Monday, January 17, 2011

Traverse of Italy: Trieste to Ventimiglia, Introduction

Thanks to the courtesy of Javier, from Spain, we will feature stories from his cycling adventure in which he traversed Italy, beginning in the east in Trieste and finishing in the west in Ventimiglia. The 43 day, 2072 km, 60,000 meters of ascent, trip took place during the summer of 2009. Javier, riding by himself, avoided the plains of Italy, instead riding in the Alps near the Italian northern border for the entire trip. And thus, he named his trip "Alpi Bike".

I want to emphasize that Javier has a beautiful blog in Spanish, "Zinaztli. Cicloturismo de montaña con alforjas" in which he chronicles his multi-day trips in Europe. Since his material is very detailed I will not attempt translate it word for word but rather give you a sense of his adventures and use selected photographs from his journey.

Approximately 60% of the trip was off-road, the remaining on asphalt road. Evenings were spent at a hotel or refugio.

Javier's trip first began with a 110 km two day ride north to Tarvisio, passing mostly through Slovenia, from Trieste. The view of Trieste from Opicina:

The following day Javier began his journey westward, from Tarvisio to Casera Melin. We will pickup the first full Italian stage in Part I in the next few days.

For those who may desire to undertake a similar trip here are key aspects of Javier's equipment for the journey:
Frame: 4 year old Felt Q800 with 10,000 km
Fork: Rock Shox July 2
Components: Shimano Deore XT shifters; Shimano SLX derailleurs, Shimano Deore disc brakes, XT 11/34 cassette; Tires: Hutchinson Python
Wheelset: Mavic MX117 (front), Mavic Crossline (rear)
Navigation: GPS Vista HCX with loaded maps (City Navigator Europe, Austria Topo, Topo Swiss, Italia Topo50 y Europe 20m Contour lines), Cateye computer, a selection of paper maps and of the Road Book guide
Panniers: Ortlieb Black Roller Plus
Javier's bike in Slovenia:

You can click on photos to enlarge them.

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Share your story. Write a story about your cycling trip, or an aspect of your trip, in Italy. Or, it can be about a granfondo experience, a special encounter, your favorite ride, etc. The period for story submissions for prizes will be January 1-February 15, 2011. Prizes will be awarded on a random basis, stories will not be judged on which is the "best" one. Nevertheless, it should be a good story for the enjoyment of all readers. Photos accompanying the story are most welcome. If you have any questions email me at See photos of prizes here. Prize donated by:
CycleItalia, specializing in cycling tours in Italy, the premiere site for gifts and merchandise for cyclists
Enzo’s ButtonHole Chamois Cream,chamois cream for the ultimate protection
FreeBirdVelo, Italian themed T-shirts
Strada Hand Built Wheels, custom wheel building
Velo-Retro, all things retro for cycling
La Gazzetta della Bici, massage oils for cyclists

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