Tamara Alicea Brey, Eng ’96, (right) pedaled to a world of fun and throbbing thighs.
For 10 days last summer the medical device and U.S. Food and Drug Administration adviser traded her cubicle for the open road. Brey and her sister-in-law, Cynthia (Brey) Koszarek, Eng ’01, joined 12 other adventure-seekers in the Ciclismo Classico tour group on a 350-mile bike trek across Italy. Cyclists munched on croissants and sipped cappuccinos each morning before hitting the Italian hillside.
Each rider was given a map, handwritten directions — and a prayer. The gang regrouped every few hours.
“Some people left me in the dust, while others liked to stop and take pictures,” Brey says. “At times, I found myself navigating a foreign country on my own.”
Friendly locals helped Brey stay on track most of the way. She recalls only one minor missed turn. “We made the right city, wrong church — there are a lot of churches in Italy,” she says with a laugh.
The most melodic moment came while visiting the Frasassi Caves in Genga. Brey and her friends stumbled upon a fellow tourist who began singing opera in Italian. “His voice bounced up and down along the walls of the cave, like being in a concert hall,” Brey says.
Biking 36 miles a day left Brey’s legs feeling as wobbly as fresh fettuccine. Luckily it was a cinch to refuel in the carb capital of the world. “It’s the ideal trip to Italy,” she says. “You eat what you want and then bike it all off.” — Jessie Bazan, Comm ’14