Tuscany, as well as being the home of Parentini, is also famous for its rich history, art, culture, food, wine and local produce. It’s also home to a rich history of cycling culture and the gravelled white roads – the ‘Strade Bianche’.
There is an event that brings all these Tuscan favourites together. A special cycling festival, which sees the area around Anghiari going back in time for a weekend – L’Intrepida.
Born in 2012, and taking its inspiration from the nearby Eroica bike ride, the premise is simple. You ride the old roads of the area on a pre-1987 bike. The course traverses the area where the battle of Anghiari took place, as celebrated by Leonardo di Vinci in his masterpiece ‘The Battle Of Anghiari’. The painting shows a battle in full action, however, the truth is a little more dull. Records show only one man died, when he fell off his horse!
The pre-1987 bikes have to feature a steel frame, down tube shifters, external cables and toe clips and straps. Riders also have to ride in vintage cycle clothing. The support vehicles are all vintage, even the food stops are a step back in time, the helpers resplendent in old or traditional costume – and there’s no energy gels or protein bars here, no power meters or computers. All the food is local seasonal produce, cooked and baked locally. You’ll even find local priests cracking nutritious walnuts from a nearby tree and farmers offering their latest harvest of grapes, apples, chestnuts and wine.
Ali Katir, a Parentini Test Team member, took part in this weekend’s L’Intrepida. Ali had his pre 1987 bike but didn’t have the correct jersey. However, being a local company, there was no shortage of vintage Parentini jerseys available to buy in the local shops and antique markets. And along the way, he bumped into other riders and their old wool Parentini jerseys. Ali wore a wool vintage jersey made for a local team – G.C Molese.
After the event Ali tucked into some delicious post ride food and sent us a little report:
“It was 7 degrees at the start with fog in the valley, pretty cold. I had the short sleeved wool jersey and a Parentini U312A baselayer with Parentini thermal arm warmers, my body was not cold but my hands were! After the initial short descent we started climbing, the fog cleared and with it the cold. Despite being ‘old technology’, it was amazing how the jersey was perfect for the whole of the ride, the temperature did not exceed 20deg. The jersey has deep rear pockets and fitted so well, really similar to the modern extreme-cut jersey, only heavier. I was allowed to use my modern Parentini Shark shorts, in a vintage finish as I had a sample in my Parentini wardrobe. I saw a lot of Parentini Del Tongo jerseys, and some other rare ones. I managed to buy another rare Parentini jersey from the market the day before. I would highly recommend L’Intrepida, it’s unique, local and undiscovered. You really feel like an intrepido! Oh did I mention the food and wine? You need to be there to try for yourself. Calories burnt=2400. Calories consumed= 5000!”
The festival has grown in stature over it’s short history, with local ex-pro’s lending their support such as Fred Morini, and Italo Zilioli, alongside Giro d’Italia winners Francesco Moser and Gilberto Simoni who have ridden the last few editions. There are three routes to choose from. Ranging from 42km (the food lovers route) then a medium 85km course through to the ‘Intrepido’ at 120km. Which doesn’t sound much, but try doing it on a bike from the 1960s!
If you fancy experiencing next year’s L’Intrepida, Volata Tours can organise a trip for you. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about L’Intrepida visit their website.