Once again there has been a significant shuffle of residents in the house. After a late night on Sunday I was up at 5am with the U21 boys, as they were departing for racing in Germany and, in typical male fashion, had no supplies for breakfast. The place seemed deserted with them gone, but the MTB’ers made sure there was no shortage of severe road bike mono-ing (pictured below is Paul), a few ‘superman’ displays, and of course the continuous joke pointed at Will’s leg warmers while riding in 30 degree heat! I was appreciative of Will’s choice in clothing as it helped to turn the conversation away from my brutally grit ridden chain, proof of the poor weather we’ve been enduring in this so called ‘summer’ season.
Jammo left on Tuesday, Tiff Cromwell and Vicki Whitelaw arrived, and the U23 boys departed after a final stop at the ‘Chocolate Spoon’, which is quickly becoming the flavour of the month for me. To think I'd never had a mocha that was sided with a chocolate spoon! I’ve been forced to explore Italy solo, and in an attempt to find climbs stumbled across a monument of Pietro’s (pictured below), even once opting for the short cut home. Of course, I had never taken the short cut, I had simple heard of it, so when I ended up in Varese I felt blessed…as ‘lost and stranded’ isn’t uncommon here. Vicki’s first day back saw her snap her chain and spend 3 hours roadside before being retrieved, so you can understand why I was worried!
Not a lot goes on that doesn’t involve a bike or lycra, so I merely pray that I wake to a blinding sun that greets us before the nightly rain, thunder, and sometimes hail. Along the lake, of which I have named ‘beach road’, I find that an occasional rider will sit behind me for kilometres on end. I thought this was annoying, until one sidled up along side me and started a conversation, which turns out to be much more annoying. Yes…I have attended four Italian classes, but I’m not going to count to ten and ask him for a gelati (the only two things I know how to do!). Besides that, Italy is quite normal. They all laugh at my masculine name, walk down the centre of main roads, ignore any white lines indicating a crossing, and turn their car engine off at train tracks for the 10 minute wait. Just like home :)