Posts tagged with "bicycle"

Hammerhead lifestyle via Hammerhead for use by 360 Magazine

Prioritize User-Driven Problems For Big CX Gains’

By: Jess Braun

In the product world, companies tend to release updates and new models sparsely. And it makes sense. A product is made available to customers, those buyers give feedback, which is collected to inform the next major offering. What if, instead, companies made small, sometimes seemingly unnoticeable changes? That’s what Hammerhead does. It’s intentionally invisible, easily interactive, and ultimately achieved when research, strategy, technology, and user experience collaborate to simplify the complex and make the lives of our users easier in a way none of our competitors can match.

Like all products, the initial idea comes from creating a solution for a particular customer base. In our case, that’s cycling. From our own experiences, we were frustrated that the digital technology in cycling was still so far behind the material technology. Bikes used in competitive cycling boast carbon fiber, titanium, and technological advancements and are tested in wind tunnel and aerodynamic settings. By contrast, traditional cycling computers are far behind other consumer technologies, adapted from a paradigm built for car GPS units a decade ago. Clunky and difficult to use, they don’t do cycling justice.

The resulting product, called the H1, was a bike head unit clipped onto handlebars and used simple light patterns to guide cyclists. That has since transformed into the product we have today—the Karoo 2—which is based around the Android operating system. It’s that unique capability that allows the micro-change approach to CX to come to life.

While hardware takes time to develop and produce in a factory, the software can mold and change quicker. Even so, you will see major companies following the traditional model of collecting tons of data over months and years before releasing a major software update. Understandably, they want to take as much information to make the best decision possible. So instead, we take feedback in real-time and constantly iterate software updates. And that commentary comes from all of the customers, from our professional athletes and our more casual riders.

We take all the feedback from our pro cyclists, ambassadors, and customers, and we sort and filter it. From there, we’re able to identify themes and areas of opportunity. The product team uses this data to inform their product roadmap directly and what projects they develop and work on next. And those features get rolled out to all of our customers, including our professional athletes. When the user experience is well-thought, designed, integrated, and tested, every customer’s choice is instinctively the right one.

For example, when Chris Froome was training to return to the Tour de France, he asked for more detailed left-right power data. The product team developed the exact specifications that he was looking for. Not only did Chris get the benefit of having that data, but everyone now has access to that same data. We did something similar for Chris and his fellow ISN team cyclists Mike Woods and Dan Martin. They—some of the best climbers in the world—wanted more data on upcoming climbs for the Tour de France. We built a software feature called CLIMBER that was launched just ahead of the Tour so that not just the team but all riders around the world were able to use it. We even made some tweaks during the event as we got real-time feedback, and we continue to iterate and expand upon the feature.

Now, not all updates can happen in real-time or as quickly as those mentioned. But it speaks to our focus as a company to iterate rather than continually making a few major updates. Our competitors will release major upgrades about twice a year. It might get their customers talking, but we’ve found that this unheard-of rate of iteration allows our customers to be part of the conversation. They’re not simply giving one-time feedback on a feature and have to wait to see if their voices were heard. Instead, we’re hearing them—pros and all—and making changes in real-time.

Even with CLIMBER—which had a bigger release with a long lead time—we just released an iteration as a different way of introducing more data within the feature. It’s learning from the real world. The more people, the more information, the more quickly we can act to enhance CX. Ultimately, the best product teams fall in love with problems, not solutions, and our interactions with our customers help us uncover problems that if solved elegantly can significantly improve a rider’s overall experience.

It’s also a lower-risk approach. Since we are making small changes, we can quickly identify how and if that impacts the user experience. If the customer doesn’t like the change or it creates unforeseen bugs, we can revert before it gets paved over. But, if they like it, we can build on it. 

We understand the software is fundamentally what our customers experience from day today, and we want to make that experience the best one possible. As customers’ wants and needs change from day to day, we should also adapt our product to suit those requests if possible. It might not be a big, flashy announcement all the time that gets everyone talking (for better or worse). But these micro-changes have proved to make for big CX gains.

