Tomorrow July 12th we’re off to the world! We did not even have the time to realise what this means to us. It’s night and we’re still preparing everything. At two am Daniele is cycling around is neighborhood to test the bike and to check how it’s to carry 40 kg. Since we decided to leave the organisation has been intense and we’re exhausted. We hardly had the time to test or bicycles, less then 10 days to get to know each other. Few days to fix everything, the incompatibility of the panniers with the racks, the energy sources that probably will not be enough, the press conference, friends and relatives greetings … no time nor space for emotions.
Time is no longer as we know it and maybe it won’t be the same for test of our journey.. Since we end working it has gone so fast that 14 days seem to be 24 hours.
THE FIRST RIDE
Our dream becomes reality on July the 12th 2014 in Piazza del Campidoglio. The square is full of cyclists came to greet us and cycle with us our first brief stage. Among them an exceptional rider, Rome first citizen Mr Marino. It’s all so confusing and unusual that we feel like we came from another planet. All of a sudden we are two famous persons! The square is full of people, relatives, friends, journalists, authorities, all here just to greet us, take a picture with us. Yesterday we were just Simona and Daniele, today we are ” Simona and Daniele those who are leaving to cycle the world “! All is very quick, photos, prime citizen, cutting the ribbon to depart, no time to say good-bye… Few seconds and we are on the saddle, followed by hundreds of cyclists heading to our first stage. p>
Guides of the day are Asd MTB members and they are a fury. In less than no time they lead us to Formello, dragging 100 cyclists (among them a lot who have never cycled before) up to steep climbs. So that earlier than thought we are all eating and drinking in Formello main square. Local administration (prime citizen Sergio Celestino included) had prevented us with pizza, wine and water. But we have hardly the chance to drink a glass of water as we are busy with pictures, greetings, etc… We finally have the time to embrace our families for the final good bye. Dinner with some late friends and alone at last, by the time we say good night we are already sleeping, dreaming about the dream we are about to live. P>
The following days are still part of our regular life. Bbq with the university fellows by Vico Lake, watching the Football world cup drinking beer with friends… All seems like the final warm embrace of good friends. The journey, the true one, begins when sleeping under the stars in Bagno Vignoni, after a hot day in the beautiful hills of the Val d’Orcia and a warm but pleasant bath in spa, in the good company of frogs and fireflies. Then Siena, a bottle of Chianti donated by a guy working in a supermarket, the hospitality of Sister Grtta, a very strong woman. During the day she takes care of the poor and of mothers with difficulty, in the evening she the perfect host for the pilgrims walking along the Via Francigena. Getting out of Siena reveals to be much more difficult than thought, the various doors can lead to confusion as each of them heads to a different direction. So after a long downhill and then uphill we are finally on our way to Certaldo and Castelfiorentino where family Macchi is waiting for us. They are so pleasant and dinner is so good that it’s hard for us to say goodbye, but the world is waiting for us and we’re logging for it, so up on the sake again. p>
TESTING OUR STRENGTH
When Simone invited us to stay at Bigallo we accepted excitement, but the steep road (11% of gradient) make us to wonder if it was actually a good idea! Fortunately the wonderful view over Florence, the good aperitif and Simone kindness convinced us that it actually was a good idea.The following days are characterised by pleasant rides along river Arno banks, heavy rain in Lucca, a long climb to reach the sea and Avenza. Then or first challenging pass “Bracco pass”. Every cyclist we meet tell us scary stories about the pass, so that the closest we get the worst we think about the pass. ” we’ll we do it? ” “of we don’t do it, what would we do?”… Exiting La Spezia from La Foce is already heard and a good test for our legs, but it’s just the beginning of the day, Bracco is kilometres away. 95 kms later we could say that Bracco is actually hard but still cyclable. The road lap is very scenic, overlooking Cinque Terre sea. Then again rain forces us to stop one day in Lavagna. Lucky we are guest in a camp site, a connection created through internet, thanks to those social networks that for us create very positive connection. p>
The warmth of the people at our departure, the smiles and encouragement of passers-by, the attachment of many who now follow our adventure on internet, encourage us to go ahead and convince us even more that this is the right path to cycle. p>
The legs are tired but stronger than when we left, our body is already adapting to the rhythm of this journey, sometimes slow and sometimes very intense. We still have to solve several problems as the management of the website, that on the road proves to be very difficult. But above all, we still have to realize that we left … seriously! P>