After the rip-roaring success of my first blog entry, I’ve been summoned back to the writing altar to detail what can only be described as a farcical morning of cycling.
It actually started well as we chatted to Terry and Maureen about their vintage 1930s tandem bike, Phil’s ride and German cakes.
They are here for L’Eroica bike ride that brings together thousands of ‘vintage cyclists’ every year. Unfortunately, we will miss the main event tomorrow as our route takes us away from starting point.
Our own ride appeared a relatively straightforward 33km and we started on some great roads with spectacular scenery (photo below)
Phil particularly enjoyed overtaking a cycle ‘pro’ during a steep climb.
After about 45 minutes of normal cycling, the ride descended into chaos. What was supposed to be a conventional ‘main’ road actually turned out to be little more than a gravel track with more pot holes than our badly damaged sieve than we use to drain our broccoli and more than it’s fair share of 10% gradient hills.
It was inevitable that one of us would take a tumble at some point and it was Phil that drew the short straw. Luckily we were only traveling at about 5km/h so it was more of a slow motion slump to the ground than a dramatic fall.
The big man dusted himself down and we were back on our way but within 5 minutes we stopped again to aid a fellow cyclist with his punctured tyre.
Poor Emilio’s bike would have fitted in perfectly at the Eroica bike race. We managed to get the old antique bike up and running and yet again we set off thinking that was the end of today’s drama…cue a bike puncture for me.
We were a tantalising 100metres from the end of the gravel track but in terms of location, you couldn’t really ask for a more stunning place to break down!
Using equipment that seemed to date back to pre world war 1, we managed to remove the tyre, replace the inner tube and then successfully damage the valve when pumping the tyre back up 😒. Back to square one. Phil would chime in with the occasional encouraging comment including “we should have taken the other route shouldn’t we”. Captain Hindsight was in top form. Luckily we had a second spare inner tube and after over an hour and a half, we had successfully changed the tyre.
The final 12km was completed without a hitch and we arrived in Siena safe and sound. I’m off to treat myself to some Nutella and crackers.