A Mother-Son Biking Trip in Italy


In the July/August issue of National Geographic Traveler, I read and enjoyed the cover story – of a mother and her grown son taking a two-week cycling trip through Umbria and Tuscany – although I remained conscious that I was only getting one person’s point of view. The article was written by the mother, Joyce Maynard, and much of the piece was devoted to her sometimes difficult relationship with her son, Wil. Now, I’m not a parent, but reading about those kinds of combative parent-child interactions make me feel badly for all involved. As someone who is fortunate to have good relationships with both my parents, I feel like I know what people who are not so lucky are missing.

Things end up pretty well after two weeks of biking around the lovely Italian countryside (no doubt the pretty scenery helped!), but I was pleased when I recently saw Wil’s side of the story on National Geographic Traveler’s sustainable travel blog, Intelligent Traveler. For a 23-year old guy – heck, for any age – Wil’s a great writer. He’s left the elaborate descriptions of the Italian vistas to his mother, but he’s captured the mother-son relationship well.

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For Joyce’s article, you’ll need to head to the library to find the July/August issue of National Geographic Traveler – it’s the cover article, the magazine says “Backroads Italy” on the front and the article is called “Shifting Gears.” The article, sadly, isn’t available online, but some photos from the trip are – you can drool over them here.

Photo by: Jerry de Concilio