This August we have been exploring deep into the Alta Langhe and the Belbo and Torre Bormida river valleys searching out new routes. I am always struck by how welcoming the people in these remote villages are when we cycle through. We often stop for a chinotto or aranciata soda, sparkling water and espresso and inevitably strike up a conversation with a local who has a suggestion for our day's itinerary – some unique, out of the way deviation that has a spectacular aspect to it. The roads and small and very well maintained. One seldom sees a car and when we traverse more trafficed routes the drivers are respectful and curteous, a testament to the bike's (and cyclists) front and center cultural status here.