Cycling in Italy

This man found this dog in a cardboard box dumped by the river. He took the dog  in and they have been companions ever since. The dog is now 18 years old and can not walk very well so the man carries him in a basket on the front of his bike. He was a very nice man and is an active campaigner  for making Rome a safer city to ride in.

Lago Maggiore, north of Milan.

This wall was inside a bike store I visited in Turbigo, north of Milan. The small town features (most years) in the Giro route and their is a strong sense of pride and love of cycling amongst the town folk. The gent that owned the shop had been a mechanic at 24 Giro d’Italia races. He had a picture of him and Moser on the wall. The walls of the shop were lined with glorious photographs of cycling greats.

Bella Italia.

We didn’t go hell for leather when we went to Italy, we tootled on town bikes. We rode down river paths and across cobbled plazas. We stopped and talked to fishermen and admired their catch. We drank from water fountains at the side of the road and cooled down with our feet dipped in the stream.

Spot the puppy.

This store is owned by an ex pro. He was very passionate about cycling and very fond of talking.I figured if his  legs work as his fast as his jaw it’s no surprise he was a pro.  The store was filled with carbon Wilier Triestinas and the such and their were plenty of lycra clad men with their noses pressed against the store windows admiring the top end machines.

This is Brigola. She looks nice as pie, but she is not. She is viscous and calculating in her impromptu attacks. She has drawn my blood twice. I forgive her because she is cute to look at, but I don’t forget. Her card is marked.

A trip to Italy is not complete without an obligatory trip to some ruins to praise the prowess of Romans. This particular spot,Ostia Antica is the site of the old Roman port town. All the goods would be unloaded from the ships into warehouses here and then transported the 30 or so km into Rome. I took this photo whilst stood at the top of the theatre. I also visited the bar where the sailors would drink after a long journey; unbelievably you can still make out the shape of the oven where the food was baked.

And that was my trip to Italy. It was a real pleasure to explore the city and the countryside on town bikes and take it easy.


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