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Why you should head off for a few days of riding this spring

Spring is traditionally the time of year when cyclists head off to warmer climes for a week or two's riding in southern Europe, whether that be on a training camp or something a bit more leisurely. Here are six reasons why you should give it a go.

1. You get plenty of time to ride. That’s the whole point of going on a cycling holiday or training camp. You usually get up, have breakfast, then go riding, perhaps for a couple of hours, perhaps all day (there will usually be different options from which to choose). We all know that there are often distractions at home. Real life has a horrible habit of getting in the way of riding. 

2. You have time to relax too. That’s important if you’re hoping to improve your fitness; you make gains when you’re recovering rather than when you’re riding. Plus, who doesn’t like just chilling out occasionally?

3. You get to ride in the sunshine. Okay, you’re not guaranteed wall-to-wall sunshine in Majorca, mainland Spain or Italy, but chances are you’re going to get a decent amount and temperatures will be quite a bit higher than in the UK. It’s no secret that getting in a big ride is a whole lot easier in good weather than when you’re getting battered by a storm.

4. You’ll ride in a group. That’s a good opportunity to meet new people and perhaps push yourself a bit harder than usual. You’ll also pick up new training ideas, if that’s what you’re after. Don't get the idea that every cycling holiday is a hardcore training camp for people obsessed with speed, though. That really isn't the case; there's something out there for every cyclist.

Italy Week Monday - By the castle

5. You’ll see new places. Riding in a different environment is always interesting and that makes cycling all the more enjoyable.

Italy Week 16

6. You can find longer climbs than at home. If you like riding hills, you can usually find bigger climbs in cycling holiday destinations in southern Europe than you can in most parts of the UK. Of course, you don’t have to hit the hills if you don’t want to, but the option is there.

Italy Week 2016

Naturally, we’d love you to join us on the road.cc Italy Week 2016, but if you can’t make it there are plenty of other choices out there.

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.