The easiest way to go back on the saddle of your beloved MTB without suffering too much after a long and lazy winter is to ride through the Tirino Valley. It is a 20km ride (one way) from the village of Bussi, (Pescara) up to Ofena, (L’Aquila). It is a gentle, easy and scenic ride along the river Tirino, simple and relaxing.
The bike track runs along the river banks – no steep uphill, for the time being. About half way from Bussi, the gorgeous church of San Pietro ad Oratorium can be visited, if you are lucky enough to find it open. If not, just call the keeper (his number can be found on the front gate) and he will it open for you.
Water is everywhere, the lake of Capo d’Acqua is just a stone’s throw away further up the river. Wheat fields, vineyards as far as the eye can see and then the ghost town of San Silvestro rises up on the hill in front of you.
Now it is time to use your bike for its main purpose i.e. to go uphill. A fairly steep (12%) track borders the ghost (or goat?) village and reaches the foot of Ofena. Another small effort – no pain, no gain – to reach the top of the village and enjoy a robust and savory meal at Trattoria Aufinium (you will not find it on TripAdvisor but it is well worth a visit), have some rest on the benches of the diminutive park and then come back to Bussi.
Fast riders may go back on the same route and have lunch at Il salice where you can have some pasta alla chitarra with crawfish sauce. Delicious!