Day 2: Spectacular scenery, spectacular mechanical

Day two: matarello - mantova 86 miles. This  evening I really do need a beer. We were clipped in and ready to roll at 0800. We were back on cycle path heaven and gobsmacked  by the scenery around us. 

By 0930 I had hit the deck and my rear mech hanger had snapped off.  Initially I just thought 'ouch! My leg hurts.'  Then I looked at my bike and I thought 'Oh crap, that doesn't look too good.'

But a lovely Italian local helped to turn my bike into a one speed steed and said there were a number of bike shops about 20km up the road at the northern end of Lake Garda.  Unfortunately the view of Lake Garda totally trumped the bike shop situation.

It's true there were a number of bike shops up the road and luckily some of them were even open on a Sunday. But we tried at least five and couldn't get my bike fixed. Sadly it turns out a very specific part is needed to fix the problem. My bike is a Focus, and it would involve a Focus dealer ordering in the part, but as it's a German brand, this makes things even harder when you are cycling through Italy. I knew I should have got a Pinarello!!! 

So the solution was simply to carry on pedalling with one gear all the way down Lake Garda and onto Mantova.  

Rich and catherine were superstars and kept me going as they joined me at snail pace.

My legs now hurt.

But there is always a solution to any problem and so we've gone for Plan B. As  Catherine heads home tomorrow anyway, I will take her bike to Sicily and she will take my broken bike back to Switzerland.  We'll figure out plan C, how to get our bikes back from Switzerland/UK, later.   But lending me her bike is true friendship.  I'm naming her Clara after her original owner. Welcome aboard Giro de MurrayBrown Clara! 

Today's food:  breakfast of yogurt and fruit, a croissant, coffee, a small OJ and two pieces of bread with honey. Early lunch of  ham and cheese sandwich and a lemonade. Mid afternoon: gelato stop number one. Later afternoon: one tribe bar.

Some stats: 

70miles- the distance I rode with one gear.  I can confirm it was worse than doing an Ironman 70.3 with my back brake on. 

4- the number of Italian men riding bikes in speedos.

12mph- the speed I could maintain with one gear.  (We had been riding at about 18mph.)

3- the number of pizzas consumed in the past three days.