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BICYCLE TOUR: EUROTOUR 2010

FLAVIO BASSI'S ON-BOARD DIARY

DAY 5

DATE: 11:07:2010
START: NAUDERS
FINISH: LANDECK
LENGTH: 49 KM
AVERAGE SPPED: 17.9 KM/H
DIFFICULTY GRADE: A1
The fear
Morning. I have to prepare to dive in the highway. I don't feel like doing it at all, remembering what passed in previous trips across this area. The streets are flowing, with large radius curves and tunnels, and cars traveling over 100 km/h. A distraction of motorist, a sms written just at that point where I am, and my journey is over. I'll disappear without saying goodbye to anyone, between two aluminum tubes bent by the impact.

Just come out from zimmer, while I'm mounting the luggage, a couple of German motorbike riders greets me and asks me where I go. In Holland, at least I would like to arrive there. They instead have done their holidays in France and are returning home. But motorbikes and cars travel at the same speed, so the chances of impact are very few, they depend almost entirely from errors of motorbiker... bicycles instead are as obstacles firm in the middle of the roadway, their speed is always 70 to 90 km/h LESS than cars.... I shudder just thinking about it.

I have to do. I bear up myself thinking that it's Sunday: maybe there will be little traffic. Perhaps the road will be desert, with only one car every 30 minutes... I put on the helmet, my gloves and go. Down the hairpin curves and tunnels.

I was wrong. It is exactly like the past, a row of fast and nervous cars that surpass me all the time. My existence depends on dozens, hundreds, of heads who drive those vehicles. I proceed scared on the roadside, and I note that inside the gallery they put a kind of foot-path. I almost think to use it pushing the bike on foot, but then I go forward riding through inertia. I want to go out as soon as possible. I pedal flush with the sidewalk for fear, but I'm too flush. Right there the asphalt is warped. Nothing for cars, but for me it is an unexpected obstacle and I risk falling. I was going at about 25 km/h downhill.

Between a gallery and another I meet a hiker on foot, complete with backpack and stick. He's rising along the highway, close to the side, a bit sadly. Who knows why.

I wonder who made me do. The next time or bus or return home, at the cost of removing wheels, pedals and handlebar of the bike and put everything into the known travel cardboards.

At the end the deviation to Pfunds arrives, and I go out of the hell. Now the streets in agricultural fields and houses made of wood restart. From here to Landeck there is only one short stretch on the highway, but with the famous stripes painted on the ground that theoretically delimit the space reserved for cyclists. In caso of distraction of motorist, that strip do not save you neither from hospital nor from morgue.

Arrive in Landeck a bit more relaxed and ready to proceed with travel companions; because of an unexpected event however [wooden dowels stuck into the skin, from a bench] we have to remain in Landeck for the night. It's Sunday, the city activities are all closed; the sky is gray, it's cold and raining. We pass afternoon and evening doing nothing - Landeck seems the 'Useless Town'. We camp all the time in a bar with big screen to watch the final of the World Cup.

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