My first adventure was flying in on Easy Jet--bare bones travel! I decided against taking the shuttle with the other guests coming in to the wedding and instead booked a bike to rent for 4 days from Ichnusa. I wandered around Caligari for about an hour before finding the teeny shop in a far corner of a parking lot. Marco was surprise to see me as he had me down for coming in the next day. He said he had toget the bike from another location and if have to wait until 2 to get it. I was pretty leery as it wa 50k away and I didn't know the terrain or directions well. He assured me that it only took him 2 hours when he was fit and I'd be okay. I still assumed it would take me 3.5-4 but I figured it would still be fine. I found a little restaurant for lunch, picked up sunscreen, and made my way back.
I got lost heading out of town about ten times but finally manage to get on the right (only) road up the coast. Part of the way was a bit of bike trail, part was bike lane, but for much of it, I was on my own out in traffic. The winding roads had little shoulder and a lot of cliff. The cars passed me quickly and gave me about a foot and a half of space. It was a bit unnerving but not terrible. There weren't too many cars on the road but more than I had expected. I also hadn't expected so many hills! More and more and more hills! Up and up and up! Even when I was finally down to the final 11km, I looked up to see a long stretch of switchbacks leading up the next hill. Luckily, the scenery was so amazing (and I didn't have any other way of getting there), I just kept going. it was about half way there when it suddenly dawned on me--I'm in pretty darn good shape! I want to mention that I made it up every hill without stopping, by the way. I had my Acouztic blaring and helping me along the way. Lady Gaga got me up one particularly steep grade. At one point, I stood up to pedal right as a car drove past the other way and I hoot an impressed cheer from the group of Italian boys inside, quite the boost for sure.
The bike I rented is something called a Next 2. It has front suspension, which I hate, but I chose it because it came with Schawlbe marathon plus tires, a rack, and pannier. It is painted orange and looks pretty beaten up. The grips slide around but the gears and brakes work. The seat is really squishy, also hate that, but it's done the job so far.
It took me about 4 hours to get there but I probably could have cut it down to 3.5 if I had know the way. I got lots of kudos from the other guests but really, I think they just thought I was insane.
I'm nervous about tomorrow because I know what to expect and because I'll have all my heavy luggage with me. So far, I'd managed to pawn my bags off on fellow travelers going to the same place. I think most will fit in the pannier but I'll still have to carry my backpack, yuck! I'm also going to be riding in my boots again (in 90 degree heat) because I'm not comfortable in the sandals on the road and I have no way to carry them. I didn't do a great job of packing clothes, I've realized, and now I'm suffering a bit from it. Oh well! Look at what I'm suffering through: