Friday, 23 November 2012

A Pilgrimage... My 10 in 10 Ride..

Some months ago I was chatting to a rider who I met on one of my regular daily rides..... 
We had often seen each other out on the road and had acknowledged each other with the customary wave or flick of the hand as we rode past each other going in opposite directions...
However on this particular day we had both stopped at the same coffee shop at the same time so like most riders we got talking....

He asked me about my rides and I told him about some of the long distance trips such as Cherbourg to Santander......Gibraltar to the UK.......LEJOG... and Edinburgh to Portsmouth that I had completed.....
He told me that he would love to do some long distance rides and explained to me that most of his riding was local but he had the dream to do more and he asked me lots of questions regarding riding longer distances.....Both Road and Touring....

He then asked me if I had done 'The Pilgrimage'. 
What he was referring to was a visit to the Chapel of the Madonna del Ghisallo known as the Patron Saint of Cyclists.....
Although I was aware of the Madonna I have never visited the Chapel situated in the Northern Italian hamlet of Magriglio set 554 metres above Lake Como....
The chapel is not just a religious site but is also a place of pilgrimage for cyclists from around the world....

The little chapel is filled with cycling artifacts spanning the 100+ years history of the sport and as someone else told me, a visit to the Chapel of the Madonna validates you as a true cyclist..... 
My new found friend told me that one day he would make the pilgrimage himself but with a very young family it would be a good few years before he would be able to become a 'pilgim'. 

The conversation we had that day got me thinking.....and the more I thought about it the higher up on my bucket list 'the Pilgrimage' moved... 
Anyway 2013 is going to be the year that I make the pilgrimage...

I have decided that it is going to be the destination for one of my big rides next year...so here is the rough plan... 
TEN COUNTRIES IN TEN DAYS (10in10) is what we intend to do....

We will ride from the first country which is of course ENGLAND and then continue riding through FRANCE- BELGIUM- HOLLAND- GERMANY- LUXEMBOURG- SWITZERLAND-LICHTENSTEIN- AUSTRIA- ITALY. 
This will be a supported road ride with one vehicle (Motor Home) carrying our equipment, driven as always by Dave (the broom) Vaughan. 

Road bikes will be the order of the day and we will be camping each night....The highlight of the trip of course will be riding the signature ride of the Giro de Lombardia from Ballagio on the shores of Lake Como up to the hamlet of Magriglio and one of the Spiritual homes of the bicycle...the Chapel of the Madonna del Ghisallo. 
By all accounts it is a pretty stiff climb but worth all the pain.........

The exact route is still being planned...mid June will be the date we set off... I am getting together a small team to do the ride with me and I will introduce them to you in a future post with more details of the ride.....
In the meantime you can checkout the Chapel HERE.....

12 comments:

roby said...

will surely be a great experience for me now with the work I do I can not get away so much, but it's quite an experience to 10 countries in 10 days, good luck with this project.
I think that I'm Italian I have not managed to go on the Ghisallo but I will try to go as soon as possible.
good luck, roby.

Marsha said...

Sounds like a perfectly delightful trip. Look forward to your posts!

The bike shed said...

Ten out of ten for planning - sounds like a great ride

jeff said...

This sounds awesome! I am so envious. I can't wait to hear all the details as you plan your adventure. Now I have to go learn more about the chapel. I just watched a Martin Sheen movie called "The Way", and your post reminded me of it.

Anonymous said...

Sounds great
Brenda in the Boro

Trevor said...

*roby*
Perhaps we could meet up in Bellagio and ride up the Ghisallo together...Keep in touch...

*Marsha*
Thanks Marsha...Will keep you informed of the progress..

*The bike shed*
Thanks Mark...I think that on this trip the route planning will certainly be a priority...

*jeff*
It's a pity you live so far away Jeff...You could join us...I am certainly looking forward to this one...

*Brenda in the Boro*
Thanks Brenda...

Zachary W. Ford said...

I would love to do this someday!

A Midnight Rider said...

I want to say something about this ride but nothing justifies my thoughts. 10 countries in 10 days is beyond my wildest dreams of bike riding.

Steve A said...

I look forward to your always-entertaining and informative reports.

limom said...

Epic.

Trevor said...

*Zachary W. Ford*
It is does have all the makings of a dream ride...

*A Midnight Rider*
It will be a 'mega' ride I think..

*Steve A*
Thanks Steve...I promise that I will be reporting on it all as normal

*limom*
Epic and tough I think...Mind you, it does finish in the land of all that lovely Italian bike goodness...that's got to make the effort worthwhile.

Rulebritannia said...

You never cease to make me smile, Your journey through life has made you a strong and courageous fella. I admire your efforts.