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Iron Donkey Bicycle Touring References (2010-2011)

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Just wanted to thank you again for a wonderful trip experience. The attention to detail and organization from both you and Iron Donkey were first rate. Meeting us the first night, the bikes, arrival and departure consultations, the advance information and maps were all excellent.So thanks once again for helping us fashion such a wonderful trip. It is my goal to protect my resources and time for a self-guided trip every year. Should the next country/destination be one where Iron Donkey provides such a service, I will certainly look to explore that as a first option.
Steve Zlotowski
Connemara self-guided 2011

Highlights of the trip were the scenery in the rural areas of Sicily. Salemi was particularly breathtaking. Communicating with the locals fun and rewarding. Loved the food - fresh tomatoes, cheeses etc. Best meal of the trip was in Segesta at the hotel. All the accommodations were exceptional - clean, charming settings, easy to store gear and friendly staff... we are planning to do another cycle trip next year - looking at Ireland or Tuscany. If we do we'll be booking through Iron Donkey. I've already recommended your company to a number of people. The Sicily trip was well organized and seamless. Thanks again.
Rosemary Cloney Gaunt
Sicily West Coast, May 2011

I just want to say again what a great time we had and that we would happily do another trip with you. In fact after three days on the bikes we were actually thinking we would like to have done a few more...maybe we'll plan a longer trip next time!
Tom McCarthy and Evonne Luton
West Tuscany, October 2011

I just wanted to get a brief note off to you and thank you yet again for one of the best vacations we have ever had! We just loved the entire week, and loved meeting all the wonderful people that we did. We tried to think of our favorite moments from the week, and there were just so many. I suppose mine was careening down some of the hills in 65 degree weather with all  that gorgeous green and indignant looking sheep! We both loved the music jam sessions at Clifden with children of local families spontaneously getting up and dancing jigs; and all the lovely bed and breakfasts. Mainly we just loved the whole week with all the lovely people we met. You certainly made it possible for us to have this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Patricia Evans
Connemara self-guided 2011

Have just returned from Spain where I was on a cycle trip with Iron Donkey along with other members of Tullamore Cycling and Touring Club. This was the second trip on which we used Iron Donkey. (Tuscany last year) I would highly recommend anyone going on tour to check out what Iron Donkey offers. Just book it and they take care of all the rest and make it a most memorable trip … Thanks to all the staff at the company for making it a most memorable trip and we hope to hook up with you all in the years to come.
Bernard Doheny
Tullamore Cycling Club group tour - September 2011

Sicily was lovely. Extraordinary scenery, nice bikes and first class accomodation.
Ståle Grøtte and family
Sicily West Coast, October 2011

On behalf of all 3 of us I would like to thank you most sincerely for a wonderful tour-we enjoyed every minute. As I have come to expect, [this having been my 3rd Iron Donkey tour], the planning of the route, the maps and cue cards were faultless, the B&Bs were outstanding and the bikes were 1st class.
Pieter Combrinck
West of England, May 2011

I thought it was time to let you know that we have returned home safely after a thoroughly enjoyable holiday in Scotland!  Every arrangement went very smoothly - just as we expected.  The hotels were great and the bicycling was fabulous!  I don't know how you did it but the weather was great too! … Thank you again for your help - looking forward to next time!
Marg Treloar
Fife & the Borders, July 2011

Thanks for a great experience … I will recommend the Iron Donkey team to all those I know interested in touring … Hope to work with you in the future.
John Lee Fields
Causeway Coast, September 2011

The bikes were fine; the food was terrific; our guide, Norbert was superb; and we had the added bonus of being in Italy during the pressing of the just-harvested olives.  Sampling the new-season extra-virgin olive oil was an added treat which was the icing on the cake, so to speak.  And we very much appreciate your arranging very pleasant weather for biking.  I know I speak for the group in saying that we hope we can bike in Italy with Iron Donkey again soon.
Ron Mandle
Group guided tour of Umbria October 2011

