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BICYCLE TOUR: EUROTOUR 2010

FLAVIO BASSI'S ON-BOARD DIARY

DAY 2

DATE: 08:07:2010
START: TRENTO
FINISH: MERANO
LENGTH: 104 KM
AVERAGE SPPED: 19 KM/H
DIFFICULTY GRADE: A1
Trentino and Alto Adige mean business
Some apparently unrelated considerations.

1) The provinces of Trento and Bolzano are since ever in relation with tourism.
2) An important richness of the Alpine regions are the ski slopes.
3) Climate change makes the snow on the mountains progressively decrease.
4) The bicycle, according to the central and northern European mentality, is a noble means of transport.

Perhaps combining these pieces one can understand why Trentino and Alto Adige, unique in Italy, have built a COMPLETE network of REAL cycle paths. No useless stripes painted on the asphalt of state, provincial and urban automotive roads, no lying signs with the little drawing of bicycle affixed to the state, provincial and urban automotive roads, not teasing books showing phantom bikeway along, looks a bit ', state, provincial and urban automotive roads. The other Italian regions throw money on all this.

Instead, Trentino and Alto Adige invested in REAL cycling paths: it is reductive to call them paths, they are real new roads reported to the human scale. You can go from south to north of the region, from east to west, remaining on REAL ribbons of asphalt, perfectly groomed, reserved for light mobility. And the network of paths is COMPLETE, connected with Europe because it reaches the Italian borders on some passes (Brenner, Resia, Pusteria-Drava).
Crossing the cities is nice too. REAL reserved paths, physically separated from car traffic, there are almost always; where missing, they are often planned or under construction.
In this way, many zones which before were a little depressed have seen the birth of a new tourism, the bicycle tourism from the north. So the richness of these zones has increased; it is all documented in official publications and local press releases. The investment in cycle-pedestrian infrastructure has produced richness.

Impressive is the cycling network of Bolzano, with (bicycle) traffic at the northern European levels (in the picture, its particular: the junction between two cycle-pedestrian streets, watched while I am on a third cycle-pedestrian street that is placed over a new expressly built iron bridge).

The question now is: where are the other regions of Italy? The international cycling tourism is just waiting for them! Every day spent painting stripes with European funds is a lost day.

This is the essence of the day. As for the remainder, the modern summer makes itself be felt. Temperatures almost always above 35 C. It goes quite well, however; while you ride you appreciate the fresh air in which you fly, and if you drink frequently the warm remains still tolerable.
The arrival at the campsite of Merano is refreshing (in fact fortunately the pool was still open, its last half hour is available for a cure-all swimming).

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