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SMALL TRIPS THAT BECOME GREAT ADVENTURESToday we take you on an adventure in our territories together with Armando, who is not only Interphone project manager but also an enduro enthusiast, who started riding when he was only a child. At the end of the article you will also find the GPX track!
"The Apennines is the land where I was born, where I spent my summer holidays as a boy. It is the most beautiful place in the world. There are fantastic places on the globe, incredible places, but when I am between my hills and my mountains, everything seems perfect, everything is fine, everything is beautiful, nothing can be better. "
The Tuscan-Emilian Apennines are particularly loved by off-road enthusiasts of any kind, thanks to the large amount of routes, the wooded areas and stretches that still seem unexplored. Not to mention the small traditional bars and restaurants that meet along the way and that manage to make you fall in love with the tradition they transmit to you and good food.
Armando has decided to face this adventure with an old KTM EXC 525, a racing one! A motorbike designed to blend in the deserts of cross country races, made for running and jumping, a motorbike that in the hand of handcuffs of level, in its day went without mercy. But it also has one of KTM's most reliable engines. Its flaw is perhaps the lack of autonomy but also for this reason a solution can be found.
The first thing to do when deciding on a journey, large or small, is to establish a path. Arm yourself with patience, sift through all the routes and prepare a GPX file or search for routes designed by other motorcyclists.
The second thing is to think about the necessary equipment. The preparation of the vehicle for many is a break or a useless thing, instead for Armando it is a compelling part of the journey, a test of the vanity of the genius, who tries to foresee the unpredictable, and to put in place the necessary measures to face problems.
Is there a risk of running out of petrol in the woods? Let's put the bigger tank.
Is it late and darkness falls? We install additional spotlights. We decide which baggage to carry, for a few days even a pair of saddle bags can be enough. It is important to evaluate carefully what might be necessary and to limit the superfluous in order not to reduce comfort, also considering that some tools or light spare parts can always be needed in case of unwanted but possible events when off-roading.
Lastly, a little electronic equipment cannot be missing: camera, intercom, mobile phone, camera, navigator, spare batteries, charging cables. The journey is nice to live it, but if we can capture some moments it will always be nice to share the various misadventures or the best landscapes after years with your companions.
Once the motorbike is loaded on the trolley, we start to retrieve friends and the adventure begins. The first part is a transfer, crossing several villages at the foot of the hills; then after the first gravels the pieces of real offroad begin, between mud and felled trunks: unfortunately we guessed exactly the day when we "make wood" and some sections seem almost the prologue of the Romaniacs! Traveled throughout the province of Parma up to the Cirone pass, alternating inevitable stretches of asphalt, in the presence of prohibitions or privately owned gates. We try to walk the via Francigena up to Pontremoli but it is impossible and our adventurers throw themselves on a fantastic high, wide, smooth and panoramic sterratone. After Pontremoli the itinerary includes some excursions between the marble quarries, passing through the Focolaccia pass, and then heading towards the Radici pass, crossing a railway bridge, over 400 meters long, which also houses a pedestrian passage; a place vaguely reminiscent of those bridges in the Himalaya areas, with an uncertain crossing, suspended on apnea cliffs, dangerous and frightening. The stop for the night is at the Radici pass (overnight stay would deserve a separate story). After a night of rain and wind, the weather is fortunately mild in the morning and you start along the stretch called "the devil's turn" that leads to Barga, and then make a stop at the Botri ravine.
Lunch break, taking sandwiches, in San Gemignano where a car of very disoriented Russian tourists arrives, in theory they had to go to San Gimignano in the province of Siena ... Arcana, with a stop at the Piteglio catwalk:
it is a walkway for pedestrians only, built with large steel cables, which connects the slopes of two mountains, above the Lima stream, built in the 20s to allow the people of Popiglio to be able to reach a factory on the opposite side. Continuing along a very pleasant secondary road that divides itself between woods and houses, you approach the climb to the pass, characterized by a wide and easy dirt track that accompanies you at high altitude. Arrived at the Croce Arcana pass, where there are a couple of cars and a few bikes, the 360 panorama recalls the visible one of the Alps, there is only the sound of the wind and since there is practically nobody on the weekend. But the time to return is approaching and with a last-minute change of program, the map is reviewed, to alternate the asphalt with off-road cuts, to have a total exploration of different types of route, from normal mule tracks to private lanes of houses no longer inhabited, with totally uncultivated fields with tall grass beyond the handlebars.
When the journey has come to an end and the bike is loaded on the trolley towards the last few kilometers home, now in the dark, the first thought is that even behind the house we often have beautiful landscapes that are offered to us and for which no new ones are needed stamps in the passport but which give wonderful memories. And then what makes every trip special, long or short, is the passion and the people we share it with.
HERE IS FOR YOU THE DETAIL OF THE STAGES OF THE JOURNEY
Day 1 - Montecavolo, Traversetolo, Corniglio, Cirone Pass, Pontremoli, Aulla, Fivizzano, Castelnuovo di Garfagnana,
Passo delle Radici
Day 2 - Step of the roots, tour of the devil (Barga), Orrido di Botri, San Gemignano, Bagni di Lucca, Piteglio, Cutigliano, Croce Arcana, Fanano, Sassuolo, Scandiano, Montecavolo
DO YOU WANT TO TRY TO RUN THE ARMANDO TOUR? FOR YOU THE GPX TRACK