May 4, 2000
Pedaling Through the Past
Rob Paperno chose wheels over meals
Since then he has developed bicycle tours of Tuscany, Italy, a region that has been a continuous home to Jews for 700 years; of Provence, where Jews have flourished since the time of the medieval popes; of the Czech Republic, where Rabbi Judah Loew of Prague created the Golem; and Mississippi, where Jews have been entrenched since the Civil War.
The series of innovative biking tours is developed by his Historical Cycling International, a recent entry in the growing field of Jewish-oriented travel services.
Each of the weeklong trips is limited to a dozen participants, accompanied by two experienced guides and a guest lecturer or historian. HCI provides 21-speed hybrid bicycles and a support van for each day's run, which varies from 15 to 40 miles. Participants of all cycling levels and abilities are welcome. Accommodations are in four- and five-star hotels, and meals are on a similarly high level, with emphasis on regional cooking.
HCI's tours for the rest of 2000 include the following: