On December Thirty-First

On December thirty-first, the majority of the world waits eagerly to ring in the New Year. People fill the streets in large crowds and pile into each other’s homes for food, drinks, dancing and other festivities. As the earth completes its orbit around the sun people take time to reflect and revel in their past accomplishment and failures. They reminisce with loved ones, send their thoughts to distant friends and prayers to those no longer with us. Many aspects of the jubilant celebrations are consistent throughout the world. Whether dancing and singing to “Auld Lang Syne,” toasting with a glass of champagne, or enjoying a pyrotechnic display, a unified sense of merriment invigorates people’s lives. At DuVine, our tours take us to the origins of these fascinating traditions. Join on an adventure of discovery of New Year’s Eve celebrations throughout the world.

Singing Auld Lang Syne in Scotland

While you are riding along the rolling green hills of the Scottish Highlands there is a common song that you may hear in the wind as it blows from the cragged cliffs of the North Sea to the cold waters of the Atlantic. It is an old ballad that has been a part of the country’s rich folk tradition for many centuries and perhaps millennia. It is the same tune that is sung every New Year’s when the clock strikes midnight. “Auld Lang Syne,” was first collected and composed in 1788 by the famous author and poet Robert Burns. Prior to then it had been part of a catalog of songs that was only known through memory and recitation. It was previously referenced in several works of poetry and literature, but Burns was the first to capture the entire song after transcribing it from an old man he met during his travels. He composed some additional verses and the legendary tune was born. The words, “Auld Lang Syne,” directly translate to, “Old Long Since,” but more loosely in the context of the song can be translated as “For Old Times’ Sake.” The lyrics tell a tale of misadventures, rough seas, friendship and love. It is a nostalgic toast to experiences of old that is sung whole-heartedly, even without knowing the proper words, with the enthusiasm of a merry Scotsman whose dram is full. Scotland is a unique place where the culture is so rich that it has influence throughout the world. You can expect to meet interesting locals, discover special traditions, and traverse the serene landscape while seeing firsthand why Scottish revelry is considered to be some of the most exuberant in the world on our Scotland bike tour in 2015.

Live Every Day Like New Year’s Eve in Champagne

For a different experience of pure luxury, travel with DuVine to bicycle amidst the famous landscape that has provided for the world’s most premier and celebrated beverage—champagne. On New Year’s Eve, this effervescent drink is sure to abound. Sparkling wine is the unequivocal refreshment of festivities, elegance, and indulgence. Without question Champagne is the elite wine of this category. Its rich history, strict regulation, and careful production ensure for a quality beyond compare. For starters, champagne must be produced in the Champagne region of France, and it has to be made of pinot noir, pinot meunier, or chardonnay grapes. The “Méthode Champenoise,” is the production standard by which all other sparkling wines are measured. After an initial fermentation and bottling, a second alcoholic fermentation occurs in the bottle. Several grams of yeast and rock sugar are added to the bottle and it is stored on a special inverted rack where the bottles are slightly turned every day for a minimum of one-and-a-half years, sometimes longer. Record of sparkling wine dates back to the Benedictine Monks in the Abbey of Saint-Hilaire as early as the 16th century. In the late 19th century champagne producers like Laurent-Perrier began to market the wine as the favorite drink of nobility, knights, and officers. Since then, its preceding reputation has made champagne coveted throughout the world. Live every day like New Year’s Eve as you bike around prestigious vineyards tasting the finest types of bubbly along the way. Prepare to be immersed amid the quaint villages, hillsides covered in grapes, and surrounding forests that lend special qualities to this exceptional terroir on our Champagne bike tour.

