Name: Jim Hoffman Age: 53
Family Stats: Married to Anne Polino (now, THAT’S Italian!!), daughter, Sarah
Education: BSBA, University of Illinois
First bicycle or bicycle memory you can recall: Riding my “Highway Patrol” tricycle, equipped with windshield, siren, and radio, all over the neighborhood.
Number of bikes owned / Model: Merlin Extralite w/S&S Couplings, Trek 5500, Hooker Elite Road bike, Hooker Elite Time Trial bike, Griffen track bike, Specialized Stumpjumper MTB, and Santana tandem w/ S&S couplings. Anne: Merlin Extralite w/S&S Couplings. Sarah: Cannondale R500 and Novara MTB
Number of years you have been an avid bicyclist: On and off for 50 years. Off years – 0 mles. Maximum year – 13,500 miles
Number of Ciclismo Classico tours: 4
Your favorite & Why: Following the Giro d’Italia. Wonderful rides and it was extraordinary to be amidst the excitement of all phases of the Giro, including a start, a finish and tops of three climbs. Way different than watching it on TV!! Hobbies: Beside cycling, Computers, Videography, Woodworking Favorite gelato flavor: Stracciatella Favorite pasta dish: Spinach Tortellini
Favorite Italian towns: Sienna, San Gimignano (best Gelato I ever had!), Voltera (sitting in the amphitheater), Val Gardena (beautiful Dolomites and starting point of some wickedly good climbing), Lago d'Orta (a gorgeous lake in the midst of stunning countryside, Celano (Anne’s father’s home town) Hey, I could go on and on here! Number of times you have been to Italy: 7
What keeps you coming back to Italy?: Riding, the people, natural beauty, sense of history, the art and architecture, the food and the wine. (The order changes from moment to moment!) How do you keep your love of Italy alive?: I love my 100% Italian wife and her 100% Italian parents… It’s easy.
Most memorable Ciclismo Classico trip moment/ story: During the 2001 Giro d’ Italia, we rode about 20 miles in pouring rain to get to the major passo on the days course. Upon reaching the top, about 15 of us all crammed into the Ciclismo van, changed into drier clothes, and watched the most exciting stage of the Giro unfold!
What do you look for in an active travel experience: 1. Location and activities. 2. A reliable company that has great guides and service. 3. Great accommodations. 4. Availability of appropriate terrain. When traveling with my family, it includes a mixture of rides we can do, together with some time for me to get away for a bit of training. When I travel alone, I prefer more challenging terrain with more miles.
What makes a Ciclismo Classico bicycling tour different?: The guides are the best I have encountered and each trip really gives the flavor of the region. What captivates you most about bicycle travel?: Ability to mix riding with sights, culture, and meeting people.
What do you think about when you bike?: When I am alone, I think about a lot, depending on what I am doing. Cruising along, I think about who may have come this way over the course of history and why. Going up a steep climb, it’s usually a combination on being in awe of the scenery and focusing on my pedal stroke and breathing!
What is your fantasy bicycle trip?: Start in Stockholm and ride in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands, Scotland, Ireland, England. This would e combined with some train, ferry and other segments! A year should do it!
Other curiosities and tales to tell about yourself: What, you can’t figure this out already?