Gathering for a “cyclo-excursionist” event: Cinghialtracks
I’m back on my bike after months without breathing this crisp home air, without seeing these vibrant colours and the scent of the undergrowth. I climb a trail deep in the woods that swallows the sun and lets me pedal in pleasant shade. I forget the traffic, the chaos, urban stress, and daily problems, and I breathe deeply. On these steep slopes, there’s no room for anything but a racing heart and burning legs as the chain swiftly shifts gears. I use the “rampichino” and climb… climb… until I reach the majesty of the beech forest.
We haven’t met in a long time. I missed its silence, the nearly absent undergrowth, formed only by leaves, ferns, and moss, illuminated by rare flashes of light.
I continue on a magnificent trail, with thrilling ups and downs. I steer and let myself be guided, leaning into the curves, feeling the tires grip the earth, and in each turn, I corner as if I were a wild animal, one with my mountain bike.
The air becomes cooler and crisper as I conquer the summit. The fresh wind from the Apennines mixes with the warm Mediterranean breezes, and a confused nature gives birth to flashes of Mediterranean scrub alongside beeches and firs.
The tranquility is only broken by the sound of the wheels swiftly rolling on the path and the chain bouncing.
I pass through wild mountains that open up to me when I reach Cascina Miera. From there, I embrace an infinite horizon, from the pure white of the Alpine peaks to the intense blue of the Ligurian Sea. I pause at the mighty Alpine divide and look into the distance, searching for the outline of Corsica in the blue and the magnificent Genoa to the east. Above me, falcons fly lightly and majestically. It’s just me, surrounded by green, with the blue sea in front of me. I continue on my way, seeking traces of the first great flight of the Napoleonic Eagle; remnants of a distant and glorious past. I dive headfirst into the historical trenches, two deer cross my path and escape. I manage to keep up with them for a few seconds, admiring their grace.
From Bric del Tesoro, I head towards the valley and search for more technical trails to challenge my body and free my soul. I enter black trails, made of soil and ancient charcoal tracks. On this narrow black line, squeezed between bright green grass margins and dry leaves, I speed down tight corners and jumps… I feel agile and light, like a deer.
I am one with my bike and everything around me.
The adrenaline of the descent ends, and I have to climb to regain the summit. I stop to drink from the clear and precious water of my homeland’s spring. I refill my hydration pack and continue. More challenging climbs take my breath away and tire my legs. I’m tired, but I’m back at the top after a long walk in one of the largest beech forests in Liguria.
I put on my protective gear and descend along the fast single tracks that go from Pilone to Cianlazz, immersed in the scent of fresh grass and mushrooms.
I descend with exhilarating flow, pushing the shocks to their limit, feeling my shoulders, arms, and legs tired from a long and fantastic descent, up and down through compressions that defy gravity.
And suddenly… among the ferns, in front of me, a family of wild boars!! Mother and father run swiftly, carrying a litter of squeaking piglets with them.
I stop to admire the spectacle as the little family disappears into a valley. I’m here alone, and I feel free and happy. I descend towards home and throw myself into continuous hairpin turns until I pass through a pine forest and return to the valley. A magical morning. A morning of Cinghialtracks.