Let’s sum up 4 days of cycling by e-bike in Eastern Liguria. There are some positive things and some things that need to be improved.
The most positive thing is that roads are generally well maintained, with nice landscapes and in the middle of green areas. Liguria has this magic of hills and mountains very close to the seaside. On the same day you could be pedalling 6-700 metres above sea level and then bathing in the sea.
Liguria has been a touristic destination for over 150 years and tourism facilities are everywhere. Accomodation, restaurants, food&wine tasting, outdoor activities are really serving all kind of requests.
Regione Liguria, the regional administration, has been working on Rete Ciclabile Ligure (Ligurian Cycle Network) for at least 12 years and there are some good ideas and an GIS dataset available for any purpose.
Among the thing to be improved I mention the lack of signs on the road, I found only some signs on the Slate Cycling Route but nothing more.
There is a general lack of bike racks, usually bikes are locked to anything available (poles, fences, railings, etc.). As my mobility manager friend and colleague @massimoi always say: the easier is parking the more people are willing to use their bikes.
The intermodal bike+train service must be improved a lot. The only really positive thing is that Ligurian local bike+train service is free (while in other regions you will pay an extra fee). Anyway: there is no news about this in any station I visited. Step free access to stations is totally absent (unless you are lucky and your train leaves from platform 1). Step free access to the trains and inside the trains is totally random. You (and Trenitalia staff either) never know what kind of train you are catching, if there will be a bike coach and where it will be.
Off-peak tourism must be improved a lot. July and August are overwhelmingly crowded months. Cycling is not dangerous, but can be unpleasant on busy noisy roads. Inland roads are (almost) always less trafficked, but somehow you always start or finish along the coast. Maybe everything is easier during spring and autumn. Maybe winter has its silver linings as well.
In a few weeks this blog will be updated with new adventures from Corsica. As soon as possible we will share routes and outcomes of the project on official channels. Let’s keep in touch for updates.
by Alberto Riva @herrufer