Spyns TDF Trip Review
I have twice had the privilege of experiencing the Tour de France with Spyns Tours and, for multiple reasons, can offer my strongest recommendation to anyone considering participating. The riding was fantastic. Every day I was challenged and, with the support of the guides, along with encouragement from other participants, I accomplished far more than I thought I was capable. Highlights included pushing past exhaustion to reach the top of Mt. Ventoux, experiencing the comradery of summiting Alpe d’Huez along with thousands of other riders on the penultimate stage of the TDF, and losing myself in the tranquility of alpine meadows as I rode to the top of the Glandon. Those who truly love to cycle, and especially to climb, will not be disappointed. The TDF viewing opportunities were unreal. I have viewed stages with and without the support from Spyns and the two experiences are incomparable. With the former, we arrived on our bikes with no place to change (and only the clothes we could carry in our pockets), limited access to amenities, minimal options for food, no real idea where we should be for the best viewing opportunities, and hours to wait in either the cold or the heat for the riders to come by. With Spyns we arrived to find guides waiting with our day bags, a place to change and freshen up (sometimes even shower!), gourmet food, and a spot to stay warm or dry. Most significantly, with Spyns, we had better access to viewing locations that were than the people who camped out for days were watching from! It was absolutely incredible, and humbling, to stand within arm’s reach of the riders as they battled their way up the hills I had climbed only a few hours before. The amenities arranged by Spyns elevate the tour from “a lot of work on a bike” to a true vacation. I have vivid memories of dining in the courtyard of a chateau in Provence, watching the moonrise from the balcony of our Alpine chalet, and slipping into a pool after a hot ride back to our hotel. While ensuring the high nutritional demand of intense cycling is met, the meals also always upheld the superior reputation of French cuisine. In addition, the generosity of Spyns towards its clients was always reflected in the readily available beverages – particularly the wine! Perhaps what most impressed me about Ryan and his guides was their ability to anticipate, and respond to, the needs of their clients long before anyone else recognized that something was wanted. Cycling into Gap, we were offered an optional extension to the day’s ride before it even occurred to me that I was definitely ready for more time on the bike. One evening, at the end of a long day of riding and stage viewing, dinner was served at the viewing location, instead of at the restaurant were supposed to travel to, and provided well before the time set in our schedule – ensuring that we were well fed and comfortable long before we became too tired and hungry to enjoy ourselves. The Spyns team seems to constantly be evaluating what is going on with the clients and adjusting their plans accordingly. I suspect that pulling off some of these arrangements required minor miracles but the guides were so pleasant they made is seem effortless. It is difficult to express what an incredible experience I had with Spyns and I do not think the preceding words do adequate justice to the memories I recollect every day with pleasure and gratitude.