Chapter 6: Jungle, Highway ‘n madness until Vila Nova De Santo Andrè

DAY 6


Here Comes The Sun!

In the previous chapter we didn’t tell you that before having that marvelous breakfast we went to the beach to admire our first ever sunrise on the ocean. Could we ever miss a similar spectacle the first time we saw the ocean? ABSOLUTELY NOT!
After this great good morning we shared the breakfast with other cyclo tourist from Switzerland and New Zealand!
We spent the first our of the day talking about paths in Portugal and route to follow in other countries. To share point of view and tips it’s always a pleasure when you find such open minded people.

After breakfast we packed our things in order to start our day buuut not before a beer! We don’t know why Bruno had this amazing idea before to start pedaling but ok!
Not very healty but after all we ate it was mandatory to drink a beer! Do you agree? Yes, we know you agree! 🙂 That was what we needed! 🙂

We were leaving Casa do Adro when Idalia, the owner of the guesthouse, called and gave us a tasteful piece of chocolate cake. A little gift for our ride! Some people are just amazing!
Sometimes are the small gestures to enlight your day, and we will never forget about this. Thank you Nonna Idalia!


Next Destination: Paradise!

A quick look at the village, some photos of us and we were back on our bikes! We splitted the route in two parts: the first one from Vilanova to Porto Covo and the second one, the thoughest, from Porto Covo to Santo Andres.
The first part was quite easy, a little bit of wind but nothing really improving.
When we reached Porto Covo we thought we were in paradise. A little village and the ocean, the ocean and his amazing power. One of most magnific blue we have ever seen.
Blue and powerful. We stayed there for one hour watching the big waves and the 50 shades of blue. It was a very happy moment and the best way the take this moment to the next level
was to eat the piece of chocolate cake that Nonna Idalia gave us before our departure while we were watching this spectacle:


Next Destination: Unknown!

The second part of our day was the most incredible, the most risky, the most crazy of all the trip! First of all you have to know to know that from Sintra to Santo Andres there are no more cyclable streets. Yes, there is anything for the bikes. Yes, or rather there was a cycle path. What a pity it is not viable. At a certain point the only thing you can do is to decide if to take the highway or a dirty road. Bikes can’t go on a highway, right? Of course we decided for the dirty road. At the beginning. But let’s go for step. We were at the crossroad and the highway was cyclable once upon a time. When we arrived there was a big red prohibition for bikes sign. Ok, we had the other choice and so we did. At the beginning. After 500 metres we found ourselves in a jungle! Look at the picture below:

It was a freaking jungle with the vegetation folded on itself. We dismounted from the bikes and we tried to walk but after 100 metres we had to run away from a million of hornets. It was very scary!
The result? First of all we came back at the beginning of the dirty road, we saw an house and we knocked at the door to get some info. The only thing we had were an old couple that told us to use the highway because it was the only way to reach santo andre (10 kms far).
Ok, we tried to ask for a ride, we were hoping that a person with a truck would load us and take us to our destination, but that didn’t happen. So, after 30 minutes waiting in vain we decided to take the higway! It was the very best freacking crazy thing we did. Luckily, once upon a time, it was possible to cycle in that highway and the road was large enough for the bikes! We have never pedaled so fast and so desperate. We were seeing ourselves in jail or in a very very bad situation. We pedaled for 4 km when our navy told us to exit and to take a cycleble path just along the highway. Incredible. When we took the cycle path we met other cyclist and cyclo traveller that did our same thing. We were all asking each other how is possible to do something like this, to ban the bikes from a road that was used to be cyclable and don’t give any other alternative to the people who want to move with a bike.
We continued the rest of the trip on the cyclepath and they lived happily ever after.


Welcome To Santo Andre: Hotel Vila Park!

