I started the ride out with a broken valve, so had to change my tyre … but that was OK, as I expected to have one (1) flat, and this was it. But I did not expect to break my riding glasses frame as part of the process, so things were not looking too promising I thought.
I’d understood we were starting our ride from the Vatican, at least that’s what the trip brochure said. Instead we started from a back lane garage, and had our start off photos taken against a dirty green steel fence. Needless to say I was disappointed.
Anyhow off we went.
We rode out of our area and I looked forward to the “pleasant ride along the Tiber River”, again a quote from the brochure. Well we eventually reached the river along a dry, dusty and dirty road, past all the graffiti, and then we came to the Tiber … a dirty river, rubbish floating amongst the reeds, rubbish everywhere, and the ever present graffiti covering walls, bridges, stairs and any available surface. This was sad to see, and left me with a sense of disappointment.
Anyhow on we went … on the dirty, broken, overgrown bicycle path.
It was already hot in the high 30C, and it only continued to be hot and dusty.
Eventually we found our way out of the city and into the country side and that was much more enjoyable, other than for the heat.
I was riding with “Bob from America”, and we decided to stop for a cool drink in a village. Things were about to get worst.
About a kilometre down the road my front wheel started to squeak, then started to rub heavily, then began to jam. I had to stop. We looked and looked for the problem but could not find the issue, so it was decided that I would wait beside the road for the support van to pick me up. It was unbelievably hot in the sun, and on careful inspection I came to realise that my front tyre had over inflated in the sun and was rubbing up against the underside the brakes. By that time however I was so far behind it was impractical to continue on the bike, so I waited, and waited, and waited to be picked up.
In essence the communications were confused and nobody came to pick me up until I was able to get my phone to work and called.
Things did not start out as I had hope, but in any event we were underway.
This is a link to my first day’s ride – in summary, long, hot, and tiring.