Editor's Blog: My Two-Wheeled Pilgrimage To Mugello Begins On Monday

The wonderful thing about working in MotoGP is being surrounded on all sides by motorcycles. It is therefore rather ironic that one of the downsides to working in MotoGP is that it leaves you with very little time to actually ride a motorcycle yourself. Your days are taken up with hanging around in airports, travel back and forth to race tracks, chasing news and information, managing a website, and a large amount of utterly unglamorous but exceptionally necessary administration. If talking to the greats of motorcycle racing is the high point, filling in endless spreadsheets for the tax man is surely the low point. 

From time to time, however, I do get a chance to ride. Assen, Silverstone and the Sachsenring are all races which are close enough to travel to by motorcycle (I do not own a car, and haven't for twelve years or so). Though it is a wonderful feeling to spend some real time in the saddle, the trip is too often just a single day, spent largely on highways. And as everyone knows, motorcycles are made for curves, not straights.

The coming 10 days or so will be different. First thing on Monday morning, I shall throw my leg over my trusty motorcycle and spend the next three days riding down to Florence, and Mugello. Day 1 will be a long trip to Southern Germany over highways, day 2 will be spent crossing the Alps (in the rain, if the weather forecasters are to be believed) via Austria and Northern Italy, while day 3 will see me cross the Po valley, head down the coast and then inland to Florence. On the Monday after Mugello, I will ride over the Futa pass - the legendary road between Florence and Bologna, where Ducati have tested so many of their road bikes - before heading up to Asolo to visit the Alpinestars factory. From there, another three-day trip home.

This means that the site may be a little less active than normal, as I shall be spending a lot of time in the saddle. I shall try to post regular updates on my progress to the site, as well as a couple of articles I have been working on for this event. I shall also be posting regular updates on the MotoMatters Twitter feed. If anyone sees a blue BMW R1200GS with motogpmatters.com stickers on the side (one day soon, I shall organize some new stickers with MotoMatters.com on them), give me a wave.

As traveling for so long by motorcycle means more nights in a hotel and plenty of fuel, it is a more expensive way of covering motorcycle races. If anyone would like to chip in, you can send money via the donate page. All contributions very gladly received.

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Yer livin the dream bro. Enjoy your trip. Wish we could go with you but the Atlantic is a big henderance for some of us.

Thanks for all the "work" you do (just kidding, your words speak truth yet again) that we benefit from.

A three-day trip on your BMW is probably the equivalent of me taking my Ducati to the shops. smiley

Good luck, and enjoy the ride.

I was out in Tuscany for my bday in a Fiat Panda.... one of the best drives I've ever had! I can only imagine those roads on a bike. Ride safe and enjoy

Trips like that aren't possible here in the NT of Aus. Get away from the coastal areas at all and it is desert for thousands of Ks. I am looking forward to your updates!

do we rub it in when it's summer under the Southern Cross?

And I quote "This means that the site may be a little less active than normal, as I shall be spending a lot of time in the saddle."


BTW Jared. Don't be too hard on your Ducati, my Thruxton is proving about as reliable as my Ducati ever was.

I cannot imagine the views nor the smell of Alpine air. Please keep it rubber-side down! Thank you for the hours of enjoyment that you've given me (us). I haven't donated beyond my subscription since you were broken down in France a few years ago, so i am overdue to kick in a few bucks. Enjoy the trip and i am so jealous. I made the pilgrimage to Mugello in 2008 (i think) and while it poured it was like hallowed ground!

Since you'll be in the neighbourhood, you could come to Slovenia and give us a wave :)
As I remember, Mugello is an experience, so have a safe trip and great stay! Looking forward to your updates.

when you are around Bologna (better, between Bologna & Florence) you should really try the Raticosa (Passo della Raticosa). unbelievable.
also used by Ducati, Morini (ol' times), Ferrari & Lamborghini, to test the newer models...
I do really miss my hometown :(
have fun and remember "Al Mugello non si dorme! " :)

Going from Bologna along the Futa Pass and Ratticosa Passes, which lead into each other, takes you pretty much to the door of the Mugello circuit (which even from Barberino di Mugello, is amusingly poorly signposted). These are truly amazing roads and in the GS you have the right bike. Stopping at the Chalet Ratticosa for a drink and a cake is an essential for the view, a chance to meet bikers from all over Europe, and the fact that biking is largely about finding places for cakes and tea!

Be aware - traffic north of the Apennines is much politer and better mannered than to the south!

Get yourself a GO Pro Hero 3 David so we can ride along with you. Add a little commentary as you go. See Baron Von Grumble on Youtube. VLOG him!!!