Day 28 – Monte San Savino to Asciano

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I’m going to have to rethink Italian breakfasts. They don’t. as a rule do hot food, but do offer lots of sweet cakes instead. My background leans me towards scrambled eggs or an omelette for brekkie, but I could change my mind – I’m getting used to a blast of sugary goodness. It’s ok,  guess, while I’m burning 2k calories a day on the bike…..

The Hotel Sangallo was a pleasant pub. Good room, hot shower, and breakfast was OK too – a big bowl of muesli (no choc chips, sadly), a chocolate croissant, a slice of cherry cheesecake and a banana bun, washed down with coffee and OJ.

On my way by 8:00am – bright sunshine for most of today too. There’s a climb out of Monte; a steady seven km worth, all in granny. Eventually I hit the crest,

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and the next 10 km followed the ridge,

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before diving down to run alongside the Motorway to Siena. At the 25 km mark, the side road just merged with the motorway, and all directions to Siena ceased. I floundered around a bit, saw a sign for Asciano, which I knew was nearish to Siena,and followed it. The track (that’s what it was, just a dirt track) was also signposted as part of “L’ Eroica“, a bike trail around Tuscany.

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It was tough going; steep climbs, severely steep drops, so steep I was afraid I’d go over the handlebars in places. Lots of pushing. Oh – and a puncture. The front tyre is wearing smooth, and should be replaced real soon now. I fixed the flat – a piece of rock cut through the tyre – and carried on. Five km later, another flat. I couldn’t find the cause – felt all around the inside of the tyre, but found nothing. I replaced the tube this time, pumped up the tyre and carried on. A hot, sunny day; very little traffic on the track, and I made slow but steady progress.

Got into Asciano around 1:00, and had lunch – I’d earned a beer. 40 km in five hard hours.

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After lunch, i went to the bike, intending to get to Siena at least – I’d gone a long way South, and was still 26 km shy of Siena. But – another flat in the front tyre.

I asked, and was told there was a bike shop nearby – but it was shut from 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm. I had another beer, found a hotel and booked in; I was going no further without a new tyre.

So here I am, in the Hotel La Pace, or Hotel Il Bersagliere – it uses both names. I’m in an annex, across the road from the hotel proper – the room is basic, but clean, and the shower is hot. I’ve watched the end of the Giro stage, and will work out tomorrow’s route before sleeping – Siena is a tricky place, motorways abound, and Italian signage is unpredictable. My paper map is too large a scale to be much use; I’ll see if I can find something better.

My plan is to head Westish, and make for the coast. We’ll see how successful I am 🙂 It’s been slow progress over the past few days; I expected to be around Pisa by now.

See you down the road.

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