Mountain Biking in the Lunigiana

mtb riders piano di collecchiaWe were lucky. After deciding to amble over to Serricciolo for our Sunday coffee and pastries, we flung open the newly-varnished door and discovered flagmen lining our “street”. Their presence reminded us that there was a mountain biking race scheduled for the morning. Our battered guard rails held taped-on notices. The race was slated to head right past our door; racers would almost clip the corner of Francesca and Armando’s place.

Not only that, it was a stiff uphill climb to get up to the place, and I knew the racers would be huffing and puffing—and the pictures would be easy.

mtb riders pictureSo, I strapped on the big lens and headed out the door. In a couple of giant steps I got to where I could see exactly where they’d come up the hill, aiming for the corbeled passageway under the building to continue on to even higher ground. There I set up. I’ve done lots of racing photography in my life, and never has the commute been easier.

First came a moto, sputtering up the hill, then the strung out pack. The guy leading must have been good, he had quite a lead. After the next ten, the rest of the pack seemed to fade. But that meant they had time to greet all the folks along the road. It was nice. They wear colorful clothes.

mtb rider pair pictureAfter they had all passed, I shoved the lens in my bag and we headed down the road to Serricciolo, as we usually do when we’re home in Piano di Collecchia, lusting for a half-dozen or so of their famed tiny mini-pastries and a coffee.

Twenty minutes later we ambled into town. We turned to head toward the bar, passing a man with one of those red lollypop things cops stop you on the highway with to check your documentation. Right there, in front of the bar was the Arrivo, nicely planned it so that the sun would be cranking out its light behind the racers, making the photos nicely dim and shadowy.

After coffee and cakes, the first racer arrived. It was the same man who lead the race up the hill in Piano di Collecchia.

Finally, the guy sponsored by “brains” had time to get some shuteye.

winner lunigiana mtb gara picture
Winner of the Lunigiana MTB race crosses the finish line in Serricciolo.

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Mountain Biking in the Lunigiana originally appeared on , updated: Apr 19, 2022 © .

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