Italy - Prelude
Bram and I last went on a cycling vacation a few years ago. In May, Bram asked if I wanted to spend two weeks cycling in Italy. We booked a bus to Avignon (France) and, 14 days later, a bus back from Innsbruck (Austria). We planned the entire route in one evening. From Avignon, we would cycle to the Italian coast and on to Pisa. Then we would make a loop through Toscane and cycle via Florence and the Brenner pass north to Innsbruck. A few weeks before we left, we were informed that the return bus was canceled, so we would need to take one two days sooner.
As it was almost the tenth time we were going on a cycling trip, the preparations didn't take long. I patched up my bike with a new chain, tires, and brake pads. I also carried a self-inflatable mattress and a foam one, as well as an inflatable pillow. Carrying that extra 0,5 kg was worthwhile to sleep well. We also carried a GPS tracker that recorded our location every 5 minutes.
In terms of training, we were much less prepared than usual. Bram and I had both moved closer to work, meaning we don't cycle as far during our commute as before. In the two months between planning the route and our departure, I started cycling on my speed bike twice a week. That made some difference, but I still wasn't in great shape compared to prior years.
Overview of the route we ended up cycling. Each color represents a different day.