If it’s called Winter Heroes and if it takes place in the last days of January, according to tradition the coldest of the year, waking up with 5 degrees below zero and finding the bikes covered with frost, all in all, is normal. And in fact, none of the almost 100 participants in the 5th edition of this beautiful event has seen fit to complain, indeed. If anything someone had to sacrament a bit to start the engine, not only those who had to kick on the cranks of elderly single-bikes, a well-fed patrol among which we were also part, but also those who found themselves the battery of certain two-cylinder emblazoned with a bit of rope.

Motorcyclists arrived from all over Italy and even beyond, from Rome to the Canton of Ticino, someone just out of the dealership with the brand new Super Dual, someone else with the specialized enduro on the cart, and also a beautiful female representation regardless of temperatures. However, during the day they will become warm thanks to a splendid sunny day.

The precautions for the cold

As far as we are concerned no problem: “onion-like” clothing, a handful of soap inside the helmet’s visor to avoid fogging, and at 8.30 we punctually threw ourselves into the fray, paying the utmost attention to taking the measures to the first km of asphalt made treacherous by frost.

This year the event included a journey of 260 km , of which a good half on dirt roads, as always developed among the fantastic landscapes of the province of Siena, and presented the novelty of the participants divided into teams of three components each, a Saint, a Poet and a Navigator (“one gives gas, one pulls the clutch, and one changes” someone said), to whom an electronic Tripy roadbook was provided , which in addition to indicating the notes recorded every deviation from the established track, based on of which penalties were imposed. Another discriminating factor for the ranking was the time controls at the various refreshment points, many and of quality, demonstrating the fact that, as the essay says, “the bike is the best way to move from one table to another”. In addition, questions were provided whose answers were found in very specific points to be identified along the route.

The special test

Dulcis in fundo, some of the rough bikers had to show skill and courage by diving into the natural pools of thermal waters at Ability and courage above all to undress and then to dress completely after the bath because in the water that flows at 43 degrees there was a great deal of good.

The surprises

Along the way it was interesting to stop at the Pieve di Lauriano , a charming private dwelling which includes a church dating back to 1100 built on the remains of an even more ancient Lombard fort, where the kind hostess explained to us how the facades of those sacred buildings are always facing west so that the sun, rising in the east, illuminates the altar from behind.

Further on, the beautiful abbey of Sant’Antimo has left everyone breathless, as well as, in a decidedly more literal sense, the spaccagambe climb to get to the refreshment point on foot in the historic center of Civitella Marittima. But the game was worth the candle, both for the beautiful straight along which one arrives, and for the goodness of the “Danielle”, a kind of fried dumplings with ham and cheese, and of the “Tambellini all’ unto”, biscuits made with pork lard.

The culture

After the arrival with the light of sunset, the dinner, and the awarding of the winners with jerky jokes and various shouting, the Winter Heroes 2019 has been archived. But for those who were not in a hurry to leave, on Sundays, he reserved a guided tour of the beautiful museum of Asciano, where a group, indeed decimated, of motorcyclists, could “give themselves to the cultural” between sacred art and archaeological finds. For all the appointment is for the next initiatives of good organizers.