• Tour on a bike: Milano-Sulmona

From Milan to Sulmona on a bike

Seven hundreds kilometers, five thousands meters of difference in height, few luggages. Four friends in travel towards Abruzzo, with one goal: to show that Italy is the cyclists' heaven

Ercole Giammarco

From Milan to Sulmona on a bike

The second edition of the Wolf bike Tour, like last year, starts from Sulmona.

Why Sulmona? Just because the president of Cyclopride Italia, that has organized it, was born in Sulmona (that’s me!). It has been a sentimental tribute to my childhood places, to my first rides on the Abruzzo Apennines and to the beauty of those old mountains that have beautiful names: Monte Amaro, Sirente, Gran Sasso, Velino.

At that time I used to ride my bike with leather sandals and short khaki trousers: thirty years ago you would be embarrassed to wear Lycra clothes if you weren’t a professional…

I have emigrated from Sulmona many years ago, bur for me Abruzzo is still the inner place that keeps the deep DNA of what I am (for better or for worse) and the secrete fragrance of the wild oregano, the yellow brooms during spring time, the meeting with the wolf on the Mount Coccia, that was trotting less than 200 meters from me. But let’s stop here, I might sound too sentimental.

I am telling you this because, a year ago, in one of the most symbolic street of Milano, Corso Como, I met a fellow countryman. When we were younger we didn’t hang out a lot because he was two years younger than me (which now, that we are fifty, doesn’t count, when we were 18 years old it was a huge difference and still now that he turned 50 it’s a kid to me). Aldo and I started to go out with the bike, having fun and entertaining our friends speaking the abruzzese dialect, a little be true and a little bit invented, coarse, “rude”, to mention Ignazio Silone as an example. 

One day, riding in Val Trebbia, he told me “it would be nice to arrive to Sulmona from Milan riding our bikes”. I have been thinking about it since years, and so I answered, unconsciously, “let’s do it”. Aldo always take things seriously and most of all he has an extraordinary capacity in organizing things, like a tour operator with an obsessive compulsive disorder (unfortunately I have an obsessive compulsive disorder for many other things, but less useful). After one week the itinerary was decided, after two weeks we had decided the agritourisms where to stay. 

We leave today, Saturday June 20th, riding down to Parma on the plain, and then on the Apennines, along roads and places that I know only thanks to the name given to the Highway toll boots. Seven hundreds kilometers, five thousands meters of difference in height, luggage loaded up on the bike luggage holder.

With us there is also Enrico, an architect born and raised in Milan, and Lorenzo, a financial consultant from Milan too. 

What is the sense of this tour, besides the fact that to wonder around riding a bike for a week with three dear friends along the Apennines it is already something with an huge sense?

We want to demonstrate that Italy is the cyclists’ heaven. That is to say that it doesn’t matter where you are riding, even starting from a point A to a point B casually chosen or only for sentimental and autobiographic reasons, you will surely find wonderful landscapes, great food, quiet roads, an unforgettable welcome (we aren’t passing neither from Liguria nor Val D’Aosta…), art and culture, everywhere!

Will it be true? Follow us on Vacanzattivajournal.com and on the Facebook accounts of Cyclopride or Wolf bike Tour, and you will find it out with us, from June 20th to June 26th.

By the way: this time I abandon my old dear Colnago to test the Wolf bike realized by Wilier for the Wolf bike Tour. It’s a robust cyclo-cross bike, it’s very versatile on every ground, but as agile as a road bike, with disc brakes and speeds that permit also to those not very trained like me to ride a bike that weighs 15 kilos (with the luggage), without asking every two minutes “why am I doing this?”.

People from Wilier have tested it with great satisfaction during the Paris Roubaix. Will it excel on this occasion too?