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Posted by on Jul 7, 2013 in cycling and bike pics | 0 comments

Traffic jam Sicilian style…

Traffic jam Sicilian style…

A few days ago on a HR 1-2 zone bike ride I came across two shepherds and a flock of sheep near the town of Castellammare del Golfo. There are still a lot of shepherds /goat herders in Sicily, so when cycling in the Sicilian countryside you’re likely to encounter one with his flock of sheep and/or goats. Ricotta cheese is made from sheep’s milk and can be eaten with some bread and tomatoes or ham, but it is mainly used in Sicilian dolci (cakes/deserts), like the cannolo, the cassatella and the very sweet cassata. These are all calorie bombs, so when you’re here enjoying these dolci in one of the Sicilian bars in the area, remember to ride a few extra kilometers the next...

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Posted by on Jul 1, 2013 in cycling and bike pics | 0 comments

Sunday ride to Ponte di Sagana and Torretta

Sunday ride to Ponte di Sagana and Torretta

After all the rides I already blogged about, there are still some areas in sunny Sicily I haven’t shown you guys. Yesterday I went for a 95 km bike ride starting in the town of Balestrate. I rode to Partinico and climbed to (Ponte di) Sagana. From there I followed the mountain road to Montelepre and Piana dell’occhio, from which “frazione” I descended to the town of Torretta. From this town I cycled back home passing the towns of Carini, Villagrazia di Carini, Cinisi, Terrasini and Trappeto. This is the view I had when I arrived at the top of the climb in Sagana: A few hundred meters away there’s a spot where years ago the locals went to pray. You can still see some crosses and a statue of Jesus: There’s a nice climb in this area, which starts here (lots of 8% stretches and some 12-14% gradients near the end of the climb). I took the following picture at the end of that climb: On the other...

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Posted by on Jun 22, 2013 in cycling and bike pics | 0 comments

Exploring the Cinisi climb

Exploring the Cinisi climb

Even though I’ve ridden thousands of kilometers in this part of Sicily, every now and then I stumble across a road where I’ve never been, or a climb I’ve never done before. This was the case with a climb I found by using Strava. I had clicked on “Segment Search” and saw a few segments near the town of Cinisi. I’ve passed through Cinisi hundreds of times on my bike, but I didn’t know there was a climb starting near the town center and ending in a small “frazione” of Cinisi. So a few weeks ago I decided to cycle to Cinisi and explore this climb. I rode from Balestrate through the coastal town of Trappeto in the direction of Cinisi. It was a bit of a cloudy day, but with temperatures of around 29°C it felt like summer! I passed Terrasini, turned right and entered the town of Cinisi. The main street, the “Corso Umberto” leads to a few beautiful buildings, the town hall and the library: I...

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Posted by on Jun 13, 2013 in cycling and bike pics | 0 comments

Today’s bike ride near Lago Poma

Today’s bike ride near Lago Poma

Today I had a low HR zone planned, so I decided to go for a bike ride in the area near Lago Poma (an artificial lake that’s used for irrigation purposes in the summer) and take lots of pictures. I started in Balestrate and went in the direction of Partinico, where I took the SP2, a provincial road that goes in the direction of San Ciperello. After a few kilometers I saw Lago Poma on my right: I followed this hilly road until I had the possibility to go right in the direction of the towns of Grisì and Camporeale. After crossing the bridge I started to climb and took some pictures of the area: At the fork in the road I went into the direction of Camporeale. After a few hundred meters I had a great view of the hilly landscape with lots of vineyards: On the way to Camporeale I passed some ruins of an old farm house and church. I rode through the vineyards to the...

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