Bike riding heaven


Bike riding heaven


Let me take you  on a bike ride.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

I walked to the bike hire “tent” named Nolobici – deciding was too nice a day not get out. I took the bike for half a day – not sure how far I would want to go.
The bike track is called ” Pista Ciclabile” and  runs along the coast using a disused rail track. What a sensational idea. 
As I set off I had no idea how long I would be cycling . I just set off with my bag in the basket and an idea I wanted to stop for gelato and coffee along the way.                          
I had heard it was flat and this was true which made the cycling even more attractive. 

So off I went and this is what I saw.
The road out of town

The area of Sanremo near the water is a typical Italian beach front port. Boats everywhere and even lots of people even though it’s not summer. However no swimmers and very few people on the beaches (mind you, the beaches are not as wonderful as ours)  

I cycled along passing the Villa used by Alfred Noble when he wasn’t awarding prizes!
The ocean was blue and the sun was shining. I passed a Grandfather playing with his grandson on the beach. 

Grandpa playing

Then a group of fit looking young men having lots of fun playing beach volleyball. It was easy cycling and I had time to look around. 

The track is only for walkers in one lane and cyclists in the other two. I passed through my first tunnel, well lit and in summer would be a relief from the sun I’m sure.

A Tunnel (shaky as I was riding!)
I rode past a series of what looked like sun shades but they had another use- solar panels.

Shades / solar panels

 I rode over little bridges where the creeks run into the sea and got to admire the boats along the way-  and the ducks who looked quite at home and were enjoying the bread an elderly man was throwing to them. 

Ducks on the river

Then I passed a series of covered gardens – all shading vegetables. Italians love using every inch of land in a productive way. The gardens ran all the way up the surrounding hills. 

Gardens

I saw fishermen trying their luck and just chilling out. 

Fishermen
The signs a long the way were as colourful as they were helpful. The maps showed the coast with “siete qui”  Showing where you were. 

The sign

I saw many churches, most of them little with shining domes and bells ringing out the time . 

A Church
As I rounded a curve I saw a jaunty yellow building and thought … Great somewhere for coffee. No! It was a cemetery! With fantastic views and lots of fresh flowers. 
The Cemetery
I got off the track at Arma Di Taggia and explored the little streets, but it was only 3pm and all the little shops were closed and I couldn’t find a gelato! So back on track I passed along through Riva Ligure and then into one of the bigger villages San Lorenzo. I got off the track and rode around the port where there were quite a few very glamorous, serious money boats.

 Serious fun boats
I stopped for coffee where the lady owner made me welcome and claimed it was a 
“stupendous – molto  bello oggi”  a beautiful day. 

The Cafe

I agreed with her and sat in the sun for coffee as the local Policeman  arrived for his coffee. He was so smartly turned out that I thought perhaps it was an episode of Inspector Montalbano. 

Constable Montalbano

Back on the bike I rode along the stunning waterfront of San Lorenzo and stopped at a Cafetteria for a gelato. Yum. 

He’s everywhere!
While I was there the hour for passagiate had begun and the ladies arrived, very smartly dressed, for their afternoon chat – and gelato! A wonderful tradition. The men met as well and sat by the water on the carved wooden benches.
I must the Italians are much more social and outgoing than their neighbours the French. All the people we met in French villages were lovely – but we hardly saw any out and about let alone met! 

It was now about 4 so having ridden about 18 kilometres I thought I should head back. Riding back into the afternoon sun was a little more difficult but the light made everything look so different. Lots of locals were having a more serious style of passagiate in the late afternoon sun. 
The sun started to sink behind the hill making reading the signs a little difficult . 

But I just turned around and looked at it from another angle. 

I rode back into Sanremo as the sun was setting I was a little saddle sore but very at peace in this inspiring location.
Home!
What a ride. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I did. 

We all love the rides we have at home – at the coast and of course the wonderful Coogee to Bondi cliff walk but this was right up there with there as one of the very best “by the sea” ride/walk. 

I walked back into town, found a lovely cafe for an afternoon Aperal Spritz ( remember them Pat, Anne and Narelle?) and thought how lucky I was. Just wish I had someone here with me to share this wonderful afternoon


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