With a hook like this one below, is there any doubt I would be tempted (direct from La Bella Italia website):
Highlights of La Bella Italia Cycling Challenge:
- Visiting Mount Etna Pompeii, Rome, Florence and Venice.
- Cycling through the majestic Dolomites and visiting the serene mountain towns amongst the peaks. The spectacular panoramic views are a just reward for the burn in the legs!
- Climbing the fabulous Passo dello Stelvio (2,758m) with its 48 hairpins. This is a very challenging climb on the highest asphalt mountain pass in Italy and you feel a great sense of achievement at the top.
- Cycling along the Amalfi Coast, which is one of the most enchanting coastlines in Europe and renowned for its rugged terrain, scenic beauty and picturesque towns.
- Absorbing the culture and lifestyle Italy has to offer. Cycling around 100km per day means plenty of hungry riders and we make the most of the beautiful Italian food and wine.
- Deposit has been paid, flights booked and paid for
- Medical done
- Shopping done for hard to find emergency bike spares eg spokes for the Kysriums, derailleur hanger for my custom made Teschner bike and I've even bought a puncture repair kit, something I've not bothered with for ages, since I've never been that far from help in the unlikely event of a double puncture.
Still to do:
- pay the rest of the $$
- provide a mug shot and medical certificate
- get my body ready for the task ie used to riding approx 100km for days on end- drop kilos and get my sore right knee under control (a patello-femoral crunching annoyance which is a legacy of my hour attempt)
- get my bike ready for the task..already got a more friendly gearing than usual, but probably not really friendly enough
But before I get on the bike for this challenge, I have a four day tour of Sicily with my sister in order get rid of jet lag, get used to the place and the weather and to see the countryside while not under pressure, biting my handlebars, drooling and breathing heavily!
B'nB's are booked, the car has been hired, advice on dealing with Italian roads and drivers been learned and we're ready to go!
May 9th arrive and sleep the comatose sleep of the recent long haul cattle class passenger,
May 10th and 11th Nicolosi for the Mt Etna and Taormina experience
May 12th Siracusa (UNESCO Heritage listed town, birthplace of Archimedes, mentioned in the bible)
May 13th Agrigento (history, valley of the temples)
May 14th back to Cinisi via Trepani (my sister flies into and out of this airport) and meet up with cycling group for start of adventure no 1 for 2010.
and now its light enough outside so I'd better get out on the bike and attend to getting the body sorted.