The year was 1974 and at 11 year-old Ron van Dijk was already blazing new trails and guiding small group cycle tours in Europe. His family company, Euro-Bike (acquired by Austin Adventures in 2008) was the first U.S. cycle tour company to venture overseas and lead active bike trips for Americans in Europe.
Next year, Austin Adventures (http://www.austinadventures.com/) comes full circle by reinstating four original European cycle tours back into its lineup for 2016, each to be hosted and led by van Dijk, assisted by an assortment of veteran guides.
“We seemed to get away from our classic cycle touring roots in Europe over the past few years as we focused on developing multisport programs overseas,” explains Dan Austin, founder and president of Austin Adventures. “But the demand for pure bike-only tours remained strong and thanks to our vocal alumni riders we decided to bring them back next year with a special twist— with Ron as the celebrity host and guide.”
The tradition will continue in the summer of 2016 when van Dijk, celebrating his 42nd anniversary of guiding bike tours, will, along with his son Dennis, daughter Mirjam and two veteran guides, pedal alongside guests on special routes designed by his team.
Austin Adventures is hosting a free Webinar at 3 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, to explore the topic of “Bringing Back the Bike” with Ron van Dijk. Also presenting will be Austin Adventures’ founder Dan Austin. The public is invited to attend.Follow this link for more information and registration: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/52875884882956034
The new cycle tours for 2016 are:
DENMARK | DANISH ISLES: June 12-18 and July 17-23 departures are led van Dijk and Tom Litjens, who has guided with Ron since 1990. The lore of Vikings and long-dead kings blends with Scandinavian sophistication when it comes to food and style. Then there’s always the trademark Danish hospitality. Says van Dijk: “The terrain is flat, it's easy, with lots of islands and pretty coastal scenery and a fantastic biking infrastructure. And let's not forget the contagiously happy Danish population!” The per person double rate is from $3,398 ($780 single supplement). See: http://www.austinadventures.com/packages/denmark-danish-isles/
HOLLAND/BELGIUM | BRUSSELS TO BRUGES & GENT: June 19-24 and Aug. 7-12 are led by Ron and his accomplished daughter, Mirjam van Dijk. From fields of tulips to the towers of Bruges, guests pedal through the simplicity and grandeur of Flanders, exploring the hidden gems of Holland and Belgium including, “the best beer in the world.” The per person double rate to be announced. See: http://www.austinadventures.com/packages/hollandbelgium-brussels-gent/
FRANCE | BURGUNDY: June 5-10 and Aug. 28-Sept. 2 departures are led by Ron and Désirée Janssen who has guided in Europe since 1988. Guests explore picturesque villages, lush, world-famous wine producing vineyards, ancient castles, fields of lavender and gourmet cuisine (think escargot). The per person double rate to be announced. See: http://www.austinadventures.com/packages/france-burgundy/
AUSTRIA/CZECH REPUBLIC | VIENNA TO PRAGUE: June 26-July 2 and Sept. 4-10 departures are led by Ron and his son Dennis. Award-winning wine and cuisine are part of this all-inclusive journey-of-the-senses in the land of celebrated Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs and Michelin-starred restaurants. Oh, and there’s also accommodation at a chateaux. Says van Dijk, “Vienna to Prague offers a perfect blend of history, culture and nature. Be sure to add a few days before and after the trip to explore these great cities.” The per person double rate is from $3,398 ($780 single supplement). See: http://www.austinadventures.com/packages/austriaczech-republic-vienna-prague/
About Ron van Dijk
Born in Holland, Ron van Dijk developed and led bike tours in Europe since 1974. Ron’s love and passion for cycling is unmatched in the adventure travel industry. Currently he is Austin Adventures’ European Operations Director. Ron is an encyclopedia on Europe and speaks five languages fluently. Although he holds an advanced degree economics, he wishes he had followed his true passion – history. What’s new in Ron van Dijk’s world since he started guided bicycle tours? “The electric bike is a recent game changer, as this opens up more challenging destinations where you otherwise might not have gone, and adds at least 10 years to your cycling life. Europeans have embraced cycling even more than they already did before. And let's be honest that it is and will always be something really special to ride into a small town that has been there for centuries, on ancient streets and stopping in a café for a cappuccino with the locals... something truly authentic.”