What to say? For sure, if you decide to pass from Santo Andre this is definitely a place where you have to stay for the night. We think is one of the best here for services and reception. We have been welcomed very well and they permitted us to leave the bikes at safe behind the reception in a locked room that only the receptionists can open! The hall was very big, there was a restaurant, a bar, a snooker table and a big swimming pool on the outside. Our room was very cozy and clean. Once arrived we soon decided what to do. We alternately took a looooong relaxing bath before to go eat something at the restaurant. We don’t know what there is on the nearby but we found the restaurant and its cakes very good!


We were really tired and the day after would be the last long ride of the trip! We decided to go to sleep early and after a good drink we were already sleeping and dreaming Dreaming of the huge amount of jam we would eat the next morning.
Night, the moment when you think about how your day has been.
We did something crazy, we were happy. It was a good day.

Thanks for reading us.
Stay tuned for the next chapter and keep pedal!
Arthur & Bruno – BikesPhilosophy

Chapter 3: Old Friends Reunited!

DAY 3


Are You Afraid Of Heights?

Not so many kms that day but we had fun and relax all day long!
We left the three fortified city in order to Reach Sliema passing throug La Valletta. 
These pics were taken at the moment of our arrival, on the top of a rock on the port. If you are afraid of heights we really do not reccomend it. 
If it’s not a problem you will find a beautiful view!
La Valletta is the Capital of Malta and it’s very particular for its style. It has been built in a Baroque style with some elements of Mannerist, Neo classical and modern Architecture.
A kind of style you can find in all the island but especially here. The city is also knowed as “La superbissima” in Italian that means “the most proud” due to its magnificent baroque palces, gardens and churches. 
In 1980 has been recognized as World Heritage City by Unesco.


Happy Old Friends! 🙂

After relaxing in La valletta, eating some healty food in a local restaurant we headed towards our final destination Sliema and St Jullian.
Before to arrive in Sliema Bruno called one of his friend that we discovered was living in Malta and that he didn’t see in years!
Life is strange, you don’t see a person in years and then you meet him/her in a foreign country!
We met Luca in Sliema and we decided to have dinner all togheter in a Italian Restaurant in Sliema! No wait stop! We are not the classic italian people who eat pasta and pizza in every place we go! Ahah jocking, yes we are. 
But we try other food too. But that night pizza. Pizza a heart lefted. One of us left it’s heart to the waitress.. but this is another story.
St Jullian is well knowed for its nightlife and even if it was barely spring there was a lot of movida. We had a little bit of relax in a Narghilè Bar telling stories of the things happened in the past during our trips and our lives, just like people who don’t see for years do 🙂
Thanks Luca for the company! 🙂 


Time To Say Goodbye, Malta!

Here we are at the end of our trip. We slept in St Jullian and the morning after we had to come back to Italy.
We woke up early, we had to give the bikes back and reach the airport.
We want to thanks The Cyclist Malta for giving us the opportunity to try their services and for supporting us. 
The bikes were impeccable!
They also allowed us to try an e-bike. We never tried it and we have to say that is really exciting!
Maybe we will try them for an entire trip.. who knows!? 🙂


It has been a very beautiful experience in a place that we didn’t expect to be as beautiful as it is. 
Thanks to all Maltese people who helped us during the trip giving us information and thanks to us for reading us! Especially THANK YOU for putting up with our bad left-hand drive! 😛

See you on the road, have nice & safe travels.
Bruno & Arthur – BikesPhilosophy

Chapter 2: BoatPhilosophy Time!

DAY 2


Country Roooad, Taake Mee…

Country roads take me hoomee cama cama cama cameleonBeginning of the day and end of the day.
Our days has been like this, dirty roads for breakfast and dirty roads for dinner, but.. we couldn’t ask anything better then this.

The first pic was taken when we were on our way to Blue Grotto, the other two on our way to Kalkara before visiting Marsa Scirocco and Marsa Scala.
BUT WHAT DOES IT MEAN THE TITLE? Easy, during our off road we sang this two famous song Take Me HomeKarma Chameleon mashed up convinced that was only a song.. all OK! 😀


The Blue Grotto!

