Still A Long Way to Milan

Trip Start Feb 11, 2012
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Trip End Feb 19, 2012


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Where I stayed
Hotel Forclaz Touring, Martigny, Switzerland

Flag of Switzerland  , Swiss Alps,
Monday, February 13, 2012

I was very nervous this morning. Setting out on any journey into the unknown, presents a mix of excitement and worry.  With Sid off to work I enjoyed breakfast with Muneera and Rais.  Rais was considerably more alert than me, I guess he is now used to waking up at three in the morning!  I layered up to transform myself into a Michelin Man and grabbed the bike from the underground garage.  The Porsche in the neighbouring spot looked like a much cosier ride than my battered old Trek which I bought in Bermuda 7 yrs ago.  The bike has now done three Ironmans and many more miles on top of that.  You would think by now that I would have worked out that it is the most uncomfortable ride on the planet and as the day went on I was reminded with venom that I should have bought the comfortable touring bike.

Setting off around Lake Geneva was great.  It was a repeat of the route Polly and I followed over a year ago. Last time we were in vests, this morning however was -8⁰C.  I passed the UEFA headquarters which reminded me that I am on my way to a Champions League game and cycled past rest stops that I remember Pols and I took last time around.  The lake air was freezing but invigorating and I looked forward to the ride ahead.

Failing to draw on experience, I then took a turning onto the Swiss Bike Route #1.  MY thinking was that I could pedal along without any disturbance from traffic and it was indeed heavenly, taking me right down to the lakes edge and up through vineyards perched high up above the icy waters.  However, as we found out last time, the designated cycling routes really do take you around the houses and when lunch came I was already feeling whacked and hadn't made much ground.

After lunch I hit the roads and tried to hammer out the miles.  However, the damage was already done and my back and neck were really hurting.  The hideously uncomfortable riding position of the antique bike was making me just want to get off and stretch out flat on the ground.  I passed through glamorous towns which looked out across Lake Geneva. Lausanne, Montreaux and others tried to outdo each other with grand hotels and cafes.  I however, kept on pedalling aware that the light would be fading soon.

My goal of reaching Sierre had to be seriously reigned in, so when I saw a sign for Sion 30 miles, I thought I could settle there.  As it is, I struggled to get anywhere near Sion and it is 20 miles which I will have to make up in the morning.  Martigny instead became the place of rest and I collapsed onto my hotel bed with no enthusiasm to go and check out the local attractions.

It has been hovering around -10⁰C for most of the day and it seemed to drop even more in the last hour as I started to hit some hills.  I am now surrounded by mountains and have it all to do in the next couple of days.  I wanted to get very close to the Simplon Pass today so that I would be fresh for taking it on.  Unfortunately I have 50 miles to do in the morning before I even start the 15 mile climb through Les Alps.  If all goes to plan I will make it over tomorrow afternoon and then settle in Domosodalla which will then leave 75 miles to get to Milan and watch the game. But when does a day on the bike ever go to plan?

I thought it was going to be easier than this!

Miles Cycled:  78 and then I really couldn’t go on.
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Comments

Mum on

Guess you will sleep very well tonight! Hope all goes well tomorrow.Take carexx

triciagick
triciagick on

Happy Valentine's day Mikey - bet you wish you hadn't already tucked into the Toblerone!! Alan came up trumps this mornig with a bunch of flowers and a 'Congratulations'? card! Thought he was congratulating me on still having him - but turns out that's all the Farm Shop had in the early hours this morning!!
What a bummer that you've seemed to have opted for the wrong bike - I'll be interested to see what the majority of Year 5 chose for you - maybe you should have checked first. Nevertheless, you've done brilliantly but what a pity it is so hard - tough too when you can't fail to compare it with last time when you had such lovely company!
We've just finished breakfast but I bet you're already up and away and possibly already pretty tired out - what a way to spend half term!
We're with you in spirit and hope to hear later in the day that you've arrived where you want to.
Pretty worried about Portsmouth - seems it's all up with them again.
Take care and lots of love xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Jojo on

All at Highfield are very concerned for you - we'vebeen up them there mountains and they seem to go on forever - but I'm sure Polly's class has done a proper job and worked out your best plan of attack! Godson has had his first Sunday lunch here and behaved very well. I think George has redeemed himself this Valentine's Day for his omissions on Christmas morning - from what I overheard on the 'phone,
I do hope you have reached Sierre and are now on the way down. This football match better be worth it!

Den and Sue. on

Well done Mikey, keep up the good work. Rather you than us though, it sounds very cold !!! Enjoy the game, we'll watch it in the warm. xx

auntbymarriage on

Mikey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know the result of the football match (Can't decide whether you'll be pleased or not) but what I don't know is whether you made it there! Saw Polly and Tricia on Valentines day, in Waitrose. They were buying plastic pots of wine and I was desperately searching for meal deals. Adrian and I didn't have a romantic Valentines day supper. So did you make it and are you cycling home or are you going to join Giles skiing? Much much more blog please. x x x

Pierce on

What was the UEFA headquarters like?

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