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11 October 2013 No comments
L'Intrepida!Style & Fashion Events Sports Cycling Bicycles Heritage Monthly highlights Travel & Adventure Cycling
Autumn in Northern Italy is a famously fine combination of season and location for taking magical (and we don't use the word lightly) spins. Now imagine we were somehow able to cast a spell, and transport an entire peloton 40, 50, 60... even 100 years into the past, and they all fetched up in Anghiari, say. If they didn't want to confuse and frighten the locals, they'd all obviously need a Brooks on top of a steel framed bike, for starters. And preferably a woollen jersey, right? If you have no plans next weekend, pay attention... The roads of the Tiber Valley and the surrounding hills, built by the Romans and by the Etruscans before them, have witnessed the passage of many intrepid travellers over the centuries. Brave soldiers on their way to and from great battles, courageous knights on heroic quests, adventurers seeking out new lands and stoic pilgrims on their way to pay homage in some far off destination - they have all passed by. Now it is the time for yet another band of heroes! So get out your old bicycle, pull on your woollen jersey and wax your moustache - it is time for the Intrepid Cyclists to make their mark in history! The Intrepida is a Vintage Bicycle Race that takes place every October centred on the hilltop village of Anghiari in the beautiful setting of Eastern Tuscany. The Intrepida is not just a race, but a true festival, complete with food, music and entertainment for cyclists and non-cyclists of all ages. To take part in the race itself you need a classic bicycle (pre-1987) and, if possible, an outfit to match. And if you just want to join in the fun as a spectator, then dressing up in vintage costume will certainly get you noticed. The race is also a celebration of the Battle of Anghiari (1440), the legendary battle immortalized in the currently lost painting by Leonardo da Vinci that established the eastern boundaries of the duchy of Tuscany and today’s Italian region. Last year's Intrepida attracted over 200 brave riders (men and women) from Italy and abroad. The plethora of steel frames, wool jerseys, down tube shifters, toes clips and handlebar moustaches served to transport the competitors and spectators back to another era. The race route which takes place on gravel and minor asphalt roads affords breathtaking vistas of the territory of the Valtiberina Toscana ( the Tuscany Tiber Valley). You will ride past the wheat fields of the plains and through the olive groves and oak woods of the Alpe di Catenaia, enjoy vistas of the Renaissance town of Sansepolcro, pass the medieval castles of Galbino and the Castello di Sorci, and pedal through the picturesque hamlets of Ponte alla Piera, Monterchi and Citerna. Two ride options are available, a shorter one at 45km and a longer option at 85 km. The short ride is not difficult, but has a few climbs just to keep you honest! You will certainly earn your dinner if you choose the longer, more challenging one! Visit the L'Intrepida site here for the full schedule of events and contact details. All photos courtesy Samuel Webster.