I had the pleasure of a day’s riding on the Greek island of Kefalonia recently. (Okay, it’s not quite Rome, but I’m sure the riding is better)
Despite boasting a mountain range extending to a height of over 1600m, the island has vitually no MTB scene at all, and I ended up hiring Ainos Bicycle Store owner Vasillis’ own bike – a heavily modified, perfectly working Specialized Epic – for my ride.
Tarmac climbs led out from Argostoli until they gave way to dusty tracks reach into the higher peaks. A well placed rain collector and goat-trough saved the ride, providing a much needed refill of water supplies during the long, hot ascent. At the top the views were spectacular – a network of tracks criss-crossed the fir-ridden mountains, which showed dark against the bright sea and skies. A motorbiking goatherder was my only human contact during the entire ride, and I spent the descent playing tortoise and hare with him for fun.
Altogether it was a properly great ride in an awesome location.
I love riding in Wales, it’s the best country for mountain biking on Earth, but occasionally it’s nice to ride somewhere else. Somewhere hot.