As the morning sun rises over the picturesque city of Milan, we start our journey towards Lecco, our destination today, along canals and the Adda river, on secondary roads and gravel paths.
Leaving the bustling downtown behind, we pedal along the tranquil navigli, the iconic canals that once served as the lifeblood of Milan’s industrial revolution. The cobblestone streets soon give way to a mix of paved and unpaved cycling roads, and we embrace the versatility of our gravel bikes equipped with the Rage-i S.
Our first stop is a fruit stall in a market in the suburbs of Milan where we buy cherries and bananas to counter any cravings.
We then head to a coffee shop to get our daily dose of caffeine before fully embarking on this two-wheeled exploration of industrial archeology, tracing the historical sites and relics that dot the path ahead of us.
After 40 km we reach the Taccani hydroelectric plant, an architectural gem constructed in the early 20th century. This splendid structure, built in the elegant liberty style, served as a power source for the nearby cotton mill in Crespi d’Adda.
Continuing our journey, we pedal alongside the scenic Adda river, the gentle sound of flowing water guiding our way. The path reveales a tapestry of industrial heritage, telling the stories of a bygone era.
Our next stop is the Bertini hydroelectric plant in Cornate d’Adda. This historic landmark held a significant place in the annals of Milan’s tramway system. Built in the late 19th century, the Bertini plant replaced the use of horses with hydropower, revolutionizing the city’s transportation.
As we venture further north, we reach the Iron Bridge of San Michele in Paderno, a true testament to industrial architecture. This masterpiece, reminiscent of the Eiffel Tower, stands proudly against the backdrop of the river. Its intricate metalwork and towering presence leaves us in awe, appreciating the craftsmanship of the past.
The suspension dropper seat post Rage-i S proved to be a wise choice as we glided effortlessly over the rougher terrain, absorbing the vibrations and providing a comfortable ride.
The journey is not solely focused on historical landmarks; it is also an opportunity for leisure and enjoyment and we take many breaks along the route to refresh and relax, dipping our feet in the cool waters of the Adda river. The gentle current washes away the fatigue of our pedaling, invigorating our spirits.
During one of these stops, we stumble upon a gelateria, offering a delightful respite from the summer heat. Savoring scoops of artisanal gelato, we share stories and laughter, embracing the camaraderie that comes with a shared adventure.
As the day draw to a close, we finally reach Lecco where we catch a train back to Milan. The tires of our gravel bikes roll over the smooth pavement once more, leaving behind the memories of the gravel paths and industrial relics.