We did the Première Manche - the first round - of A Travers riding across France from Dieppe to Marseille in the summer of 2009, and it was the original inspiration for this blog. The plan to put the 'band back together again' for another go in 2013 for the second installment fell on stoney ground, with life just getting in the way for too many of us, much to our disappointment. However, our enthusiasm for the bike remains undimmed, and so I'll keep posting my thoughts on the diverse and beautiful facets of the sport regardless. But there's bound to be another big 'adventure ride' coming soon - quite possibly in Italy - so potentially a name change too: Attraverso l'Italia in Bicicletta anyone?

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Time in Italy (but no training)

Whilst Jamesy was riding from Tunbridge Wells to the Isle of Wight in the pouring rain (and then back again) as part of a family 'holiday', I was in central Italy at just about the worst time you could have been there in the last 30 years. And not with the bike, either. Yep, about 60km from l'Aquila and the earthquakes last week. Sixty kilometres sounds a long way, but in geological terms it's nothing. I was awoken at 01:30 by the room shaking (actually, more like pulsating), which I'd put down to a local tremor, sleeping directly on the floor and a bit to much vino rossa alla spina - draught red wine - with dinner. Next day showed me otherwise.

Regardless of this excitement (which I really could have done without), driving around between Sant'Angelo and Penna I saw this gem scrawled on a 25% section of road near Saline, clearly a remnant from the recent stage through here and over Sasso Tetto of the Tirreno-Adriatico. Marco still holds a special place in everyone's heart here, and in mine too, no matter what he may have done that's considered 'wrong'. An emotionally fragile young man, in reality only a boy given the sheltered nature of top-level sport in general and Italy in particular, hounded into depression and ultimately death for political ends by officious zealots with not a scintilla of his dedication and talent. That's my view, and I'm sticking to it. Forza Marco, wherever you are!