Pedaling Paris to Rome - Blog

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The End

By Rachel Farrington
Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanks everybody for your interest in our trip. I think it was a success in lots of ways. Our family grew tighter, our worldview exploded, we are taking home some great information about farming, and I made a ton of art and collected loads of new imagery. Also we litered Europe with Light Gives Heat material and talked to several people about it! And most importantly, we got it out of our system. We are both more than ready to get back to work and on with our lives. Excited to have the ...


By Rachel Farrington
Thursday, November 22, 2012

We took a 16 day cruise across the Atlantic to get home. Because some of you love cruises and the culture that accompanies them, Ill be gracious. Let me just say that I learned that to some Americans the Golden Corral is as good as it gets. And, apparently "Margaritaville" has some kind of anthemic quality. Also, Im not sure what to make of a 55 year old man holding up his IPad to record no less than 20 minutes worth of an indoor "parade" in which the waitstaff donned ...

London and the Airplane Upchucks!

By Rachel Farrington
Monday, November 19, 2012

After the Lakes we were able to visit Chatsworth which is a famous estate in the Peak District. Some of you may recognize it as Mr Darcy's home from the newer Pride and Prejudice. It was more beautiful in real life. Then it was off to London for a day where we played in Hyde Park, watched the guards at Buckingham Palace, and Jonahs favorite--went to Harrods and spent an hour in the 26000 sqft toy store section! London is an awesome city and it only whet our whistle to return and ...

Castles, Glens, and Black Pudding

By Rachel Farrington
Wednesday, October 31, 2012

On our first night in Scotland we arrived to a campsite in an isolated area of the west coast where a burly Scotsman greeted Jonah with a rough "Guid eenin! Hou's it gaun lad?". He knew exactly what to say when he didnt understand--"Mi dispiace, non parlo italiano". We all had a good kick out of it after I explained it to the poor guy. We enjoyed one day at beautiful Culzean Castle on the edge of a sea cliff and then one more day driving through famous Glen ...

Manors, the Cotswolds, and the Lakes!

By Rachel Farrington
Monday, October 29, 2012

We love, love, love to the 50th degree the most wonderful country of England! Such a shocker for us as we had no interest in coming here when we left home and in a week it has become our favorite part of the entire trip. The only drawbacks we can find so far are the food and driving on the wrong side of the road, especially in the roundies. But otherwise it is a beautiful, rich, magical, colorful place. The people are incredibly polite, kind, imaginative, hilariously dry, and ...

Thoughts on Bike Touring

By Rachel Farrington
Tuesday, October 9, 2012

We managed to sell our bikes for nearly the value in the states! It's bittersweet as we had to choke down the humble pie of only having completed about one third of our original goal. But, being free of bikes opens up some travel options — we're thinking England/Scotland! We have some suggestions for those of you who still might be interested in overseas bike touring even after reading our blog! 1) Plan, plan, plan no matter how much anyone says to wing it, ...

Orvieto, Lake Bolsena, and A City in the Sky

By Rachel Farrington
Monday, October 1, 2012

Another week of digging, pruning, weeding, and harvesting veggies has past and this weekend.  On our day off, we stayed nearby for some awesome sights. We visited Orvieto whose Duomo I think needs no introduction (at least among art nerds). A beautiful city even without one of the best church facades in the world. Later we discovered the city of Civita Bagnoregio which sits between the earth and sky like a weird dream. It has only a dozen permanent residents and the only ...

Wine-Making, Ambassadors, and the Tuscan Sea

By Rachel Farrington
Monday, September 24, 2012

In our first week at Le Spinose we finished the grape harvest and started making the wine which is loads of fun. The harvest is a family affair and the kids enjoyed it as much as the adults. The property has several amazing caves including two which have been converted to wine caves and one that the main house is built around (just off the kitchen and it houses the fresh veggies) We worked late into the evening pressing grapes with a process that has changed very little over the ...

Le Spinose

By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Thursday, September 13, 2012

It was sad to leave our friends at OZU but it was time to move along to the next farm. We spent some more time on the bikes riding through the Sabina region of Italy before arriving at Le Spinose (the porcupine) on Sunday. The ride was beautiful but very hilly (again) as we rode up and down medieval hill towns each precariously perched above the olive orchards below. The green gold in this part of the country is the renown extra virgin olio which is nothing like what we buy at ...


By Rachel Farrington
Wednesday, September 12, 2012

With some new Israeli friends from OZU, we got the chance to visit Rome for a couple of days. It was a great weekend and a must see for any European trip even though it wasn't our favorite city ever. We kept comparing it to Paris and in our book it just couldn't stand up. We saw every major landmark by foot and we both agreed that the Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums were our favorite. After that, Mark liked the Colosseum and I liked the Spanish Steps. But you ...


By Rachel Farrington
Tuesday, September 4, 2012

OZU is a community of artists living in a remodeled candy factory outside of Rome in the sleepy little hill town of Monteleone Sabino. They listen to a lot of Bob Dylan music and they have some cats. People from all over the world are in and out constantly so our world view is rapidly expanding and we're learning so much about the Mediterranean culture. The first week we were banned from asking "When?" about anything. There are always lots of languages being spoken and ...

A Baptism of Fire

By Rachel Farrington
Thursday, August 23, 2012

is how our new British friends described our first week of bike touring. In fact, with our best laid plans, we gave up touring on the bikes after only 2 weeks of riding. As my knee was almost kaput, we got our first glimpse of the Alps towering over Switzerland so high they make Telluride look like Kansas. We headed straight for the nearest Avis and rented a car. I have 1000 stories from the first 2 weeks-the highest of highs and lowest of lows- but to explain why we quit the bikes ...

Cali Pics

By Rachel Farrington
Thursday, August 2, 2012

We are about to head over to Paris this weekend! Here are some pictures from the California leg of the trip.  ...

Murdered Souls of San Gabriel Canyon

By Rachel Farrington
Monday, July 23, 2012

We've been in California for three weeks now and the boys are having a blast! We spent the first week before my classes began hanging out in Santa Barbara, which is always lovely, apart from California's ridiculous over-regulation of public lands. But anyway, we had fun in the mountains and at the beaches. The trick is to arrive at 6am and then you have four hours of an entirely empty beach (you may notice the jackets) as well as some killer sunrises! Here's a picture of all ...

Knee Trouble

By Rachel Farrington
Sunday, June 24, 2012

I messed my knee up on a ride a few weeks ago. Too many miles pulling too much weight (75lb trailer with horrible wind drag). I've just finished my third week of physical therapy with some awesome folks at  Western Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. I had some doctor (forgot his name) that looked like Yul Brynner - he was wonderful but didn't sing . Then, I spent the next four visits in a cave below the office where Amy and Matt tortured me with painful and humiliating ...

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