Himiway Escape by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Himiway Launches Four New E-bikes

Himiway promises a more exciting fall this year, thanks to the upcoming launch of 4 new cutting-edge electric bikes from the company.

Himiway is pleased to announce the upcoming launch of its 4 types of brand new e-bike models in January 2022 of next year. The electric bike company recently released the teaser for the upcoming models; even though the teaser doesn’t reveal elaborate details about the bikes yet it has already created a  lot of buzz in the outdoor adventure world. Going by the tradition with other Himiway bikes, the upcoming ones too would be under affordable range,  with prices comfortably ranging between $1,000-under$3,000.

The 4 new Himiway bikes that are slated to be launched in January 2022 are – Softail Supreme E-bike, Multifunctional E-bike, and Premium All-terrain E-bike.

“We are thrilled to share that we will soon be launching 3 types of state-of-the-art new electric bike models come fall. While one of them would be the most innovative model from our lineup ever, another one would be an advanced utility bike that would be handy for your daily affairs. The third one is exclusively designed for outdoor enthusiasts and would make a robust partner for your off-road adventures across all terrains”, stated the leading spokesperson from Himiway.

As per the reports, Softail Supreme and Multifunctional models would be new additions to the company lineup. On the other hand, the Premium All-terrain E-bike is speculated to be the successor of the Himiway’s crowd-favorite Cruiser Electric Fat bike. However, these are just speculations- the Premium All-Terrain version may be a completely new variation for all-terrain electric bikes as well.

The Softail Supreme model stands out as the “most innovative” electric bike ever built by Himiway. Engineered with cutting-edge “first-notch” suspension (especially rear and front, based on softail designation), the bike promises to deliver an all-new experience for the riders. Going by the Himiway teaser, the model would be priced somewhere around $2,099 to say, under $3,000.

The second one, Multifunctional E-bike, is being dubbed as an all-rounder that would make a valuable addition to a busy and active family. From ferrying children to making deliveries to quick grocery shopping sessions, the bike has been designed to handle all. The bike will tentatively come around $1,?99.

The Premium All-terrain E-bike is an advanced crossover between mountain and urban electric cruiser. As the name suggests, this model is especially designed for off-road adventures and has been equipped with major required features like, extended battery and incredible speed. The upcoming bike will also impress with its stylish looks. As Himiway hasn’t mentioned about fat tires with this bike, the model is likely to be a completely new model from the company. However, the other descriptions sound very similar to that of the previous Cruiser fat bike from Himiway. In regard to cost, the bike is speculated to come around $1,?99.

About Himiway

A pioneer of electric bikes in the American market, Himiway specializes in manufacturing advanced fat tire electric bikes at affordable ranges. The company is based in California, USA, but has recently expanded to markets globally, covering all of the USA as well as Canada, the U.K., and Germany.

For additional information, please visit HERE.

Bike Ride illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Bike4Tourism × Cycle the World

Bike4Tourism Invites Would-Be Travelers to Cycle the World, Virtually

Seeking a Global Community to Bike Together While Apart and Share Images of Each Other’s Routes

Missing international travel?   Wishing you could host some out-of-town friends to show them your most beautiful locations? Then Bike4Tourism has an inspiring global event tailor-made for you this Memorial Day weekend, on Sunday, May 30th.

Bike4Tourism aims to promote healthy living and sustainable tourism. The goal of the event is to have as many participants as possible, in every country, riding bikes and sharing photographs to the global community of the most beautiful places near their homes.

In sharing each other’s images, cyclists will virtually visit cities, countries and continents, without need for a passport — just a helmet and the will to discover or rediscover the places that surround us and show them to others.

Organizers are hoping for more than 115,000 participants around the world to break the current record.  Proceeds will support environmental conservation charities and aid tourism businesses in financial need following Covid-19 travel restrictions.

It’s hoped that participants are left with even more desire to travel, sustainably, with a huge selection of photos of beautiful places from which to choose their next journey.

All are welcome to participate, and free tickets will be made available for children to encourage family bike rides.   Early bird tickets are available from April 20th.  For more information, visit Bike 4 Tourism, and Facebook.

