Any ride is generally a good ride but what separates a good ride from a Top Ride? Well usually it’s the location but it could be your riding partner, your equipment or even the rest stops. This past summer our own Chris Selden discovered a truly top ride cycling Piedmont in Italy where he had the perfect combination of everything.
For the past 25+ years riding has been a simply HUGE part of my life and in that time I’ve been lucky enough to have some truly amazing experiences. From BMXing around the neighbourhood as a kid to battling with some of the best pros in the sport in races on various continents across the world, it’s fair to say I’ve done a little bit of everything in the cycling world. After all those experiences across the years, what to me still makes a ‘Top Ride’?
Well, no.1 has to be the company. Having a great riding partner can change any ride from a good one to a great one. For today’s Top Ride I was lucky enough to have the company of my Dad, Bob.
Bob picked up the bike riding bug after following me around the country to take me to races as a junior and he thought that the sport looked easy enough…… famous last words!
My Dad Bob, loving the Piedmont countryside on our simply superb day out.
Now that I live in France and he has moved to New Zealand our rides together are few and far between but just over one year ago it looked like our rides together were ended as he was in a very nasty battle with an aggressive cancer. Thankfully he came through that in his typically positive way and was amazingly quickly back on the bike and back in shape so when the opportunity came to me to do a review on the Piedmont Cycling Resort in Italy there was only one riding partner that I really wanted to share the experience with.
No.2 on the what makes a Top Ride list would have to be the location. I’ve had some amazing rides with friends in anywhere from a supermarket carpark to the French Alps but a truly beautiful location can easily push a ride from the ‘good’ to ‘top’ category very easily. I’d previously ridden in the Piedmont region some 10 years or so ago and I remembered it as being a nice spot for a little ride but upon returning I was able to discover some truly great spots to ride – thanks to my company on the first part of the ride, Larry and Heather from CycleItalia.
Seemingly around every corner there’s another simply stunning hilltop village to admire and explore
No.3 on the Top Ride list for me is equipment. Although by no means could I be a categorized as a techno-wheenie, I certainly can appreciate a good bike and Larry and Heather delivered for my father and I in a big way with their fleet of new, custom Italian carbon Favaloros (read the PEZ Readers’ Rigs feature of Favaloro here). I think even just a ride around on the block on one of these babies would be good ride!
A part of Larry and Heather’s Favaloro collection
My Favaloro for the ride
No.4 on the Top Ride list are the bonuses en route. Sometimes a bonus could be a chance encounter with another cyclist, a local or some truly great food – an unexpected and welcome bonus indeed on this particular ride.
Larry and Heather showed Bob and I around for the first 40km of this ride and then straight to this amazing restaurant for a super tasty snack worthy of the best restaurants in the land.
No.5 is a refreshing recovery drink shared with your riding mates while you discuss the adventures completed and start planning the next ones!
Well there you have it, my recipe for a truly Top Ride. If you want to experience the region for yourself I couldn’t recommend Larry and Heather’s setup at the Piedmont Cycling Resort highly enough. By yourself or with a group of friends I’m sure that you will experience many Top Rides during your stay.
Chris Selden has been riding and racing his bike around the world for the last 25 years and writing for PEZ for the last 15. You can follow Chris and his adventures in the South of France on his instagram page.