1 - Apettite
It'd be a crime to be in Italy without an appetitie. Biking between 40 and 100 miles everyday insures that my tummy is always on the ready.
2 - I see more
I don't mean that you see a lot of sites. For example, by car you could make it to Milan, Venice, Florence, Rome and Naples in a week. But, I move slower and I don't see things in a blur. By bike, the details of the countryside come alive, which is why when I reread some of my daily journals, I find descriptions such as "chocolate-mousse soil" and an "amphitheatre of grapes."
3 - I hear more
On my bike, typically the only sound I hear is the changing of my gears and the world around me. On a country road, this sound might be circkets or the spin of a windmill. In towns, it might be the conversation of the locals. Perhaps surprisingly, I prefer the latter. Italians have a way with words, espically those like "Bellissimo"" and "Bella!" I never get sick of hearing them.
|a muddy day outside of Matera|
Sometimes its manure... but usually its something unique and different. Today, I was biking by a farm where they were harvesting fennel. Have you ever smelled fennel being harvested? Its amazing.
5 - Respect
This is received on many levels. First, on a bike, I am not the typical tourists. "You came from where? Mangia!" And, after they know I am on a bike stating, "sono americano" becomes somewhat of a shock, which I love. The respect is also strongly received from local cyclists. When I hear a big "Salve!" as they bike past I tend to pedal a little bit harder and I am usually wearing a big grin.
6 - Gelato
I can eat as much as I want.
7 - The challenge
I am a goal-oriented person and like when I have a challenge ahead of me. Waking up with a destination really motivates me.
|yes, they put hot dogs and french fries on paninis here|
9 - Pizza
See number 6.
10 - Comraderie
I love meeting fellow cycling tourists. Instantly, there is a bond. I've shared stories, wine, oranges and the road with many folks from all around the world talking about our mutual love. Having the similar travel-style somehow breaks down any language barrier.