Riding in Tuscany

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by tagesk, Dec 9, 2007.

  1. DrSmooth

    DrSmooth I am third

    Feb 16, 2008
    RivahRider...so sorry to hear about your loss. Nice to see you understand his passion for riding and reading about the adventures if others. Keep reading and you may get that spark yourself!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  2. atermon

    atermon Been here awhile

    Jul 9, 2009
  3. third eye

    third eye back road loon Supporter

    Sep 2, 2010
    Concord, CA
    what happened to Tagesk?
    The very last post has me wondering the worst
    I just got back from a riding trip in northen Italy and had too much fun.
    Must go back to Italy next year
  4. g®eg

    g®eg Canadian living in exile

    Jul 13, 2004

    he's around
    check out


    someday (I hope) he comes back to add to the excellent thread

  5. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

    Jul 29, 2012
    west side of the pond
    I miss the big guy! I am pretty sure he will be riding and writing again when time permits. I went through his website and it definitely gave me some good vibes and rekindled some dreams of my own.
  6. Jim K.

    Jim K. Long timer

    Jan 14, 2011
    New Haven, Ct.
    I spent 2.5 weeks in Toscana and Umbria this year, (in a frisky Fiat Panda, not on 2 wheels alas!) If only I had discovered this thread before I went. I felt at home there in the first hours. I can honestly say I had to suppress a sob when we turned in the key to our apartment in Bettona. This fellow captures perfectly the joy & beauty that abides in those parts. What I can't figure is how a Norseman has such insights. Vivaldi? faggioli? Muscato? Where's the dark Ibsen, Strindberg, & Lutefisk?
  7. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

    Jul 29, 2012
    west side of the pond
    All I can offer is that I think Tage is more than the sum of his parts! Now that you are in love with Toscana, you must go back next year and ride it!
  8. Cooltours

    Cooltours Rider of passion

    Feb 19, 2004
    Zuerich, Switzerland
    Mmm, has anybody noticed...There's a pizza stove in the back!
  9. Married Man

    Married Man Been here awhile

    Feb 21, 2013
    Raleigh, NC


    My wife teaches singing and has taken a group of students to Sansepolcro for the last three summers, so it was a logical place to begin looking for a wedding site for our daughter. Our daughter's husband is British so we were able to have a lot of his friends and family as well. The ceremony took place at the Castello di Sorci near Anghiari. The people are wonderful, the food is great and the scenery is spectacular. The only thing missing was my motorcycle. I'll be back.
  10. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

    Jul 29, 2012
    west side of the pond
    Hi Cooltours! Yes, on the sitoscana website the story of the long awaited pizza oven is there along with some photos of the first attempts at pizza!
  11. AdvMoto18

    AdvMoto18 NORDO Supporter

    Jun 17, 2013
    Coastal SC Low Country / Land of Shrimp & Grits
    Doug...Congratulations on such a fine wedding for your daughter!

    I'm just down 1 from you in the Containment Area RY.

    I have spent a fair amount of time in Italy. I have some great routes I could share. Do you visit the Saucer downtown?
  12. moggi1964

    moggi1964 Tiger Keeper

    Dec 7, 2011
    Sale Cheshire UK
    This may be the funniest post in this entire thread (Forum?).

    I have been hooked on this RR from the moment I discovered it three weeks ago. Read it slowly, took time to absorb the words and the images and now am faced with the dichotomy of feeling 'full' from feasting on all that and 'empty' from the lack of continued nourishment.

    Feed me Tage :D
  13. robertov

    robertov From Chianti, Italy

    Dec 20, 2014
    Florence Chianti, Italy
  14. OneOff

    OneOff Been here awhile

    Feb 15, 2009
    Hello Roberto,

    So you are promoting your motorcycle hire company on Tagesk's thread, in direct competition to his own business? (sitoscana.com)

    Very rude indeed...
  15. Nordkapp55

    Nordkapp55 Been here awhile

    Oct 29, 2009
    Pisa, Italy
    You're right. That post is not good in THIS thread
  16. robertov

    robertov From Chianti, Italy

    Dec 20, 2014
    Florence Chianti, Italy
    Hi OneOff,
    I'm sorry for that. This is due to the fact that when I wrote the post, I was very tired and I did not realize that Tagesk were hiring motorcycles. I thought it was just a great traveler. I immediately take off the post, and I apologize to Tagesk for my error.
    A greeting.
  17. OneOff

    OneOff Been here awhile

    Feb 15, 2009
    Well there you go... there are two sides to every story.

