My next long ride will be in Italy, starting in early June and ending in July. But before describing that ride, I’ll share something important, the song for this post.
It’s Beyond the Blue, by Josh Garrels. It’s much more of a poem than a song. A line I like is “Sometimes, the only way to return is to go where the winds will take you.” More on that later.
Here’s a map of my route. I’ll land in Catania. It’s on the east side of Sicily, which is at the bottom of the map. To see Sicily better, zoom in at the bottom of the map.
In Sicily, I’ll start by cycling counter-clockwise along the part of a route that looks like a triangle. When I get to the southern-most tip of Sicily, I’ll cycle north for the rest of the ride, to Florence.
The entire route is about 1,300 miles (2080 km). I’ve cycled that far before, but this time, I’m going to spend more time off my bike since I love the old-world feel of Italy. In that case, I’ll probably take a train or bus on the sections of the route shown in grey, since they’re less interesting.
This video is from Sicily and shows a bit of why I like Italy so much.
I’ll finish with the start of this post and the line I like, “Sometimes, the only way to return is to go where the winds will take you.” As many of you know, the last several years have been “eventful.” My little health problem showed up, what I call my cancer. I was unemployed for much longer than I ever expected. And with everyone else, the pandemic added more challenges.
Looking back, all that shook me up more than I realized. I can see that now since many bits in life are better. I live in a small town in the Rockies, work at a job I love (at REI), and recently, I learned my little health problem may actually be little, even though it’s still advanced cancer. Last week, my oncologist told me that he knows two other people who have my cancer and are still alive after 15 years. I didn’t know that was possible.
Knowing it now makes me calmer than I’ve felt in years, so it’s like returning to the Steven from several years ago. But as the song says, returning might mean going where the winds take me. And soon, the winds will help me wander around Italy–in the best way I know. I’ll be cycling solo on my bike. I’m looking forward to taking you along for the ride.
One last bit for those of you who were watching the videos from my last long ride, on the Great Divide. I meant to post a video for every week but never got passed week 2. Life kept getting full with writing my latest book, enjoying REI, and exploring my new home in Montana. In that case, I most likely will not be finishing the videos for my bike ride on the Great Divide. But of course, more bike rides are ahead, so you’ll see them here. If you’d like to see pictures from the Great Divide, I put many on Instagram, with the name “cycle_writer”.