If your New Year resolutions include going beyond your usual commute and weekend cycle routes, there are plenty of options in Europe to test you, including races, climbs and mountain bike treks – plus guided tours and bike-friendly B&Bs
Pleasure cycling, Italy
If 5,000m of climbing sounds a bit much amid the post-Christmas fug, US company Ciclismo Classico offers high-end tours with an emphasis on enjoyment as well as slog. While the tours are mainly in Italy, the company also covers France, Ireland, Belgium, and even the Rockies in the US. The difficulty levels range from easy – no more than 35 flat miles a day – to advanced, with the option of family tours. To make life easier still, rental bikes are included in the price of every holiday (Italian-made Bianchi ones, of course). You can even request a tandem. If the enjoyment aspect of the trip wasn’t obvious enough, rides are sometimes arranged to take in museum trips and wine tastings. The accommodation and food are top-level – and this is reflected in the prices.
• From £2,300pp (for a week in Tuscany), including four- or five-star accommodation, most meals, bikes, guided riding, some activities and transfers, flights extra, +1 781 646 3377