Surprise Grand Slam Prize: A Cycling Trip to Italy with InGamba

12.23.2013 | 7:59 am

I try to be a good person. I do. I really, really do. 

But sometimes I am overcome with jealousy.

Like, right this very second for example.

Because I am about to reveal to you that in addition to the five dream bikes being given away in the Grand Slam for Zambia: The Power of Five, I’ve got a little surprise up my sleeve:

NewImageAn all-expense-paid cycling trip to Italy, April 13 – 20, courtesy of InGamba.

Yeah. Really.

You’ll be riding in the Chianti region of Tuscany, an area known as one of the best places anywhere to ride a bike. Chianti also happens to be the epicenter of the food and wine world. And João Correia knows both the food and riding in that area as well as a person can.

InGambaWomensWeek 5

We’ll cover your airfare (up to $1200), and inGamba will cover your expenses while you’re there (though you should probably bring some money for tipping).


The InGamba Difference

There’s a good reason that Bicycling Magazine called the inGamba experience “The best ride on earth.” João Correia’s goal is to create moments you will never forget by sharing his favorite places, people and passions in a way that other touring companies simply can’t.

Each inGamba destination is a place he is deeply connected to: the Portugal of his youth, the Italian countryside where he lived and trained as a professional cyclist, and the immesurable beauty of northern California where he currently reside. Because of my history and relationships in these places, I’m able to craft an experience that takes you beyond the guidebooks and into the heart of a place.

Pro Style

João says, “As a pro I came to appreciate the things that were associated with that particular lifestyle; the best bikes, amazing kit, great roads and of course a full-time mechanic and soigenur to ensure that body and bike are both running smoothly. I bring these things to each and every inGamba trip, sweating even the tiniest of details to ensure that guests are treated—at least for a week—like a world-class professional. This attention to detail extends into everything we do, from the customized rain bags each guest receives upon arrival, to name decals on the top tubes, pre-programmed Garmins and homemade ride food that will be waiting for you every morning in your own musette.”


Eat, Drink, Ride

Whether you’re meeting revolutionary winemakers, enjoying a private tasting in the kitchen of a world-famous Siennese baker, pedaling alongside a visiting pro, spending the evening with an enigmatic philosopher-shoemaker or having a laugh around the long dining table at the Borgolecchi B&B, every day will bring new surprises, incredible riding, top-notch dining and, of course, great wine.


InGamba keeps trips small and they take great pride in creating the perfect mix of guests to ensure a memorable week. They’re as interested in the quality of dinner conversation as they are about the outcome of the sprint to the city limits sign. At the end of the week they want your mind to be as inspired and relaxed as your legs are tired—and they believe that the careful combination of those three sensations can lead to some of life’s greatest moments. 

InGamba: A Huge Supporter of World Bicycle Relief

Here’s something you may not know: for every person who comes on one of their trips, InGamba donates $134 — the cost of a Buffalo Bike — to World Bicycle Relief

InGamba has donated about $20,000 this year, collected from friends of InGamba, travelers and matching that InGamba does on top of that. They are aiming for $25,000 by the end of this year. 

Here’s what João has to say about why InGamba is donating this incredible trip:

Bikes change people’s lives.  For some of us it was a tool to make a living, for others a way to loose a little extra weight or simply blow off some stress.  But yet for a different group of people it’s a way to get around, that allows you to get to a job or school.  It can be that little push you need to get over the poverty line and make a difference for you family.  At inGamba we believe in bikes.  We also believe in making a difference and making sure its part of what we do.  Although our trips are about great food, wine and riding bikes our inspiration as a business is to make peoples lives better.  It can be one of our guests or it can be a young person in Africa whom we’ll never meet but along with our guests we will affect with our contribution that gives them the ability to get from point A to point B easier and therefore transform their lives.  Join the cause and make a difference.

Seriously, how could you not love a company that believes in bikes so whole-heartedly?

Let’s Recap, Shall We?

So, just to sum up, here are the prizes that are going to be given away as part of the Grand Slam for Zambia: The Power of 5

And bear in mind, that all of these bikes are absolutely loaded to the max with your pick of top-end SRAM parts. 

Look at that list again. Seriously, take a good hard look at it, and ask yourself if you have ever seen a cycling-oriented prize list that is its equal. 

Or even one that comes kind of close. 

[Hint: The answer is, “No.”]

Further, remember that even though you probably won’t win any of these prizes, your money is still going straight to World Bicycle Relief, where it’s making an instant, massive difference in people’s lives. 

Every multiple of $5 gets you a row on the magic spreadsheet from which winners are chosen. And if you donate $134 (the cost of a WBR bike), you get a bonus 5 chances. 

So please, go donate. And good luck!


  1. Comment by Davidh-Marin,ca | 12.23.2013 | 9:26 am

    You had me at World class……baker….!!!!!!!!

    You make it incredibly hard to say no to you!

