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,
and the next 10 km followed the ridge,
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.
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.
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.