Day 3, part 1 – Always ride with a helmet!
After having a really difficult day yesterday, I was ready to bounce back today and take control of this ride. I can do nothing about the heat but I can drink more water, eat more food and take more breaks. Apparently yesterday I did everything wrong! 🙂
I also have the choice to leave earlier. So I did just that. Didn’t sleep very well last night and was up mostly from 2am on. So by time 5:00am rolled around I was ready to go. Packed all my things and made my way down to the prepared breakfast by the hotel owners. They don’t live on site and there is no overnight staff, so after 11pm, that’s it until breakfast at 8am. They were kind enough to leave a nice selection for me when they left for home the night before.
By 5:30 I had packed up the leftovers, loaded up Kip and was out the door. Click. The door locked behind me. Time to roll.
The door was locked and I looked around outside I noticed there were no cars. I was the only person at the hotel last night.
There is no telling when someone will finally show up! I frantically tried every door I could find realizing this place was on lockdown. Then I saw an after hours emergency number. I texted it. Waited. Called it. Waited. Texted again. Nothing.
That’s when Ernie texted me out of the blue.
E: “Following you along you’re ride. Don’t forget about the fresh bread every morning with cheese and coffee. ( real coffee). Enjoy the moments but beware of Italian drivers they are CRAZY!”
M: “Good morning Ernie. I got up early to leave and locked myself out of the hotel with my helmet inside. I don’t think anyone else is staying at the hotel and the staff isn’t here. Wasting away this cool morning.”
E: “If it’s not one thing it’s another. Take it easy and the miles will take care of themselves. Go eat and have coffee. You’ll be able to ride all day just on the coffee. Watch the Tour de France. It’s exciting. Following it every morning at 5am. Wishing I was with u. Oh the memories of riding in Europe back in the 80’s. Try the window?”
That’s when I realized: Yes I tried the window, but I’m just sitting here waiting and complaining. There HAS to be a way inside! So, I walked all over the building and found an unlocked back door that led to the kitchen. Walked through the restaurant to find the door to the hotel locked. Tried every other door. Locked. Locked. Locked.
Then I scoured the kitchen area. There must be some keys somewhere…. In case of emergency or something. I found about 5 different keys and started trying them. Felt like a game show where if the key fits you win the car, or the house, or the million dollars in the bank. But this was real. I needed this key to work. I could think of no other place in the tiny town of Ferentillo where I could find a bike helmet at 0630 on a Sunday morning. This was going to ruin my 3rd day. For a second I thought what if I just ride for a bit until I find a store that has helmets. Haha, what a dumb idea. Ernie said it himself, these Italian drivers ARE crazy.. there is no way I’m getting on any street here without a helmet.
Fortunately, the third key I tried worked. I ran up the stairs, grabbed my helmet, threw the keys on the counter and bolted for my bike. Only an hour off schedule and I was on my way.
This guy sent me on my way. Check out that helmet. ????