Francesco - Life in Travel

Francesco - Life in Travel

ITA - Ho 32 anni e sono piemontese, anche se da qualche anno vivo e lavoro in Lombardia. Dopo un inizio da totale inesperto in questo campo, mi sono avvicinato al mondo dei cicloviaggi e della bicicletta sempre più. Oggi posso definirmi "cicloviaggiatore", e assieme all'altra mia passione - il videomaking - non mi fermerei mai! Cyclo ergo sum, pedalo quindi sono, per cercare di capire perché andare in bici sia così bello, terapeutico, ricco... E ogni volta che provo a capirlo, non ce la faccio, e sono costretto a ripartire sui pedali!

ENG - I'm from Piedmont and I'm 32 years old, I have been living and working in Lombardy for a few years. After a start without any competence in this field, I then approached the bicycle world more and more. Today I can call myself a bicycle traveller and videomaker who would never ever stop. Cyclo ergo sum, I cycle therefore I am. I ride my bike trying to understand why it is so beautiful, rich, therapeutic. And every time I try, I do not understand it. So I must leave again...
The archaeological site of Machu Picchu is without any doubt the most famous and visited place in Peru. There are many ways to get to Machu Picchu: some require days and are cheaper, others are faster but definitely more expensive. One thing is sure: go and visit Machu Picchu is never inexpensive unless you are traveling by bicycle and have some days to travel...
Also known as "the Finland of Italy" for the presence of many lakes and Alpine ponds, Trentino boasts many lake panoramas loved by German and Dutch travelers. The Valle dei Laghi Cycle Path links Torbole (or Riva del Garda), laying down on Garda Lake, to Lake Toblino, an evocative place with a fascinating fortress. Easy, enjoyable, well preserved, the Valle dei Laghi Cycle Path in its about 27 km crosses vineyards, picturesque villages and the debris sedimentation of Marocche di Dro.
I've never traveled by bicycle before, but I've been attracted by those fearless bikers you sometimes cross on the road, with huge bags on their bikes, worn out clothes and a waving flag revealing their nationality. It's one of the images I use for defining Freedom. I've always admired them, with respect and fondness. So it's been some years I have been living with this idea of a bicycle trip alone and with no rush. The research and the choice of an itinerary were not hard: the famous Way of Saint James (or Camino de Santiago) by bicycle was all I needed... even more than that!
The last days before the departure are always tough. Organize the trip, fix your last business problems, clean the house just to have it in a minimal standard condition, check all the amazing websites you found about your trip and must of all... prepare the bags, panniers or trailer.
The funniest and scariest thing is the final check of the material you are bringing along with you: something I include today in the bags, I leave it out during the next trip. Once departed, I always remember I left something really important right on that table (or in that closet)...
This balancing exercise (weight/volume and comfort) keeps repeating at each departure, so we decided to make a checklist for bicycle touring, pointing out everything that could be useful on a bicycle trip.
It is one of the most underrated components of a bike. However, if we want to optimize our comfort, it is one of the most important. Let's see how many bicycle handlebars there are and which one to choose. 
Rome, Italy's capital, is a big and crowded city. Cycling safely in the streets of this Eternal City might sound utopic but, if you know the right itineraries, it magically becomes something possible. Pedal through the Appian Way is a "must do" in order to visit Rome in an eco-friendly way.
The construction of the "Regina Viarum" began in 312 B.C. by Appius Claudius, from whom it was named: Appia Antica, the Appian Way. You can easily cycle through the first 16 km (XI Roman miles), from Porta di San Sebastiano in the historical centre until Santa Maria della Mole, south from the city.
Among the many software that I currently use in order to plan our MTB excursions and our bicycle trips, lately, I'm mostly using Garmin BaseCamp, the free cartographic software by the most known company in the outdoor GPS devices. It doesn't matter if you own a Garmin GPS device: Basecamp can be used to create routes for any device. Down below I will try to show you shortly the main feature of this free cartographic software, really intuitive and easy to use.
I sometimes enjoy creating itineraries and studying new routes for future bicycle trips and however I believe Google Maps isn't the most professional tool, its intuitive features and potentials make it one of the best and most used software to create maps online. In this article, we will create step by step a map with Google My Maps, in order to then share, download or save it in your Drive and analyse a possible travel itinerary. 
Since 2010 I started writing about OpenStreetMap and its features. Since then I have never stopped using it, with renovated satisfaction, but I couldn't find the time or the will to keep you updated on the great potentiality of this free cartography.
With this article, I'd like to start again writing about OSM and in particular its variation for MTB. We will see how to install OpenMTBmap on your PC and on GPS devices by Garmin.

As the years go by, the number of bicycle tourists, as well as of cycling paths, is growing in our old continent. Of course, central European countries, counting on thousands of km of bike lanes and bicycle paths - which represent an important sustainable income source - are driving other "not so bike friendly" countries. In this article I will be listing 10 most beautiful European cycle paths or, at least, the ones I love: we will be travelling together from Spain to Italy, cruising through Austria, Germany, France, and the U.K., but also other European destinations!

 

 

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