What is the bike bucket list, I hear you ask? Well for me it is the long list of places I want to ride and as it turns out, the mountains I want to climb and the adventures I want to create.
On my Bike Bucket list, there are short, medium and long-term entries, and while there may be a chance that I won’t get to ride them all in my lifetime, if they’re not on the list, then they surely won’t get ridden.
I find that there is something rewarding in planning and training for, and also in the anticipation of, a unique challenge. While there is a chance that it may also not go according to plan, this for me is also all part of the experience.
Here I share with you a few entries from my Bike Bucket list, with both short and long term timeframes, and it would be great to hear what’s on your bucket list, both locally and internationally. If there’s a region in Italy that is on your list and not part of our current line- up of Italian cycling tours, then send us an email as it would be great to hear where you’d like to ride in Italy.
Short Term Bucket List Rides
Stelvio from the Prato side
I will get to take this one off the list pretty early next year with Passo dello Stelvio included in the Giro d’Italia 2020 and also on our Giro cycling tour in May. While I’ve ridden Stelvio quite a few times, the opportunity hasn’t presented itself yet to climb it from both sides, so I’m really looking forward to it in May with the road closed for the Giro. If you would like to join me on this one, we have just a few spots available on this tour from the 22nd – 30th May 2020.
Colle di Tenda
I first became aware of Colle di Tenda through a video created by Cicli Corsa. The first time I watched it , it was a moment of “WOW, that’s cool!” and so I proceeded to watch it a few more times. Since then, we have got to know Andrea and Ale of Cicli Corsa and the team behind the rebirth of the Stelbel brand quite well and while I am yet to find a day between tours to sneak this climb in, it’s been great to establish a good friendship in the meantime.
La Chianina Ciclostorica
This is an event in Tuscany in June each year in the spirit of L’Eroica, and which also celebrates the Chianina cow, the great provider of the stupendous Bistecca Fiorentina. For me, it makes perfect sense to combine our love of vintage bikes and the amazing Tuscan bistecca, and the guys behind La Chianina Ciclostorica are a lot of fun too. The event is usually on at the same time as our own Tour of Tuscany in June, so some careful planning of our tour program in years to come is needed to create the opening to ride this one.
I have ridden L’Eroica for the last 6 years, with each edition unique and amazing, and as soon as one is complete, I am looking forward to the next edition. I love the 135km distance because it gives you a great balance of beautiful riding and the capacity to enjoy the party in the afternoon in the piazza in Gaiole in Chianti. I have been thinking about riding the “lungo” over the last couple of years, but of course, it all comes down to the guests we have on tour, and which distances they’re all riding too. This one will stay on my bucket list as long as it needs to, but is definitely a ride that will happen at the right time. Could 2020 be the year?
Melbourne to Bright
This ride from Melbourne to Bright via Omeo and Dinner Plain has been in the background for a few years now as well. Each time I revisit it with a mate, it’s never good timing or just doesn’t seem to work out. I still think it would be pretty cool to do, so will keep this one here for now.
The most beautiful coastal roads in Italy.
I have ridden a few amazing coastal roads along the Amalfi Coast and also in Puglia on day 5 of our tour, and it’s always just magic hitting that section. In 2020, I will be in search for other parts of the beautiful Italian coastline, with the key requirement being that the road needs to hug the coast and have very little traffic. I’m looking forward to seeing what I discover.
Radda for lunch with Nancy
The first time Nancy and I were in Tuscany, we were having lunch in a little osteria in Radda in Chianti and an American couple rolled up on their bikes, sat down, had a bowl of pasta and a caffe, and off they went again. Nancy who doesn’t really ride (make that doesn’t ride) has always said that it would be nice to do that together. Now 7 years has passed by and as it happens, our Italian HQ is only 10km from this osteria. Fingers crossed that with more time in Italy, Nancy will get into some riding and we will be able to set off together on a little loop through the Tuscan hills, stopping for lunch before heading home….just as we do with our guests on our Tour of Tuscany, taking in the Tuscan magic and intermittently stopping for coffee and lunch as the day progresses.
Long Term Bucket List Rides
A couple of these long-term entries have been in the back of my mind for years, from when I had visited these countries but didn’t have the bike (in Mexico) or the weather was too cold (in Scotland).
Copper Canyon in Mexico
This has been in the background for a while, but never seems to disappear. Maybe it falls into the pipe dream category for now, but if it’s not on the list I’ll never know. Since I was in Mexico in 2004, I’ve always thought I’ll head back there some time, and this will definitely make the itinerary when I do.
XC in the Scottish Highlands
I was in the highlands in 1996 and was astounded by the beauty and while I did manage a few short hikes, I always thought it would be amazing to take a bike.
Col de la Lombarde & into France
I really love the landscape to the south and west of Turin that hits the French border, and have always thought climbing one of the Alps and then a stay in France, before looping around and up another mountain, back into Italy, would be a great couple of days. The rough estimates of distance and elevation have this little overnighter siting at 275k’s and 7000m. Those numbers will certainly make me thirsty for a couple of beers by the end.
So, what’s on your bike bucket list? If it’s a ride on any of our Italian cycling tours and you’d like to join us in 2020, then get in quick as we only have 10 spots left available. If you have other locations in Italy in mind, then drop us a line as we’re planning to release two new bike tours for 2021 that we’re sure will bring more opportunities to tick off a few major entries that are on most people’s bike bucket lists.