Friday, May 27, 2011
A Fast Day Into Paestum May 26
I was up early and threw my gear into my bag and was down stairs to catch breakfast. Breakfast in the hotel was a bit disorganized but Bike Dreams had provided cereal and some food so I was able to get enough to eat. I left right away and was down the road as soon as I could. The weather forecast was for afternoon rain showers and I wanted to be well down the road.
The first ten kms was very flat so I made good time. Then I started the big climb for the day which was approximately 15 kms of 8% grade. The sun was out and it was getting hot. The best that I could do was about 12 kms. By the time I had gotten to the 10 kms mark on the hill, I was soaked and over heating. I was wishing for one of the Italian fountains. Then I turned a corner and there was one. The water was nice and cold. I drank my fill and poured water over my head. It felt so great. I got back on my bike feeling totally refreshed and just powered the hill. These fountains are the greatest.
Coming down the other side of the hill was a lot of fun. There must have been 10-12 switchbacks. Then lunch came up before I knew it. At lunch I took a look over my shoulder and could see the big thunder heads building in the hills. So I jumped on the pedals made for camp. By the time I was 10 kms down the road I could hear the thunder behind me. I glanced over my shoulder and I was only minutes in front of the rain. It was 66 kms form lunch to camp and I had to go as hard as I could. I rolled into camp without getting a drop on me. I threw my tent up and then the rain hit. Most of the other riders were hit by the storm. A lot of them had to be picked up by the van as the rain came down in such a violent deluge.
It was a fun ride and I feel really fortunate that I made it in dry,