Photo: The sculpture at Urbania to remind you there is some climbing to do.
Stage 10 Umbria, Tuesday 22nd Sep
After yesterday’s rain storm the decision on where to go was left to the last minute. Literally. I had a number of routes in mind depending on the weather forecast. The final check was old school. Look at the sky and see where the weather is and where it was moving. Clear inland, cloudy out to sea. Sometimes there are advantages to living on the top of a hill. Inland it was. I know, I’ll ride to Umbria. The border is at the top of a pass so I’d get some climbing in as well.
During the morning I was keeping tabs on an ICC friend Mike who was riding a night time circumnavigation of London in honour of the Giro di Muscoli. He couldn’t make the Grand Départ a week ago so decided to do something memorable to honour the GdM. He started out at 17:24 on Monday evening and rode for 20 hours to complete the 318km ring around London.
Thank you Mike, a fantastic effort in the name of the Giro. Mike has been a great supporter of the GdM.
At one point he messaged that he was having a coffee in a petrol station. I didn’t have the heart to show him what I was having in a nice warm Italian café.
I’ve noticed that the restarts after a stop are getting harder and harder. My thighs in particular are really feeling the strain. It’s the cumulative effect of thousands of micro tears of the muscle fibres each day that are beginning to take their toll. It does ease but now takes a little longer each time. Oh, and I’ve developed a twinge in my left knee. I just hope it holds out for another five days.
Heading towards the Marche – Umbria border I experienced deja vu from yesterday. Riding towards the rain.
Somehow it didn’t rain at all on the climb to the border, but by the time I got up there it was cold and misty.
Some quick photos and something to eat before heading back down to the warm valley below. I’d decided to do the return 80km without a stop. At least that was my idea. The cycling gods had other ideas. 30km from home I ran over a ridge in the road. As the shockwave travelled up my spine (I’m quite sensitive to those for some reason!) I thought “Shit. That’s the sort of impact that causes a puncture”. A few hundred metres later I could feel the tarmac getting closer to my rear rim. A forced stop to replace the inner tube.
As soon as I replaced the tube it started to rain. Rain jacket on. I would just have to complete the remaining 30km in the rain. Lightly at first the rain soon turned into a downpour. With nowhere obvious to shelter I had to keep going.
At least the cycling gods smiled on me after half an hour. The rain eased, the sun came back out and I began to dry out. I could see the rain clouds up ahead so it became, just like the world at the moment, a race against a second wave. Jan messaged me to say it was raining at home, so maybe I wouldn’t get away with it. Get away with it I did. It remained dry and sunny for the climb back up to home.
Another Stage of the Giro di Muscoli complete and I’m 102% of the distance of the original route across Europe after 10 Stages. Only five more Stages to go.
Stage Stats: 162km | 1,514m climbing | 4,471 calories
Giro Stats: 10 Stages | 1,617km | 12,829m climbing | 49,065 calories
£ donations (GiftAid please if you can): https://justgiving.com/fundraising/girodimuscoli
€ donations: https://www.girodimuscoli.com/actie/colin-fisher