Cycle Trip to Florence (Part One): the enthusiasm, excitement and fatigue of Valter, one of the participants.

 

The Phone Call

Bartolo, the manager at Hotel Dory, a bike hotel italy, called me up and suggested going to Florence with a group of cyclists. I agreed enthusiastically.

The Adventure begins …

It’s a warm morning in May. As usual, everything has been meticulously prepared by Stefano, the hotel owner, and his staff. Indeed, as we’re arranging all the food, provisions and what have you, I get the impression that we could easily stay away for a week. At nine o’clock, the adventure begins. The temperature today is ideal for cycling ing holiday in italy, I hope that it stays like this throughout our trip and at our destination! After cycling for about 45 Km, we pause for a refreshment break at Novafeltria. After this refuelling stop, we pedal on, to confront…

…the Crags

The ascent begins: a climb of about 10 km. It’s wonderful, difficult, and almost silent. All you can hear is the breathing of cyclists, slowly toiling upwards one after another. They’re growing tired, and sweating too; their tiredness is increasing, but at the same time it’s something a cyclist simply can’t live without. They catch glimpses of the top, but a wood is concealing the way. The road slowly unwinds and then suddenly… there’s the summit! The air is clear and crisp, we have to cover up and seek refreshment in the van following the group, which is loaded up with good things. Then, after a nice hot coffee, we’re off again! At the end of this descent, there’s another 10-km climb awaiting us: the Mandrioli pass. Again, silence, exhaustion and sweat: the cyclist’s unavoidable companions. We cycle on through a beautiful natural setting, with woods and lush vegetation whose vibrant colours and strong aromas have been brought out by the heavy rain of the preceding days. Here and there, we see herds of Maremma cows or flocks of sheep at pasture. We reach the top again, and, plummeting down towards Poppi, we are now close to our destination. Our last 5km are interrupted by a sudden shower of rain, surprising the tireless cyclists, who nevertheless push on like silent horsemen, proud to have nearly achieved their goal.

Continues…