The 1st Torino – Nice Rally: 700km gravel randonneur event
I heard about this event from a friend. It was a short message, with a link to the webpage. The message read something along the lines of ‘we need to do this.’ I opened the link and decided I did, indeed need to do it. So, read the below with caution. You may find yourself on Italian strada come September.
“The Torino-Nice Rally is a bike-packing, touring or randonneur event – a ride that’s a bit of most things except technically difficult in the mountain biking sense. It’s not a race, just a challenge to finish and a question of what to ride and where to focus your efforts.
“The route includes around 300 miles / 485km of tarmac going up to a high point of 2750m and taking in two Grand Tour cols, also 150 miles / 240km of rocky gravel-based military stradas along the border often at an altitiude of 2000m or more. The scenery of the Queyras and Mercantour national parks and the Ligurian and Maritime Alps will reward those prepared to ride long days and sleep out, seeing the sun rise and set each day.”
The event starts in Turin on 6 September, and depending on your fitness/how predisposed you are to suffering it will probably take between three and seven days to complete a route of between 600 and 700km.
Still unsure? Check out the aims of the ride…
- Obey rule #1
- To ride in a self-supported style in the tradition of other long-distance bikepacking and randonee rides.
- Not to get hung up on purity of style, unwritten rules of racing or any other stuff like that. If offered a 3-course meal while sharing a 3l bottle of red you’d take it, right? We did. If you’re racing for a time it’s different. Usual rules apply there.
- In that respect, riding with others is encouraged for all but the keenest time-triallers of the route.
- To sleep outdoors wherever possible. It’s a beautiful area, even more so during the hours of dawn and dusk. There are also B+Bs and Gites d’Etape along the route as well as ‘found shelter’ opportunities if you look around.
- To enjoy a well-earned steak+frites on the Cote d’Azur, go to the beach, have a swim then get traditionally and economically smashed on not a lot of beer/wine.
- To freely ignore all but rule #1 and do what you like, just enjoy it.
This is my kind of event. If it is your’s too, contact James Olsen via the web form.