Really close to Wied iż-Żurrieq port you can find Blue Grotto, that refers to a number of sea caverns.
Some of these caverns mirror the phosporescent colour of the underwater flora.
It is something you can’t miss. The spectacle is due to the position of the caves and the direction of the sunlight that hit the cavern walls and the sea.
In the first photo you can see an happy Arthur jumping from a table (why?) while in the other photos you can see the faboulous colour of the caves and the little oat we took to see them.

ISLA BORMLA AND BIRGU!

These three fortified city are very beautiful and is possible to visit them in one day.
There are narrow street that reminds you old times. It is really a pleasure to take a walk or a ride there.
These are the most historically rich, fascinating and characteristic areas of Malta.
For this reason they are inclused in the list of candidates for UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 
Unfortunately these cities are visited only by 1 tourist in 10.
Why this happen? Probably due to the industry of mass tourism that concentrate everything in some places in order to maximize the profits.Guys and girls, these placese really deserve to be visited. Trust us, and if you won’t be satisfied Bruno will pay for your next trip everywhere! 🙂


Bruno or Tutankamon?!

How to end this day?
This is how Bruno sleeps. He is really out of mind (and this cause to Arthur a lot of problem when he try to understand him)
Another sign that he’s out of mind:
In the video you can see Bruno testing the depth of another bathroom thanks to a precise measuring instrument: his shoe!

That’s enough for today!
Thanks,
Arthur & Bruno – BikesPhilosophy

Chapter 1: Popeye, The Sailor Man!

DAY 1


Let’s Start!

This is the second photo we took on this trip.We had barely pick up the bikes from the bike rental TheCyclist Malta when we found the first secondary road of the trip.We were really happy, we were in Malta, survived the bus that kidnapped us (we just asked for info to the driver and then we found us staggering in a bus launched at crazy speed.To start a trip is always a moment of pure Joy, you just can’t wait to reach the first place you putted on the map when you planned it! 🙂 


First city reached: Bugibba!

The first place we reached was Bugibba, just look at the colour of the sea and the perfect weather. Very beautiful, isn’t it? No, i’m not talking about Bruno, he’s ugly and crazy as hell 😛 Bugibba, with Qawra e Xemxija forms St. Paul’s Bay (San Pawl il-Baħar). This place owes its name to the legend of the shipwreck of St Paul on the small island in front of this cove.At the beginning it was a little fisherman’s bay, now one of the renowed touristic place of the island.


Leave Us There!

On our way to Mellieha we shooted this photo while resting a bit after we have discovered to have taken the wrong road.And sometimes wrong road doesn’t mean it’s all wrong, we just get lost and discovered this little corner of peace with a good view :)What about details? Look at the blue door: doesn’t that make you want to rest on it?


The World is YOURS!

To travel is to discover,is to discover new places, old places, to discover yourself. We shoot these photos at the arrival in Mellieha: Bruno entering a gate of the Santuary of our Lady, the sanctuary, a beautiful window on the sea and Bruno fronting his fear for heights.


Hello Popeye!

The Popeye village is one of the most beautiful attractions of the island. Located a few kilometers from Mellieha rises in Anchor’s bay, a beautiful bay with crystal water. This village was built in 1980 specifically for a musical film produced by Paramount and Disney in which starred a young Robin Williams.Today is a touristic attraction for families with their children or just for people who never feel to old for beautiful things :)In the last photo you can see an Arthur facing deth after a killer climb!
THIS IS A PLACE THAT YOU CAN’T MISS WHEN YOU VISIT MALTA!
Of course we will remember Malta for its climb and crazy descents!
It was a though day, we got up early, took bus, pick up the bikes and started the trip. We have decided that our mental healt is perfectly describable with this video in which Bruno tests the widht of the shower.Buut, what is madness? 😛 

Thank you for reading, see you in the next post!