Bid Farewell to the Old Year in Ecuador

Or perhaps you’re looking for a new and unique tradition. While island hopping on the Galapagos and after a day’s worth of hiking in verdant natural reserves and snorkeling in crystal blue pacific waters you may have the opportunity to see one of the most unique New Year’s pyrotechnic displays in all of the world. Fireworks are synonymous with New Year’s Eve celebrations. In the United States it is often a huge procession and display of flares and exploding colors accompanied by music or an orchestra that goes on for an extended period of time. Most major cities across the world seem to have a display similar to this. In Ecuador there is unique fire-related tradition that is far more personalized and local. Each year in addition to obligatory fireworks, life-size effigies are built to celebrate the closing of the “Año Viejo,” or “Old Year.” Each household builds their own puppet that they dress in a costume of old clothes. These statues are meant to be a caricatured struggle of the past year. At midnight, the effigies are set ablaze, and families proceed to burn away the torments of the past. As the statues break down, turning to rubble and embers, brave Ecuadorians jump over the burning effigies twelve times. One time for every month. It is this sort of local experience that you are bound to have on you Ecuador + Galapagos bike tour whether you’re traveling during the new year or any time during the year. Enjoy authentic festivities that you will have access to through our expert local guides and there connections to the most interesting occasions available.

 

The clock will strike twelve in various parts of the world at different times, but most New Year’s Eve celebrations are united by diverse and spectacular festivities that have permeated into a global culture of revelry. With DuVine we will take you to the sources of these great traditions and also introduce you to some new ones if you are interested. There is a great deal to be discovered whether it is the mythical landscape of the Scottish Highlands, the luxury of the Champenoise vineyards, or the authentic local culture of Ecuador. This New Year’s Eve, toast to past memories and future travels. The world awaits and with another year gone by. So embark, adventure, and enjoy! After your holidays start to settle, schedule a call to start planning your next celebration on a DuVine bike tour.

2018 DuVine Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday Gifts for Cyclists

Stumped for what to give the bike lovers, gourmands, and world travelers in your life? We surveyed our friends in the worlds of cycling, food, and wine for the gifts they’ve been personally loving and coveting. See what the experts suggest for every price point (and every age), and you may even find a few things to add to your own holiday wish list.


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Peloton | $1,995.00

“I do the Peloton even when I don’t want to do it, and I never regret it.” – Andy Levine, DuVine founder

When it comes to cycling, it’s said that there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. But for those who like to use winter weather as a reason to take cycling classes instead, the Peloton offers everything that’s great about studio cycling—in your home and on your schedule. The carbon fiber bike and live and on-demand instruction makes year-round devotees out of this seriously addicting system.


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Leatherman Sidekick Multi-Tool | $46.50

“This is the most universally useful tool. I always need it!” – Seamus Mullen, Chef

Small enough to fit in a stocking (or your jersey pocket), this gadget has spring-action pliers, knives, screwdrivers, a metal file, and even a bottle opener for your brew break. Give the gift of preparedness in unexpected scenarios, from quick mechanical fixes to carving up an impromptu picnic lunch. And Leatherman’s 25-year warranty makes it the gift that keeps on giving.


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Hincapie Arenberg Zero Vest | $150.00

“Cowboy up for the winter with this versatile vest and go.” – George Hincapie, Hincapie Sportswear

Remember when we said there’s no bad weather, only bad clothing? No excuses: a vest is one of those essential layering pieces to keep dedicated cyclists riding through all conditions. This one by Hincapie is breathable, comfortable, and visible thanks to a HyperOptic RoubaixTM reflective treatment. We love this brand because it’s made by cyclists, for cyclists in an ethical, family-run factory.


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Finest Roots Mastiha Liqueur | $26.97

“Made from the resin of a Mastic tree, this sweet after-dinner drink has an unusual earthy flavor.” – Jody Adams, Chef

Take it from our Chef on Wheels: this unexpected hostess gift is an up-and-coming holiday spirit. It tastes like Christmas with notes of anise, pine, and herbs, but it conjures the Greek island of Chios where it’s produced in wooden casks. Offer it on ice at your cocktail party, serve it after Christmas dinner alongside coffee, or sip a shot of it as the night wears on. This premium brand was founded by two Greek brothers who come from a long lineage of local distillers.


