Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Day 2 - oops, Zola Predosa to Torgiano

Day 2 is Zola Predosa to Torgiano. It started well. I was really lookng forwards to it. 322km of twisties. This is real twisties, getting up to 900m above sea level. Having to use gears, as well as brakes, and getting the line correct. Something we don't have much of in Australia. Fanastic time.

At one point, going up a mountain, we passed Howard Chambers and Mike Webster stopped beside the road. I looked back to see if they needed help. Fidele stopped right in front of me, to help them. I happened to look forwards just in time, as I was about to hit him. Some very quick thinking meant that I swerved, but my legshields caught his rear panel handel and lifted the metal on the side, which then scraped across his panel and then his foot board. My leg also hit his rear rack,causing quite a nasty bruise. All I can say is that Fidele is amazing. I seriously damaged his beautiful scooter, and all he said was "don't worry, you didn't do it on purpose".

Later that day, I was to notice that Mike's scooter had a broken headlamp, that was a bit mangled. Turns out so was the mudguard, and Mike. Seems Mike was overtaking a car on a corner when another car came in the opposite direction... so he slide the scooter. At this point, he was a bit sore, but carried on riding.

We saw many amazing sights. Mountains with villages plonked on the top of them. We even rode through some, and stopped in a few. One of my favourites was this one. You were riding up a mountain, cam around a corner and there was the stop and this tiny village. Whilst it wasn't particularly picturesque, as a village, I loved "Bar Pit Stop", the guy was a real motoring enthusiast.

We got to the last time stop of the day, Brufa. Whilst we were under the tent feeding ourselves, as usual, the heavens opened. This was good as we were, as I said, under the tent. Unfortunately, it didn't stop raining until about 15 minutes after we left. Machines were dropping like flies as old Italian electronics and water do not seem to mix well.

The day finished with us hanging around at the town centre of Torgiano. Very confusing. We had to place our machines near a hotel sign, and I found out that it meant the hotel owner was going to escort us. Suddenly we were off, and following a Fiat Bambini... back where we had come. I had hardly any petrol left at all, so was getting a little concerned about if I'd make it. Finally we pulled into the fantastic Borgo Brufa Spa Hotel.

At 8pm, we were collected by coach and taken to a mountain top castle near by. We got there in time to see a wonderful sunset, and were met by cocktails, we were then escorted into the castle where, once again, the food was wonderful. However, they only stopped feeding us at midnight and we got back to the hotel at 1am... with an 8am start, some distance away, which meant rising at 6am to get breakfast, fuel up and ride to the start. Not enough sleep!

Much discussion went on that night as to what to do about Akiko and Suzanne as they were riding in the LDV, which was the support van for Mike and Howard. There looked like a good chance that Mike would not start the next day, and if Howard broke down there would not be enough room for everyone. Howard had been having Fuel starvation problems during the day, so this eventuality was looking likely, however Howard was back at the hotel trying to fix his machine. Fortunately, during the previous day I had met the Japanese rider, and had introduced Akiko. They were now on our table, and so it was decided that Akiko and Suzanne would now ride in their backup car,this was a great sacrifice for them, as it could travel more than 90kph, and had air conditioning.... both being something the LDV could not do.

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