iguria - Day 2 - Levanto-Riomaggiore
Tough day today. I resumed from where I left yesterday, then I ran out of battery . In the afternoon I rode westwards and now I'm dead tired. Let's start from the beginning.
Morning - Cinque Terre
I did not sleep very well because I was annoiying by mosquitos, nevertheless I woke up on time for the 8.20 train from Sestri Levante to Levanto. It took me to while since I had breakfast, bought sunscreen and dragged my bike at platform 2.
As soon as you leave Levanto the road starts climbing up, I do not know if I was born I found some more rubbish at laybys .
Then I got to the first peak : Madonna di Soviore sanctuary, 492 meters above sea level (1614 feet). The road is shady and the temperature is bearable . Along the road the trees are always mediterrenean and the views are breathtaking.
I started my ride down towards Vernazza without actually getting to the village (I visited Cinque Terre 10 years ago). In order to reach Riomaggiore , my minumum requirement for today's satisfaction, I start climbing up again. This time the road is so steep, I need to use the maximum assistance. The temperature rises, I start the sweating, the road never stops going up and when I reach the top ... my battery is 25% left.
I have time to take a break at Volastra with ice tea and pine nut cheesecakes and to see the place I was going to as when, last February, I broke my ankle while hiking. I would have been happy with my walk from Riomaggiore to Manarola , but I had this accident. Today I did not want to go to Sestri, recharge my battery and then leave again. So I reached Riomaggiore train station and put an end to my 34 km - 21 mi.
Back to Sestri I had lunch, took a shower, took a nap, and then I left again.
Afternoon - Sestri Levante-Lavagna-Zoagli-Rapallo
It's hot, very hot . Even if these online services always give 28-29 ° C it feels so much more. I cross the center of Sestri Levante and reach the Lungomare (seafront). It is a very well done bicyle lane , it's use by several cyclists and children moving from the beach to the ice-cream and back.
The dream lasts just for a few kilometers, then I reach an asphalted pedestrian something that inevitably brings me to a tunnel and, like in the worst nightmares, my direction is against the flow.
A post shared by Itaway (@ itaway1) onJul 13, 2017 at 1:14 pm PDT
I decide to keep calm and carry on the pavement. It turns tinier and tinier up to an unbearable half-meter.
While looking for some boldness , I try to be as fast as I can not go to the road. There are lots of people by bike, they are tourists and they seem much more confident than me. I think that I'm just a coward.
I keep on pedaling, this time on a road and it's much more like yesterday: low traffic, crickets noise, olive trees, oleanders, smell of maquis shrubland. Some more short tunnels and then Naviki shows me the worst.
It's more than three hundred meters and there is no pavement and I hate it. I take a picture at the entrance and then start as fast as I can . There are no cars on my side.
Then it's downhill to Rapallo train station, end of my 23 km - 14 mi afternoon. The passed through Sestri Levante, Lavagna, Chiavari, Zoagli, Rapallo.
Analysis of the day
Three main things like to my mind now: tunnels, bike + train mobility, and Cinque Terre. Minor fact is that I rode more than 65 km - 40 mi (GPS tracks + getting to the train stations + going out for lunch and dinner).
I hate tunnels by bike. I do not know when I started hating them, but now I'm sure I do. I hate the noise of cars and lorries (and motorbikes) amplified by the tunnel itself. I hate the smell of burnt gasoline. Is that a phobia?
You can not stand those signs keeping the same mental order: you are the weaker , you need to do something (turn on the lights, wear a high-visibility suit, wear your helmet?).
I did not give everything I had to do with my high-visibility vest.
I think that we have lots of work to do, starting from infrastructures and education. Mostly the education of people in charge of thinking and projecting and building infrastructures.
Bike + train mobility
Yesterday I was enthusiastic of this free-ticketing for bikes on trains. Today I'm fazed beacuse of this dragging my (22 kgs) e-bike up and down. Because I had to spend my journey standing in the vestibule holding my bike because there was no room for bikes on that train. Because I do not know where to stay on the platform. Because it is not easy and common, but it's not.
I could not complain about everything :) Cinque Terre is an amazing place , you can hike, bike, sail, visit. It's full of tourists from all over the world and you can see these things.
Tomorrow I'm catching the train to Chiavari and then I will discover the "Slate path" Chiavari, Gattorna, Recco. And I really want to save some time to bathe in the sea somewhere.
by Alberto Riva @herrufer