We loved the trip.  It was certainly the highlight of our month in Italy, and I am already starting my training for the next trip.  Iron Donkey lived up to its part of the bargain: you provided us with a great route, excellent accommodations, and a chance to see Italy at its best.  We thank you for that.
Steve and Becca Constantine
Tuscany extended, May 2011

Northern Ireland was certainly a bit hit with us! We were bowled over by the beautiful scenery, by the friendliness of the people and by just how unspoiled the countryside is!  The trip went way beyond our hopes and expectations!
Brian and Ros Bennett
Mournes, June 2011

Thank you, thank Tony, thank you Giovanni, thank you Iron Donkey for facilitating a most wonderful trip!  The biking was great, the directions excellent, and the accommodations excellent!
And we deeply enjoyed the Umbrian life, the cuisine, the wine and the gorgeous and astounding art that we saw in the wonderful towns on our itinerary.  We feel really great about the trip you arranged for us, and we will highly recommend Iron Donkey to our biking friends.
Steve and Linda Weintraub
Extended tour of Umbria, June 2011

Well, we had a fabulous tour!! I wanted to give you some feedback. I don't know if you usually ask for feedback from your clients or if that is an American thing. It was great and we are already talking about our next one. Really, really fun! We are super proud of ourselves for how well we did and are planning on regular, longer rides here at home. It was a real confidence booster!
Michele and Chuck Bombardier
Wessex, September 2011

We had a great time. The food was great we had wonderful places to stay. Sicily bonuses: Greek ruins, wildflowers, Zingaro Park, Scopello, Ficuzza, QUIET roads, unbelieveably great food (even better than other regions, I think!)
Kristine Bretall
Sicily Western Highlights, May 2011

I wanted to let you know that Jarlath and I enjoyed our bicycle trip very much.  The bicycles, routes, and lodging were all great … The route notes were very easy to follow; the recommendations for attractions and restaurants were excellent and appreciated. We would definitely recommend the trip to others, and would take an Iron Donkey tour again.
Barbara Fleck and Jarlath Mcentee
Siena, May 2011

Edinburgh must be one of my all time favorite cities – it was the perfect place to end our bike tour. The routes through the Borders were wonderful – how did you manage to find all those tiny country roads?  We would love to come back and do the rides to the north of Edinburgh next – we have heard that St Andrews is   a great place to visit!
Tom and Marilyn Morrison
Self-Guided Borders September 2011

Thank you so much for a great bike, scenery, weather, hospitality, accommodation and group! Your dedication to the group is very much acknowledged. Thank you again – now I am thinking when I can return to Ireland.
M Corkery
Connemara guided 2011

Thank you for making our trip to Ireland absolutely perfect! We could not have asked for a more attentive, patient, & knowledgeable guide. You & Iron Donkey are the BEST! Good luck and we will spread the word to all our bike-fiend friends.
Lisa and Bob Harbin
Connemara guided 2011

Our group had a wonderful tour of Umbria. Some of us having been lucky enough to enjoy cycling tours in various countries including France, Ireland, Austria, Germany, New Zealand, Spain and Great Britain in recent years (some using tour companies but all self-guided) and we rate this trip as up there with the best of them.
With regard to the routes - they were all excellent. Being so hot we were grateful for plenty of flat riding but we also enjoyed the hill challenges with such spectacular views at the top. We will never forget Assisi, Montefalco, Trevi ........  
All in all - a wonderful trip. And to answer your question - yes your web site, the initial meeting in Sansepolcro, booking procedures and prompt responses were all top notch!! And yes we would recommend Iron Donkey.
Di Foster group
Group tour of Umbria, September 2011

We had a wonderful time.  Biking was great and scenery was beautiful.  All of the accommodations were good. No complaints. :)  The bikes worked out just fine.
JJ Spoon
Kerry self-guided 2011

We were so impressed with Iron Donkey!  The route sheets were detailed and accurate for the most part (a couple of recent changes in road conditions threw us, but that's to be expected - I left a paper note about that in the rear gear bag when I returned it).  The accommodations were top notch - much better than we could have booked ourselves - and the breakfasts ... so wonderful.  I only wish Art would offer me double cappuccinos in the morning now that we're home.  The routes were excellent - keeping off the main roads as much as possible and taking us through beautiful countryside.  The support from ID was excellent too… So I have nothing but good to say about Iron Donkey… we hope to join the Donkey again in the future!
Barbara Davis and Art Shuster
Siena, May 2011

