Picos Original Riders

Picos Original Riders
Highlights of 2010

Last of the Picos Riders - to Rome Alone!

Our first two charity rides were a huge success - raising over £20,000 for the South East Cancer Help Centre.

The Centre does a fantastic job of supporting patients and carers at the most difficult times of their lives. They make a real difference and you could help them in their work by contributing to our fundraising. Donations can be made via JustGiving.comhttps://www.justgiving.com/Tom-Vaz/ or directly into the Centre. For more details of the Centre and their work see their website at http://www.sechc.org.uk/

After 3 years of rest it seemed time to dust off the old muscles, bones and sinews and do one more spectacular ride in aid of this fabulous charity.

This time I will travel alone for 25 days, mainly following the ancient pilgrimage route to Rome, the Via Francigene, covering a distance of around 1,400 miles.

The route travels through Newhaven - Dieppe - Paris before I eventually reach the Via Francigene in Eastern France. From then on it is pretty simple apart from having to cross the Alps without an elephant!

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Day 17 Pavia to Piacenza

An exceptionally hot today today. There had been very little cloud or tree cover. My route meandered north of the Po River but in a flat and fairly featureless landscape only the churches in the occasional village stood out.

I did eventually climb up a great height of 75 meters before swooping down towards the river. The cool breeze generated as I hit 30mph made it worth the climb!

I followed this character while cycling through Piacenza to scrutinise the rules of cycling in Italian towns. Basically cyclists have right of way over everyone else including pedestrians on a pavement! You don't need to worry about traffic lights or even wait for cars to stop at the crossings.

This glamourous lady spent ages convincing her dog to get in the basket. I'm not surprised it was reluctant!

At 7pm I struggled to find a place serving food in the outskirts of town. Eventually I had a batarĂ² - sort of a like panini but actually very tasty. Makes a change from pizza and pasta! 

At 9pm the temperature in Piacenza is still 30C so I just went to sleep early. One more day before the rolling hills of Tuscany.

Another 46 miles today. 


  1. The glamorous lady needs a bigger basket! But remind me why you chose to cycle to Rome at the end of July in those temperatures? Is this your masochistic streak over-ruling the logical side of your brain? Bev

  2. From what I remember there are no rules for any road user in Italy - it's a free for all. Once again I'm envious as would love to see Tuscany but will make do with your photos for now. The finger looked pretty nasty but what sort of scout leader doesn't carry plasters? You should be made to give some of your badges back! Good luck with the rolling hills