You might be wondering what exactly this Donkey Week business is about. It’s inGamba, but cranked up to 11. More miles, more speed, more wine and a whole lot more trash talk. It’s probably not your average tourist’s idea of a cycling holiday. Donkeys need a strong liver, a thick skin and a good sense of humour. And if you’ve taken it easy over the winter and you haven’t got the legs, you better hope you’ve got a strong arm, because you’ll need to hang onto the side of the car pretty tight if you want to be pulled up to the group.
This week has traditionally been inGamba’s “test trip” to kick off the season in Italy, and this is the first year it’s happened in Portugal. But even though we’ve left the Bel Paese behind, but an old Italian saying still explains everything perfectly. It goes: “Chi nasce asino non può morire cavallo.” And they’re right. If you’re born a donkey, you can’t die a horse. There’s no hiding what you are or trying to change into something else. Donkey week is what it is. Hard, fast, full of laughter and late nights and wine and tomorrow’s memories. Maybe that’s not for everyone. But if you’re a donkey, you wouldn’t have it any other way.