F-wheel A5 Electric Bike illustrated by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

F-wheel A5 Electric Bike

By: Heather Skovlund x Vaughn Lowery

The F-wheel A5 electric bike has all the perks to an e-bike that you could dream of having while headed to your destination. It sports 14-inch wheels, an ergonomically designed frame, seating for adults and kids, and is easy to maneuver and store tight spaces with its folding capabilities. While you’re likely to see tons of these types of e-bikes zipping around just about any city in China, it’s a fairly extraordinary e-bike in the US. 

Curb Appeal

Affiliates of 360 Magazine had the opportunity to test the capability of the F-wheel A5 e-bike. The A5 is sleek and holds a trendy appearance with its 14-inch wheels and minimalist aluminum alloy frame. The A5 is designed for dense urban living with its durability, upgraded seat, and back seat perfect for transporting cargo (with bungee cords) or even a second person/child. The F-wheel is available in three colors: black, red, and white. This sleek e-bike is available in F-wheel A5 Standard as well as F-wheel A5 Deluxe. To customize the look of your new ride, look no further than Gabe Majalca, mastermind of Good Vibe Gliders for an enhanced flare.

Performance

With the amazing durability of the F-wheel A5, you will be able to sightsee in style and go shopping on a whim. The powerful 350W 48V motor will get you to your destination with ease with a max speed of 25KM/H. The F-wheel runs on a 7.5AH battery that is portable and removable, which is fantastic for charging. The added suspensions work nicely for a smoother ride with a noticeable difference in the seat post suspension. The acceleration is powerful, it has been reviewed at around 500W continuous and up to 750W peak for speeds. There are three different riding modes with the A5: Pure Electric Mode, Boost Mode, and Manpower Mode. The F-wheel A5 Deluxe is equipped with a LG lithium battery with a capacity of up to 21AH, with a BMS battery management system to help battery life up to 180KM.

Technology

As previously mentioned, the A5 has three different riding modes. The first, Pure Electric Mode, allows you to ride with no cycling of the pedals. The second, Boost Mode, allows you to pedal with an assist from the power source. Lastly, Manpower Mode, enables you to ride like a human-powered bicycle – no need to power on. There is a power display and real-time speed display in addition to the different modes offered: eco, medium and high. The A5 comes with two keys as well as two fobs to easily start the e-bike up. There is also an extra removable battery. The front and rear brakes work well as well as the front lights and taillights. There is a light on the back of the bike that lights up “EBIKE” which adds a subtle touch of flare to the bike. This e-bike is low maintenance without a derailleur or gears. The 14-inch tires are in a mag wheel – there are no spokes that need to be tuned or that will break. The F-wheel A5 weighs 22.5KG and easily folds up for easier transportation such as when you’re heading into an elevator, riding the Amtrack, climbing stairs or simply placing the e-bike in your apartment. Just simply fold the handlebars down, fold the frame in the front, fold the pedals down, remove the seat and you’re set. There are also sensors on the A5 to notify you if someone or something is too close the bike along with a lock on the battery.

Competition

Competition is very limited with the sleek improvements of the F-wheel A5 electric bike (formally DYU Smart Electric Bike D3). Priced at $700 and worth every cent. The closest competitor is the EB7 Elite Commuter from Swagtron. The next competitor would be the Flido D25 Folding Electric Commuter Bike. The electric bike trend has been on the rise due to communities embracing the go “green” activity. A review left on DYU’s website from Clayton Kent states that the A5 is the “perfect commuter bike enduring at least 70 NYC blocks a day” as well as “it has saved me a lot of money not having to use the train”. With the new improvements to the design and overall functionality to the F-wheel A5 electric bike, it is sure to be the front runner for delivery workers, professionals, and kids at heart.

Photo by Armon Hayes
Photo credit: Armon Hayes
Photo Credit: Armon Hayes
Photo Credit: Armon Hayes
Photo Credit: Armon Hayes
Photo Credit: Armon Hayes
Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, Davis Phinney and Son

Davis Phinney × Allied Cycleworks

Ex-Pro Cyclist turned artist Taylor Phinney is auctioning a beautiful hand painted Allied Able bike from now – end of July.