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Cashmere with Fur Throw | $2,000.00

“Love the softness and quality of this throw. A perfect wintertime gift.” – Jung Lee, Fête NY

A staple for frequent long-haul fliers, this Italian cashmere throw will wrap its recipient in super luxe comfort. It’s the antidote we’ve all been looking for to combat frigid in-flight A/C, and it transitions beautifully to a literal security blanket once you’re checked into a faraway hotel room. Of course, it’s also delightful to leave it home for cozying up by the fire on Christmas Eve. And for the fashion forward, it doubles as a cape, too.


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Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm | $27.00

“Because I’m either cooking or riding in harsh conditions all weekend, my hands take a beating. This beautiful, fragrant balm is such a treat!” – Lentine Alexis, Skratch Labs

Super aromatic (it smells like sweet almond, citrus, cedar, and lavender) and hydrating, this is one non-greasy hand cream that transcends the women-only world of luxurious cosmetics. The cool, unisex packaging doesn’t hurt, either. Pick up two: one for a stocking stuffer, and another for yourself to use on the  Sonoma Wine Country Women’s Bike Tour With Lentine Alexis.


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Garmin Varia Rearview Radar | $199.99

“Choose your weapon with your favorite Garmin product, but this one is essential for bike commuters.” – Richard Fries, MassBike

The world’s first cycling radar helps keep road riders safe. On a handlebar-mounted screen, it warns of vehicles approaching from behind up to 153 yards and syncs to a tail light that brightens and flashes to notify traffic that you’re there. The entire unit integrates with Garmin Edge cycling computers, and an optional head unit takes even more stress out of commuting.


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SpheroVelo | $110.00

“With my mild obsession with design and bikes and as a father to a young boy, this gorgeous kids’ bike grabbed my attention.” – Richard Banfield, Fresh Tilled Soil

Start them young with this push-along ride for 10-24 month olds. Removable stabilizers make it safe whether kids are just learning to control balance and coordination or feel ready to go it alone. This is one toy that doubles as a design object instead of looking like clutter!


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Markets of Provence by Marjorie R. Williams | $19.99

“The excellent photographs and indispensable information in this guide make one of my favorite pastimes even more enjoyable.” – Eric Jausseran, Attaché

Get inspired for a DuVine trip to Provence with this guide to the region’s 30 best markets. Detailed maps and day-of-the-week organization arm you with all the information required to shop for French treats. When ordering fromage and a fresh baguette, Markets of Provence prepares you with tips on negotiating and paying, and includes lessons on etiquette when you’re eyeing apricots and haricots—so you’ll never seem like an out-of-towner.


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ASSOS Laalalai Bib Short | $249.00

“ASSOS is one of the brands in cycling, and let’s be honest—no cycling apparel is more important than comfortable shorts.” – Arien Coppock, DuVine Guide

This Swiss brand is renowned for high-quality gear that relies on painstaking research for every garment. In keeping with their high standards, these bib shorts are ultra-chic and clean looking—to say nothing of the performance. We’ve all had those rides that end too soon because staying in the saddle is just too uncomfortable, so keep your favorite lady riding on in something designed especially for the female body. After all, if you’re going to wear tight pants, you might as well look hot doing it!


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Skimo Dynafit Daulaghiri Ski | $699.95

“For the skiing cyclist, Skimo makes incredibly light, hard-charging skis, boots, and bindings.” – Tim Johnson, Cyclist

If you change sports with the season, put this complete gear overhaul on your list. Pair this super-advanced ski technology with Skimo’s Dyanfit Radical FT 2.0 bindings and Dynafit TLT7 boot for uphill sessions or on the lifts with family and friends. We also love the new SkimoEast event series, which straddles borders with races in Quebec and Vermont resorts.


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VinniBag | $29.99

“When I find a wine I like, I really value being able to bring it home with me immediately.” – Carlton McCoy, The Little Nell

An ingenious solution for wine enthusiasts who collect from around the world or someone who’s planning a forthcoming tasting trip. Spare them the cost of international shipping fees, since these inflatable and reusable sleeves put drinkable souvenirs right in your suitcase. They pack flat until you fill them with wine or olive oil, and bottles arrive intact leaving luggage contents safe from spills and shatters.


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