Along the Adige River Toward Old Austria (Days 20 & 21 – 13 & 14 June 2015)

Along the Adige River Toward Old Austria (Days 20 & 21 – 13 & 14 June 2015)

Saturday 13 June – Firenze to Verona I could take the train from Firenze to Verona with changes in Prato and Bologna, but manoeuvring the bicycle and the bags on and off trains and through stations is a pain best avoided when possible. I haven’t ridden in days. I’m keen to get back on the …

The Warm Embrace of Friendship Renewed – Firenze (Days 17 – 19; 10 – 12 June)

The Warm Embrace of Friendship Renewed – Firenze (Days 17 – 19; 10 – 12 June)

10 June 2015 – Wednesday It rains while I am on the train to Florence. A pelting rain slanting into the Tuscan landscape of green hills, fields of crops and towns whose names escape me. The station in Florence, Santa Maria Novella, is a huge building from the fascist era – modern and art deco-ish. The main …

Into the Mass Tourism Beast I Go – Cinque Terre and Pisa (Days 15 & 16 – 8 & 9 June)

Into the Mass Tourism Beast I Go – Cinque Terre and Pisa (Days 15 & 16 – 8 & 9 June)

Travelling solo, and not being inclined to wear obviously branded clothing, I think people are a little confused by me. It’s a thing I notice on the train to Cinque Terre. The few words I speak to the conductor are in Italian. The many English-speaking travellers around me don’t know if I can understand them …

The Ligurian Coast – Hot, Hilly, Beautiful (Day 14 – 7 June)

The Ligurian Coast – Hot, Hilly, Beautiful (Day 14 – 7 June)

Wednesday 10 June: I catch up, then I fall behind, I catch up, then I fall behind. I’m struggling to find the right balance of riding, seeing the places I’m visiting, writing about them/organising my photographs of them and sharing stuff. I’m here to ride and to see but the writing consolidates the experience and if …

Genoa: No expectations, thoroughly delighted (5th – 6th June, Days 11 – 12)

“The Most Serene Republic of Genoa ruled the Mediterranean waves during the 12th to the 13th centuries, before deferring to the superior power of Piedmont. Its crusading noblemen once established colonies in the Middle East and North Africa, and its emblematic flag, the red cross of St George, was greedily hijacked by the English.” Lonely …

On Italian Roads: from Pavia to Tortona to Genova (4/5 June – Days 11 &  12)

On Italian Roads: from Pavia to Tortona to Genova (4/5 June – Days 11 &  12)

4 June – Pavia to Tortona I didn’t pedal away until 11:00 – so much for an early start. It was easily 40* on the road today making the 51 kilometres, well, hot. I left Pavia by riding over the covered bridge – which was cool – then I was back into the outer suburbs …

Sitghtseeing and Staying Patient About My Bicycle (Milan – 27 May – Day 3)

Sitghtseeing and Staying Patient About My Bicycle (Milan – 27 May – Day 3)

I feel like this is simply my new Normal. Being here, doing this. It’s calm and easy. I don’t feel the need to rush and see this or that – I’m happy to just plod along. I think because I am here on my own and there is no one to share the Wow-ness with …

Knowing When Enough is Enough – Waiting out the Rain and Realising the Test Ride is Over (Days 12 – 14, 1 to 3 May)

Knowing When Enough is Enough – Waiting out the Rain and Realising the Test Ride is Over (Days 12 – 14, 1 to 3 May)

I realised that whatever weather came on Sunday I was done with the test ride. I had learned what I needed to learn – about how to pack and what to carry, and I had tested my gear. More importantly I had tested my strengths: physical, mental and emotional and had found myself strong, resilient and ready.

Riding in Pounding Rain is Better Than Sitting at a Desk: Scotts Head to Crescent Head (Day 11 – Thursday 30 April)

Riding in Pounding Rain is Better Than Sitting at a Desk: Scotts Head to Crescent Head (Day 11 – Thursday 30 April)

Many reading this might think this sounds miserable. You might think this was on par with the tough day on the Crawney Pass or the challenges of getting over the Moonbis … but, no. I was happy.