the plan. HC Bike Tours was well prepared with alternate options that were equal to my expectations of the original route. I thought the tour was a little pricey compared to other tours, but it can be hard to compare value without actually going on all the tours. I was disappointed that none of the guides on the tour spoke French. I had communicated that as an expectation prior to the tour. Luckily no emergencies came up, but based on my previous experience it helps enhance the experience of being in a foreign land when you have guides that know the language.
Pros: Nice route covering all the major Cols, Well organized, excellent support, Le Tour!
Cons: A little pricey, no French speaking guide
Thank you Harold!
My dreams of cycling in Alps and watching Tour de France LIVE came true this summer. Aigars, the owner of HC Bike Tours helped me to fulfil both at the same time. This trip certainly was the highlight of this summer. Watching Tour de France LIVE in HCBT dedicated race viewing areas and supporting Latvian cyclist Gatis Smukulis was amazing experience. In this kind of cycling trips it is extremely important to have a guide you can rely on; who could share his experience, suggest and educate how to cope; sometimes simple thumbs up was required. Aigars certainly provided that all. We had a true team spirit. I appreciated Aigars helping me to adjust the route and workload to match my physical condition. He also took good care of my non-rider girlfriend, she was pleasantly impressed. I wish good luck and non-stop development!
Thank you Edgars and see you on the next trip to the Pyrenees next year!
Hannah & Rob EcksteinTour de France Alps tour, 2013Aigars was our team leader when we rode in France, 2013. We followed the Tour and rode many of the Epic climbing routes in the Alps during the last week of The Tour. My husband and I have been avid, hardcore cyclists our entire adult life. We originally met racing and training in NYC. We have done many a lap in Central Park in Manhattan and Prospect Park in Brooklyn. We have always dreamed of seeing the tour and of riding in The Alps. Aigars led us through the stages in the Alps with professionalism and humor. His love of the pristine mountains and scenery added to the joy of our experience. He was always there to support us. Happy Cycling!
Thank you both Hannah & Rob!
HC Bike Tours helped me fulfill a dream of cycling through the Italian Alps and Dolomites. My goal for the trip was to climb Italy’s highest and hardest mountains. The company designed a custom bike tour for me that fit my travel schedule and budget. The CEO and founder, Aigars, took me in his personal vehicle on a five day trip from Munich to Bormio to Val Gardena to Salzburg.
HC Bike Tours did all the planning and allowed me to just focus on cycling. HC Bike Tours made sure that I finish every ride, have fun, and enjoy the scenery. The best day was the first and only day in the Dolomites when we knew the weather would be bad the next day so we went big and put two days of riding (Five climbs, 130km, 3500m) into one! I never felt rushed and I never felt alone the whole time. HC Bike Tours was well prepared for the trip with everything I needed for 8-10 hours on the bike each day including energy bars, gels, snacks, and recovery fuel. The ride leader had spare tubes and bike tools in case of any unfortunate flats. I didn’t even carry a saddle bag the entire trip! In the morning, the leader serviced and washed my bike.
Aigars is an incredibly strong rider and will definitely have the strength and fitness to tackle any ride no matter how hard or how far. He has a very positive attitude and is easy to get along with. Aigars is passionate about cycling and passionate about nature. Any tour with HC Bike Tours will offer plenty of both! More importantly, Aigars is passionate about its clients! He started out as just a tour guide, but ended up being far more for me. He was tour guide, coach, trainer, support vehicle, photographer, and motivator. He was a great travel companion and we ended the tour as good friends. He would constantly remind me to refuel with snacks and water and he encouraged me to take as many breaks as I needed.
I would recommend that anyone unfamiliar with cycling in Europe hire HC Bike Tours because of its experience and local knowledge of the roads, great support staff, and transportation services. The founder is a good guy and will certainly get along with anyone. I am not sure when I will be able to travel to Europe from the US again for another trip, but I know that when I do it will be with HC Bike Tours. Thank you Aigars for getting me through it!
Thank you Ryan!
I just wanted to express my gratitude for your hospitality on Hautacam while we were in France. To be able to watch a stage of the Tour de France, on the hill, from the comfort of a tent with TV, BBQ, good company, was a real privilege.
I can only wish you all the very best. I am sure HC Bike Tours business will be a success.
Thank you Adrian!
Amazing express tour. Aigars picked me up at the Toulouse airport. Two hours later we were on our way to climb Tourmalet and Hautacam. Amazing experience even with the subzero temps and snow storm. Aigars was fantastic - rode to my pace. Now planning another express tour for July!
Please see pictures here.
Thank you David!
My wife and I enjoyed an amazing trip riding and viewing the 100th Tour de France. Aigars was one of our ride leaders. He was the only one brave enough to descend and climb to the lunch stop from Croix de Fer through rain and two hail storms with me and my teammate.
Thank you Matt!