June valleys practicing for brazen summer heat, MC stops to climb a tree to pick cherries. Bristle brush dark greens top unambitious foothills over irregularly shaped fields yellow to lime, then Dolomite grey holding up the ends of the sky. Wildflowers. This 60k path along the river, we’ve seen teenagers on hardware store mountain bikes riding lazy laughter circles, then and again twos abreast in serious kit and cadence heading out or back on a training ride, front and rear matching Ortlieb cycletourers eyes above level for adventure, a matching jersey club run of middle aged men zipping with evident purpose, a steady tap of city workers distinguished by their yellow neon striped traffic work trousers commuting home, friends on three speeds pedaling instead of a walk.
There is too much Tyrol here for this to be Italy the way that Roma or Tuscany are—dual language signage, northern Europe wood trim on white dark-tiled-roof houses, simple church towers with double arch bell portals, menus all schnitzel and speck dumplings. But it is markedly undeniably cycling culture and we revel.