This will definitely go down as one of those seemingly endless long hot summers. One heat wave followed the next with the occasional rain shower just prevent things getting too dusty and maintain optimal grip.
After a year off the bike in 2016 with a heavy crash affecting my back, I was really keen to get back out there, albeit with some nerves about having another heavy stack. The main focus of my summer was working as an aspirant guide and staying alive while short roping clients up and down 4000 m peaks and I couldn’t afford to get inured biking. With some amazing rides on my doorstep and the lifts providing easy access, the temptation was too great and on my days off I was able to get free of the rope umbilical and go biking.
It was actually such a busy summer that I rarely had time to sit and contemplate and it was while I looked back over the few photos taken that some amazing memories were triggered. I also got to ride Finale for the first time with local Luca Martini and Filippo Gualtieri showing us some incredible trails and even enlisting the services of the Italian enduro champ just to show how slow we’d become in old age. The possibilities seem endless there and by the end of a day when brain fatigue looms, its time to hit the beach to relax, swim and have an apero. Whats not to like?
I’m really glad I did as much riding as possible this summer. Growing up in Scotland I could only dream of living in a ski resort and being able to clock up 10000 m days on the bike. Reading the bike mags just made me jealous of our American friends in Moab, Durango and the like which seemed to be the ultimate alpine playgrounds back then. I write this with some nerve issue giving me a lot of pain down my leg and Im not sure yet how that is going to pan out – but it hasnt stopped me dreaming of more bike adventures!
As the Foehn built in Cham, we headed south for one final trip before Michelle headed back to UK. Little did we know that the Foehn would blow so hard at valley level to lift roofs and take down hundreds on trees.
Italy as usual was superb; coffee, pizza, seafood, gelato, sunshine and of course great rock.