Keep pedal,
Arthur and Bruno – BikesPhilosophy


The Malta Tour


Hello dears!
In this post we will talk about our little long weekend in Malta by bike!
Malta is a little island in the middle of the Mediterranean sea, only 80 kms from Sicily and it is the smallest but most populated states in the world.
The capital of Malta is La Valletta, a fortified city that is UNESCO word heritage: a must see!


Why We Choose Malta:

Basically we choose Malta for 2 reasons: the weather and the the possibility to visit many place in few days.The island is small and the short distance between the points of interest allows you to visit it in a short time.For what concern temperature it is perfect 365 days a year, in fact it hardly ever drops below 10 degrees.


To Cycle In Malta:

What to say? We think that the very best way to explore Malta by bike is with a mountain bike. It is the best way because there are a lot of climb and possibility to follow offroad path and enjoy the wilderness of this place. If you are not trained, another possibility, is to rent an E-bike. We had the possibility to test one for the first time at the rental shop and we really liked it.It is a good way to approach the world of bike tourism and to respect the environnement. For what concern the roads you must know that Malta was an English colony and they drive on the left. It could be a little bit tricky at first but after a day it becomes normal.
Car drivers and bus driver are crazy, they go very fast but at least they respect cyclists 🙂


The Cyclist Malta

For this trip we really would like to thanks THE CYCLIST MALTA who decided to sponsor us lending us two bikes to explore Malta.The shop is located in San Jullian and is easily reachble from La Valletta by taxi or bus. They are really prepared and willing to help for any problem or necessity. 
Take a look at the shop: www.thecyclistmalta.com

Many thanks!! 🙂


HOW WE PLANNED OUR TRIP:

DAY 1 – From St.Julians to Zebbugi (Via Bugibba, Mellieha and The Popeye Village);
DAY 2 – From Zebbugi to Kalkara (Via Blue Grotto, Marsca Scala and Marsa Scirocco);
DAY 3 – From Kalkara to Paceville (Via Vittoriosa, Senglea, Cospicua, La Valletta, Sliema and St. Julians).

Have a nice bike day!
Arthur & Bruno – BikesPhilosophy

Chapter 5: Embrace the ocean in Vila Nova De Milfontes!

DAY 5


Never Give Up!

We left you in the last post with our night in the beautiful Odeceixe, and after all this time we remember
every single thing of the little town.
We woke up at 8.00 o’clock, a little bit tired because of the day before,Bruno had headache and Arthur was worried about his knee after what is happened at the beginning of spring in Bologna, do you remember it? –> From Bologna To Florence

The road wasn’t hard but due of our condition we had to slow down in order to avoid accidents.
Breakfast time! Before the road of pain we had a great breakfast in a local bar and then we mounted on our bikes to reach Vilanova de Milfontes, it surely helped to restore our condition!

Nothing is better than cappuccino & Croissants, nothing. 😀
From Odeceixe to Vilanova it’s just about 45 kms-50 depending on which route you prefer to follow. We followed the one that pass through S.Teotonio and proceed toward the crossroad of Odemira. Here we decided to skip Odemira and take the N393 in order to shorten the road.

We were in the middle of the route and  hungry, but a (not great) surprise was waiting for us.


Important Lesson: NEVER TRUST THE BREAD!

Bruno’s headache was killing him so we decided to stop at the local Aldi before the crossroads.
First of all (and this is a precious advice) keep your eyes on the price! We entered in the supermarket just to buy some bread and ham. Result? 16 euros! You may say what did you buy, if the bread was made of gold and dream and you know what? It was made of nightmares! We were cutting the bread outside the
supermarket when we realized that all the bread we bought was filled with a weird meat and GARLIC! A lot of GARLIC! The positive side is that we discovered what we don’t like! That’s why we came back in the supermarket and bought some real bread! Stretching and back on the road!

