In June this year I joined some friends at the Belvedere Bike Hotel in Riccione, Italy for a cycling holiday. We flew to Bologna and I thoroughly recommend spending a few days there at the beginning or end of your holiday to walk through the covered Porticos and enjoy the food and Italian history. Then it’s a simple train journey to Riccione where you’re collected and driven a few minutes to the hotel.
Saturday is about bike fitting and settling in. The hotel supplies the bikes which are very high quality, although you can take your own. We travelled from the UK and met up with an extended group of friends from Australia and the USA for a drink around the pool and then on to the evening buffet.
As a nutritionist I love my food and it usually takes me only a couple of minutes to determine whether it’s going to be a good holiday, based on the food! I made my mind up pretty fast! It has to be healthy, colourful and tasty and the hotel managed all of this so I'm happy to suggest that people go there. There was far too much delicious food to eat, plenty of choice for everyone and they catered for special requests.
Each day there is a choice of around 5 rides with professional cycling guides. The rides are advertised the day before so you can see how far they go, the speed and elevation. After breakfast the next day the rides depart at around 9am and return back usually before a 2pm buffet. There’s usually a coffee break on route and a few tourist visits depending on the type of ride you choose. I did the leisure ride which was about 40km in distance and my husband did the Panorama and a 100km ride, there were faster and further rides if you wanted it!
The resort of Riccione is a traditional Italian seaside with private beaches and lots of places to buy gelato. The shops are close by and there are plenty of places for an espresso or a stroll. I had a day off from cycling and went to Ravenna on the train, which is famous for its mosaics. I also used the spa in the hotel which is fantastic and many of my cycling colleagues went there for sports massages. Then on the final day rain stopped the cycling but the Giro d’Italia under 23 year old men were cycling from Riccione and so we all went to watch this and it created a lovely end to the holiday.
All in all, I loved the camaraderie, the food and the international aspect of the hotel. The hotel has a family feel and the staff look after you so well. They have a pool party night, paella night, visit to the owner’s house and lots of other activities to do.
I’m pretty sure we will be back. My next challenge is to learn to enjoy cycling downhill, I am fairly new cyclist, ‘a runner on a bike’ and going uphill is actually more satisfying than coming down. Weird I know!
If you want to get nutrition tips then please join my FREE Facebook group The Ravenous Athlete I'm a degree qualified Registered Nutritionist/Nutritional Therapist and a Yoga Teacher. I work with individuals who want optimum health and peak performance in sport and their career.