My ‘big’ bicycle tour – Introduction

From Bad Endbach to Asolo Bicycle Solo Tour 2016                                                  May 7th to 15th

The idea of cycling down to Italy came about back in September 2015 when it was revealed that the 2016 Giro d’ Italia, Stage 11, starting in Modena, would go through and end in Asolo (our favourite Italian town!) after 227 km. The thought of doing a long distance ride had interested me very much for a while. There are two ways to do long distance rides, either all in one day or over several days as I have seen a Strava Buddy (Harald Legner) do in the past. I guess you can call it a bit of inspiration.

The Italian Newspaper, Il Gazzettino, Treviso local edition, printed an article about my trip and wrote that it had been a bet, between Franco (our favourite barman in Asolo, owner of the Corte del Re) and me. I don’t remember setting a bet, as I usually don’t set wagers! Anyway, the 1000km in a week was always a feasible distance that didn’t put any pressure on me and required no bet to do so! I’d call that editorial license!

My cycling season 2016 started off on the 4th of January & by the time I saddled up in Bad Endbach to start this big trip on Saturday, May 7th, I had 7,500km behind me already. So I felt very confident that I could achieve this goal in the 9 days I had allocated to it. (One of those nine days being a rest day). My pre-event training had come together well (with the highlight being a trip to Mallorca) and my bodyweight of 72kg was spot on for getting over the Alps.

I wanted this trip to be a solo, unassisted one on a roadracer (RR), but for most people that was the worst part. ‘Oh, if something happens or goes wrong….’ That was the sentiment…! And the next question was, which route. And when I calmly replied, I’ll figure it out on the road, it was too much for some. I guess they gave up on hoping my trip would or could succeed. I had checked out a few possibilities a week before heading out, but didn’t download any for following later on a GPS device. I had a starting point, two certain places to go through ‘en route’ and a finishing point. Sounds easy doesn’t it? I knew a normal day would start at 9 a.m. and end after 3 p.m. That was six hours in the saddle.

I hadn’t even planned how the trip would start. With my two trusted cycling mates, Frank and Stefan, we decided at the last moment which route the first 30 km of my tour would take. There is nothing like being a bit spontaneous now is there?

On the Friday evening before the big day, I prepared the bike with a wash and oil up. I fitted new Continental tires with a second cut tube around the inner tube & 50ml of latex fluid. I was trying my best at preventing the preventable. The biggest event of the evening was getting everything into my backpack which I had bought especially for this trip. (For details about what I packed, I’ve noted the contents separately)

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