There are various other people now involved in some way, shape or form with my little summer trip to Puglia;
Basil & Liz Ford
I have known Basil & his wife Liz for most of my years living in Reading. He is a fellow languages teacher and we worked together for some years at Prospect School. He left to become the head of languages at Woking High about five years ago, a couple of years before I left to take up the same job at Gillotts School. About three years ago, they purchased a small “trullo” on a property in Puglia and in 2007, after a journey that took in Paris, Madrid, Florence and Naples, I spent a few days staying with them. When I needed somewhere to cycle to, Puglia seemed the obvious place to pick. As I have said elsewhere on the blog (see “The Destination” page for information about their property which is rented out at most times during the year), it could be that my stay with them in 2010 could be very brief as if I arrive late August, I will need to rush back to the UK to get back to work. That said, having someone at the end of the journey to welcome me is not just nice, it may prove invaluable as I collapse on their doorstep…
The other others
Thanks to all these people who have been kind enough to share their thoughts with me via this blog;
Alain Lenain – my first Warmshowers guest!
Alastair Humphries – World cyclist, author and motivator
Alf Grant – Cycling from Newbury to Athens & Sofia in summer 2012
Alfred L.C. van Amelsvoort
Bernie Friend – Author of “Cycling Back to Happiness”
Bill Vrabel – cycling from Orkney to Rome in late August 2010
Chris Hammersley – planning on cycling the VF in 2010
Claus Blanz – a friend in Stuttgart who I will hopefully be meeting en route to Rome in Strasbourg
David Birkby – my cousin
Darrell Whittle – cycling the Pennine Cycleway in July 2010
Doretta Vicini – vice-president of the ECF
Flavio the Florentine – inventor of Grandride!
Gary Walters (+ friends) – cycling Rotterdam to Milan in 9 days in early August 2010
George Jemmott – cycling Milan to Calais in March / April 2010
Helen O’Shaughnessy – planning on cycling the VF in 2011
Iain Harper – cycling Rome to the UK via Aosta in 2010
Ian Hendry – planning to cycle London to Rome in 2011
James Baker – he bought my old gear shifters!
Jean-Marie Vion – cycled Brussels to Aosta
Jim Rawnsley – the bother of my sister-in-law, keen cyclist
JJ Istrin (& his wife) – cycling from Brussels to Rome in summer 2010
John Calver – cycled from England to Aosta in 2009
Jonathan Scott – cycling Rome to London in early summer 2010
Laura Birchenough – cycling in Puglia and Greece, Spring 2010
Marcello Clarizia – Warmshowers guy in Rome
Mark Beaumont – World cycling guru
Mark Waters – CTC Touring Officer
Mary & Warren Askew – cycled around (most of) the World!
Paul Chinn – Author of the definitive cycling guide to the VF
Paul Richards – Cycling London to Basel with his brother in 3 days (!) in May / June 2010
Rachel McCormack (& Giovanni) – Cycling from Ireland to Puglia in May / June 2010 for the Irish Cancer Society
Richard Burton – hoping to cycle from Essex to Rome in stages over a year or so
Simone Giappone Sacchi – cycling enthusiast in Pavia, Italy
Simone Rezza – thinking of cycling from Italy to the UK
Susan Hausberger – cycling from Lake Constance to Christchurch (UK!) in August 2010
Todd Rygh – cycling Winchester to Rome in June 2010
Tricia Graham – cycled the VF in 2009
….and the others who I have forgotten (apologies). Your comments are always very useful and welcome.
Just happened to come across your website and found it very interesting and quite relevant to me and partner Giovanni. We are finalising preparations for our bike challenge which will see us mountain bike from Dublin, Ireland to Santa Maria di Leuca in Puglia (approx 110km south of Brindisi). We are hoping to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society. We are avoiding main roads as much as possible and hope to cycle along canals, lakes, rivers etc as much as possible. We are starting in Mid May and hope to reach the end of our journey 7 weeks later. We have set up a facebook group called ‘Cycling from Ireland to South of Italy for Cancer Research’ where we will be posting photos of our trip and updates prior and during the adventure. Best of luck to you in your trip. Let’s hope we all make it to Puglia in 1 piece!
Thanks for the comments Rachel. I’m glad to have been of use! I would imagine that you are following a more direct / Via Francigena route rather than the Eurovelo 5 route which, before you arrive in Italy is further to the east and less direct. I’ll be following you on Facebook and will be interested to know how you get on. Are you going to be camping? If so, I’d love to have some sites recommended on the parts of our routes which coincide.
Good luck with the ride!
Rachel: me again! Just seen your map on the “My Charity” site and you are taking an interesting route!!! Now even more reasons to follow your adventure 🙂
Seeing as we are mountain biking enthusiasts we want to stay away from the main roads as much as possible. We’re more interested in coasting along canals, lakes, rivers etc. The more rural the better! The route will be longer but we’re in no hurry (quit our jobs last May to enjoy 16 months of temporary retirement). We won’t be camping as to honest that’s just 1 step too far for me. I have been contacting hotels/hostels along our route asking them to sponsor us 1 night’s accommodation in return for exposure on our facebook & fundraising pages seeing as we are trying to raise money for Cancer Research and are self-financing the trip so all proceeds go to charity and so far out of 26 locations 14 hotels have agreed to sponsor us. Join our facebook group so that you can see updates of our adventure.
Really interesred in your trip. We are two seventy year olds who cycled on the Via Francigena from Gatwick Airport to Rome last year – our route slightly different to yours as we went through France, Switzerland and over the grand st bernard Pass to the Aosta Valley – used Paul Chins book as a guide. A wonderful trip. Am really interested to hear about the route south of Rome – may be for next year then on to Greece. This year we are riding from cuxhaven to Venice through countries that will be a major linguistic challenge to us!
Have an amazing trip – I am sure you will
Thanks for the comment.
Yes, the bit south of Rome should be interesting! There is an aspirational cycle route called the Via dei Pellegrini which starts in the north (at the Gotthard Pass) and then continues all the way to Brindisi in the south via Rome although I don’t think anyone has actually mapped let alone sign posted the route for cyclists yet! I would love to continue my journey to Greece and perhaps beyond but I will have run out of time by the time I arrive in Puglia… Perhaps in 2011 🙂
Good luck with your trip from Cuxhaven in Germany to Venice. I don’t speak any German myself (just French that I also teach and a bit of Italian) but I have always found the Germans to be more than accommodating when it comes to helping people out with their linguistic challenges – they are far more patient than the French! And what a fantastic destination; Venice – one of my all time favourite places! I love the “sound” of Venice which is unique from any other major city I can think of, mainly because of the lack of noise from cars.
I will be continuing from Brindisi by boat over to Kephalonia, and maybe around there. My sister is getting married there so it depends on dates!