Where Eagles Dare – A Trip to Ridgeline in Tuscany

Last summer I decided to book a holiday with Richard Williams, a guide I had met when he was working in northern Italy with Riviera Bike. Richard has now set up his own company, Ridgeline, deep in the Tuscan hills above Pisa. I had been promising myself a trip there for a couple of years since he set up there and finally got it sorted this summer.

Even better I managed to persuade 10 of my riding buddies to come along with me, including Paul who flew in all the way from LA just for the trip. To be fair it wasn’t difficult to persuade them to come after showing them the pictures of the trails, food and scenery on Richard’s website. The pressure was on Richard to produce an unforgettable holiday.

Luckily he didn’t even come close to failing.

The accommodation is an Agriturismo on the edge of a small town called Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, about an hour’s drive north of Pisa where we flew in to. The Agriturismo was a ‘basic’ country farm hotel. We all shared large twin rooms. But when I say basic, it had a great restaurant serving amazing fresh local food, decent WiFi, a swimming pool and breakfast cafe serving superb breakfast cappuccino. Not only that but there was a fully appointed workshop/bike store as well!

Anyway – enough chit-chat – suffice to say I decided to take my camera gear along to try and get some good riding shots of everyone. So glad I did as the scenery and trails were amazing…

Enjoy!

http://www.ridgeline.bike

Tuscany Pinkbike-34This was to be our home for the next week…

Tuscany Pinkbike-33Looking forward to jumping into the that at the end of a hot dusty day’s riding!

Tuscany Pinkbike-32Looks bike friendly!

Tuscany Pinkbike-3Anyway – to the business at hand – some last minute fettling in the workshop…

Tuscany Pinkbike-4How’s this for the first trail of the holiday – natural bike park berms in the burnt forest

Tuscany Pinkbike-5Frances is certainly enjoying it!

Tuscany Pinkbike-6The lunches never disappointed – limitless fresh pasta and more…

Tuscany Pinkbike-7Richard in his element, leading us down amazing dark hidden trails

Tuscany Pinkbike-8Dave and Tom doing their best to keep up!

Tuscany Pinkbike-9Who asked for more switchbacks?

Tuscany Pinkbike-10Yep! says it all!

Tuscany Pinkbike-11Richard’s local guide Nick showing he can still keep up on a 29er hardtail.

Tuscany Pinkbike-12Even the climbs are scenic…

Tuscany Pinkbike-13…and I mean scenic!

Tuscany Pinkbike-2Coffee to start day 2.

Tuscany Pinkbike-35Paul enjoying his cappuccino
Tuscany PinkbikeBreakfast, Tuscany style

Tuscany Pinkbike-14Time to hit up the local SuperEnduro trails – very steep!

Tuscany Pinkbike-15Davide – another of Richard’s local guides – who also owns a brewery – more of that later!

Tuscany Pinkbike-16Richard dropping into amazing trails above Calci

Tuscany Pinkbike-18Toby enjoying more trails above Calci

Tuscany Pinkbike-19Of course, the guide has to show off!

Tuscany Pinkbike-17The bikes rest up during another delicious lunch

Tuscany Pinkbike-20Jesse enjoying the olive groves

Tuscany Pinkbike-21Finally – time for some of Davide’s beer!

Tuscany Pinkbike-23Steak night tonight – some seriously large lumps of amazing beef!

Tuscany Pinkbike-22Tasted as good as it looks!

Tuscany Pinkbike-36NOT the uplift truck.

Tuscany Pinkbike-37Are we having fun lads?

Tuscany Pinkbike-38Tuscany Pinkbike-39John dropping into Calci

Tuscany Pinkbike-40Tom!

Tuscany Pinkbike-42Tom – not in his natural Scottish habitat

Tuscany Pinkbike-24Dave enjoying the views high above Massa

Tuscany Pinkbike-25Easy does it John – it’s a long way down!

Tuscany Pinkbike-26Natural trails test out the guys

Tuscany Pinkbike-27Dave!

Tuscany Pinkbike-28Where Eagles Dare!

Tuscany Pinkbike-29A church made of rocks in the middle of nowhere.

Tuscany Pinkbike-45There was little bit of carrying…

Tuscany Pinkbike-44Tuscany Pinkbike-46Toby approaching a tricky rocky Switchback

Tuscany Pinkbike-43Stormy sunset over the pool

Tuscany Pinkbike-30Tuscany Pinkbike-31Last trail of the last day – Moby leads out the train over the railway bridge

Tuscany Pinkbike-41Cheers! From Richard, Davide, Paul, Tom, Chris, ME, John, Toby, Gareth, James, Frances, Jesse (and Dave on the camera!)

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