Former Olympic cyclist Davis Phinney, his son, National Champion, Taylor Phinney, and Allied Cycleworks have embarked on The Next Stage, coming together with bike industry friends to raise funds and awareness for Parkinson’s, the Davis Phinney Foundation, helping people with Parkinson’s live well TODAY and driving cutting-edge, early-stage quality of life research. Donate here. Learn more about the bike in this video, here.

Follow the Davis Phinney Foundation: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Follow Allied Cycleworks: Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

Luxurious Ways to Travel Around Australia

Australia has six states, and most of the residents live around the coastal regions. The continent has vast ground to cover; therefore, in case you plan to travel around, it will consume most of your time. With the vast terrain to cover and the limited time that you have, you can always make transportation plans to get you around the continent. Some transportation methods are slow and cheap, while others happen to be fast and expensive. 

Still, you will be lucky given that Australia has numerous luxurious traveling means that will fit your budget and needs as you explore the rich continent.

Traveling by Limousine

You can book a chauffeured limousine in advance that will take you around the continent. Most limousine renting companies in Australia have a strong reputation considering that they will offer you professional customer service, luxury vehicles, and convenient rides across major cities in Australia. The licensed chauffeurs will make you feel relaxed as you tour around the vast continent without having to worry about extra charges and hidden costs imposed on tolls and unexpected traffic jams. Expert limousine agents at http://www.lavishlimousines.com.au/ would advise you to pick a reputable rental company that will offer you a limo that has surround systems, televisions, leather seats, a bar fridge, and champagne. You need value for money; therefore, you should not compromise on the quality of limo service that a provider offers on your trip around Australia. 

Luxury Train

You can always book a spot at the luxurious train where presidents and kings have traveled when moving around Australia. The train routes are chartered and scheduled and will take you through some breathtaking regions around Australia, and as the scenes flash across the window, you will be savoring exquisite meals that have been prepared by the on-board chefs. Suites in the luxury train are up to standard, given the beautiful bed linen, bathroom gold fittings, marble tiles, and the sheer opulence that ensures that you have a memorable journey around the magnificent country.

Traveling by Bus

Well, you can always move using a luxury bus, considering that they are spacious, comfortable, and stylish. Most luxury buses in Australia are fitted with refrigerators, minibars, sound systems, Wi-Fi, television, mood lighting, and custom-made lounge seats. With the many added amenities, you can be assured of having a dream trip around Australia.

Travel by a Speed Boat

A speed boat would be a great way to get a new perspective on Australia while having fun on the water. There are numerous activities that you can indulge in, such as water skiing, diving, and waterboarding, when traveling by a speed boat, a factor that makes a boat the ideal traveling means.

Travel by a Luxury Bicycle

Luxury bike tours are about the wealth of inclusions, and being a cyclist on the trip around Australia could mean that you have an unlimited wine tasting, and you could also be indulged in gourmet meals that are prepared by chefs. The opportunities that come with luxury cycling are limitless, and the beauty of it is that cycling allows you to push your limits and focus on the trip. Besides, you can always make stopovers at your convenience and savor the moment.

A luxurious Aircraft

In case you thought that upgrading from economy class to business class was an improvement in aircraft luxury, then you haven’t experienced anything yet. The aircraft interior will meet your demands, given the glitz and glamor. You can always book the aircraft that will take you in remote locations and boutique lodges where other travelers can’t access. Besides, you will be accompanied by experienced tour leaders and a pilot, and you don’t have to worry about getting lost in the crowd of tourists.

Luxury Helicopter

With a luxurious helicopter, you will experience the best trip across several regions in Australia, such as Queensland, Torres Straits Island, Cape York, and the Northern Territory. The helicopter will take care of private charter and will transport you to any destination despite your late schedule, and your imagination can only limit the flight options. You can always visit remote and exclusive tropical islands such as Lizard or Hagger stone, explore the Great Barrier reef and visit the Heli fishing and hunting tours.

