Italia Grande

Cy­cle Tus­cany – now.

Bicycling (South Africa) - - Inside - /// WORDS AND PIC­TURES BY DAVE TURNER

II puffed my way up the Via di Ma­traia, the road tak­ing us from Lucca into the Piz­zorne moun­tains of the Ital­ian prov­ince of Tus­cany – in granny gear, grunt­ing up the 12% gra­di­ent and barely mov­ing for­ward.

Though I could feel the warm Oc­to­ber sun on my neck and the cool moun­tain breeze on my brow, it was still hard go­ing. But I could think of a thou­sand other places I’d rather not be – and the sum­mit was close, with the prom­ise of an icy beer…

My wife turned 40 last year, and to mark the oc­ca­sion we joined her sis­ter and hus­band with friends on an Ital­ian cy­cle tour, from Pisa to Florence; all taken care of by Macs Ad­ven­ture, a Glas­gow-based tour op­er­a­tor spe­cial­is­ing in ad­ven­ture hol­i­days. All we had to do was get our­selves to Pisa.

We hooked up with the oth­ers, all farm­ers from the Es­ton district in KwaZulu-Natal, at our first night’s ac­com­mo­da­tion just out­side Pisa. Wynne and Marc, Dun­can and Chez (pro­nounced ‘Shay’), Gushy and Vanessa, and Grimbo and Bev (Dun­can’s sis­ter), to­gether with Deb­bie and me, made up our cock­tail of be­gin­ner, week­end war­rior and sea­soned cy­clists.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.