All went well with the tour – we avoided the rain most of the week and had glorious weather on Sunday. The cycling was great and we enjoyed the area. The directions were easy to follow and the maps proved to be very helpful when we missed the odd turn. Thanks again - all in all it was a great trip and I’m trying to convince my wife to do another trip next year.
Paul Walmsley (Alberta, Canada)
Cotswolds, June 2011

We will definitely go with "the donkey" for our next biking vacation. The hotels were very nice, the scenery was fantastic and we were very pleased with the experience. (I'm not going to lie, though. Our next trip has to be a little more in the "geezer" range ... The Picos kicked our middle-age asses!)
Again, thanks so much. You folks have a wonderful company and you will hear from us again!
Nicole and Dan Neal
Costa Verde & Picos, May 2011

A very belated note - to say a big thank you for a fabulous week. We had a really special time.  The routes you mapped out for us were perfect - beautiful scenery, and quiet roads.  The accommodation was exceptional - we were always given the warmest of welcomes. Without exception the locals that we met were some of the loveliest people I've come across on my travels.  All in all a perfect week away …….. we'll definitely be back for more.
Pip Middleton
Connemara self-guided 2011

We had a great time on the Umbria trip and hope to do another trip next summer...maybe Ireland. I thought it was a wonderful way to see the country and experience the culture and people.
Dave and Nancy Magaret
Umbria extended, September 2011

The trip was great, we wish we had made it a 2 week trip instead … thanks again for a great trip and we will use you again if we do another one!
Brian Bush & Shirley Belleville
Siena, October 2011

Sicily is absolutely stunning, and the eight days provided an exquisite array of different landscapes, towns, history and adventure! The cycling was wonderful, the transfers worry free, the bikes perfect for the terrain. It was a time not to be soon forgotten. Loved it. Thank you for the super experience!!
Diana Hanrahan
Sicily West Coast, October 2011

The arrangements by Iron Donkey were excellent.  It was such a nice way to travel and not have to worry about the next hotel or even the plan for day of biking.  The hotels were as expected and were most accommodating, and because they had bikers like our group before, they were prepared for us.  Our guides, Giovanni and Norbert were excellent …We are looking forward to working with you and Tony again in the future.
Terri Stoner
Customised group (of 15) tour of Tuscany & Umbria, October 2011

We wanted to thank you for your part in our wonderful vacation to Ireland. We appreciated your thoroughness in our preparations, your choices in accommodations, and your flexibility. We will certainly recommend you to any we meet who seek to bike in Ireland.
J. Pudlo and family
Clare and the Burren self-guided, customised 2011

The tour was wonderful.  It had been my dream to do an unsupported bike trip with my family.  The route was well thought out and matched what we had requested.  The maps were very detailed and the restaurant info etc was all very useful and well thought out.  
Bogin family
Siena, June 2011

Just wanted to get back to you after our trip. It was very well organized and we had a fabulous cycling experience in Umbria … Thanks for all. Hope you are doing well and I am recommending your outfit to friends.
Ciao Gomez family
Umbria, June 2011

The Tuscany route that Iron Donkey planned was fantastic.  Your brochure mentioned that if you only take one trip to Italy this was the one to take and you were completely right.   The route was beautiful, the Italians so friendly and helpful.   [We had the hills to climb which we love.]   The food and wine was fantastic and different from what we can get from home.  It really was my favorite cycling trip… of the companies that I have travelled with before your bicycles were by far the best in that they were very well maintained and tuned up.
Janie Toth & Colin Campbell
Siena, June 2011

Thank you again for a fabulous time!  You were absolutely wonderful!!!
T. Paces
Customised luxury guided trip Burren and Connemara Sept 2011

I just had to write and thank you once again for the most spectacular experience of my life.  I know we all had a fabulous time and also recognize that is was a success because of your expertise in coordinating and selecting the sites and accommodations.   Take care and God bless you.”
C. Gonzales
Customised luxury guided trip Burren and Connemara Sept 2011

