Sunday, May 29, 2011
The Longest Ride of the Tour May 29
Today was 155 kms from Pompeii into Cassino. Cassino was the site of one of the major WWII battles in Italy. During this battle 54,000 allies died and 20,000 axis died. The allies were held up in the valley by the German forces who were dug into the surrounding hills. But then you can Google it and read all about that. This is about important stuff like biking.
Jaap who is one of the cooks made a huge omelette for each table. They were great. Nice and salty. Then everyone pitched in and cleaned up dishes and breakfast. Rob the tour leader lead a group ride out of town. The route was extremely twisty, and the road was terrible. The pavement was all broken up and there were a lot of pot holes. I was really glad of the group ride as I could never have found my way through the maze. Rob let us off at the 25 km mark and pointed us down the road.
Bruce the Auzzie and I decided were going to ride together. I would pull and he would navigate on his GPS. Then we missed a turn at the 57.3 km mark we missed a turn and wound up in this little town called Limatolo. They were having a big celebration in the town and an antique car show. It was really cool, There was an amazing a array of Alfa’s, Peugeot’s, Citroens, a few old Mercedes, and even a Model T. It was great. As we were only a couple of kms we were soon back on track after having seen a great car show.
Lunch was down at the 78 km mark and we made it there by 12:30. Richard the mechanic who also does lunches was making a Viking helmet out of a water melon. It was very funny.
The 127 km mark was the start of the big climb of the day. I stopped as Bruce had dropped off my wheel and I looked at the map. I notice that you can avoid the big climb by taking this other road and taking a tunnel. So I said to Bruce lets take the tunnel. He was in for that and we head down to the tunnel. The tunnel cut off a huge climb over a pass into Cassino. Bruce and I roll in to the hotel in Cassino happy.
It was a great day. The hotel room faces the famous Mont Cassino Abbey. Amazing!