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BICYCLE TOUR: EUROTOUR 2010

FLAVIO BASSI'S ON-BOARD DIARY

DAY 4

DATE: 10:07:2010
START: PRATO ALLO STELVIO
FINISH: NAUDERS
LENGTH: 40 KM
AVERAGE SPPED: 10 KM/H
DIFFICULTY GRADE: A3
Hot, hot, hot, hot!!!!
We are now between 1000 and 1500 meters above sea level. The on-board thermometer continues to indicate around 35C constant, and after Glorenza the wall does not make concessions.
The fields are hidden by rain water given by agricultural irrigation plants... I would want to be there in the middle, but the road does not get even a drop.

In any case, I put the shortest gear I have and I can pedal always, even if my vehicle, baggaged, weighs around 55 kilograms; I push with hand for only a hundred meters characterized by the sign "19% slope."
While I pedal, each time I find the shade of a tree I stop a couple of minutes to drink, cool off and rest, until I feel the heartbeat back to calm. Note that the shade trees are frequent, so I stop in practice every five minutes; but I really need all these stops, I can't weaken now because they lack 1800 km to the arrival. Hell, it seems to be cooked in a wood oven... also because we are just riding during the hottest hours of the day, between 12 and 13... it would be nice to arrange for departures early in the morning, but also sleep wants its share, so sleeping calmly is necessary.

During a stop a local asks me where I go. I say Holland but I have to repeat sometimes - it could be because the mother tongue of the region is not Italian or for the destination a bit naive? - Finally he understands well and congratulates.

After the pass, fast descent in Nauders, and then the bad fact.
As announced, I wait for the shuttle bus to jump the Nauders-Pfunds part, or even better the Pfunds-Nauders-Landeck, passable only on busy highways; my traveling companions decide instead to continue on the road, the danger does not interest them. We agree to meet again in Landeck at the end of afternoon.
All right? Not exactly. My companions left since one hour, the bus arrives, but I see immediately that it has only the vertical bike rack, outside the back window, and misses the trailer propagandized in brochures; while I remove the bags from the bike I feel that something will go wrong, and in fact the hooks are too short and don't arrive to catch my frame. Special bike, special problems. The driver abandoned me, I am on foot, I lost my companions and I can not reach them: too late to ride, darkness is coming. I stop for the night in a zimmer in the centre of Nauders.

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