Thursday, May 7, 2009

Preparation Time!

Busy day today--organize some equipment, sort out new Santini clothing, new socks, water bottles and cages plus unpack and assemble the "new" Torelli 20th Anniversary bikes. Bikes unscathed during flight (all our luggage arrived, none had TSA "love notes" inside letting us know they rifled through everything--perhaps WHY they arrived with us?) and went together quickly in my jet-lagged state. Our rack master phoned to let us know the van was ready so we finished up the work, sneaked out for a 40 km ride on the new bikes (testing the new GPS unit was the "official" reason) then showered and headed off into the Milanese traffic. Milan is truly "LA with better food", dirty skies, horrendous traffic and gritty industry lining the autostrada just like the cities surrounding LA. After a U-turn back onto the autostrada to avoid a totally blocked exit we arrived in the tiny town of Alme just in time to pick up the van and head back into the horrible traffic. The guys at Cornelli did a masterful job mounting the rack, even bending it a bit to follow the curved roofline of the van! They're working on some wheel forks now to give us more cargo room in the semi-cramped luggage area, we can then put the front wheels on the rack rather than atop the pile of luggage. Our reward for the traffic travails was a dinner at a local eatery specializing in "carne alla brace" or grilled meats. But we could NOT skip a pasta course as this place has heavenly gnocchi with nut sauce, so we split a plate before splitting the mixed grill of pork along with grilled vegetables. A Monferrato Barbera Superiore paired well, having been made just a few kms from the ristorante. Back home to rest for (we hope) a trip to (finally!) pick up our new rental bicycles in Romagna tomorrow. Perhaps we'll have some photos to post along with more details tomorrow. Buona notte!

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