Photoglimmer: Dudda, Allegria and the Best Thing Ever
It all comes together in Dudda.
Five relative strangers in front of a coffee shop, grinning. Five women with five versions of the most amazing coffee you’ve ever had. Five pastries. One long climb ahead.
It’s hard to say why it happened in that moment. Maybe it was the bench, our proximity to one another – shoulder to shoulder and glistening from 2 hours pedaling uphill in the sun. Or the fact that everyone – even Raul and Nate – had worn matching InGamba kit that day. We rolled like a crew. Maybe we finally felt a little like a team.
We all had decent legs. We were happy, we were full, we were warm. Raul was singing. In the support van Luis had followed us closely up the last climb, blaring bad Euro electronic pop. It was the kind of thump-thump that could help you tap out a respectable cadence
On that bench in that sun, we laughed even more than we had all week. We spoke the InGamba dialect: a funny mix of Italian, Portuguese and English (and occasionally French or German, depending on the mix of guests). We ate pocket snacks and swiped Cokes from the van. We refilled bottles and rolled out to face the final major climb of the day, which was long but not too long and steep but not too steep.
Later there would be massages, naps, Florentine steak from the famous butcher. We would refill each other’s wine glasses without asking, having finally learned the rhythm of the dinner table together. Amidst the clatter of plates and flatware, we would talk about that coffee stop in Dudda – the one where everything was somehow just perfect, where we became friends and not just riders.
This is not a bike tour. This is an invitation to become part of something – to grow and learn and ride and connect. An invitation to a lovely little town that Joao Correia once called home (and that I also now think of as a kind of home), to pull up a chair at the table, to talk and joke and debate like family. To gesticulate wildly and flash the whites of your eyes while exclaiming, “This is the best thing EVER. I mean… EVER!”
If a little wine gets spilled in the process, all the better. Allegria, ladies. Allegria.
Grazie mille. Grazie grazie grazie.
Check out the Dudda ride (short version) on Strava.