The end of the season is coming and, after Slovenia, I needed to find a sunny place to ride.
As usual, my criteria are to find new horizons where I can go deep in a different culture and with hilly landscapes where I can play. After some time to reflect, Corsica naturally made its way among other possible destinations. This island has it all: history, an authentic culture and mountains worth the most exotic isles. So I packed my bag and got ready for this third episode.


Corsica is beautiful but big, this is why I chose to travel by car and ride several places around the island. Upon arrival, the tone is set: end of the summer, dry land, hostile maquis, and cows on the roads…


From the first rolls to flying between cactus and stones, I realized that if my arms had to hit the ground so violently again, they would not come out unscathed. I decide to stay vigilant in order to be able to ride the entire journey.


Each move, each place I ride is a new suprise: the landscapes are outstanding. The great diversity of flora sometimes shows authentic tropical sceneries. I leave the North and head East to reach the fresh mountains, light soil and chestnut forests of Castagniccia. There are villages at each corner, rivers, water holes and natural pools; all of this makes this place an idyllic set. To this, add paths to hurtle down at mach 2 speed… I would have spent days striding this region.


The following days, I drive from South to the western coasts of Bonifacio and the Piana Coves. I stopped for a day at Porto, a village at the heart of spectacular sceneries. Fabulous, fantastic, colorful, technic and great speed, are the words that can define this long riding day. So many memories with the red stones, chestnut trees, pine prickles, roots and hills, going downhill was memorable… this day was full of enjoyment. With lots of emotions in mind, I leave this place with the goal to get lost in the heart of Corsica’s famous GR20’ summits. After talking with several local people and tourist guides, I choose the 2nd highest summit of the isle, Monte Rotondo as my next playground. I want to spend a night in a refuge and watch the sun rise on the beauty island.

Stupefied, the hikers I meet are surprised to see me in such a chaotic environment, carrying my bike on my back or dirt biking on the blocks around the paths… 1hr, 3hrs, 5hrs, between rolling and portage, I question myself. Why am I here? Was it a good idea? How many more hours before I reach the top? I arrive late at the refuge and leave at 2:30am to start the ascent. But the way is not suitable so I stop at 2300m; too risky, too much effort, this is where I watch the sun rise from. The light slowly comes, showing the colors and mountain shapes, the wildlife awakes… so many memories.


Besides the challenging part, Corsica was a wonderful and fun place to ride. The richness and variety of this island made the pleasure to discover and ride it.

Words and Photos: Rodolphe Pasciuto – Naturalmtb

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