It's fair to say we had a bit of a rough time in Milan. Nothing too bad but it just hadn't gone to plan. Click here to find out why.
Anyway, we caught a train from Milan to Verona for a few meetings and some riding. All of our cycling apparel is made here in Italy so we thought we'd make the most of flying around the world and do some actual work.
Dad's bike was stolen in Milan so getting him something to ride was a priority and finding Ray a new rear wheel was also on the list. It looked like it might not come together and that I (Hal) would be riding solo. At the last minute Ray found a wheel. If you thought snakeskin paint jobs weren't that cool, you were wrong! It was literally the only option so we just went with it.
Dad still didn't have a bike so we left him in the morning and set out following a route I'd found online. We had found a ride that goes from Verona along the river and makes it's way to the coast. Looking on google maps it looked like a small farm road so we were hopeful that the traffic would be light and the riding would be smooth.
We turned left out the front door, down the road and around the corner. About 2km in along a fairly busy road we turned off onto a dirt track, rough but bearable and nicer then riding on a busy road. We were greeted with one of the nicest views, the sun just rising over the distant peaks and shining through the trees down onto the still and clear river. It was almost unbelievable and definitely unexpected.
10km later the path turned from gravel to smooth tarmac, we emerged from the trees onto and elevated cycling path that tracked the river with farms off to the side. We couldn't have hoped for more!
After 25km and a few gravel sections we pulled off down into a small town for coffee and doughnuts. The ride had been so good, I messaged dad and said if he could get a bike to come and meet us out here. We continued on for another 40km with the path changing between gravel, tarmac and sometimes grass.
A local bike rental shop was closed but luckily the owner heard dad was looking for a bike and opened it for him. Bike sorted. Dad saddled up and met us on our way back.
Several coffees and 130kms total on some beautiful paths made for a great day on the bike. Lot's of people have probably done the ride before or ridden in nicer places but it's the fact that we weren't expecting it to be so good that made us enjoy it all the more. Moral of the story if there is one, sometimes riding your bike and not knowing what is coming can make for the most memorable riding experiences. good or bad. This one was good!