We absolutely loved our Tour of Ireland. What a great experience. I don't think we could have found our way around the country without Iron Donkey. Thanks for putting together our maps and tour.
Greg Giles
Self-guided customised 31day trip Connemara, Clare & Burren, Kerry 2011

We had a great time.  We loved all the rides.  My personal favorite was the short ride on the layover day … we would like to thank you and your staff for facilitating our dream of cycling in Tuscany.  It was a great experience and we will certainly consider using your services again. 
Debbie and George Grable
Siena, October 2011

Thanks for all of your help. We had a terrific trip. Your directions from Galway to Oughterard to Rossaveal were very good. The weather was ideal. .... We will definitely be calling you to help plan our next bike trip.
Tod family
Connemara self-guided customised 2011

Thank you so very much. Mark and had a wonderful time. The bikes were just perfect and your directions were excellent. We didn't get lost at all. Our only regret is that the trip was not longer. Thank you again for all your help. We hope to return again soon.
Deborah and Mark Read-King
Connemara self-guided customised 2011

Hope this finds you doing well.  The recent Tuscany trip was truly a dream trip, and one with many fond memories.  Both Giovanni and Norbert were a pleasure to have onboard, great guidance, support and went well above and beyond with the walking city tours. The hotels were great, and the dinners nothing less than amazing ....  All in all, it was a wonderful experience and I have been singing the praises of Iron Donkey for the last 3 years...looking forward to the next journey!
Jessica Libby
Customised group (of 15) tour of Tuscany & Umbria, October 2011

We were most impressed with the quality of the guides. They were extremely knowledgeable about not only the history of the towns and surrounding area but of wines, food, and bikes. Their humor and friendliness only added to their "appeal"… We will definitely consider going with your company again on another bike vacation. I believe next time we will try one of the self-guided trips.
Nancy and Hunter Stall
Group guided tour of Tuscany & Umbria, September 2011

The trip turned out wonderfully, thank you! Everyone seemed very pleased with it. The towns chosen all turned out to be interesting and beautiful - so we are ready to do it all over again! I liked that the accommodation was convenient and right in the centre of all the towns and was of the standard, or even a little better than I expected. The bikes were in good condition and well maintained - and in fact the geometry was so good for me, I didn't get any of the aches and pains that I usually get on long days.
Leonie Peterson
Customised Group Extended tour of Tuscany & Umbria, May 2011

Thanks once again for a wonderful trip in Italy this spring! … There has not been a day that has gone by that we have not thought about this wonderful travel experience. It’s been a pleasure to recommend your company to friends since our trip. We are dreaming of another trip and would not hesitate to “travel” with Iron Donkey again!
Jerry and Marilee Tande
Tuscany & Umbria, May 2011

Tricia and I completed our trip to Spain and just wanted to tell you everything went very well … I would definitely recommend Iron Donkey to friends. Thanks again for all of your help. 
John Zivic
Costa Verde & Picos, September 2011

We had a MARVELOUS bike trip! Icouldn't let time go by without telling you and Iron Donkey what a great time we had. All your staff are great, we especially appreciate Giovanni and his professional help during the trip … you probably have not seen the last of us!  
Annet Detwiler
Extended tour of Tuscany, September 2011

We really enjoyed the scenery and the small towns. This was such a great trip for us I don't know how we'll ever top it.
M & C Bausch, R & T Estabrook
Connemara guided 2011

Our bicycling trip has been wonderful. You did a great job and we appreciate your very diligent support. I'll thank you for all that you did for us.
Fran & Ted O'Connell
Connemara guided 2011

We really enjoyed the scenery and the small towns. This was such a great trip for us I don't know how we'll ever top it.
M & C Bausch, R & T Estabrook
Connemara guided 2011

Thank you for a great trip. This was my first cycling trip and I couldn't have been happier with the experience! You're great at your job!
Jackie
Connemara guided 2011

