Start: Friday 24 September 08:00am CET
Weaving a dusty trail between Torino (Italy) and Nice (France), the Torino Nice Rally (TNR) travels the roads of old, built to defend boarders went times were more turbulent. Forts dot the route, awarding the alert rider to a different struggle. While the weary rider needs only push a loaded bike along these rough roads, those coming before faced much worse.
But what’s certainly share is the beauty of this rugged terrain – snow capped peaks across the horizon, white dusty roads flung across the mountain like a piece of spaghetti dropped by accident. Blue skies contrast the rust dust where low oxygen deprives plants the chance to grow tall. The smell of chestnut trees still fresh in your mind as you leave the cover of shade to face the climb ahead where the vegetation does little to hide the brutal ascent ahead.
Where clouds wrap the tops of the mountains, an emerging Refugio emits the aroma of a wild boar and polenta stew and the chance to warm and dry out before descending to warmer altitudes and the sight of the Mediterranean sea, basking in the sun and teeming with tourists. The shock of moving from remote quite to bustling metropole is soon forgotten as riders gather to share stores and replenish tired bodies.
The pre-ride dinner and finishers party bookend a solo event, but deep down every rider savours the chance to gather, talk bikes and kit, and plans for the next crazy adventure.