It was an hard ride but we reached Vila Nova De Milfontes very early, around 4.30 p.m.


Vila Nova De Milfontes: Embrace the Ocean!

Finally Vila Nova, finally the first beach on the ocean! What a spectacle!

The beach was very particular, to reach it we had to follow a little path in the wild and pass through a lot of rock stacked on
itselves. Rock stacking is considered a form of natural art which consist in stacking rocks and create something like a tower. Look at the photos below!

We relaxed on the beach talking and taking photos, then we decided to reach our guesthouse for the night.


The GuestHouse For Excellence: Casa Do Adro!

Once arrived we received a very warm welcome from Idalia and her husband, the owners of the guesthouse.
We have discovered that this place is one of the most known in Vila Nova de Milfontes and we also discovered why!
The 2 owners are simply the best! They welcomed us with a slice of chocolate cake and hot tea! What’s better after a day riding a bicycle?
The house is really spectacular, the atmosphere brought us to our grandparents houses. It’s like a gradmahouse with a very special touch of class! Our room was big enough for two person and the bathroom is the best to have some relax: a big bathub with hydromassage!
What else? A little courtyard where to park the bikes and a balcony where to enjoy the fresh air and the free beers for the guests!
Take a look at this cozy house:


W H A T   A   B R E A K F A S T !

Vila Nova is very quite at night and to have a walk till the ocean is something you can’t miss.

We decided to have a dinner in a local restaurant and then we went back to the guesthouse for the night.

When we woke up we had the best surprise of the world! The biggest breakfast ever seen on this planet.

Just look these photo:

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Bread, jam, bread, ham, eggs, a lot of fruit, a big choices of tea, toasted bread with honey.. ALL TOP QUALITY! 

We were ready to face another day!
Thanks for reading, see you in the next post: From Vilanova to Santo Adres! We’re going to speak about
Porto Covo, a jungle and the highway! 🙂


KEEP PEDALING!

Arthur & Bruno – BikesPhilosophy

Chapter 4: The great descent to Odeceixe!

DAY 4


All Ready To Climb!

This has been the most difficult day of the trip: No flat roads but 50 kms completely on the hills!
We woke up at 9 o’clock and after breakfast and stop at the local supermarket to buy some chocolate and some bananas, we started our day with a little climb (just to start the day with smiles on our faces) followed by a fabolous descent until Bordeira.

We knew that after the descent there would be a long ride upwind on the hills and that’s why we bought chocolate and bananas. 😀

that climb had a name: Monte Ruvio.

This stretch of road was very tough and we really suggest you to be prepared if you are going to follow this route.
We are not professional cyclists, but by training twice a week we were able to face this challenge without too many difficulty.
At the top of the hill, we decided to leave the road to do a little offroad to reach the very top of the mount. Once there we realized that wasn’t the very top but we were still happy.
Months of efforts really paid us with that beautiful view!

We started our descent to Aljezur sure of the fact that troubles were finished.


Aljezur: maybe it’s better wear a raincot? Or maybe not?

WE WERE WRONG!
Aljezur is a small village considered the paradise for windsurfing and that’s why you will see a lot of Van full of surfer.
We stopped here just to have lunch and here is where the troubles began.
Just a second before our departure it started raining cats ‘n dogs! It wasn’t really a problem because we were equipped with k-ways.
we changed our clothes and under the heavy rain we started pedal; of course the road wasn’t flat and the second part of the climb started here.
After 5 minutes struggling facing the hills, it stopped raining and we had to stop again to change our clothes because we were boiling.

C’mon rain, you hitted us just for 5 minutes?

Not even the time to change our outfit! 😀
Never never never stop in the middle of a climb or you will regret it for the further half ‘n hour because it really breaks your legs.
Despite everything we managed to survive once again and we reached the pictoresque Rogil, a little town on the way to Odeceixe with some beautiful windmills and houses adorned with azulejos.


