Posted: February 9, 2010 8:00 AM
Imagine yourself at the hearth of an Italian kitchen, elbow-deep in pasta flour, learning the techniques of a Tuscan cooking maestro. Then picture yourself the next day, joining a renown cyclist, pedaling through the chestnut forests and undulating vineyards of the Italian countryside.
If this is your idea of heaven, then check out Cinghiale Cycling Tours
, a touring company owned by Boulder's very own (retired) pro cyclist Andy Hampsten. A veteran of the Tour de France and winner of the prestigious Giro d'Italia, Hampsten leads tours through the stunning Bolgheri wine district (think Sassicaia, Masseto, and Ornellaia wines), and Italian chef Chicca Maione teaches the secrets of classics such as handmade pasta puttanesca and tiramisÃ¹.
Bike trips are available in May and June, as well as August through October, but for the best in fitness and cuisine, join the cooking trips in September, when the foliage and flavors are at their peak.
If Tuscany is out of your immediate budget, get a taste of Italy with Hampsten's Extra Virgin Olive Oil Co.
, offering first-press oil imported from a certified organic family farm near Cinigiano. Order online or, if you live in Boulder, Hampsten might personally pedal an order to your door.
961 Sixth St., Boulder, 720-565-0346