You know that feeling when you've eaten too much - but the food is so good you can't but help having another morsel. You're sitting down, so it's only when you go to stand you realise you are stuffed to the brim with rich goodness. Even when you stand, you stare at the table and look at what remains and now standing, you could probably squeeze one more bite in.
L'Eroica is like that.
For the eyeballs.
You know me, I'm all about the detour.
Here's one I like.
The pure gold is from 1.00 > 3.00 but it's all good.
A time and a place.
This age we live in demands news content almost instantaneously, but true experiences like great food require digestion, reflection and contemplation - something that we often don't have the 'time' for.
I'm not going to dish up the full story now, in one sitting. Just a taste of what is to come.
The stage - Toscana, Italia. Tuscany, Italy for us english speakers.
The weather - sublime. Barely a waft of breeze to be found in this time. Mornings began with a blanket of fog lifted from the low lying villages and vineyards. Evenings closed with fuschia horizons and more than a drop of Chianti, and a platter of salami and cheese.
What is L'Eroica?
On the surface or if the internet is your only window to the world, it's a bike ride where most of the field are riding 'old' bikes on dirt roads looking, dare I say it - EPIC.
While a fair description, it's like describing Woodstock as a gathering of musicians in a park. In truth it's more like a fine pastry. Layer upon layer of delicious eye widening amazement.
Add to that the splendid fair that lies at L'Eroicas heart in Gaiole. If you are a cycling tragic then come equipped with C.A.S.H. and plenty of it.
Where you will also find sellers as well as offering wares, are equally as happy to impart and show rare pieces of derailleur development and remark at how far Australia is from Italy and how they had a cousin who left in 1955 and never returned to Italy.
They went to Melbourne. Do you know Gino?
Of course, you will see many a fine bicycle. Particularly if you like paint, chrome and Italian hardware.
Being in a region free of unnatural light, with barely a single street lamp for the village of Strove where I stayed means when it gets dark - it's pitch black. When the moon is full you can walk at night without a torch.
Another morning in Tuscany. You'd think it was Ground Hog day the way each begins just as the others before it.
Not far from the rural charm of Chianti lies the great cities of Siena and Florence, an opportunity for mild hustle and bustle, where you will discover excellent examples of gelato, espresso and italian car parking in the same street.
You most definitely will bump into 'the face' of L'Eroica, Lucciano.
A kindred spirit, year one rider, and is as jovial as his moustache is wide.
I've hoped you've enjoyed this appetiser. It's not even an entree sized portion of the event, the people, the bikes, the route that will be served shortly.
No. Not a postcard. This is your stock standard vista. Villa included.
There were some real hightlights of the trip and it was fitting that mine came on the very last day, in the closing hours before I had to disassemble my bike, put it in a case and make the long journey home.
Laugh. Think. Cry.
Thanks again to Peloton Cycling Tours for allowing me to ride shotgun and in turn giving you a drivers seat to the experience.
The dust is still settling in my mind. Come back soon to read, hear and see more.
If you aren't in the habit of refreshing there is always Instagram (@FYXO) or these little reminder services.