I just wanted to write and thank each of you for all you did to make our cycling tour of Umbria, without doubt, the best holiday I have ever had. The itinerary that Tony put together for us was perfect. We really enjoyed being able to stay for more than one night in a couple of places and do loop rides as we had the chance to really look around those towns and make the most of our lovely accommodation (of such a high quality that we felt luxuriously indulged). Sheelagh's patience and helpfulness in helping us organise dates to suit flights and dealing with payments from three separate individuals was really appreciated and, of course, Giovanni's friendly support whenever we needed it was incredibly reassuring. (Plus he gets extra stars for making one of his first duties to take us to his friend's award-winning gelateria ... just what we needed after a day of travelling mishaps and calamaties!) The cycling, dining, entertainments and relaxation experiences all exceeded our hopes and expectations so I just wanted to write and thank you all, on behalf of Robyn and Jo, for all you did to make our trip so remarkable. If anyone we know ever talks about a cycling holiday, I know that each of us will be saying 'Iron Donkey' before they can go any further.
Alison Earls, Australia
Custom goup tour Umbria, Sept 2010

Wilma, thank you so much! Our short "Ireland adventure" could not have been more enjoyable. Everything perfect!! Well done and hope to see you again in the not too distant future.
Michael and Denise Marchesani
Connemara self-guided customised 2010

Just want to say a big thank you for the trip the 8 of us just took in September.
All went just as you had planned and your personal attention and support was greatly appreciated.
This was our 3rd trip with Iron Donkey and once again with had a great time.
I know that anyone of us would have no hesitation recommending your services to anyone looking to cycle in Europe.
Keith Rodger, Ontario
Cotswolds self-guided 2010

I must say it was some of the most beautiful scenery we have ever seen in Italy. Giovanni was great and the cue sheets were essentially perfect. The rooms at all the stops were very nice and we were more than happy with their location and quality. Restaurant recommendations were terrific. The rental bikes were very well maintained and performed without any problems whatsoever. Iron Donkey continues to impress us and we will most definitely be return customers yet again!
Bob and Debra Edmond, USA
Self-guided tour Le Marche Umbria Oct 2010

Andrew and I have returned to New York as of yesterday. I just wanted to thank you for an absolutely wonderful touring experience. All of the routes were extremely beautiful and the accommodations welcoming and comfortable. Thank you so much for all of your assistance in arranging the trip.
Nishi and Andrew Shah
Yeat's Country 2010

Wilma - Thank you for a fabulous week of cycling. The weather, lodging, meals (especially tea shops!) were great. We loved visiting all the different locations. Thanks for all your assistance on the routes and your "TLC". We had a fantastic week!
Peggy, Katie and Rose Leander
Clare and the Burren guided 2010

I just wanted to let you know that we really enjoyed our 2 days of biking around Bath. The 2 routes that you suggested combined very well to give us a real variety. We spent Sunday riding along the canal to Devizes and then back by your road route - and it was a great ride
Maureen Hole, Vancouver
Custom around Bath 2010

You helped us to a wonderful week full of new impressions, delightful meetings with people, relaxing and strengthening at the same time. Thank you!
Anne and Dierk Laue, Norway
Wessex self-guided 2010

Wilma - We're still dreaming of the green hills and dales of Ireland. Thank you so much for taking such good care of us. It was a fantastic trip all around.
Grist Family
Connemara guided 2010

11 persons biked in Tuscany from Siena via Montalcino, Montepulciano, Monte San Savino to Cortona. We had a wine courses in Montepulciano, and cookery courses in Cortona. We can recommend both. We are all very pleased with the trip. Selections of roads were good, through the beautiful landscape. We liked the hotels, especially the hotel in Montalcino.
Tore Jo Nilsen, Norway
Custom group tour Tuscany, Sept 2010

We have safely returned from a wonderful ride!! Iron Donkey made everything perfect, thank you. Everyone we worked with helped greatly. Giovanni did a super job as well. We hope to see you next year in Tuscany!
Annette and Jim Detwiler, USA
Self-guided Umbria Sept 2010

Wilma, I am not sure that I can put together all the right words to express how thankful I am that you've just given me one of the very best weeks of my life. I truly appreciate your patience & devotion.... Many, many thanks!
C Bishop
Connemara guided 2010

