Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Last Day June 17 2011

Well it isn’t really the last day. It is the last day of the Bella Italia trip, which ran from Palermo to Como. What a long strange trip it has been. But wait the trip isn’t over yet and today turned from what should have been are really fun day into a total gong show.

The ride is 140 kms from Grosio to Como. It has a total climb of 1335 meters but is a net down hill of 300 meters. I leave camp with Bruce as my navigator and a few others. It is 70 kms down to lunch mostly along a bike path. However as I was aware these bike baths are narrow, twisting and hard to follow as every kilometre or so you have to stop to find where it goes next. I am out front pulling with Adrian right behind me when I spot some pot holes. I yell “POT HOLES” but too late Adrian touches my wheel and is up set into the ditch. He is ok just a little muddy. Now we are down the road way and the path suddenly ends. Our only choose is to climb this really steep bank and ride down the Auto-Strada. There is a huge fine for this but we were out of options. About a 2 kms of really scary riding we find and exit and shoot across 4 lanes of traffic. Lunch doesn’t come up soon enough but finally we are there. So we gather ourselves up and head down the road to the ferry which will take us across to Como. About 30 Kms from the ferry my rain suit falls off my bike and Koos picks it up. He has a huge bag on his bike and agrees to carry it for me. Then 5 kms later Adrian and I get separated from Koos. Adrian gets a flat so I fix his tire. We are now really late for the ferry and have to make some time but then the sky opens up into a torrential down pour. It is about 20 kms to the ferry and by the time we get down we are riding in 1.5 inches of water on the road.

We get on the ferry for the Lake Como. However the luggage van won’t start so Richard pulls it onto the ferry with his van. On the ferry Koos reaches into his huge bag and pulls out a dry jersey for me. Being dry was great. The ferry arrives and Richard pulls the luggage van off the ferry. With just over 40 kms to go to Como we set off. It is a really nice ride along the coast of Lake Como but everyone is exhausted, and I have to keep working to keep them moving. Finally we are in Como. However there is no luggage they have had to take the fire truck back to the ferry to get the luggage. The luggage arrives at 8:45 Pm.

We head off for a celebration dinner in a local restaurant.

“What a long strange trip it’s been.” -- Jerry Garcia



Jurg said...

"when a day starts, you never know how it ends" Jurg Buchli

(it came to my mind when reading your report of today)

One thing is for sure: it never gets boring on your bike tour !

After the rest days, there will be a gentle day, whatever this means, from Como to Locarno on Lago Maggiore !

Ken C. said...

Terry, "Stuff happens." Congrats on completing the first leg of your trip. Thanks for the blog and pictures. Keep up the good work and enjoy the next couple of weeks.