Generally, Australia is a country rich in magnificent landscapes and awesome activities that you might find interesting. Besides, the country has numerous luxurious transportation means that will fit your budget. When traveling in Australia, consider renting one of the above traveling means and have that experience you imagined!

Boys and their Toys: Why Razor’s New E-XR Is the Perfect Father’s Day Gift

By Paige Gilmar x Vaughn Lowery

As Father’s Day blows out its one-hundred-and-ninth birthday candle this year, the holiday is often written in our thoughts with Elmer’s glue, popsicle sticks, Crayola boxes, and construction paper. Though the sappy Hallmark jingles and tie-themed gift wrap have only lasted a century in America, the European Father’s Day descends from the creaking gray-haired epoch of the Middle Ages. Trading in medieval flails for millennial frappes and bubonic plagues for bong-pong party games, the meaning of Father’s Day has changed as many times as the meanings we give ourselves as humans. Now in a time of drone delivery-men and talking cell phones, it seems the 1950s-era of homemade coupons and black coffee in bed won’t cut it anymore these Father’s Days. In order to give your Father’s Day an edge, it needs Razor.

In 2000, American designer and manufacturer of electric personal transportation RazorUSA, simply known as Razor, took corporate to the sidewalks and launched its first scooter design the Razor Model A Scooter. With one simple brand, the clunky, rickety classic scooter became a sleek way to travel, making kids and adults alike rethink the stereotype of the dreaded “pooper-scooter.” For almost twenty years, Razor has defined and redefined the meaning of personal transportation, with dads drooling and sons swooning to the new innovations this company produces year after year. 2019 is no different, and these industrial pioneers introduced their latest, most sophisticated electric personal transportation: the E-XR Electric Scooter. If you want to know how great this new Razor scooter is, read the review on scooteradviser.com. You can also compare it to other Razor models to see how it stands out from the rest.

Rather than waste your income on Bird ($.20/min) and Lime ($.15/min) scooter rentals, the cost-effective E-XR fits elegantly with some of life’s greatest drugeries and diversions. Commuting to work, having a little joy-ride, walking the dog–there will be no need to run errands when you can simply glide uphill, downhill, and everything in between. With a perfect synthesis of power, speed, design, and comfort, the E-XR has a speed of up to 17 mph (or 27.4 km/h), a run time of 60 minutes, and a distance of up to 20 miles (or 32 km). With a 350-watt motor with kick-to-start, high-torque, and brushless hub features and an electronic, thumb-activated throttle with variable speed and paddle control, the E-XR gives the ultimate power and ultimate convenience to its riders.

Razor is a brand that listens, and after hearing of how hard some of its previous models took urban bumps and cracks, the company remodeled its E-XR to have large a 9-inch (229 mm) pneumatic front tire and an eight-inch (204 mm) airless, flat-free rear tire to soften rough roads for a velvety smooth ride. Just as the E-XR fits many types of trips, it also fits many people with a max weight of 220 pounds (100 kg). The E-XR overcompensates by also including a hand-operated rear disc brake, a three-stage LED battery display, and a battery charge. Whether you’re an early bird in love with a flying start or a fly-by-night owl, the front and rear lights assure sight while the standard-sized u-lock assures safety every trip. The sturdy aluminum frame prevents rattling, and the rechargeable 36V lithium-ion battery pack makes the E-XR a great option for you and the environment.

Make this Father’s Day more than just another stiff card and store-bought cake. Make it an experience. Make it Razor.

For more information, visit Razor.

Three Exercises Most Frequently Done Incorrectly

Have you ever had a stiff neck after doing bicycle crunches or a sore back after doing a plank? It’s because you’re doing them wrong! What’s the point in unnecessarily hurting yourself while trying to work out?  Kit Rich, celebrity trainer and founder of KICHGO, says these three moves are most often done incorrectly and are also most effective because they are done so regularly. This is why it’s crucial to have the correct form. 

