Boring Po valley, into Slovenia
Start 07:30am End 12:00am – 16.5hrs ride time including breaks
Over a quick breakfast, I planned a big day to get out of Italy
I hate the roads. They are either super smooth, or the worse pot holed disaster I have ever seen. They usually are just cracked, so it ends up feeling like you a riding on cobbles – yuk. You have to ride in the 6inch area around the white line at the side of the road, or be in the middle of the road.
I also hate the permanent head wind. Its been with me since dropping off Assieta
Finally, Italian roads are very busy. Can I mention pot holes again?
Knee update. It was behaving itself if I did not hammer it. It feels like an impact / force thing. ie an easy spin on smooth roads is OK, but max efforts up a 10% gradient (ventoux) or riding very rough roads (Italy) seems to trigger it.
Off I went, and I felt pretty good, today felt like a 12 hr tt event – aero all the way, and pushing (probably) too hard. It was fun though. The further north and East I went, the quieter the roads got., and I actually liked the town/villages of the North East – they felt like Austria This was the first time I used music while riding – just one ear plug in (on the off side) but it really helped keep me going
At about 6 I stopped at a Lidl for fruit, and a litre of orange juice. I checked what was ahead, turned data on on the phone, and booked a hotel 100k away in Slovenia. Most importantly again it had a 24 hr reception desk
So 200k done, 100k to go..? 4 hrs.
I hit a pizziaria straight away :-). However there was a 800m hill 15 k from the hotel. The hill was not steep but it did go on for about 15k. I particularly liked the village of col, at the top of the mountain – the col de col :-). It was pretty windy going up the hill, and cold on the other side. Yay – more mountain climbing in the dark. 6 hrs after starting the 100k, I got to the hotel at midnight. It was a lovely place though and they gave me beer and coke when I arrived. However, I had not eaten since 6pm – outside the hotel I met a Belgian rider I kept bumping into – he was eating a burger in a bus shelter directly opposite my hotel. He was wondering where to bivvy – . I saw him at breakfast 🙂
I was getting tired / drained, probably not eating enough.
Operation ditch had started – I had ditched my beanie and autumn gloves straight after the alps, and left my long sleeve jersey here in Slovenia the following morning. The idea is that it’s now warm… However, the Slovenian heat wave finished 2 days ago and it’s a bit chilly in the evenings.
I also lost my titanium spork somewhere – I was a bit annoyed by that so I needed to find a replacement plastic spoon