It’s sometimes the simplest of things that turn into the next ‘big’ ideas. Sometimes it’s just a passing thought and sometimes it’s a true inspiration. In this case, it was just a bike trip.
In the summer of 2003 a group of friends and I decided to fly to France in July to see the Tour. What a great idea… to see the race as well as get a chance to ride many of the famous climbs in the Pyrenees. We rented a house at the foot of the Tourmalet, the race literally was on the doorstep. It was memorable for sure: watching the pros speed by, pedaling so seemingly effortlessly as they climbed the famous Pyrenean cols. And when we compared our ascent times to theirs, it always seemed to take us twice as long… and we had only climbed one or two passes that day. But more than just seeing the race, what made the trip profound was the feeling of being part of that small village, if even just for a week. Every morning before our ride, we’d head to the bakery, picking up a baguette and pain au chocolat directly out of the oven. We got to know the baker, just that little bit while making our visit part of our daily routine. Similarly, in the afternoon after another epic ride, a leisurely lunch, watching the Tour stage finish on TV and the requisite nap, we’d head out for a stroll through the surrounding fields and farmhouses. We’d say hello to passing locals and take in the aromas emanating out of the open kitchen windows as families prepared their evening meals. This wasn’t the France that I’d visited before: staying at tourist hotels in larger towns and following guidebooks’ advice on where to eat. This was something more honest, simpler and more real. It was the inspiration for In Situ Travel.
The name “In Situ” refers to something in its original place. Beyond offering some of the best cycling tours around, In Situ offers an authentic experience.
– Jace Gifford, founder, In Situ Travel
- What does “In Situ” mean? (insitutravel.com)
- Guest Question: “Do I have to be a really serious cyclist to go on one of your bike tours?” (insitutravel.com)
- Our Bike Tour in Provence: A Day in the Life (insitutravel.com)