  2. Comment by Katie | 12.23.2013 | 9:38 am

    I’m not about to quit my day job but if there was ever a prize that had me consider it for a second, this is it!! AMAZING!!!

  3. Comment by rich | 12.23.2013 | 9:41 am

    this contest continues to become more and more incredible every day…and even if I don’t win….WBR does…it’s all good!

  4. Comment by Dave T | 12.23.2013 | 9:48 am

    Nice that’s my kind of triathlon, bike eat drink. As if 5 killer bikes is not enough. Well played fatty.

  5. Comment by Christina | 12.23.2013 | 9:49 am

    Holy crap.

    I think I have other words, but they don’t make sense from all the “I WANT THAT!” yelling going on in my head right now.

  6. Comment by Kel | 12.23.2013 | 9:59 am

    We mailed our donation in on Friday. thanks!

  7. Comment by Jeff Bike | 12.23.2013 | 10:18 am

    My loving wife went to Italy on a business trip a few years ago. She was due to return 9-12-01 so to say the least she spent an extra few days, but that is another story. She has been eager to return and take me this time. She says I have to see it, to ride it. It just so happens that Tuscany was and is her favorite area. Also by coincidence a really nice Chianti reserve is my favorite wine for dinner. So I have lots of reasons to go on this trip as someone who will really appreciate it. I’m sure others would also, but I really NEED to take the wife to Tuscany (read between the lines here). The both of us as cyclist we would fit right in. Heck you might even save the return airfare. I’m not sure she will come back after she gets there.

  8. Comment by Wife# Ho-Ho-Ho | 12.23.2013 | 10:48 am

    So when we saw the hint of this on Twitter last night, we rushed off to donate another bike. Now to see the actual trip dates this morning…let me just say that mid-April works perfectly to celebrate my birthday, David’s birthday and our wedding anniversary! I know, right?! :-)

    Yeah, I know odds unlikely to favor us but oh heck will much fun be had just fantasizing about it!

    Spero di straordinaria fortuna!

  9. Comment by George | 12.23.2013 | 10:52 am

    Eccellente! Che bella gita in bicicletta!

  10. Comment by Wife# Ho-Ho-Ho | 12.23.2013 | 11:04 am

    Impressionante! Gli amici di grassi hanno donato più di novantamila dollari!

  11. Comment by Uncle Rico | 12.23.2013 | 11:54 am

    Wife# Ho-Ho-Ho and George – Come hai imparato a parlare Italiano? Questa regione e la parte piu bella d’Italia.

  12. Comment by Davidh-Marin,ca | 12.23.2013 | 11:58 am

    Help me out here Fatties. Is wife #une suggesting I forgo that shiny bauble at Tiffany’s and just send the money to WBR. It would sure be easy to wrap.

    And I need unbiased opinions so Elden and Katie are out!

  13. Comment by Davidh-Marin,ca | 12.23.2013 | 12:01 pm

    @Uncle Rico. I believe both my wife and George come from the Googlie region.

  14. Comment by Davidh-Marin,ca | 12.23.2013 | 12:13 pm


  15. Comment by Bykjunkie | 12.23.2013 | 12:52 pm

    Wow what a prize!
    Define irony- we moved to Italy four months ago. No worries! I’ll make the drive and ride around with the winner!!
    To the winner- the pastries are phenomenal! I mean phenomenal!

  16. Comment by Wife# Ho-Ho-Ho | 12.23.2013 | 2:26 pm

    @David aka Honey….


  17. Comment by Christina | 12.23.2013 | 3:01 pm

    I just gained weight looking at that pastry picture.

  18. Comment by Davidh-Marin,ca | 12.23.2013 | 3:30 pm

    @Ho Ho Honey. Not so sure I would call that an unbiased opinion.

  19. Comment by Cyclingjimbo | 12.23.2013 | 7:29 pm

    Wow. This just kee

  20. Comment by Cyclingjimbo | 12.23.2013 | 7:34 pm

    keeps on getting better ( stupid IPhone keyboard). Fatty, you continually amaze us with what you are able to seemingly pull out of thin air.

    I may need to dip into next year’s budget. I am so in!

  21. Comment by Cyclingjimbo | 12.23.2013 | 7:36 pm

    or stupid iPhone keyboard user – remember I told you earlier that I can’t type, and here’s more evidence for you.

    Great contest. Great cause.

  22. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 12.23.2013 | 10:16 pm

    @Cycling Jimbo: no one expects you to be an ace iphone typist while your driving.

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  24. Comment by Joao Correia | 12.27.2013 | 10:53 am

    Great to read all the amazing comments and everybody at inGamba is happy that the prize was well received. We’re honored to donate one bike to World Bicycle Relief for every guest that joins us on a trip and honored that Fatty welcomed our Grand Prize with gusto. On behalf of the inGamba staff thank you for your support of this amazing organization. Joao Correia

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