A crazy descent on a beautiful fairy village: Odeceixe

We were really close to Odeceixe, just 7 kms on a flat road before a crazy descent long 1km on a gradient of 100 meters.
The view from the top of the descent was really awesome.

This little white village deeped into a green valley with a river in the background.

We stopped here to enjoy the landscape and then we started the crazy descent screaming like crazy.

Don’t ask us why but we started screaming as if we wanted to release all the effort we’d
accumulated. REALLY LIBERATING!
A little bit awkward at the arrival…did anyone hear us?…Who cares! we are still laughing about this funny moment right now 😀
This little white town (961 inhabitants in 2011) is considered one of the most beautiful villages of Portugal. With its white houses reminds us some beautiful villages in Greece like Santorini.
It’s not very popular in winter but from spring to autumn it’s full of people that come here following the “Rota Vicentina”.
Once arrived we found an hotel for the night runned by a crazy receptionist we are used to crazy receptionist: Italian Tour: From Bologna To Florence
We only say that we rang the doorbell (it wasn’t working) and after 5 minutes of waiting the receptionist came to give us a room. Just note that the doorbell started ringing only when the receptionist restored the electric power… 😀


Eat a lot or eat so much: That is the question

We were really hungry so we decided to have a shower and find a place where to have dinner.
Once again one of the speciality of the city was fish and we ended in the best restaurant.
We started our dinner with very tasteful raw shrimps and a fish pudding.

As main dishes we have ordered octopus with sweet potatoes (really sweet and typical from aljezur) and Maccaroni with fish (we don’t know what it was exactly but the taste was good 🙂 )
How to end your day at the best? Double cheesecake for us!

It was definitely a long and hard day for us, we did a lot of stretching along the road in order to avoid issue but we were really paid by all the beauty and the nature we saw.
Big climbs, big descents, heavy rain and big smiles! We think that every situation could be easier if you set your mind in a happy mood and don’t let the fear of not succeeding catch you!

Before going to sleep we had a walk in the quiet sourroundigs and talked a lot about these days.

We were halfway and we were happy. Nothing better before going to sleep.

Don’t stop pedal,

Arthur & Bruno – BikesPhilosophy


Chapter 3: The end of the world: Sagres & Cabo De Sao Vicente

DAY 3


Going To Sagres

New Day to the south-western point of Europe!
We woke up early and after the morning exercises we came back to Lagos to took some photos of the city and its famous Dona Ana beach.
After the photos we headed toward Sagres and Cabo De Sao Vicente.
There’s not to much to say about this part of the route because we followed the N125 and the N268.
Being a main road is well maintained and pretty flat… this is one of the last flat route covered before the ups and downs, up & downs, up & downs… 😀


Sagres & Cabo De Sao Vicente: Natural beauties!

We reached Sagres that our stomaches were making the rumbles, so before to talk about Sagres we will talk about the MARVELOUS lunch that we had in front of the Spar Supermarket!
We walked in the Spar with a big smiles on our faces and we grabbed EVERYTHING: The first thing that Arthur took was a bunch of prunes while Bruno took some wafers.Fair enough.
All ok till now, not ok 2 seconds later. We bought 200 gramm of salami, 200g of raw ham, 100g of mozzarella, candies, crisps, 6 empty buns and also tuna. We don’t know why tuna, stay healthy!
After this epic meal we visited this little town well known for surfing.
There’s not to much to see in this town: the main spots are the “Fortaleza do Sagres“, a fortress on the coast from which you can enjoy a good view of the ocean and the surroundings, and “Cabo De Sao Vicente“, a lighthouse in the south western point of Europe, also known as “The end of the world“.
The road from Sagres to Cabo De Sao Vicente it’s something magic.

