Unbelievable facts and death defying experiences

Posted by on 28, Sep 2018 in 2018 - Switzerland and Italy, Italy, Tilly the Tandem

Unbelievable facts and death defying experiences

Now here’s something no one who knows me will believe. We’ve now been in Italy two weeks and I’ve had more Curry’s than Pizzas!

Ok that’s the facts done so next up is the death defying experience for which I blame Leon Kilbourn. His comment on our last blog about expecting the mafia or pope being mentioned in this one is surely the only logical explanation as to how the bolt from our rear brake came completely out allowing the brake assembly to jam in the rotor bending the rotor and cracking the rear pannier rack at the same time as making us topple off Tilly in front of the Bergamo marathon – thanks Leon! We’ll never know if the Pope called in a favour from above to punish Linda for going into a cathedral dressed as a brazen hussy with her shoulders exposed or the mafia taking Umbridge at us not eating enough pizzas and buying that foreign import – Curry.

Still, I managed to straighten the rotor to get us underway and we stopped off at a bike shop who professionally straightened it and glued the bolt into the socket with Loctite to hopefully prevent a reoccurrence of our very near catastrophic crash.

We were fortunately only doing about 5kph as we were about to turn a corner but had just come down yet another huge Hill and I hate to think what would have happened if the bolt had come away then.

Ironically this is a bolt I don’t check regularly for tightness – but I do now!

The rack suffered two cracks but should hold for the rest of the tour we think and can be repaired when we are home. – It’s a very tough rack!

But on top of this our Rohloff Internal Hub gear is leaking and we can’t figure out where from. Even the bike shop was baffled. Their advice though “It’s a Rohloff, don’t worry about it until it stops working, they’re German”

We won’t mention Linda’s handbag braking and her losing her sunglasses either, but it was a pretty eventful couple of days to say the least!

However, the trip has still been fabulous. Lake Iseo was gorgeous and we camped right by the lake for a couple of nights. Bergamo was another magnificent walled hilltop city with the Venetian Walls still in tact where we stayed in a small Airbnb which we carefully chose at the bottom of the hilltop city only to find it was wrongly marked on the map and was halfway up the hill, which impressed the tourists as we slogged up the hill, but not Linda.

Brescia was another great find. Not very touristy but certainly deserved to be with a ruined Roman forum and theatre in the centre of the city, two excellent museums and a wonderful pedestrianised centre full of restaurants, bars and people and for some reason an entire years production run of Isuzu 3.5 tonne garbage trucks on incessant patrol. You couldnt go anywhere without seeing at least one at anytime of the day. The bins were never full anyway.

And then there’s Lake Garda and the cycle route planner with a grudge against cyclists. To get to the lake there’s a few small hills to go over from Brescia. Our dear Mafia linked planner (or was he Catholic?) Had planned the route so you went over the hill and virtually down to the lake shore before heading back up the hill and then down again – twice and the last time on gravel at 12%. Being idiots we had ignored my planned route and followed the signed cycle route – got to be better we thought – and in the end my phone just gave up trying to help but at least didn’t say “Told you not to go this way”.

Lake Garda is very pretty and also is little England and we’ve had more English people come up to us today than in the rest of the trip. It’s very nice but too commercialised where we are and not as nice as Iseo, but we’ve only seen a tiny bit. Mind you it’s fairly busy and I’d hate to be here in August!

As you may have gathered we are loving this tour. The history is incredible and you hardly have to travel more than a couple of kilometers to reach yet another ancient village or town. It’s the polar opposite of our American trip! But one thing we particularly love about the US was the lack of cigarette smoke and Italy is the polar opposite to that. You always smell smoke and most of the population smoke it would appear. You can tell when you are in a tourist town as there’s less smokers! And though we cannot fathom why, even if you are in the middle of nowhere you can still smell smoke! Eau de Italia perhaps…..

One Comment

  1. Scary to think how close you came to a dangerous crash. You may have seen that I posted on Facebook the death of a cyclist (hit and run) on my daily route across downtown DC. Very sobering.

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