We talk about the Marche, the only Italian place included in the Lonely Planet list of the best travel destinations of 2020, we talk about cycling, we talk about adventure, we talk about experiences that belongs to you only when you make them yourself.
Today we do it with Laura Ceccon, Laura LAcek for the bike enthusiasts, a force of nature protagonist of extraordinary feats accomplished with her MTB in the long distances in Italy and abroad. We met her at the Marche Trail 2019 and today she tells us about her latest "work" made in Marche, when what you desire comes true....
Thank you for sharing your adventure with us and thanks for the great shots.
Marche Trail 2019 – Sibillini Bikepacking, 475km in the Marche.
The Sibillini Mountains have been waiting me for seven years. Since that time the tour organized with Fabrizio was canceled as well as all subsequent attempts including the Sibillini Bikepacking this spring.
When Ivano reminded me that in mid-October there is the Marche TRAIL I got the inspiration. I gave up everything and I immediately go to check the trails, discovering with my immense pleasure that they cross in Fiastra... which means that I can do everything. Leaving for the Marche Trail, touring the Sibillini, returning for the Marche Trail... roughly 500 km, 12500 height difference... awesome!
That’s it, I choose the mtb, deciding to sacrifice smoothness on the Marche Trail in favour of fun on the Sibillini, which was my main goal. I've been waiting for them; I wanted to enjoy them all. Alone was fine.
But the idea also teased Marina with whom I shared the trip. She decides to indulge me in this madness, albeit without mutual constraints.
I left for the Marche Trail together with a wild band of 180 bikers, now riding with each other with old friends and new acquaintances. And that's how mile after mile I arrived in Caldarola where I stopped to dine with Luca. The Sibillini are getting closer and closer...
There we met Marina with whom we continued under the moonlight towards Fiastra, where we find a shelter for the night. It's cold but I tried to recover as much as I could. The next day will be the big day...
(Day 1 - Numana/Fiastra – km 170 4360+)
Before dawn we left Luca and with him also the Marche Trail and the hills. The altitude was finally going up. From here on it’s going to be a continuous up and down the different slopes of these beautiful Apennines. I let myself be enveloped by so much pure and wild beauty.
I only come back to the harsh reality when I realized I lost my cell phone. I have to walk back up, hoping to find it on the trail. Anxiety, tension and worry dissolved only after so much ascent, when I have almost reached the pass. The joy of finding it didn’t neutralize the hassle of the time lost and wasted energies. Now I had to go down to the bike, which I could ride only after an hour and a half of forced walking.
I reached Marina which in the meantime waited me along the way. And back down in the valley, from ridge in ridge, stop to stop until we crossed Bocca di Presta, where we sat in the front row to watch the sun fall.
The descent was a dip in a sea of fog that could be seen from above. We go in there, until we hardly see each other anymore. We are in the plain of Castelluccio, that our slow progress, almost blind, made infinite and frosty.
Finally out of the fog, we rewarded ourselves a nice hot dinner, necessary also to think about what to do next. We've lost time, it was late, cold and wet. We didn’t want to camp outside, but we had no alternatives. We were almost on the verge of leaving for Visso, when two young soldiers approached us to whom we talked about our dilemma. And here the doors of the Alpine Rescue barracks opened for us. Cots, blankets, bathroom and stove.
What more to ask for from life?
(Day 2 - Fiastra/Castelluccio – km 97 3520+)
We put out the nose out early in the morning. Wet and cold mist. But we are well recharged and we resume our journey. It doesn’t take much to see the clear sky and welcome the new day, kissed by dawn. From ridge to ridge and then with a long descent we reached Visso. From here a very long climb leads us to the conquest of the GPM at 1810m altitude of the Fargno Pass. The Sibillini all around us, celebrating.
Shortly we reached Pintura and from here Sarnano where we reach the Marche Trail. There are almost 140 km to go, maybe too many to be able to do them without stopping. But the track is smooth and we focus on close targets. The famous logic of baby steps. And so, step by step, at midnight we are in Ascoli for the usual rest in the main square.
again but the fatigue begun to be felt. My broken knee claims loudly. I gritted
my teeth pointing to Offida where I gave myself a well-deserved nap. Not long
but enough to be able to start again and arrive to the finish line before the
start of the day.
Trail / Sibillini Bikepacking because two is better than one 😁
(Day 3 –
Castelluccio/Cupra – km 208 4850+)
great adventure companion
Ivano, Simona, Loretta and all the staff... you're gorgeous
to the many
biker friends with whom I exchanged a few chats
from Bike Zone for the surprise refreshment in San Severino
farmhouse the Tiglio who offered us lunch
Italian Army who hosted us for the night in Castelluccio
people and its beautiful territory
to the Sibillini
Mountains who have won a place in my heart
that in spite of everything still take me where I want
to my head
who still has these crazy ideas
to everybody ❤