From the day I heard “how would you like to go on a bicycle cruise with Santana Adventures to Croatia, Montenegro, and Slovenia” it’s all been a blur.
I found a map, booked a flight, packed 110 lbs of bike and gear, and flew to Dubrovnik, Croatia! Every day was filled with great history, scenery, exercise, great meals and a very good night’s sleep.
We sailed on a quaint, newly remodeled ship with cabins for up to 198 passengers, a cozy dining room and lounge, and an enthusiastic and caring staff that had a smile for everyone. Most nights we set sail into the sunset, sipping cocktails on the top deck.
At 8 every morning, many of the staff lined the stairs from the top deck to the land ramp, and carefully passed every bicycle (many were tandems) down to us for our ride. Upon return, they handed them all back up again, safely arranging them for the following day’s adventure. When my bike came to the stairs, they always joked “here comes the heavy one!” (They did mean the bike, right???)
Out on the road, Santana owners, Jan and Bill, introduced us to award winning olive and truffle oils and wines. Not only did we meet the families who produced these wonders, they showed us 400 year old olive trees, took us on a truffle hunt and then served it on fresh pasta…and we even stomped grapes!
I met new friends that will be life long and we are already planing new trips. Many have e-mailed to say hi, called to place orders, or just share a story. As you can imagine, photos are quite abundant too.
Possibly what surprised me the most was the outpouring of attention toward Terry jerseys, cycling bottoms and saddles. One evening while motoring up the Adriatic Sea, we had a dining room fashion show, and I always seemed to have folks knocking at my door, looking to try on new products. While riding the historic roads, we chatted about chamois options and saddles. I was truly humbled and touched by the enthusiasm toward our products.
Last, but not least, I loved the Santana Crew and Santana Dealers! Bill and Jan can plan anything (and everything) and still have the time and energy to jump on a bike and ride. Gene covers Garmin usage and lots of great photos; Ben, Andy and Wolfgang keep an eye on our road needs; Robert is the king of cuisine; Leland and Larry keep the bikes rolling very well; and Joy…thank you for every smile, rocking the Terry, and toasting a Bellini at Harry’s Bar!
Many of you know Lisa Wilkes by name — she’s our secret weapon when it comes to customers, events, cycling activism and new product ideas. Lisa has been a key member of the Terry staff since the company moved to Vermont in 2010. Whether it’s saddle advice, figuring out which pair of shorts will work best, forwarding requests for new product development or advising what to take on an exotic bike trip, she runs the show when it comes to great customer service. On behalf of Lisa and all of us at Terry, we’d like to thank all the passengers on this trip for taking the trip and trying out the 2018 new products. Everybody rocked it!
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What an amazing journey, it looks like a trip of a life time!