BICYCLE OR REGULAR CRUNCH

Potential Injuries / common mistakes:

(1) Neck – If you twist from the neck you don’t actually target the core the way you want to and put unwanted pressure on the neck which can cause pain and tightness

(2) Lifting of the hips, rocking

(3) When done incorrectly, you can have pain in your neck and back

How to do it properly:

(1) You want to think about your shoulder blades. Picture hands below the shoulder blades pushing uplifting your chest and back off the floor.  Lift through shoulder blades, twist through the rib cage.

(2) You want to keep your hips stable. Imagine hands on top of your hips keeping them still. Legs are extending without the twist of the hips. It’s a very dynamic movement when done properly it can strengthen your lower abs and obliques.

PLANK

There’s a reason people do plank all the time because it works. This exercise strengthens every muscle in the core which supports the back and hips. The plank is a great exercise because it is effective for any level of fitness or age and there are several modifications to make sure everyone can do it. If done wrong it can be harmful and quite frankly looks messy.

Potential injuries / common mistakes:

(1) Hips are too high

(2) Shoulders are over or behind wrists 

(3) No awareness of feet 

(4) The neck is dropped and the chin is tucked

How to do it properly:

(1) Hips—Picture in your mind that your body is like a table. Head, shoulders, hips, and legs are one. The idea is you can put a coffee cup on it and it wouldn’t fall. 

(2) Head—Ears are in line with shoulders. This makes sure your neck is also in line with your shoulders. Your chin is neither tucked or out, it’s neutral.

(3) Shoulders—Should be right over your wrists and it should feel like you’re lifting out of the shoulders and pulling them down your back and sliding shoulder blades into pockets down your back.

(4) Hips—Aligned with your shoulders. Make sure you aren’t overarching your back and you’re not over tucking. Remains neutral. 

(5) Legs—Strong and straight, squeezing your butt and feet are parallel with your heels right over the balls of your feet.

WIDE ARM PUSH UPS

Push-ups are always the go-to move for those who want to work out their arms. This exercise is extremely effective when done properly, however, it also happens to be one of the most common incorrectly performed moves. 

Potential injuries / common mistakes:

(1) Rounding of the shoulders

(2) Dropping of the neck

(3) Tucking of the chin

(4) Arching of the lower back

(5) Lack of engagement in the hands

(6) It can cause injury to the neck and shoulders. 

How to do it properly:

If you struggle with pushups the best thing to do is start with your knees down in a modified pushup.

(1) You want to think of your head, neck, shoulders, hips, and knees in one straight diagonal line

(2) With your arms wide, spread your fingers and push into every single fingertip equally, emphasizing your thumb and index fingers

(3) Pull your chest forward

(4) Shoulders pull down your back

(5) Belly button pulled in (without changing that shape)

(6) Bring your chest down to the floor

(7) Bend your elbows as much as you can and push back up to straight arms

(8) Be mindful to keep your neck in alignment and keep your core engaged

RAZOR E PRIME

By Vaughn Lowery

With the insurgence of e-scooters on the rise in most major urban centers throughout the world, it was only a matter of time that Razor would come up with an optimal solution. A retractable and compact all-electric scooter which better simplifies a micro-transit lifestyle for millennials.

Affordability

Let’s be honest, here. With e-scooters hailed from an app, at best you’re shelling out at least 15 cents per minute. Subsequently a few short trips to the local grocer, you’ve already spent close to $6 to $10 per trip. At just $379, Razor’s E-Prime is the best investment for long term usage.

Ergonomics

Unlike many of its competitors, Razor’s E-Prime has adjustable handle bars (for height) and thumb controls for throttle as well as braking.

Performance

With a top speed of 15mph and ample torque, you can easily maneuver through traffic and avoid accidents due to heavy congestion. Electronic, thumb-activated braking isn’t as responsive, but the rear fender scrub brake is far more efficient because it is applied by the rider’s foot. While charging your model, the power box’s indicator light will turn green (from orange). Razor lists up to 40 mins of continuous drive time at 176 lbs or less which is equivalent to approximately 7 miles. As tested, we weighed in at 161 lbs and continuously rode our E-Prime for 32 minutes at highest speed for 4.6 miles.

