They say that serotonin levels increase in proportion to sunlight exposure. So, in theory, I was getting happier and happier as we approached Rome. But I’m pretty sure that our 29 days in the saddle offset that happy hormonal benefit. The serotonin was probably keeping exhaustion at bay, at best. The only times I felt happy in Rome was after three dopio espressos reanimated me.[Read more…] about Happiness and Nothingness
We spent a breakfast-time hour looking for a place to stay in Rome. Pads and phones enabled the winnowing. We chose a just-in-time or last-minute methodology for hotel bookings for the entirety of this trip because you’d never know how far you’d get in a day. Age becomes a factor after retirement – who knows what bits will exceed their shelf lives without warning.[Read more…] about Day 29: All Hills Lead to Rome
It should have been easy cycling on the national route. The gears on my bike gave up again and we got help. It turned out that the gears took a knock that misaligned the front and once that was corrected, they were fine.
But it was brutal climbing up 300m from the caldera to Montefiascone with jamming gearing. It was still only 20 degrees and hard work. Truth is that my bike is much less suited to this journey than Chris’s steed.[Read more…] about 28: Bolsena to Sutri on Via Cassia
The heat. The white roads. The gradients. The breeze.
Where are the shadows? Why not fill the pot holes?
The views. The deer. The vineyards. The hilltop castles and churches. The cypresses. The firecrests, the cirl buntings.
As breathtaking as the hills are for cyclegrims, this is even harder work than the spines of mountains we’ve previously crossed.[Read more…] about Day 27: Slog
We left Siena to find views that were stunning. World class, breathtakingly so.
We joked that the roads we followed must have been damaged by heavy armoured vehicles during WW2. The real joke being that Archbishop Sigeric might have expected such conditions on some of these white roads.
We also departed against a flow of ultramarathon walkers heading to the finish in the Piazza della Campo. At least 1000 must have been on the walk given the vest numbers I saw worn by some, worn out as many were. I’ve done a 100 km event for charity in 27 hours so I have an idea of the blisters and exhaustion. I’d rather be cycling to Rome in Autumn.[Read more…] about Day 26: San Quirico d’Orcia
Today we were on a journey of great importance. We’d located The Irishman pub and booked a hotel nearby. We watched Ireland play Scotland in Paris. At stake was a place in the quarterfinals of the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Ireland dispatched Scotland and both of us were delighted. Each of us wondered what explained the presence of the other Irish jerseyed people. They couldn’t all be following Archbishop Sigeric on Our Francigena?[Read more…] about Day 25: Pilgrimage to Siena