Sunday, June 5, 2011

Caught In A Thunder Storm: June 3 2011

Today was stage 16 and had 116 kms and had 1546 meters of elevation. We were riding from Rome up to Capodimonte. The first few kms were busy as we rode out of Rome, although most of the traffic was headed into Rome

We got on to some almost empty country roads and I was just cruising along taking in the ambience. The sun was out and riding down tree lined lanes was wonderful. At about the 30 kms mark I went past this little village which had the most interesting arch. So I rode on into the town. It was only about 6 blocks long but at the center was a fountain which was built in the 1500’s. So I stopped for a drink.

At about the 50 kms mark we were back on a busy road for about 5 kms, and I hit a pot hole and the top of one of my water bottles popped off. I guess I forgot to tighten it at the fountain. So there it is in the middle of this busy road. At least 15 cars pass me and none of them hit it. There is a truck coming so I have to wait, and sure enough it hits it. The top is cracked but still works.

The village of Sutri is sitting on this huge hill and not on the route but I can see it has a huge cathedral at the top. So I ride up and sure enough the cathedral is magnificent. It was started in the 1500’s and finished in 1745. This village cannot be more than a couple thousand people. How did they build this? Totally amazing.

After lunch I can hear the thunder banging away and so I am hurrying along. The clouds don’t look that bad but there is thunder in them. I still have around 30 kms to go which means I have over an hour of riding. Then about 7 kms out it breaks loose, and I mean breaks loose the rain is just coming down in sheets. The wind is howling and trees are being whipped about. I pull into a gas station. Soon there are about ten other riders in there. We run to this little café which is down the road. We spend about 90 minutes, before it lightens up a little. So we decide to bolt down the road. There is about 2 inches of water on the road. It was kind of scary as you have no brakes in that much water. I put my tent up in the rain. Then the sun come out.

Tomorrow is an easy day with only 76 kms and 1228 meters of climbing. We ride into Tuscany! Wow!


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