Thursday, March 26, 2009
Some of my favorite roads are the narrow twisting crushed rock back roads that wynd through the wooded valley, up and down the hillsides surrounding Lanesboro, Minnesota. Viewed from Google Earth they are a maze of spider webs laid on the green moss ridges. They have names like the Ox Trail Road, the Hogback Road, or are named for the streams they cross, or for the long dead farmers who worked the abandoned farms. My Peter Mooney bicycle with it's fenders, wide tires and big gears was built up specifically for these roads, roads where you can ride for two hours and never meet a car or truck. I think of them when I see photos of these wonderful lads riding L'Eroica in northern Italy.
Every Fall approximately 600 mostly older men gather in Tuscany for L'Eroica, a ride over over the white crushed rock backroads of Tuscany. It is a ride, a 200km race, for "big old men on big old bikes". As it winds it's way through the villages the locals line the streets cheering, offering wine, fruit, bread and cheeses to the riders...the heroes. A great country Italy. I have to pack a lunch.
(Photos from the Italian Cycling Journel)