Introduction: Dreams of Cycling - Touring Tuscany - CycleBlaze

February 14, 2009

Introduction: Dreams of Cycling

I look out the window and see snow, snow, snow. Janos and I are trying to be patient with the long periods of below freezing and snow this winter has brought. Not easy, especially when the roads and bike paths are covered with snow and ice. What really warms the heart is a good bout of daydreaming and planning for cycle tours to come.

We are retired, which is good news for touring since we are no longer limited by work schedules and can take our time. It also means we are no longer in our prime (to put it mildly) and must take this into account when planning a tour: it can't be too cold, we don't cover great distances in a day and there's a limit to how much climbing we are willing to do. But let's make the best of our situation.

First, how do we cut the winter short? Cross the Alps, of course, to sunny Italy. We are attracted by Tuscany. Ah, the Tuscan hills in early spring covered in a mist of green with Medieval towers silhouetted in the distance. Oh yes, hills. When you are traveling in your armchair, it's hard to imagine how tortuous they can be. And early spring? April in Tuscany can be warm and sunny, it can also be cool and rainy.

But we have made up our minds, and Tuscany it will be. We'll deal with hills by planning our routes carefully, and the weather, well, we'll see. I'll be happy if it doesn't rain.

Decision made, the planning can begin.

The book on cycling in Tuscany confirms that fact that the hills are very steep, the maps give us hope that we can find alternative routes and the big, heavy book on Tuscan art history shows that we don't have to cycle great distances to be regaled with splendid sights
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