Well, I’m back in Finale Ligure. In contrast to last year, this time around we were fairly sure we’d be able to come out here. A year and a half of no travel, plus a pretty stressful end to the kids’ school year, meant that I was looking forward to the trip much more than normal.
The views are spectacular…
…but you earn them with some pretty brutal climbs. A few of those rock steps are fine to hop up, but pull after pull of them is something else. Of course they are much more fun to roll over coming downhill!
This year I was testing out a full-face helmet with removable chin guard. I didn’t need the chin guard’s protection (yet), although I did bonk a tree branch pretty hard with the top of my head — but a normal helmet would have been fine there too.
🚵♂️ Signs of a successful #MTB excursion:— Dominic 🇪🇺🇺🇦🏳️🌈 (@dwellington) June 27, 2021
- My legs have simply given up
- I have twigs & leaves in my hair, even though I was wearing a helmet (?!?)
- Scrapes on one arm from a cactus that neatly threaded the gap between T-shirt & elbow pad (impressive, & also painful)
Top of the climb, ready to head down?
This was a nice flowing bit of trail, but the builders around here have a great love for switchbacks where there is exactly one correct line, and if you put a wheel wrong… well, if you’re lucky, there’s a tree to catch you, and if you’re not, it’s a looong way down!
My guide for Sunday, Martino (highly recommended, incidentally) was one of the local trail builders, though, and was able to show me the right line through some of the more technical areas.
Bikers’ repose. This is not the sort of scene most people have in mind when they think of Liguria! Pian delle Bosse is a proper Alpine-style mountain refuge, white with red shutters, the whole works — and on a summer’s day, the lawn is just covered with dusty mountain bikes while their tired riders refuel.