The Route: A Rough Plan - Springtime Spin in Sicily 2018 - CycleBlaze

May 3, 2018

The Route: A Rough Plan

As lifelong cyclists and cycle tourists, heading off on another biking holiday is pretty normal for us. But when we told people that we were heading for Sicily this year, we could see them working extra hard to process it. Sicily is on the other side on the world from us, it has centuries of history which few of us can fathom, it has the mafia and they speak a language that we do not speak a lick of. So how did we come up with Sicily?

In a nutshell, our inspiration for this year’s tour was the journal written by Scott Anderson about his and Rachel’s tour of Sicily in 2016. While they were riding there in 2016, we were riding in the Pyrenees along a route we modelled on their tour of 2014. And yes, our tour of the French Alps last year was inspired by their French Alps ride in 2015. We have never met Scott and Rachel but they have published blogs of many tours which are engaging and informative and have a fine balance of well written text and pictures. You can read his journals here on Cycleblaze.

What’s so special about these routes, you ask? They all feature mountains or as cyclists more often refer to them, climbs. We live among hills/mountains on the west coast of Canada so there is some natural attraction there but here’s the thing: our love of two wheeled assaults on high mountains seems to grow deeper with each successive climb. And when you find something you like in life, you need to do more of that. Until we rode Mt Ventoux in 2015, to be honest I didn’t know if I could do it. After experiencing that high, I was hooked. You can read about our adventures in the Alps last year here

Sicily’s climbs are completely different from anything in the Alps or the Pyrenees but they will be very challenging indeed.  It’s the home of Mt. Etna for example. The navigation, road quality and traffic will also challenge us. But cycle touring is all about the rewards for the physical effort and this is where we became really intrigued by Sicilian culture and history. We have been telling ourselves that we need to take on these adventures while we still can, so it seemed like a natural fit for this year’s tour. The planning and training is all complete, and we are off to Palermo!

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Scott AndersonWe really do have to find a time to meet up, Anne. And you’re going to Stromboli! We’ll be anxious to hear how that goes for you. Rachael insists that when (not if) we return to Sicily, we make it to Stromboli.
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3 years ago
Anne MathersTo Scott AndersonGreat to hear from you! I had my first Rachel moment today as we entered Castellammare del Golfo. The gps told us to turn left to find our b&b and on doing so, we were faced with a staircase that rose skyward for 5 blocks! Yikes!
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3 years ago