Bikepacking travel experience

We will remember the period we are experiencing for many reasons, but if I can focus for a moment on the positive aspects, fortunately it brought me closer to the beautiful country in which I live. I am lucky to live in Tuscany, one of the world most envied regions, thanks to its breathtaking landscapes and to the culinary delicacies typical of this land.
But let’s get to the point. In August 2020 it was suggested to limit great travels, so it was a perfect opportunity to discover our territory. Then which better means than the bike, trusted companion of wonderful adventures?
After putting the Garmin in the bag, the trusted Sony Alpha for pictures and videos and above all Outwet technical garments. At this point the only thing I had to do was to convince my partner and go. In the same situation there were also Piero and Sara, a steady couple for all our bike rides so that it didn’t take long to convince them.
We lay down a path, we book the facilities and start preparing ourselves physically and mentally.
In early August we leave from Siena where we arrive by train and as the first small stage we arrive in Buonconvento along short stretches of “Via Francigena”. The following day we leave again and after passing through the beautiful village of S. Quirico d’Orcia, we arrive at Pienza where we find nothing less than Marco Columbro* waiting for us at the facility, one jump back in the 90’s: taking a selfie with him is a must. (*Marco Columbro is one of the 90’s most famous Italian showman).
After a couple of days of relax we move toward Trasimeno lake where we spend only one night to leave the following day towards Assisi. Arriving in Assisi gives us many emotions, the town is very beautiful and full of history. We explore it all and we stop for dinner in the center to fully enjoy the magical atmosphere.

Our journey continues and the following day we take the cycle path up to Spoleto: really beautiful and completely flat town. From Spoleto, the following day, we take the famous Spoleto-Norcia, off-road cycle path, built over the old homonymous railway. The stretch is really impressive, you ride through several tunnels and the track climbs gently (if you think that a train used to pass through it) in a helical way that doesn’t make you feel the gradient.
At the beginning, our plan was not to follow it up to Norcia but to abandon it before, in order to descend towards Val Nerina. Here a suggestive cycle path is waiting for us along the Nera river, the “Green Way” that will lead us to the beautiful Marmore waterfalls.
The stretch is very beautiful, gentle up and downs, well-trodden dirty road (really an excellent gravel) and the Nera river that seems to accompany us to our destination. From at least 5km before, we begin to feel the presence of the majestic waterfalls which never seem to be reachable up to the moment where we arrive just in front of this wonderful spectacle of natural engineering.
Our holiday ends in Narni, a small town that inspired “The Chronicles of Narnia”, a perched center, an intimate place where you can enjoy an excellent aperitif in one of the bars that you can find along the streets.
We often dream about distant places, the best places for the bike travelers, forgetting all the precious treasures just around the corner. Moreover helping the local economy, trying to be helpful with a struggling sector due to the pandemic situation, has made us feel good. With this opportunity, we appreciated even more our slow way of travelling.
The Outwet jersey and bibshort cheer up this adventure. The slim cut seems especially made for road cycling but what strikes us is the lightness and high-performance materials (even after a couple of days of use, they don’t have bad odors and they dry very quickly). The pad is comfortable, indeed really comfortable: it doesn’t leave marks or give any friction problem.
We also like the colors, simple, elegant: no frills, as we say in Tuscany.
(Text and pictures by Francesco Spinolo).

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