Europe 2019

October 13, 2019 – Trento to Bolzano

For today's ride, our final ride of the trip, we were back in the Adige River Valley heading north this time, to Bolzano once again, "the city of bicycles." It being Sunday, we saw many cyclists out for a ride, many of them in full racing kit going at a very fast pace, but also lots of casual cyclists, many of them riding e-bikes. We have to admit that it is rather annoying to be passed by people on e-bikes who appear to be out of shape. The Adige bike path has a series of helpful, informative signs spaced along the route. After riding for a couple of hours it was time for a bicigrill...

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October 12, 2019 The end is near

On our last day of the loop returning to Trento we rode past Lago Caldonazzo and climbed over the ridge dropping down to Trento and the Adige River Valley. Navigation can be a little tricky when the "pista ciclabile" signs disappear even though we're following a GPS track on our phone. A final push up to the top. Then another chance to roast marshmellows on my flaming-hot disc rotors on the way down. Hungry work. But there is a solution for the hungries. Last riding day tomorrow.😢

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October 11, 2019 – The Brenta River Valley

The weather couldn't have been better as we set out on our ride to Caldonazzo through the Brenta River Valley. The Brenta flows 108 miles to the Adriatic Sea just south of the Venetian Lagoon from its Lake Caldonazzo and Lake Levico headwaters. It was a three-bicigrill day and we took advantage of each one to stop for a short break. Bicigrills--what a great concept! We left the Veneto Region today and re-entered the Trentino as we make our way north back to Trento and then Bolzano. Add strawberries to the crops this region supports....

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October 10, 2019 Venezia

That's "veneatzia" for you foreigners. The bus and train systems are so good here we decided to catch the train to Venice for the day. Venice is truely a wonder of the world. It is an amazing place for a number of reasons. It started because the locals got tired of being ransacked by the hordes from the east. So they moved out into the lagoon. By putting wooden posts into the lagoon they were able to create a village on stilts that evolved into Venice. In its heyday Venice influence stretched across the Mediterranean. They had a formidable navy and trading ouposts as far south as Crete....

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October 8 & 9, 2019 – A rest day & Bassano del Grappa

After six straight days of riding Mike decided a day off the bike was in order but I wanted to get at least a short ride in nonetheless. I headed for Valstagna on the path along the Brenta River. A little further north, just as one is about to leave Valstagna, there are a series of white-water kayak slalom gates positioned along a set of rapids. The next day we headed to Bassano del Grappa and crossed over the 500-year-old Ponte Vecchio which is undergoing repair. Bassano del Grappa is an ancient city on the Brenta River. It has a famous old bridge that was first...

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October 7, 2019 I feel the need..the need for speed!

NOT! We are turtles by choice. The countryside and the culture are so rich we can't see riding so fast that you never allow yourself to absorb it. Our average daily pace is five miles per hour. That is the total average with all stops. We don't want to arrive at the B&B at 2 o'clock in the afternoon. Instead, we want to use the whole day on the ride. Today we rode away from our ultra modern hotel, back into the Middle Ages. Our destination was one of our favorite bike hotels, Albergo Contarini, on the banks of the Brenta River. To get there we would ride to the walled...

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October 6, 2019 – Verona to Vicenza

  We still had some steep hills to negotiate today even though we are out of the mountains and into the "plains." When the gradient hits 10% or more for a good distance we sometimes resort to walking with our bikes. That happened today on one of the hills. Today's route took us mostly on small roads as opposed to separated paths, some with a fair amount of traffic. For a good part of the way we were following biciitalia route I1, but the signage was not as consistent as on previous routes, like the one from Trento to Verona. We passed the well-preserved medieval...

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October 5, 2019 Parting is such sweet sorrow

We left the mountains today but not without a fight. In order to leave the Val dell'Adige we had to climb over a ridge with 10 to 15% grades. Lots of riders on the trail. Clubs with identical jerseys and kit riding fast in pace lines. After dropping down the other side we were in the plains. Italian history, cars, elegant towns with marble-laid walking streets, and air pollution awaited us. We enjoyed a wonderful dedicated bike path the whole way to Verona. Verona is a 1500-year-old walled city surrounded on three sides by the Adige River...

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October 4, 2019 – Apple Orchards to Vineyards

We've left the land of apples and have entered the land of grapes. Almost the entire Adige River valley from just north of Trento to at least as far south as we cycled today is filled with vineyards everywhere you look. Continuing our journey south toward Verona, we left our B&B in Trento, Mas Dei Chini, and set out on the bike path (pista ciclabile) that, once again, pretty much follows the Adige River. Heading down the Via Claudia Augusta the views were typically beautiful. The obligatory stop at a Bici Grill was our mid-ride break. Ending at our farm...

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October 03, 2019 – Valley of the Sun

After pushing our bikes straight up at the end of the day yesterday, to reach our B&B in the village of Castillo di Fiemme, we found a delightful proprietor by the name of Ivana. She made a mean breakfast which included apple strudel and a flaky pastry filled with mushrooms, cheese and ham. All baked fresh that morning. No wonder she has a 9.9 rating on booking.com. But all good things have to come to an end and there was a price to pay for coasting down the Val di Fassa the day before. So we spent the morning climbing over a ridge from the Val di Fiemme to the Val dell' Adige. We passed...

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