We departed Dublin yesterday and are all getting readjusted to life at home. We had a wonderful trip. It was a spectacular ride, especially the downhills! It really was an unforgettable trip, and we are already thinking about where we will go next.
Hartlein family
Connemara self-guided 2010

Jim and I had a fantastic time on our Wessex bike tour... Thank you very much, Ian, for helping us, for ironing out any problems that arose, and for your advice. We had a blast!
Kevin Lee, Wisconsin
Wessex self-guided 2010

What a wonderful trip Penny and I had thanks to you! The weather may have had a small part to play as well. It was really everything we expected and more. The accommodations were perfect and the food wonderful. Great cycling and great companions to cycle with!
Bill and Penny Baxter
Kerry guided 2010

Thanks again for putting together such an unforgettable bike tour for the two of us. We both agree that it was the perfect way for us to spend our honeymoon…The maps were easy to follow and the routes were clearly well planned. We were able to enjoy the beautiful countryside and history without having to worry about vehicle traffic. The roads were quiet enough that we could ride side by side most of the way….The B&B's were well picked. They were very clean, comfortable, and the owners were very welcoming and informative.
Scott and Marnel Hess, Vancouver
Wessex self-guided 2010

Wilma, we had a wonderful trip! We appreciate your knowledge & patience. You made the whole trip at ease and worry free. It was great knowing that you were always there for us.
Kristy, Bobbie, & Anita
Connemara guided 2010

We have all arrived back in Ireland safe and sound after a very memorable trip. On behalf of the group I would like to thank you and your staff for all you did for us - it was not a just a holiday but great experience. I would specially like to mention Giovanni who pulled out all the stops to make it so perfect. I will have no problem recommending your company to other clubs and would certainly use your services again.
Bernard Doheny, Tullamore Cycle Touring Club, Ireland
Custom Group Tour Tuscany Sept 2010

We are now back in Killarney. We took 90% of the routes you suggested. And there was enough climbing for us. Two epic climbs will be that over the Coomanaspic Pass and over the Ballaghisheen Pass. I wish I would have had time to do them again. Maybe that means I'll have to come back I guess. Didn't have any problems with the bikes, not even a flat.
Lance Hafer
Southwest Ireland self-guided, customised 2010

We want to thank you again for the wonderful experience you most ably provided for us. We were extremely happy with all the arrangements, the challenges, the food, and your companionship.
Nancy and Lee Skinner
Kerry Guided Tour 2010

Wilma! Hope you are having a good rest of the summer. We really enjoyed our ride through the West of Ireland, the people and the guest houses we stayed in. Thanks for all your hard work.
Brooke Butler
Connemara self-guided 2010

You've probably guessed (correctly) that we had a smooth and emergency-free week on the bikes. The trip was a great success. The countryside was gorgeous. Something about Ireland just glows - even when the skies are grey, the light is beautiful. We only needed our raingear for one brief ride on Aran Island. The accommodations, bikes/gear and routes were all fine. We especially enjoyed our sweet attic rooms and kind hostesses at Sea Mist and Boulevard. I'd definitely recommend self guided bike tours and Iron Donkey. I hope we can do another one before too long. Thank you for all you did to make our trip a good one.
Robin and Alison Wendler
Connemara self-guided 2010

Just a note to say thanks so much for all your efforts to make our bike tour so great. It was planned perfectly: hotels, routes, itinerary. We loved each of the hotels and it was great to finish at Ballynahinch for 2 nights.
Rita Lucido
Connemara self-guided customised 2010

Hi Tony and Wilma! We had a superb time, possibly the best time of our lives!! The cycling was much safer than we expected even. The Irish are so used to narrow roads that they seem to treat cyclists as well as other cars, or better. We were never squeezed off the roads or honked at.
McGoff-Hayes
Southwest Ireland self-guided customised 2010

I just wanted to express our thanks to you for organizing a great tour for us, especially on such short notice. We really enjoyed it.
Nautiyal
Burren and Connemara self-guided customised 2010

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