Photo from Ciclismo Classico.
In 1989, NOLS semester grad Lauren Hefferon singlehandedly founded a bike touring company to lead trips across Italy. Today, Forbes reports, Ciclismo Classico is celebrating its 30th anniversary and has expanded to offer a wide variety of trips across Europe. Lauren says it was her NOLS course that inspired her to pursue a life of learning, exploring, and teaching outdoors.
“If you’ve ever considered a bike trip to Italy, chances are that you’ve come across a company called Ciclismo Classico. Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, they offer rides like Cinque Terre & Tuscany, A Feast in Umbria and Majestic Dolomites. Italy-obsessed biking enthusiasts know they’ll get a great workout, feats on regional specialties and immerse themselves in the culture, which is why the company has an astonishing 75 % repeat traveler factor and gets raves for their local guides.
While Ciclismo Classico has expanded its trips into other European countries and even to Argentina, where photography trips in Salta are a specialty, at its heart is Italy and cycling, which is the passion of its very passionate founder, a dynamo by the name of Lauren Hefferon.
She studied anthropology, but ‘I also led bicycle tour classes and bike-camping trips for a university outdoor education group called Wilderness Reflexions. I loved it and discovered that leading tours was something that I wanted to get better and better at. The leadership component was so important that I enrolled in NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership) course that summer for six intensive weeks of backpacking. That’s when I discovered what I wanted to do in my life—be outdoors, learning, teaching, and sharing the world with others.’”
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