Something I had not been doing for a long time
I did believe I could do it and I did it. I got to Vieste and my sister in 8 days completing more than 530 miles in the scorching heat in just 8 days.
The last day was a bit of a trial for several reasons but it started well. I got a nice breakfast and was ready to take it in when an hour after departure rain started to come down. Temperature high and weatherproofing having proved itself already in the Fabriano area I was not going to be deterred and the result of this was that I ended riding the bicycle in the pouring rain for a good two to three hours.
Cycling in the rain when it’s warm is actually a really liberating feeling. once you have got wet there is not much more that can happen to you, if you discount the possibility of being struck by a lightening bolt. this means that you’re just free to enjoy a rather odd condition of living that is not part of normal living.
I rode like this until I got to the turning for the Gargano promontory which is that bit of land that shoots off to the east in the south Adriatic sea just north of the heel of the Italian boot.
I stopped at a service station just at the exit junction where I was leaving the SS16. The place was a dive if I have seen one. I had a cold pizza slice and the second RedBull of the day keeping company with a few truckers another wet cyclist and a group of prostitutes that were taking shelter from the rain.
They were rather amused when I left in the rain and I was rather amused that such a collection of characters could pass comment on my choices in life.
The last 40 miles to Vieste were a mix of flat coastline and a final few hills. I got to the campsite at around five in the afternoon, but not before spending the last 12 miles worrying about the fact I could not make it there at all.
When I got to Peschici, the last big place before my destination I stopped for the third and last RedBull of the day, I truly needed wings by then. It was there that the chap at the bar, after a brief conversation, noted that there was a massive bulge on my back tyre.
I was gutted, my new Swable Marathon Plus were on their way to let me down. I deflated the tyre a bit (what you see in the pictures is the deflated version of the tyre, the bulge was far bigger before) and worried all the way to the destination now also about the possibility of a puncture.
Never mind I made it and I have now contacted Ben at Kinetics and he reckons it was a defective tyre and he’ll give me a new one when I swing by in September.
So the whole rationale for the ride was to go and spend some days at the seaside with my sister, brother in law and the kids and I have now spent a whole week there where we have enjoyed each other company and I have sampled the life of family with children first hand. As well as them there was there Luca, Giorgia and their two daughters who are my sister’s friends from Modena. The company of the grown up was great and the company of the children made me ever more convinced that the fact I have not got children of my own is a great, great thing.
The week flew by between good meals, Ferragosto (15th of August) celebrations and outings in the local area and now I’m on my way back to Modena enjoying the comfort of Trenitalia FrecciaBianca first class. It rains here (near Ancona in Marche) and I think it rains in Modena too so I will have to get wet again to get from the station to my parent’s home but I will have now a week to rest before I set off in the next little adventure which will feature my new motorbike and crossing six EU and one non EU country.