Corsica spinning: Le Tour in the land of Napoleon

 

The view looking west from near the top of the Col de Teghime, which rises more than 500 meters from the Mediterranean coast. Photo courtesy of the French bureau of tourism.

The view looking west from near the top of the Col de Teghime, which rises more than 500 meters from the Mediterranean coast. Photo courtesy of the French bureau of tourism

By Michael Collier

In late June of 2013, the 100th edition of the Tour de France began on the Mediterranean island of Corsica, the birthplace of Napoleon and officially part of France since the late 18th Century. This year, on a two-week trip to the island, my wife and I hiked in Corsica’s majestic mountains and swam in the cool waters of the sea.

Two days before we departed for Italy, I made good on my promise to ride a bike on an 86-mile route around the Cap Corse, the finger-like landform on the northern tip of the island. I rented a bike from a touring company in Bastia and shoved off on what would be seven hours of breathtaking beauty, enchantment, lost-in-translation moments and a grand finale of a climb that kicked my toosh. It was a great experience and I will return to the island for more rides. Corsicans are bike-friendly people — another reason to go.

 

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