up those

Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
There's no denying, my trip has started for real. I feel like a traveler now and have crossed the 500 kilometers mark. I did take a first well deserved rest day. And yes, Tuscany, as mentioned is a lot more hilly than I expected and the road outlined as Eurovelo 5 is not always ideal, but the small country roads are a good alternative.
Where the 271 kilometers took me
Thu, 9. Mar 2023
IMG 0412

My first rest day is approaching. To get there, it's just the tiniest of rides. As it's so short I decided to do a little detour to Certaldo. I listened to a podcast where they were talking about this little town and it sounded very exciting, but to be honest, not soo much to see here. But I got a cold drink, which I appreciated.

On the way to Vico d'Elsa I saw the first female solo biker, we just crossed and waived. It's great to see that people are slowly start biking, haven't seen so many yet. And yes, still very early spring. And that comes with unexpected puddles, big puddles. I was supposed to pass through a street, but the underpass was completely flooded. So I tried the next, but not a lot better. But decided to get through the mud, and well. My shoes are no longer white.

Read on
Sat, 11. Mar 2023
IMG 0424

My goal was to write every evening a summary of what happened. I did not manage to do that. It's a lot of work and in the end, I was glad in the evenings when I had something to eat and a beer. And obviously a place to sleep.

I'm now working on summarizing everything, which is not always easy, specially for these first few days. And what I forgot most often is the road or the exact path, I have moments I remember. I very clearly remember for example that I visited a coffeshop close by Vico d'Elsa, but I can't remember a lot of the things in between. I guess I will therefore mainly describe some situations and not so much about the road or climbs. I remember them, when they were really hard or really beautiful, but if they were just normal. Well, these memories are gone. Probably for the better, as I biked over 11000kms.

Read on
Sun, 12. Mar 2023

Quite a glorious day! With a lot of highlights and a strenuous end. Altopascio, I don't know, the name sounded so great. Alto, I believe meaning high up, I somehow expected more, or actually a lot. But the town was not really spectacular. Lucca, my first stop on this day, quite different. Absolutely stunning, with hardly any cars in the city and a big wall around it. Bikes everywhere, everybody out for a nice spring day.

My accomodation was sort of a wild card. I couldn't find anything that wasn't too expensive and this place looked amazing. I had the feeling that it might be quite a bit up a hill, but the owner assured me, that her kids were doing this every day, so it wouldn't be too hard. I ignored my doubts and booked. Oh well.

And, today is the day that I finished my first 500 kilometers!

Read on
Mon, 13. Mar 2023

I was excited to leave the AirBnB. This smell of cat pee drove me nuts. And I was excited to finally see the sea. I saw a bit in Brindisi, but not really. Driving all the way down what I climbed up the other day was very pleasant, but the sea was disappointing. Not because of the sea, but because it was hardly possible to access it. Plenty of beach clubs which did not allow trespassing and all closed, which meant I couldn't get some coffee either.

Not the perfect start, but it is what it is.

Read on
Tue, 14. Mar 2023
IMG 0506

Really, this was hardly a day of biking. Just so very short. But the weather cleared up and I arrived quickly in Pontremoli. Small town, but it had all I needed, including an accommodation with a great view and terrace.

And a great dish of Testaroli in a very tiny restaurant. I was quite lucky that I could get a seat as it was very busy. Food was great, and even better. I had a table directly at the window to look over my bike. Couldn't get much better than that!

Read on
Wed, 15. Mar 2023
IMG 0540 2

Windy, very windy. And the first day that I'm not just going up sometimes steep hills, but a proper pass. Not a giant, but not too easy. I got myself some candy and a banana and started. And well, while I was biking already two weeks, I was clearly not fit enough yet to just rush it.

Lucky me though, it was serpentines. And serpentines are a pleasing. One can set easy goals and has natural resting points. And what I accepted in the last few days was, I can push if it is too steep. There's no shame in that, specially when the load is heavy. And that's what I did. Slowly, but steady, I moved up.

Read on
Mood: happy :)