Friday, 14 August 2015

Puglia

Postcard from Polignano a Mare

by Mariagrazia Pascale

”It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them." Ernest Hemingway

I'm riding proud, the sunset dyes of red the asphalt and the horizon: the air freshly lapping on the skin and all around the country wakes quiet; a straight strip of sea glitters winking in the distance. I riding quickly, I want to listen to the waves breathe slowly on the threshold of the day: whisper immortal stories from which I let myself be enchanted as soon as I get out of my Scatto Italiano and silent rustle of the wheels on the asphalt becomes a tactile vibration that goes from hands to arms up to the head. I lean against the bare steel frame, and I'm watching the sun embrace the warm cliff lies at the foot of Polignano a Mare. I can't resist the temptation of a dip: cycle on my shoulder I reach a spur of rock from which the jump is exciting. I get lost in the stronger blue, silvery shades bring me back to fresh and pure substance that makes up my faithful traveling companion: I chose it well, essential; Columbus steel who was given only a transparent hand, I wanted that looked like my personality.

As soon as I wipe warmed by the sun, I climb back in the saddle to reach the center of the country: in front of me, the pure white of the lime painted houses is reflected in the blinding blue patch of sky. I wizz through the Marchesale Arc, the ancient gateway to the city, then I lose myself in the paved streets: I walk the clock square, admiring the soft sand-colored shades of the Santa Maria Assunta church, and I stopped once again to admire the sea from one of the beautiful terraces that open like caskets through the secret recesses of the narrow streets of the town.I continue to explore the village fascinated by Mediterranean colors and inviting scents that escape of stone houses kitchens: the grip on my american walnut handlebar is strong despite the heat of the midday sun, it is comfortable and dry the natural feel of wood under my fingers.

In the distance there is a little 'clustered in front of a local crowd, the smell of the sea that slowly grows stronger as they run pushes me to stop bound. I discover some unusual sandwiches, mix of land and sea: tuna tartare, burrata, tomatoes and pesto capers my choice, sublime mix, savor the most typical flavors of my land without leaving me nothing is unexplored and indeed desire to connect me to the generous countryside of Puglia full of childhood memories.

On the roads open up the asphalt furrows between the red earth and the majestic olive trees that show the wind throughout the their silvery beauty, the air is warm and grazes sinuous my body. I appreciate the mechanical smoothness of my fixed gear: legs move light and follow the route, I control rhythm in order to advance to the speed I want; my body as essential gear altogether.
I arrive soon in Conversano and the enchantment continues in front of Romanesque churches, ancient streets and quiet lead me in front of the Norman castle: the view from the square is incomparable and is dissipate over the countryside up to the intense blue of the sea in the distance.

I decide to lose myself again in shades of olive scales Apulia land, I come before one of the places that I defined as a child magical and full of mystery: the Tower of Castiglione. Knees peeled, caravans of children cycling and laughter, I rediscover those simple sensations along with eyes the walls and traces of paved roads that come tucked away amongst the weeds, by following them you can still see the foundations of the living spaces that evoke the ghosts of those who inhabited those places now abandoned.
As I look at the ancient trees of the forest, that I skim passing zig zag, I realize how unconsciously the colors I chose for my Scatto have the same tones of my heart and of a land which always'll call "home".

I back again to ride hard on the asphalt and the crackle of gravel under the wheels becomes the soundtrack to a slow sinking into the deep red sunset dying ruins, streets, trees and softens the chirping of crickets who sing romantic special summer, all up to ride.

Bike configuration

Be spoke model, frame in Columbus steel, custom raw paint and blackish details, Barra model handlebar, H+Son SL42 black rims with Vittoria Rubino black tires, San Marco Concor black saddle. Fixed gear with front brake, Paul Component lever.

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