Biking Levanto

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vincenzo nibali wins giro d’talia


With the victory today of Vincenzo Nibali in the Giro d’Italia (the Tour de France of Italy), it seems fitting to offer a few notes about biking Levanto and the areas around Levanto.

In many ways, Levanto is not your ideal biking locale, at least not unless you consider yourself a very serious biker.  Not for nothing has Levanto been on the map of the strenuous Giro twice in the last 5 years: the hills surrounding the town are pretty arduous.  That’s what makes them worth doing for those of you who are in serious shape and who are traveling with a bike you know and trust.

My own bike is not so trustworthy, nor am I in such great shape, and when I lived at my previous house, which ended with a near vertical grade of 200 yards, I cursed cycling almost daily.  The route to my new house is much better, which is great because in the summer it’s much easier to negotiate downtown and parking with a bicycle.  No parking tickets either.

But there is a wonderful coastal bike trail that has recently been given the honor of being included in the “Biking Italy” guide of the Italian Touring Club, and it runs oh so gently (by which I mean really, really flat) from Levanto to Bonassola to Framura along a disused 19th century railway line that has been revamped as a walking and biking trail.  Easy-going, great views of the sea and of otherwise hidden coves and beaches, and great destinations … it’s a perfect solution for Sunday bikers and parents riding with kids.

The “Biking Italy” guide also proposes that you return by the upper route, which is indeed a great ride but requires those bikes and legs and lungs that I mentioned previously.  The option of turning around and coming back down the easy trail is always allowed.

And for serious mountain bikers, you can get in touch with Levanto’s Lone Wolf Mountain Bike Club for information about trails, trail closures, and the new MTB park near Framura.  Check out their videos too!

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