While visiting the lovely Ticino in Switzerland I decided to conclude the last warm days of September with a couple of sessions of amateur mountain biking. The Lugano area, surrounded by beautiful mountain, river, lake and natural scenery, is a perfect destination for recreational mountain bikers who enjoy riding as much as they enjoy exploring and scouting for that ultimate location to gather their breath and experience a sense of peace.
For me, Santabbondio located in the heart Collina D’oro and the surrounding paths of hilly Montagnola are special places that fill me with happiness every time I visit them, this time with a bike- the immense fatigue I endured climbing up the hill was soon soothed with few breaks at benches offering a cool shade and the best views of lake Lugano. The nature smelled like nature, a really surreal experience when for someone such as myself, that spends such a long time away from it. The worst part was that I struggled to set the correct gear, making my journey up hill extremely difficult- a flashback from spinning class!
Soon I gave in to the scenery and gave up on the hills- dragging my bicycle along while reaching for my camera and experimenting with different shots- I transformed into a proper photocyclist. Two hills up and I was as thirsty as a cactus in a dessert; luckily I found a grocery equivalent of an oasis stocked with ice cold water in the fridge. Any of you attempting mountain biking should know about the challenges that await you.- after trying it for the first time since childhood, so far it was most physically devastating physical activity. I say devastating because it is incredibly difficult to build endurance- one hill can kill you and on a hot sunny day you even start to count the stars.
Still, mountain biking is ideal for naturalists who enjoy movement while experiencing breathtaking scenery. Flexibility is also on the menu- you can take as many breaks as you like and engage with nature or go for a proper cardio workout that hardly compares to the cardio choices you are offered at the gym. The only setback is that of convenience- how can an urban individual practice mountain biking in a sizeable city? My answer to that is: join a group of passionate mountain bikers that schedule their excursions in advance and enjoy the social atmosphere this sport offers. While this time I went for a short excursion up in Montagnola next time my goal is to gather a group of friends and go for a ride- in my case a slower and hedonistic group of friends 🙂
Anyways I am planning to do that some time soon so I will keep you posted! For now you know that even an absolute beginner can try mountain biking and enjoy it to the fullest… both in London and Ticino