Words by Cello | Pictures by Cello, Clava, Fisto & Visconte Cobram

 

LuCani Sciolti

“There aren’t actually any hiking, trail or topographic maps about Basilicata, sir… You could try with the IGM’s maps but most of them date back to the ‘70s…

‘l m’ha dìc inscì ‘l me soci sü a la VEL. “Quindi ciccia!” – I replied.

But l’internette and i compiuter have given us a huge amount of toys and tools to get things done that – even if the hipster inside you would love to go on relying on good ol’ paper – you can pull in the Leviathan with a fishhook or tie down its tongue with a rope.

Right?

So, that’s the point where I got an unknown call where a mechanical voice at the other end of the line repeated over and over: “You guys will redefine gugolört – ya know ya will”

“You guys will redefine gugolört – ya know ya will”

“You guys will redefine gugolört – ya know ya will”

“You guys will redefine gugolört – ya know ya will”

…… ad lib

Ok, I said, let’s bring this game to the next level shit! And I went straight to the Soup Kitchen to see if I could read between the lines of my broth and spent all the afternoon reading William Blake’s poems to see if I could fall in love with the Spheres:

“The war of sword & spears

Melted by dewy tears

Exhales on high

The Sun is freed from fears

And with soft grateful tears

Ascends the sky”

“Ascends the sky… Oh, if only I could fly up like a bird and get that bird’s eye aerial view all over that Basilicagna, then yes, I could really draw that behemoth cycle track that’s inside my head!”

And that was again the point where I got an unknown call where a mechanical voice at the other end of the line repeated over and over: “You guys will redefine gugolört – ya know ya will”

“You guys will redefine gugolört – ya know ya will”

“You guys will redefine gugolört – ya know ya will”

“You guys will redefine gugolört – ya know ya will”

…… ad lib

“Pretty stoking” – I thought. Then I hanged up and forgot about all the damned thing for about 4/5 minutes, until I turned my head and saw the cat surfing the internet bewitched by THIS.

Cat turned back to me and moaned: “With gugolört you can fly up like a bird and get that bird’s eye aerial view all over that Basilicagna and yes, you can really draw that behemoth cycle track that’s inside your head!”

Always trust a cat. And he stayed by my side while I was floating above that land, pointing my pointer over dirt roads crossing barren fields, double tracks fading into deep forests, following unnamed roads splitting curvy hills…

The whole thing took a couple of weeks, but in the end I came up with this ??? track which I had no idea where it will bring…

Unveiled.

 

DAY 1: MATERA – GRASSANO

First day was all about sailing through blue & yellow purple hills to Irsina, where we hoped to meet old friends but our hope vanished. We found instead a god blessing golden hour downhill and a long climb/hike-a-bike through oak forests in the night to reach Grassano.


 

DAY 2: GRASSANO – STIGLIANO

“Cumpa’, questi vojjono anna’ a Stigliano passando per il Vallone! E c’hanno pure le bbisci!”

“Buahahahahahaa! Nun c’arriverete MAAAAAAAAAIIIII!”

“Dovete pefforza prenne ‘a provinciale ed anna’ a Accettura.”

“E a Accettura ce trovate pure la neve! Buahahahahahaahah!”


 

DAY 3: STIGLIANO – SAN CHIRICO RAPARO

The last stretch of yesterday’s ride was garnished with cold, heavy rain and the stickiest mud we’ve ever experienced, which meant shouldering a 25kg-heavy bike on a dirt track while darkness was falling ruthless. Therefore, day 3 began with a strenuous work for getting our machines rid of that MF pasty mud.

First goal was Aliano, the town surrounded by huge, clayish, unstable ravines eroded by the rains where Carlo Levi lived in exile; just to find out that the new main road collapsed under a landslide right after one year from the opening ceremony: hell yeah!

But the worst/best was yet to come: from Aliano we dive right into a gorge and what in gugolört seemed like a path was actually nothing more than a riverbed… Bushwhacking was the way to go, enjoy!


 

DAY 4: SAN CHIRICO RAPARO – LAURIA

“Hey, they promised snow today…”

“Yeah, but if we’re fast enough and cross early in the morning the Armizzone Pass, probably on the other side of the mountains there won’t be any…”

But after Castelsaraceno, on our way to the pass, the snow started hammering down. Nevertheless we were fine! …Until we reached the crossing place at 1256m: here, to tell you the truth, our track was going to leave the main road and venture towards a mountain ridge on the right, invisible and fully covered in snow. We opted to continue on tarmac and let the descent become a freezing nightmare, especially since the frozen snow turned into wet snow, digging its way to our bones.

……………………….

Shivering

………………………………..

Now, search for a couple in the pictures below: the man on the left is a fireman, the woman on the right is his wife. They saved our asses by opening the doors of their house.

One month later, our “thank you” arrived in the shape of slinzega and storico ribelle.


 

DAY 5: LAURIA – MARATEA

The day is cold and windy. The way we chose is an old path that connects Trecchina to Maratea and seeps through the Serra Di Castrocucco. What to expect? Snow, of course. The trail is steep but the place is a dry and desolated wizardry.

And while the singer was spitting out “I put a spell on you!” we witnessed the tin surface of the Tyrrhenian Sea shining through mammary snowy hills and flying biting flakes.

And we knew the curse was broken…

 

 

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