    I apologize if I was a bit hasty with my reply; and the very best of luck to you with your business venture.

  18. robertov

    robertov From Chianti, Italy

    Dec 20, 2014
    Florence Chianti, Italy
    Hi, you have not to apologize, it was just my wrong.
    You did just the right thing.
    A blink.
  19. tagesk

    tagesk Tuscan rider

    Jun 23, 2007
    Tuscany, Italy
    This is the third part but fourth installment, of 8. I advice you
    start with the beginning.
    If you indeed do start at the beginning, you will understand why this
    is called Part 3 while being the 4th installment. The text related to
    a picture can always be found below the picture itself; as promised,
    most pictures are "clickable". Some of the picures are very large; I
    apologise for that. Italian words are set cosi.


    ummmmm, where were we?
    Ah, yes, Sardinia....I received a call I simply had to take.
    Sorry to have kept you waiting!


    It is Wednesday 22. May (2013). The sun is shining from a sky just as
    blue as we expect an Italian sky to be. I'm just a few minutes away
    from the house when I see the field with yellow flowers. Not as
    beautiful as the poppey-field of yesterday, but indeed worth a stop.
    In fact, when I ride alone it doesn't take much for something to be
    worth a stop. Anything beautiful or delicious will do the trick.

    By analogy from the Michelin Guide the three way to measure value (as
    opposed to price): Worth a stop, worth a detour, and worth a journey.
    This field is worth a stop. It I had not been alone I would have
    added a stunning lady in the foreground. But, alas, all alone and no

    By the way - my SPOT was turned on this whole week. You can see where
    I was by surfing to SpotWalla.
    May I be so bold as to recommend both SPOT and SpotWalla?


    I ride into Oristano, leave Tryggve to look after himself, and find a
    place to buy a good pen and some paper. Oristano might have some
    interesting things to show, like a hotel, but I fail to spot it.
    Looks like a new industrial town to me, even though I am sure it has a
    history that stretches beyond what can reasonable be understood.

    When I ride I get lots of ideas. Most of them are best forgotten, but
    some are at least worth a small investigation. The problem is that
    when I arrive home, after dinner in the evening, I have been riding
    for too long, I have eaten too much, drunk too much, and the nagging
    needs of the body includes sleeping afterwards. Regardless of any
    merit, the ideas are lost. For better of for worse.

    Thus, I get hold of a "pen" some "paper" and I am ready for coffee. I
    don't like "coffee", to say the least, and I hang around in the bar
    until I feel confident the barista knows his stuff. This fear
    of "coffee" makes the simples thing like ordering a coffee take
    forever. But most often it is worth the wait. After all, how low do
    you value you life if you willingly drink "coffee" if coffee is an
    alternative? Can this be fully understood by man?

    We're talking "Red pill - blue pill" here.
    The first fix is free, and having had coffee at least once, you know
    that urban life will never be the same again. I see people carry mugs
    the size of barrels filled with "coffee" and I wonder: Did they ever
    read what Pirsig wrote about quality in his "Zen and...."?
    No they didn't, did they?

    Tony Judt wrote about coffe vs "coffee" in
    The New York Review of Books in 2005:
    I duly note this down with my new "pen", while sipping my coffee.
    Evernote and the like might be nice, but put a pen on paper.....

    Yesterday I saw my rear tire was somewhat worn. I walk out and take a
    look. Lo and behold! That was a mere 400 km ago, but now I really
    need to do something about it. Sure, I can postpone it a day or two,
    but for what? I find Marco Moto (which doesn't seem to have a webpage
    (how is this possible?)) where I replaced that very tire last year.
    They have several alternatives at hand and I pick one without further
    consideration, have another coffee, and then ride on a mere 147 euro

    The tire lasted 19.000 km (almost 12000 miles) of which 13000 was with
    lots and lots of luggage riding with Capa Superiore from Pisa, through
    Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Finland to North Cape in Norway, and
    back. My thesis is that the tires last long because I ride them
    harder (that is, with more pressure) than BMW suggests.

    Even if I am the proud owner of a an Fujifilm X100S my trusty old Nikon is with me.
    The reason is simple: The Fuji seems to be fragile. I don't know if it is true, but there you are.

    Today's plan is to visit the south-west coast of Sardinia. With my
    new rear tire I zoom southbound on the highway. I exit from the
    highway and head west the same route that I came east yesterday.


