Bicycling through blizzards of blossoms

Cycling on Lucca’s walls.

We had a quiet morning doing schoolwork, including updating the boys’ blogs with their latest writing.

After lunch, we hired bikes from one of the many, many cycle hire shops in Lucca. The top  of the wall is a perfect riding environment: a 4km circle with plenty of space and no cars. As we set off we realised this was the widest environment the boys had ever ridden in. Back home they are always stuck on paths – so turning in circles was a bit of a novelty.

The other novelty was riding without helmets. I know how important helmets are and back home we always wear them. But now we’re on holiday and there are no helmets available. So we could ride along with the wind in our hair; which I have to say makes for a much better experience, at least as long as you stay on your bike.

The path on top of the walls of Lucca is planted with avenues of trees. They seem to alternate sections between chestnut, sycamore and beech trees. The chestnut trees are in full flower and the stiff breeze we had today lead to us cycling, and coughing, through a fragrant blizzard for some of the ride.

Even though we circled the walls twice this was a far easier ride than our Belgium efforts. There’s still something so special about riding to another town or country that made the Belgium bruising worthwhile. Today was charming and nice, but didn’t have the same sense of achievement. I think our next task will be to see if there’s somewhere nearby it’s viable to ride to.

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