Sunday, October 24, 2010

Amalfi coast

Today, I rode the Amalfi coast. Its definitely some of the best coastal riding I've ever done. Absolutely beautiful and the road hugs 300 meter cliffs for about 30 km of it. Wow! The riding reminded me of the Cinque Terre, where I visited during my last tour.The day ended in a torrential downpour and I need to reassess tomorrow as more is expected. I may hang in Salerno on more day.
From Termini... at the tip of the Amalfi Peninsula.

Anyway, on with the ride. I got up around 7:30. Breakfast was free at the hostel (Ostello di Sirene), but this did not excite me. I knew it would be most likely a croissant and un caffe. Not exactly fuel for a big ride. Well, that's exactly what it was. I desperately wanted to run to my room to grab my peanut butter to slather on the croissant... but I didn't. Dumb. The first 15 km of my ride was straight uphill to Termini (the end of the Amalfi peninsula). I totally bonked just before the top. I scarfed down one of my last clif bars and took a rest to take in the amazing view. Take a look at a map of the peninsula. Basically, my ride today was completely along the perimeter of the peninsula and Termini was the turning point. So, from its high elevation, I was able to see ocean all around and some beautiful views of Capri. The next 5 km was rolling up and down and then a solid 10 km down to Positano. Now the riding was along a thin road with about a 200-300 m clif to my right diving down into perfectly blue waters.

It was Sunday so there were a lot of Italian cyclist out. I love when we cross paths. They are so warm. Ciao!! with big smiles. I think they respect that I am not the average tourist and of course there is that mutual love of being on a bike. The road was also littered with Ducati's. These guys are assholes... clearly accelerating by me to annoy and get a jump out of me. Guess they had something to prove that they could only do with a big engine between their legs :)
I stopped in Amalfi to have some food and then enjoyed the final 20 km into Salerno. I had 3 km to go and the rains came hard. Drenched, hungry. Stopped in a bar (all coffee shops are called bars) to have un caffe and un bicchiere d'aqcua gassata. The beautiful Italian woman must have thought (and clearly seen) that I was tired, cold, and hungry because she brought me some pastries while I was writing. Another one of those countless experiences I have (think Caputo Molino) where Italians have taken me in like one of their own.
My face lit up with a big smile as I looked up in astonishment.. GRAZIE!!
Amalfi coast... excellent coastal bluffs and riding.
(A)more Amalfi


  1. hey caleb -- just heard this on npr and thought you would find it interesting:

    nice work on the pizzas and caputo. ride safe. and i'm certain that the guzzi riders are treating you with greater respect. : )


  2. Dear Caleb your writing is so moving...I'm sending your blogspot to my friend in New York who is an Italophile...his name is Tom and maybe he'll write a comment. I can hardly wait until he comes to Flag and I get you to make pizza!

  3. Caleb,
    Are you able to visit Sesti on Friday, November 12th? We should confirm a time for them if so.