When it rains it pours . . .
With only a week to go before our Italy biking adventure, ‘things’ started happening.
First, my Geoffrey Bean glasses broke. Since I started wearing glasses two years ago I always travel with two pair, in case I break or lose a pair, so now I was down to one!!
. . . a last minute trip to the optometrist found they had an exact frame is stock so it was easy to pop out the lenses, install them in the new frames and I was on my way. Problem #1 SOLVED . . .
While on a little vacation to Door county and Green Bay . . . (see the new Packers stadium tour here) I was riding through a Door County rest area and rode over a 6 inch high speed bump. At that point my 15 year old Fizik Aliante carbon saddle collapsed. All four connection points of the rails to the mount sheared. I was riding the TREK 5000, which I am taking on the trip, so of course I had to scramble to find a new saddle. The 2018 version of this saddle did not ‘feel right’ after two 40 mile shakedown rides. So back it went to the store and I will be taking one of my ‘broken in’ Brookes saddles. ALWAYS a good standby. Problem #2 SOLVED.
Although my passport did not expire until next year I had not payed attention to the actual date. This trip would put me within the 6 month validity period which means I could be refused entrance to Italy!!!
So . . . an online inquiry resulted in making an appointment at the nearest Passport Authority, located in Chicago, for the Wednesday before we were to leave!!! A drive to Chicago and all that means, including accidents on 94 and MAJOR construction projects in the city, landed me at the Passport Office, in a ball of nerves, 15 minutes before my appointment (I have budgeted in an 1 and 15 minutes leeway!!!) Thank God for GPS!!
Using the ‘expedited service ($60.00) and overnight shipping ($18.95) my new (52 page version) passport arrive at my doorstep, delivered by UPS, two days later. A small price to pay for what could have been a major travel disaster!!!
What a lifesaver the State Department was in providing this service!!! Problem #3 SOLVED.
Whew . . . don’t need to worry out his for 10 years!!!
So . . . all set, almost.
While out for a final ride on the TREK 5000, before I boxed it up, I broke a spoke and the chain went into the derailleur. Ugly scene!!!
. . into the LBS for ‘expedited service’ (no extra charge) and hopefully things will be back to normal . . .soon!!!
So . . . the plan is to drive to O’Hare and fly Aer Lingus to Dublin, Ireland, overnight there and fly to Milan the following day. We’ll spend a couple of days in Milan then train to Alessandria where we will bike our 400 mile one-week loop. After the bike trip, it’s on the train to Turin, spend a couple of days ‘recuperating’ from the bike trip (did I mention there will be some elevation on this trip) then back to Dublin and home (for emJay)!
This is the Piedmont area where we will be bicycling . . .
. . . and this is pretty much what the route will look like. Each day is either red or green. Ciao!!!