    From Humans of New York I have learned that:
    This ongoing stream of self-portraits is most likely a result of
    wanting to understand how big the difference is between who I am and
    who I think I am. Obviously, others can only make up their maid based
    on what they see and hear. So by looking at myself I might get an

    I think that unless I feel confident that I know who I am, how can I
    be confident that I am a solid foundation for others. Like children
    and grandchildren. Not that I feel insecure in any way, and if I had
    less time on my hands, I would not have gotten into this at all. But
    as I ride I get more and more pre-occupied with this.

    I stop at Chiesa Campestre di Santa Maria outside Vallermosa.
    A small sign on a corner inside the village led me here; the sign said
    Bagno Romano. At the end of a vinding gravel road I find the
    small church which is built on top of Roman ruins. As I love
    Old things isn't it fitting with a self portrait just here.
    I walk around, sit on some old walls, before I find this arch. Here I am, so
    there you are. I am sure Freud would have found some obvious reason
    why the arch felt right.


    There seems to be some tradition going on here. Someone who knows why
    these are hung on the gate?


    You can, by the way, rest assured that I portraits of my self also
    when not riding. Here, for example, after a very turbulent meeting, I
    needed to remind myself that at the end of the day every problem can
    be made small by comparing it to something suitably large. Like
    Aurora Borealis.


    Yesterday I swam naked in the sea. Today it is unthinkable to remove
    the jacket. The temperature isn't bad, let us say 18C, but the wind
    is strong and feels cold. And un-inviting.


    No road leading down to the sea is left untested. The beaches are
    deserted. There are work being done at all the bars; preparing for
    the season, but none are open to the public. I motor on with no
    specific goal while the wind keeps me company. The name you are
    searching for is Captain Van der Decken :-)


    I visit a few Nuraghe but they are all in decay. Not that it is
    surprising that structures are in decay after 2.500 years. Last year
    I found a perfect one. It felt very special, sitting inside a Nuraghe
    and then walk the steps leading to the top. If you want to try it
    yourself, tell you GPS to take you to N40.17109 E8.85255. It is
    there, waiting for you. And your grand children, and their children
    after them.

    By the way: If you know of a (machine readable) listing of all the
    Nuraghe feel free to share them. I would love to do an epic "All
    Nuraghe"-tour of Sardinia. If you have the list, I'll arrange the
    tour! Make sure it includes coordinates!


    Now, if I may, it is time for a small digression; I promise I'll start
    on my Shakespeare-rant about love in a moment. As you might have
    noticed some 18 months passed between installment three and four in
    this ride-report. Even though you technically are not, I feel that you
    are entitled to a small explanation. I admire your patience, as I
    have none myself.


    I was riding on Sardegna, taking these self-portraits and
    feeling full of myself; Much Ado About Nothing, you might like to say.
    Then I received a call. From Norway. In short, I was asked to come
    back, don a suite and offer my assistance in some non-trivial matters.
    Urged, in fact.
    So instead of Riding in Tuscany, I ended up Riding in Norway.


    Norway has a different look to it than do Sardegna and Toscana.


    To say the least.


    But I didn't go for the riding.


    I went for work.

    This is relevant because it challenges me on who I am, who I want to
    be, and why. Or, if you like: Can you choose who you would like to
    be? When I photograph a colleague in the reflections of a window in
    the office (pit-dark and cold Norway on the outside) I feel very
    different from when I sit roadside as a bum talking pigeon-Italian to
    a passer-by.


    My colleague also rides and we went on a few trips together; here from
    Blåhøe between Valdres and Guldbrandsdalen (in Norway). Notice the
    yellow sign at the top of the pole. The arrow points upwards, telling
    people which direction they are facing. You can assume that there is
    lots of snow here in the winter, and that the weather might be a

    Anyway, as I toil in an open office space (not even Cubicles!) I
    struggle with the dilemma: Is this what I want because I "am" an
    expert in this field and doing what I do is maintaining the fuondation
    below myself, or is this a thin layer of civility hiding the unruly
    me? Will I ever be happy here? Didn't I leave working in an office
    behind because it isn't worth it?

    Don't get me wrong, it is indeed charming to be asked to find
    solutions where law, international obligations, technical constraints
    and political possibilities meet. It is deeply fulfilling to write
    memos that resurface as national policy, to be asked your opinion on
    issues of national scale, and feel that what you say have impact.

    But riding in Tuscany is also fulfilling.