Have you ever played Final Fantasy? 6 kms in the middle of nowhere, only us, the road, the coast and the view of the lighthouse in the distance. WOW, that’s why we make this stretch of road listening to Final Fantasy soundtrack: Road To Zanarkand

That’s a reason why it’s called The end of the world and the reason is that’s really the end of the world, it’s really beautiful! It’s like to be in front of the infinite. There’s not a rational reason. It’s something you can’t miss when you visit the Algarve region.


 

Into the Wild: Vila Do Bispo

Vila do Bispo is situated at the crossroad between Sagres and Odeceixe. to reach Vila Do Bispo from Cabo De Sao Vicente you have 2 choices: you can follow back the route (14kms) or take a dirty road (11kms).
Guess what we choose? The shorter one, of course. The shorter one but the hardest one. Do our choice only if you have a Gravel or Mountain bike. Please.
The road was really spectacular, deep into the wild, so wild that wasn’t possible to see the main road.
You can’t imagine what a breath we took when we saw Vila do Bispo from the top of a hill 1km away! Look at it:

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Vila Do Bispo is a small village used only as a place for the night by the cyclists and the hikers. There’s not much to say except that we ate pizza even this time. 😀
After dinner we went to bed early to rest in view of the toughest day of the trip: From Vila Do Bispo to Odeceixe.

Thanks for your time,

Arthur & Bruno – BikesPhilosophy

Chapter 1: Food Injection towards Reggio Emilia

Hello people, let us introduce you to our trip.

This time we decided to tour in Italy to discover the lovely cities along the Via Emilia, an old road that was constructed to connect Piacenza to Rimini (or Rimini to Piacenza but it’s quite the same 😛 )

It will be divided in 3 posts:

  • From Piacenza to Reggio Emilia;
  • From Reggio Emilia to Bologna;
  • Cycling around Florence.

DAY 1


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Piacenza: time to start!

Early, but very early in the morning, as usual, as very very usual, we got up to load our bikes on Bruno’s car. Direction: Piacenza!

Piacenza is a cozy city at the border between Lombardia and Emilia Romagna with a little city centre surrounded by ancient city walls.

We spent just little time in Piacenza because it was our starting point, but it is a beautiful city that deserves at least a visit in total relax.

After a quick and tasty breakfast with Croissant and Cappuccino we unloaded our bikes and stuff and left for Reggio Emilia.

Luckily, to get outside of the city and reach Reggio Emilia & Bologna it is very easy because you just have to follow the Via Emilia or SS9 road, that is almost straight due to the fact that it was constructed by ancient Romans to connect the main cities of Emilia Romagna.

The first stretch of road is dipped in the rural country side but approximately after 20 kms we reached Fiorenzuola d’Arda, a typical provincial village with lovely colored houses.

One piece of advice we would like to give you, if you follow our route, is to stop in these villages outside the big cities, to observe the daily life and the typical Italian architecture of these centers.

After a quick coffe-break we continued pedaling towards Fidenza, a city mostly known for the homonymous shopping outlet.

Our intention was to reach Parma, but one of the many trattorias set as traps in the street kidnapped and forced us to eat (very sadly) a crazy appetizer of regional cold cuts and a dish of tagliatelle with meat sauce.


TRAVELLING IN ITALY IS LIKE SENDING YOUR DIET TO HELL. If you didn’t know, now you know. LOL

After lunch we left for Parma on the most difficult part of our journey:

we had to cycle on a very long false plan on a tight road while paying attention to the one million high speed travelling trucks on our left and the irrigation canal on our right. Definitely the worst stretch of road of our trip.

Really not recommended for families 😦


Parma: between Art aaaand Food

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Parma is one of the main cities of Emilia Romagna famous for its Parmiggiano Reggiano and its raw ham. But Parma is not only gastronomy, we really suggest you to visit this city because it is very pretty and bike-friendly as there is a discrete network of cycle paths that extends outside the city.

This makes it a good starting point for your hypothetical tour in Italy starting from this region.

