Video & Photo Story: Tito Tomasi Rides and Road Trips through the South of France

Nov 21, 2020
by Tito Tomasi  
Views: 2,449    Faves: 6    Comments: 3



This is a chapter of the web series "Our Playground" by Tito Tomasi - showcasing some good riding in some beautiful areas!
With the end of lockdown number one it was time to start a new road trip, and after losing your freedom, where do you go for exploring first? your backyard!




Simple map of the Maritimes Alps with the itinerary made.


The Road Trip Concept 


The idea was to travel the department in a van, from valley to valley, meeting friends to enjoy this mountain biking paradise together. Different guests for each valley, very mountain rides, all in the simplicity of a road trip. Good riding, friends, mountains, quiet evenings in the van with sunsets and a good dose of travel.

The Story

The journey began with the northernmost of the Alpes-Maritimes valleys, Roya. I was riding with my friend Dario, an Italian rider from the region of Brescia and the Dolomites. Great rider, enthusiastic and mountain lover, we were able to ride together despite very bad weather conditions. The first day, it took several hours of waiting for the sun to come out to go to the summit of Nauque, unfortunately in the ascent Dario broke his rear wheel and I continued the ride alone. At the top, an incredible panorama of the mountain and the Vallée des Merveilles, chase with the chamois in the light of the sunset. And wild descent to find Dario and the van at Mussolini's station in Saint Dalmas de Tende.

The next day Dario will look for a wheel in the morning and then join me to ride together, we start from Tende towards the top of Agnelo's peak. On the way up, the rain comes back and forces us to shorten the tour a bit but above all to shelter from the rain! The descent towards the village, it was rowdy, we feast, we fall, we roll and we join Tende to take a shower in the rain before taking the road. Direction the second valley, the Bevera!

Tonight it's pasta and eggs in the truck, a beer and lots of mountain biking memories. We leave a vehicle in Sospel to go up to the Col de Turini in the morning, and tackle the magnificent and varied crossing Turini-Sospel. A first part on the heights in a superb forest of pin trees. Before finding Moulinet, Dario breaks his derailleur and once again I have to continue alone. So I continue on the rocky paths towards Sospel then up to the mont Cuore for an epic loop. A great big day. I fall asleep at the Col de Turini really happy with this magnificent day, Dario with his Fiat Multipla next door! 

In the morning he makes me a coffee and I leave him for Vésubie. Julie and Nic are waiting for me in Saint Martin, a couple of EWS racers. I'm going to take them to the Cimes de la Colmiane, it should change them from enduro trails! Indeed, it was for them a different ground but they adored this very mountainous day. From encounters with horses at high altitude, to superb lakes, passing through alpine trails on the crest lines, it was an intense day. We leave each other at the end of the afternoon and I go to Cians to find Cédric Tassan from Vtopo, who also rides a few days in the area. 

The next morning, my long-time friend Florian from my hometown joined us for a day that promises to be quieter. We rode some really nice classics trails in the alpine, in the deep forest and then in the typical rocky ones. Valberg really is an unmissable place ant it's not just because of the sumptuous panoramas on the Mercantour NP but rather the crazy mountain bike trails that the 'we find all around when we search! This day even if it was less demanding than the others leaves me very tired and sick, probably from the cold in the Roya valley. 

In the morning it is almost voiceless that I find my father, we leave our vehicles in Isola to drive with Bruno and Titi towards the ski resort Isola 2000 and begin this final loop, this last trip in the Tinée ends the trip in apotheosis. The most beautiful day and in addition, I have the incredible chance to share it with my father!

Here we are between France and Italy, on the military lines of altitude, playing the tightrope walk with the snowfields and hide and seek with the chamois. The path will take us around lakes, peaks, crossing some passes. It was a magnificent day in this atmosphere of friends but also father/son and then because we savored a newfound freedom with one of the first big mountain trips of the year. After wild and crazy trails, we returned to Isola village in unreal sunset light. Savoring every moment. In the evening, I shared the meal and the camping spot with my father, our vans side by side. 

The next day, at the Auberge la Quintesse, we celebrated freedom, cycling, the mountains and Father's Day. It is also the best mountain restaurant that I know, we had as much feast at the table as the day before on our bikes. I'm quietly taking the road back to the coast after this tremendous road trip, tomorrow I'm driving back to Haute-Savoie to write a chapter with my little family, we've been on the road for over a year and a half now. We have to relocate, put a lot of things back in the mix and all this for us three now!

Thinking back to this trip, in this particular context, leaves me with a strange feeling, we have always enjoyed a strong freedom, for those who had made the choices for the world had become small and the experiences immense. Tomorrow nothing is guaranteed. So let's just be aware, life is a chance.

Thank you for your support, your interest. It helps me, to push and propose creative content. Wishing next year will bring more possibilities, support and energy to bring top quality content again.

Thanks to my partners who allow me to continue living extraordinary adventures like this to inspire others. Show that it's not just the race between rubalises that counts, that simplicity matters and that the world is vast.
@urge bike @shimano @hutchinsontires @raceface @MarzocchiMTB @CamelBak

Photo Epic

Mussolini's train station in Roya valley, a mark of the ancient period where Italian fascism wanted to show the power. Before been French again.

Typical trails int he heights of Sospel, Bevera valley.

French/Italian antic border mark.

Dario and Tito.

Italian coffee for breakfast.

The horses in the mountains.

Two racers are making it to the clouds.

Julie and Nic, desperately looking for loam!

Wild ridge lines.

Tito on slab.

Love is in the air, not in the water.

Mtb trail near Guillaumes, Cians valley.

What a day! riding the last valley, a huge ride and with dad. So I put my favorite socks on.

Military lines above 2000m.

Pine loam and wild trails, what a day. Tinée valley.

Our trails are not always on Strava but they are in our heart, carving our passion for adventure rides and mountains.

The famous Turini to Sospel is a half-day ride through all the layers, the forest and the good trails.

Sospel.

Julie Duvert.

Nic Bean.

Dad in the first downhill, entering Italy.

The man behind my passion for outdoor, mountain and simple life. Next one three generations!

Alpine lake in Italy.

Like father like son.

Chillin on the French Riviera with the biggest sailing yacht in the World.

Yours truly. In my element.



13 Comments

  • 24 0
 Just to let you know that the Roya and Vesubie valleys were devastated by a huge storm some weeks ago. It is still very difficult if not possible to gain acces to the end of the both valleys. Lets hope this will be sorted next summer for their inhabitants and for those who would like to enjoy one of the best riding place on earth, a mountain biking paradise.
  • 5 0
 Thank so much for sharing your adventure and memory of last Summer's freedom. Loved the drone shots, trail riding images and stories of exploring with friends and family, particularly now as so much shut down. All the best to valley communities hit by big storm just before Winter.
  • 5 1
 i was so looking forward to pictures of a beautiful fiat multipla. and then it's just a doblo. huge bummer. sad!
  • 5 0
 Way to go dad!
  • 3 0
 really good story, awesome views as well
  • 1 0
 Beautiful scenery and great work with the video and photos. Thanks for sharing!
  • 1 0
 Superbe vidéo, et merci pour les paysages on voyage c'est à nouveau l'été et on sent presque l'odeur des pins.
  • 2 0
 Awesome!
  • 2 0
 FOUZY GAMIN!
  • 1 0
 Any chance of sharing your routes??
  • 1 0
 It's sync with my trailforks! Aloha
  • 1 0
 this guys a legend. properly exploring the alps

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