This year: the Alps and the South.


Check out the tour on Komoot:

https://www.komoot.com/collection/1429359/-alps


It has been a while, hasn’t it? The year of 2021 has flown by. The pandemic lingers, under the surface, but life is returning to normal, for many people- for the moment at least.


Last year, 2020, I went for a full on 3 week bike tour around the Apennines which was staggering in the diversity of the country that it revealed. The remainder of the year was taken up by a cyclocross racing season - save for a short trip to Paris, and posting pictures and descriptions of the cheese and bread we ate would hardly be fair - right?


So, here am I again. Saying ‘hello’ from La bel paese, Italy. Again, I’m stretching my time here with 3 weeks, 1 week in the Alps and 1.5 weeks messing around further south.


There will be bike riding, there will be cheese eating, and there will be proper cappuccino before 10 am in the morning.





Breaking apart a bike is always a daunting thing to do - honestly because there is the thought of having to put it together again. But it is easier than one thinks, and thankfully after a fairly uneventful flight to Milan from Boston, via Newark, a train ride and bumpy walk towing some BIG ARSED bicycle boxes, the bikes are up, running and ready to go. I think.




It’s hot here, 35C. Yet the old buildings in Milan are tall to provide shade, and are surprisingly cool to sit inside of. Good design lasts forever.


Tomorrow, we plan to leave early after breakfast since we have 120 km to cover, going through into Switzerland to the Italian canton of Ticino, ending in Ascona. By a lake surrounded by palm trees. Flat, flat, flat then up up up and dooooooown.





But before the ride is the fueling. My fellow bike tourer, Chris, had to doing some purchasing in some classic Italian fashion shops (handbag) so we wandered down past La Scala and to the Duomo in the very warm evening sun.


Whereas, where we were staying there wasn’t a throng of tourists, the throng was clearly down in the Piazza del Duomo. The golden sun was battering against the intricate facade and huge wooden doors of the cathedral. As it has for hundreds of years, desperate to get in, but as always the stone and thick oak was resolute.


The face of Jesus, expressing various stages of distress, looking out at the sunshine. Trapped in his daily shower of golden warmth.


No matter how much sun he saw, it didn’t change the ending of his story, by the way.


Finding the least touristy restaurant that we could, we stuffed ourselves, to ‘pienissimi’ as the waitress said.


It’s a long ride tomorrow, and we’ll need all the help we can get.