What you should not miss in this city is the beautiful Duomo di Parma and its Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta: a perfect example of Romanesque architecture with a gabled facades and Gothic and Renaissance inserts. On the inside you find a wonderful fresco depicting The Assumption of the Virgin by the Italian Late Renaissance artist Correggio.

Very close to the Duomo there’s the Battistero di Parma, considered the connecting point between Romanesque and Gothic Style.


Last strecht of road: crosswind, pain AND PIZZA 😀

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Luckily, the last 30 kms of the days were mostly on cycle path. A little bit tough, maybe for the crosswind and for the fake flat road faced during the day, but the will to reach Reggio Emilia was stronger than everything and we arrived at destination in less then 2 hours.
AMAZING: just a minute after our arrival the owners of the B&b where we stayed – Villa Agata- gave us the telephone number of a takeaway Pizza. CHE BELLEZZA!

Half-through a pizza and a quick shower, we fainted, we fainted happy and exhausted, ready for the second day of the journey and curious to visit Reggio Emilia, a gastronomy city (as all the cities of Emilia Romagna) where the italian flag TRICOLORE was born.

cof


Next Chapter: from Reggio Emilia to Bologna via Modena

Keep pedaling

Arthur&Bruno – BikesPhilosophy

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Why should you cycle in Winter?

Yes we know, winter has begun(one month ago) and it will be with us for next two months until spring when we can ride our bikes happy through green fields and along the canals with swallows all around.
Buuuuut it’s still winter, it’s cold outside, the cities are covered by the fog and the flu is always lurking. oh, and there is the risk that the blood freezes.
ALL EXCUSES! 😀
one of the questions that our friends often ask us is if we have not become crazy about cycling in winter.
The reality is that there are many people who feel the way we do.
There are a lot of people who use regularly their bikes during the cold season.
Just think about the countries of the north Europe: wind, rain and cold seems not to be a problem for them, so why it should be a problem for the people who live in the warmer countries?
Down below 5 good reasons +1 to pedal in winter.

1. Quietness

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While in summer cities are more chaotic and the cycle paths are overcrowded, during winter the tranquillity reigns supreme.
Pedaling along waterside or through country road without noise helps to clear your mind, come up with new ideas and learn to appreciate the romantic winter landscapes.

2. Health

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Winter brings many diseases: fever, flu and pains of various kinds. It is widely known
and demostrated by a lot of studies that keep training during winter on the outside helps to build antibodies that reduce the possibility of contracting bacteria and viruses by 45%.

3. Mood

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You have to know that exists a mood disorder due to the change of season and who more or less, we all suffer it.

Riding a bike is one of the best tonic for these mood swings. It is proved that getting on a bike during the winter hours of light with the fresh air is a boost for the mood.

Try it before work: you will be more productive and friendly with your collegues and more than everything your boss! 😀


4. Traffic

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A little bit of rain or snow and roads are clogged up, cars don’t move and public transportation is always overcrowded.

What’s better than a bike? It avoids the stress of traffic and you won’t be late! Two drops of water with the right induments are better than stay stuck in the traffic screaming with the other car drivers.


5. It helps to reflects on organization

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It’s quite easy to ride a bike during spring or summer because you just need to bring with you a k-way and a repair kit. But what about winter?
Winter requires attention, it requires that every details be studied from clothing to the route to be taken.
There are many variants to keep in mind: How cold will it be? Will i go through muddy roads? How do i dress? The secret is to not overdressing but use breathable clothes that avoid an excessive sweating. And of course, even if they are unaesthetic, you should mounts the mudguards.

+1. The bonus one

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YOU WILL BE READY TO ROCK DURING THE SUMMER SEASON: You trained hard while the weather was against you, you forged your body, your mood and your determination. Nothing will stop you, neither the questions of your collegues who are trying to catch you in a moment of weakness.

WARM SEASON IS FOR EVERYONE, WINTER IS FOR THE BADASS! 8D
Pedal the winter!
Arthur & Bruno – BikesPhilosophy