As a new member of the Rapha Cycling Club, we are connected with destinations all over the world. Not looking too far, we were going to Italia this summer, to discover a place well known for Italian roadies, but less for foreign european riders.
In the southeast of the Emilia-Romanga home of stars like Marco Pantani, there is a region with hills nearly falling into the ocean, with a small area where train, autostrada and the Adriatica is passing along the seaside. Rivervalleys from the nearby Monti Sibillini cut through these hills and a rolling of ups and downs is going southwards.
Small, less traveled and winding roads with rough tarmac, mostly used for the agricultural needs, leaving the cyclist on a ride nearly on his own. That is where our cycling adventure of altitude is taking place.
Rei, our guide for this ride in an unknown territory, is out on the bike nearly everyday with around 20.000 K of bikeriding each year. He knows every small road in this region and every stop for a coffee in the bars along the roads and on todays route. But it is not Italy, when in these days in August, things are different then usually. So our first stop has closed per ferie.
The regoin we are heading now uphill, is where last year and early this year the big earthquake took place in Italy. So we can directly see destroyed and damaged houses all over the countryside. There are whole areas of urbanity closed and left alone from the inhabitants.
As we can see, this is changing the whole behaviour of the people working for tourism or even as woodworkers e.g. The people brought in safer areas and never come back. Some of the left behind will leave all their belongings, because it is to risky to go back in the destroyed house.