Start 07:30am End 1:00am – 15.5hrs ride time including breaks
316k ridden
1700m climbing – Boring Po valley

day 6

I was planning a big day, with a bivvy or a late hotel

Breakfast at 7, away for 7:30 – so getting a bit better at packing quickly.

Started trucking across the south side of the Po Valley and crunch. My gear lever makes a familiar noise, and it won’t work. The lever had snapped. (thats the 3rd I have snapped in 3 years of using SRAM kit)
So I spent 30 mins faffing getting the bike in a sensible gear, then I pushed on to the next city Alessandria, and spent another hour in McDs using the wifi, hunting for dealers stocking sram leavers.

Gave up and went to the local bike shop by 9:30am. It was ace, run by a pro team mechanic.  He stripped off a lever off a bike they had in the shop, fitted it to mine.  They though I was crazy to cycle to Istanbul….. they were right
He even sorted out my bar tape
It did cost me 250euro though

Bike on the jig
Bike on the jig

So I got going again, and hit another mcDonnalds for lunch.
Northern italy was just dull.with some nice bits but other rural places like something out of deliverance. I pushed on into the night, as I went cross country across the rural bits of the Po valley, with an idea of bivvying somewhere.
I even went for the 2 pizza option at 6pm, eating one and carrying the other in a couple of plastic bags.   I grabbed these from a takeaway in a small town, and sat in the square eating the first.  A couple of guys came and stood next to me, I felt unwanted so left, and stopped straight outside the town at the cemetery and finished the pizza, filled up the waterbottles, had a wash and a wee behind a tree.

its a glamorous life on the road as a homeless hobo.  On I went.  Riding through the mosquitos at dusk was amazing – a constant swarm.

I found a gelateria for Ice cream and coffee at 11pm – that was cool.  Other stops happened at garages – some had vending machines at least to top up on water.

Then I passed a hotel, at 1 in the morning, and a guy still there behind the desk…. Should I /shan’t I… No, be strong and bivvi…
10 mins layer and the heavens opened. Massive thunder storm, torrential rain.  I spent 10 mins under a bush putting on my wet weather kit , and then getting very wet.  The road turned into a major dual carriageway, eternal retail park, then I found another hotel… And in I went for 50 euro.  Locked the bike in the garden, crap room but I was not complaining – it was dry

I was shattered  – lets see what happens tomorrow

One thought on “DAY 6 – THURSDAY – PO VALLEY – ITALY”

  1. Just say no to SRAM brifters. They fail if you use them. However, I’ve found their customer service to be excellent and authorized dealers have swapped parts for free. (For me, that included a right/rear Force brifter and a BB7 caliper.)


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