Reviews for Bike the Local Backroads

Eli B.

Mark was fantastic! He met us at the train and took us back to the train station at the end of the ride. Communication from the first email to the last was incredibly prompt. This was one of our most enjoyable days out of a 14 day cruise. It was really great to see the countryside and not be around throngs of tourists. I highly recommend Mark to everyone.

Eric W.

This trip was amazing. Mark is a first class guide and provides great equipment and guidance. He adjusted the tour to my ability and needs. I highly recommend riding with Mark. The tour was challenging and enjoyable. A great way to see Tuscany and get a work out in.

Tayo O.

Biking Tuscany backroads is a must for anyone visiting Firenze! Mike was simply great. He made sure he tailored the ride - difficulty, sights seen, pace - to our requirements. He is a pleasant person and we really enjoyed riding with him. Without reservation I would recommend him. We biked for about 30miles for 4-5hours or so. It was the best time

Sachin M.

We had a fantastic time biking around with Mark. There are a few things he doesn't tell you.... (1) he will take pictures of you on the trip and (2) he has a garmin GPS on his bike and you will get a map with distance and elevation and speed and (3) if you bike down a hill, you don't necessarily have to go back up it :-) Mark is a serious ride used to hills and long trips, however he is happy to flex for your ability and needs. We actually chose him for the flexibility to decide what we wanted to do as the day progressed. Few things to consider..... you can bike around Florence itself. It is flat and urban and fun. However, once you leave the city, there are some climbs. The climbs are not necessarily easy. We are from Chicago so it is always flat. The hills were a challenge, but not un-doable. We stopped when we needed to and walked if we had to. The bikes you get are well maintained and comfortable. They will tell you if you return the bike within 5 hours, it is a bit cheaper, BUT, the shop is closed from 1-3 so if you leave at 9am like us, you either need to cut your day really short or pay the extra. It is only a couple of Euros, but something that was not mentioned up front. Overall, we went for 3-4 hours. It was a great time and well tailored for our ability and wants. Mark kept good tabs on us, has options ready to go at every turn and was very focused on our having fun. It is definitely better suited for serious riders, but novices like us will enjoy as well.

Simpson S.

we recently went on a ride with mark and had a wonderful time. it's the perfect way to see the countryside and although the roads are narrow and winding, the drivers seemed to be very aware of cyclists. would certainly recommend to anyone who wants to get in some exercise and see the countryside!

Benson M.

My wife and I contacted Mark for a Bike Tour of Tuscany while we were on our honeymoon. Neither of us are very avid bikers and we knew the terrain would be hilly and challenging for us, but Mark designed a route for us that was fairly level with only a few climbs and allowed us to see the countryside in a way we never would have been able to on our own. Mark is an excellent guide, very personable, and has good knowledge of Florence and Tuscany region. In spite of the cold, wet conditions we experienced on the day of our ride, this was a highlight of our trip and is an experience we will remember for the rest of our lives. Thanks Cosimo for a great experience!

Art K.

What a blast riding the Tuscan countryside with Cosimo. The riding was on par with any Backroads trips on which I've ridden, and I've ridden on a couple. The culture of Florence, the history, the bells and the glorious cuisine of the city was quite the reward after a day out climbing (and descending, wow!) the hills. The carbon-fiber framed bikes we rented came with Campy groupos (of course!) and were fitted for us before we left the shop. Cosimo (Mark Collins) knows the countryside intimately, pointing out Machiavelli's estates as easily as the roads with the cherry overlooks. Cafes, village watering spigots, immersing ourselves in the famous bike culture of Italy is all part of a day's ride. Hey, when a guide offers your wife a friendly starter push up the hill, can he be more accommodating than that? Andiamo, Cosimo! A value at twice the price!

Bill P.

We recently spent a few days riding with Cosimo (Mark Collins) as our guide. Each morning he would pick us up at our residencia in Florence and lead us on another custom-made adventure. The rides were tailored to the skills and abilities of all the riders - we were a group of four, two couples who are old friends. Cosimo knew when to ride, knew when to rest and showed on-the-spot flexibility to alter the ride when required. He knows the backroads as intimately as possible and took us to amazing places we would never find on our own. I admit to a certain anxiety about riding through Florence and the back Italian roads but it was for naught. There seems to be a multi-use sensibility to the roads (in town and out) shared by cyclists, cars, scooters, pedestrians and the odd livestock and even wild deer. One of the highlights of the riding was our last day's descent into Florence ending with a thrilling dash through the ancient city streets and ending back at the residencia with endorphin pumping, s$/t-eating grins. If your looking for a Tuscan adventure this is the one.