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“In Appia is my salvation”

"In Appia is my salvation," I wrote in a journal entry shortly before I rode diagonally across the southern half of Italy, from Rome to Brindisi, following the historic route of the via Appia as accurately as possible.

Why do we make these trips, anyway? You've got your own personal reasons when you travel by bicycle. The more obvious benefits, like saving money, saving gas, cutting pollution and possibly improving your health are just icing on the cake. That's not why you really do it.

Maybe you've been through something like this. I was in a confusing period in my life, where everything I wanted or thought I needed was either too easy or completely out of reach.

In times like that you need something to take you outside the box you've built around your life. You need challenge and adventure, the possibility of romance, a little bit of danger and a lot of fun. Touring southern Italy by bicycle, riding down the Appian way, gave me all of that and more. That's why we do these things. That's probably why you're reading this.

Either you've done this route or something similar, or you have a craving for it. I'll tell you the whole story on this blog, in little installments. You can follow along, get good route notes, and hear the tale, warts and all. "In Appia is my salvation," I wrote, and I was right.

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