    Shakespeare told us, as a first according to Bloom, what it is like to
    be human. The jovial Falstaff, who we might believe is jovial simply
    because he doesn't have a heavy burden on his shoulders, as does his
    companion Hal. Should I not listen to Shakespeare: You're better off
    being happy than you are being important.

    So, in the end, I decided that it isn't worth it. I took the money,
    bought a new bike, and returned to Toscana. The photo was taken (by
    me, obviously) on the first day of 2015. A new year, new
    possibilities. And that is why you are reading this now.

    So, not having sufficient love for money brought me back to Toscana.
    We're talking abotu love, after all.

    Rosalind says about love (In the role as Ganymede, to Ornaldo):
    You can love a person, your work, your life, or whatever. Love, I
    guess, is what makes the world go 'round. Reserved for the young, if
    we are to believe Hamlet:
    I oppose Bloom, and thus hamlet, and refuse to cede. It was love of a
    certain lifestyle, a certain "version" of my self, that made me do

    Sorry for this detour to Norway and 2014; let us return to
    Sardegna and 2013.

    To recap and bring us back on track: I'm visiting the south-east
    corner of Sardegna. The plan was to cross over to Sant'
    Antioco (the eastermost point) but when I see the island it looks flat
    and boring. I simply can't muster the energy to go there.

    Instead I head towards the best stretch of road there is: From
    Iglesias via Arbus to Sant' Antonio di Santadi
    at the map
    !). I promise you this: It is 84 km of uninterrupted
    fun. One of these days I'll bring someone along to count the number
    of curves, but my estimate is that there is more than 500.

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/XA8FQhtCd4c" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    Three minutes here (above, as always)

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/XK9QSWZFSGg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    Or six minutes if you don't believe me.

    For those living "Overe There", Deals Gap is 315 miles or a mere 506

    Arbus is about half way; perfect for a coffee. I doubt you can find
    "coffee" there.

    If you watch the three-minute videio to it's end, you'll see how I
    spotted a sign, misses the exit, but manage to make it never the less.
    The sign said Tempio Romano[/]. The
    Roman temple of
    was build on the ruins of a Carthagan temple. Old stuff,
    indeed. I will (have to) return.

    After two hours of these roads I'm exhausted. I love it, but I am
    still exhausted. It is time to go (ride) home.


    As always (!) I run out of time. Dinner is at eight; some things do
    not change. I am (further) delayed in Nurachi. They're celebrating
    with The Virgin (I guess) being carried around. Lots and lots of
    flowers on the streets.

    While I wait the the streets to open for traffic, I try to decide what
    to write.

    One of the virtues of not having to be in an office every day, is to
    take a nap after lunch. Please note, we're talking lunch and not
    "lunch"! In any case, I put on Rachmaninovs 2. and 3. Piano Concert.
    When silence sets in, I wake up. The routine is always the same: I
    read a page in a newspaper, listen to the music, and let consciousness
    slip away. After a coffee I'm ready again. Needless to say I missed
    it immensely while working in Norway.

    The reason I mention this is that I read a piece by Geir Gulliksen the
    other day; it is connected to this report. The issue at hand is what
    does it mean that an essay (like the one you are reading) is private?
    Or, if you like: When asked "Why do you write more about yourself than
    the places you visit?", what is at stake?

    The problem is not, writes Gulliksen, that we read things we don't
    want to know. Even the most intimate detail, awful experience or
    fantastic encounter is interesting if, but only if, the reader learns
    something about himself and not only about the writer. Then is it not
    private, but rather common to us all. It becomes awkward and
    uncomfortable when the read suspects that the writer doesn't grasp the
    full impact of what is being told.

    Or, as he concludes: What do you do when your life falls apart, and
    things become visible that you can not understand? You talk about it,
    obviously. That is what we humans do. You must not be afraid that
    what you carry is private, that it can not be shared. You can tell
    anything to anyone, if need be. What is crucial is how you say it,
    because how you say it determines what saying it will do to you.

    Do I believe I know the ramifications of what I have told you? I
    leave that for you to ponder.

    Back at Riva del Mare I take a shower, an aperitivo, before we head for dinner.


    This Wednesday I did 393 km with hundred of curves

    Thank you for you attention, and I am really sorry for the delay,

    RedDogAlberta likes this.
  20. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

    Jul 29, 2012
    west side of the pond
    Happy New Year, Tagesk! And THANK YOU for this update! Best Christmas present I've received in a long time! All the best to Cappa della famiglia and to the barn og barnebarn!