Every year about this time I find myself posting something about the Strade Bianche road race in Italy’s Tuscany region. A race that has nearly 53 km worth of white dirt and gravel road sectors along its 176 km percorso. Think Paris-Roubaix; in Italy; with dirt sectors instead of cobbles.
As someone who spends a good deal of his time on his bike pedaling over dirt and gravel roads, it’s hard not to like the race. But as most long-time readers of the blog know, at the end of the day I’m not a roadie in the
traditional stereotypical sense of the word. I don’t do group rides, I don’t weigh 145 pounds, I don’t like pretentious unwritten “rules” about how, when, where, and what to ride and what I should be wearing, and my road bike hasn’t left the stationary trainer in well over a year. Even when I was fitter the closest I got to road racing (not that there’s anything wrong with that) was doing events like the Barry-Roubaix, or its toothless, Daisy Duke shorts wearing Appalachian inbred cousin the Hilly Billy Roubaix.
But I digress…. I dig the Strade Bianche and will no doubt be tracking down the video feed, or some on the sly download replays of the race this weekend. However when I recently found out about an event that in my world trumps the Strade Bianche. It’s an event called the Tuscany Trail, a 560 km, unsupported race/ride from Massa to Capalbio that is 65% dirt roads, gravel and singletrack. HOLY F’ING BUCKET LIST
RACE RIDE FAT MAN!
This year’s Tuscany Trail kicks off with a mass start on June 2nd and will end when the last person finishes in Capalbio . Yep, similar to the Tour Divide and other self supported off-road races here in the U.S., the pace is up to you. I can’t even imagine the amazingness of riding off-road in Italy. You bet your ass I would be taking my time, taking a shit ton of photos, and making a few stops along the way for some amazing food and wine! Goddamn, if I’m flying the whole way to Italy to ride my mountain bike, my ass ain’t racin’!!
Hopefully my family and I will have the dough to travel to Europe someday, and hopefully I won’t be too old to do the Tuscany Trail then! Then again, the older I am the more chance there is that my cycling fitness will be back by then! Hmmm… 40 years to lose 50 pounds and increase my fitness, I wonder if any 85 year olds have ever finished the route???
The funny thing with seeing video, recaps, and photos from past events is that I recognize more than a few names, contributors, and supports of the now dead XXC Magazine that I once published. Glad to see that!
For more information on the Tuscany Trail visit tuscanytrail.it/en.
You can also read some event recaps and interviews here:
Still love reading and writing about this stuff. Even though I’m past my prime, it still gets me jonzing to ride. I guess that’s why I did that dead magazine, write this crap blog, and started that other site that I don’t really know what I’m going to do with yet.
Oh, and don’t forget about the La strade marrone del Michigan event which I am still working on, and plan to have up and running at roughly the same time as I send my entry in for the 2056 Tuscany Trail.