Day 16 Week 4 Day 18
Sat, 18. Mar 2023

Day 17 - from Spessa to Monte

A day of firsts! The weather is slowly getting a bit warmer, so I decided to finally wear some short biking pants. One can truly say, not a beautiful sight. Handling the bike, specially when taking a train, left its marks. A lot of bruises. But well, getting a tan will help.

And another first, my first flat tire. That was constantly on my mind during the first few weeks. Everytime somebody talked about it, I didn't want to hear about it. No jinxing. I have never successfully fixed a flat tire before, the thought of it was a bit daunting!

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Eurovelo 8 - Pavia on the Ticino River
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All started nicely, a sunny and warm day! Slowly there were more and more bikes on the road and I was excited to finish my first part of the Eurovelo 5. From Pavia on I would continue on the Eurovelo 8 and would be heading towards France. A group of road bikers passed me, which was fine, I was already used to it. When the stearing of the bike got a bit weird. It's hard to describe, but I guess everybody who got a flat tire while riding, knows what I mean.

Strangely I was a bit excited. A challenge! And I was not so far off Pavia and many people were on the street. Maybe somebody would help me. I pushed to a little side street and started to get all my tools and a spare tire. I was sure that I had all that I needed, it was just dispersed across all my panniers. It must have been quite a funny sight. All my luggage was out, I made a big mess. A guy passed and asked whether I would need help, but I waved him off. I didn't want to have him wait while I was searching for all I would need to fix it.

Eventually I got everything and started the fixing. I got the back wheel off easily, but struggled immensely with the tire. It was so tight and it took me at least half an hour. Once I had it off a young woman stopped and asked whether I need help. This time I gladly accepted, mainly for moral support. Eventually I replaced the tire and pumped it up. Frankly, I had very little confidence that it would hold. I fixed tires already, but always with the same result, after some kilometers they were flat again.

I continued biking and reached Pavia. Still all well, so I figured that it might be good. I was checking the route though to be not too far from a train station, in case the tire wouldn't hold. But it miraculously did.

Big learning though! Keep all you need to fix a flat in one little bag, that you have handy at all times. Would have saved me a lot of time that day.

Eventually I reached Monte, a very small village up a hill. No chance to get some food, specially on a Sunday! But my host was super kind and offered to do some shopping for me. She brought me a little basket with all the things I'd need and the evening was saved.

Mood: happy :)