Next Gen

New upgrades for 2019 are the E-Prime Air and the E-Prime Plus, which will also provide a smoother ride with a pneumatic tire as well as an increased max weight. Both improvements will most likely increase charge life.

Conclusion

If you, like many, who reside near where you work this is the one of the best purchases you can ever invest in. The Razor E-Prime charges relatively quickly and makes a dreary 2 mile commute to the office, restaurant or gym more exciting than ever. With the wind sweeping across your cheeks, the ride in life feels less bumpy with a charger in tow which fits in any outlet. Not to mention, once folded, you can take it into Trader Joe’s (place in shopping cart), LA Fitness (fits easily into one of their larger lockers) and/or tuck it under the table while plugged in at Kay & Dave’s Cantina.

Buy Now

Razor scooters, 360 magazine

European Cycle Routes for Newbies

Knowing where to go in Europe for a leisurely cycling vacation can be tricky. It helps to have good advice from the experts. Freewheel Holidays, the international specialist in self-guided bicycle vacations in Europe, suggests three routes for those new to multi-day bicycle touring who may prefer routes without steep climbs or descents.

UK-based Freewheel Holidays arranges bicycle vacations along mainly traffic- and challenge-free routes. Because guests cycle across mostly flat terrain, the fatigue and frustration factors of challenging inclines are kept out of the equation.

Following are Freewheel Holidays’ suggested itineraries for newbies in Spain’s Catalonia, along the Danube in Austria and in the Loire Valley of France. As with all of its self-guided vacation programs, rates (per person, double) include lodging with breakfast, detailed route notes, point-to-point luggage transfers, 24-hour emergency support, complimentary bike rentals and suggested attractions along each route. E-bike options are available on all of these itineraries. For additional vacation-by-bicycle suggestions see: http://www.freewheelholidays.co.uk/.

The 7-day Catalonia Greenways itinerary begins with an exploration of a preponderance of extinct volcanoes in Garrotxa Natural Park in the Girona Pyrenees. After wandering the streets of the 13th century market town, Olot, and sampling the local goat cheese, Garrotxa, it’s on to a disused rail line, the traffic-free Carrilet Olot cycle path, downhill through the wood countryside in the mountains, destination the medieval town of Girona. The beach on the Costa Brava awaits, with perhaps a dip in the sea on the northeastern tip of Spain. The per person double rate is from £789 with departures beginning in early January and continuing through end October 2019. See: http://www.freewheelholidays.co.uk/cycling-holidays/all-cycling-holidays/family-cycling-holidays/catalonia-greenways

The 8-day Danube Cycle Path – Passau to Vienna itinerary explores an ancient military and trading route on paths along the Danube River once traversed by Romans, the legendary Nibelungs (think Wagner) and even Europe’s powerful kings and emperors. The adventure begins in the baroque town of Schärding or in Passau, the town of three rivers, before moving on through Upper and Lower Austria and finally to Vienna. The per person double rate is from £549 with departures beginning in early April and continuing through mid October 2019. See: http://www.freewheelholidays.co.uk/cycling-holidays-austria/passau-vienna-danube

A 7-day Loire Valley Castles itinerary guides guests through the Loire Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage region, that is also known as “garden of France.” Here is a display of one-time wealth and imminence as reflected in the more than 200 castles. Among these is the Clos-Luce manor in Amboise where Leonardo lived for three years (and died) and where some of his remarkable inventions are on display. Cycling through this luxuriant countryside rife with fields of wheat and barley, poppies and centennial oaks is joy in and of itself, with opportunities aplenty to sample the wines of this renowned food and wine region. Concluding the tour is one of the most famous and majestic of all Loire castles, Château de Chambord, that lends its name to a liqueur and that after 288 years in construction, served as a royal hunting lodge. The per person double rate is from £609 with departures beginning late April and continuing into mid September 2019. See http://www.freewheelholidays.co.uk/cycling-holidays-france/loire-valley-castles

To check trip availability, make reservations, or to find out more about Freewheel Holidays’ leisure cycling tours call +44 (0) 161 703 5823, email info@freewheelholidays.com or visit www.freewheelholidays.co.uk.