It’s hard to believe that it’s been seven months since we met our first guests of the season. But you know what they say about having fun and its affect on time. Right now it feels like our entire European calendar has passed in the blink of an eye, but we’re sure that once the dust settles on an incredible 2015 and we’ve had a chance to digest the memories, all of the amazing things we did will come sharply into view.
This has been a big year for inGamba. We’ve expanded to bring more guests to more destinations – and we’ve added some pretty special people to our team. Eros Poli, in particular, has brought a lot to the table. He has a larger than life personality that oozes joie de vivre, and he’s always ready to entertain. And it never hurts to have a guy around who can talk about winning at the Olympics, the World Championships and the Tour de France.
And Eros isn’t the only former pro to be leading out inGamba guests, either. We were delighted to host a special week with Spanish legend Miguel Indurain in the Dolomites and back at our home in Lecchi in Chianti, fan favourites Laurens Ten Dam and Ted King both showed up at the end of the season for some relaxed rides and a taste of the Tuscan good life.
As for our destinations, it isn’t the first year we’ve been there but we can safely say now that we’ve conquered Portugal after a summer of unforgettable randonnées throughout that truly enchanting country. We’ve hammered through the great open planes of the south and carved our way through the mountains and vineyard-covered valleys of the north – almost always basked in warm Iberian sunshine. Almost.
We now have a permanent base in the Dolomites in partnership with Hotel La Perla, allowing us to offer the full pro experience in the heart of one of cycling’s most iconic landscapes. Riding here is never easy spending time in the saddle on the same roads as Giro d’Italia heroes past and present, it’s hard not to find yourself completely intoxicated by it all.
Straying from the normal path a little, this summer we also handed control over to photographer extraordinaire, Jered Gruber. He’d been dreaming about riding his favourite roads and some of Europe’s most notorious climbs on a point-to-point with a group of close friends and colleagues. We were happy to work with him to make that dream a reality. It was, by all accounts, a riot – but with 4000m or more of climbing every day, it wasn’t for the faint of heart. It’ll be a tough act to follow up on next summer, but we’re certain Jered has an ace or two up his sleeve. Watch this space.
InGamba has always tried to make a difference, and we continue to be humbled by how much our guests want to support our charity partners at World Bicycle Relief. Their work changes lives and the fact that we can help them do that means the world to us. As a company we donate as much as possible to helping WBR give the gifts of mobility, healthcare and education to some of the earth’s poorest people and that wouldn’t be possible without so much help from the people who come to stay with us. So, for the record, thank you.
Now it’s time to pack up and head back home for the winter – where there is plenty more work waiting for us. We hope to have some exciting announcements for you soon, so be sure to keep an eye on what we’re up to on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. It won’t be easy to top our most spectacular season yet, but we’re sure gonna have a lot of fun trying. Arrivederci!