What started off as a restful, reasonably flat day today got quickly thrown out the window. Never mind the 35C heat in Piedmont, the elevation during today's ride reached 3500m. I swear, Google Maps needs to add something for cyclists so you can select, no highways, no tolls and no mountains.
It was a particularly tough day in the saddle as I had no idea where I was going and was winging-it without respect for the mountains in the area. Seriously though, a scorcher of a day and no less than 5 litres of water were consumed to propel me 165k in 6 hours. When you ride for this long, your mind (and body) start to rebel on you. When you have no idea what lies ahead and you're 60k from the hotel, things can quickly change - and did.
Thinking today would be a reasonably easy, 100k ride, became a climbing-fest which happened soon as I missed a turn off on the way down to Genova and ended up climbing one of the major mountain passes...accidentally. I was all but crawling up this 22k climb, Passo del Faiallo. Not only was it unplanned but it was hot - and I was low on water. Good times. The thought of turning back crossed my mind, oh, a dozen times as I continued onward to the summit before descending to Urbe. Note to self, Piedmont has some of the worst paved roads I've ever ridden which makes for fun times going down anything over 60km/h.
Gritting my teeth I etched my way up another 6k climb to Palo - thinking this has to be the last hurrah. I had two options when I reached a fork, continue to the hotel via the same road as yesterday or head to Ponzone which was a little shorter. I gambled wrong and ended up climbing more and more and... you get the idea. Thankfully, once I hit Cavatore, it was a quick descend and then a few kilometres to the hotel.
There was a time when I saw a taxi in Piancastagna where I nearly waved him over to take me back. I knew I'd regret doing it so I held off but again, didn't know when these hills/mountains would stop - or 'if'.
Nearly 6000 calories were burned as a result of these 'wrong' turns. Now that I've confirmed that I am still alive and that I've lived to tell the story, I will leave it to Strava to speak for my day on the saddle. My suffer score was 'Extreme' yesterday - which one would think is the limit of man's ability. Nope, I was wrong. Today's ride scored as 'Epic". My legs and tired body would agree wholeheartedly.
Tomorrow is a new day.