On board the Murraybrown express

Day 3: Mantova to Sasso Marconi, 86 miles If yesterday's pace was like being on a local train that chugs along at a frustratingly slow speed and stops at every tiny village, today was the MurrayBrown city express.  

We said a happy, but sad "Arrivederci" to Catherine and started pedalling at 0900.  Clara played ball and we made swift progress, apart from stopping for... a train!

The scenery was so different to the first couple of days. While day 1 was alpine, day two lakes, today was flat, industrial and agricultural for the first half. You could tell the Romans had paid a visit too. The roads were long, straight and went on and on into the distance.

Around 11 o'clock we stopped for a quick coffee on the edge of Modena. 

 I didn't really enjoy the ride around Modena and then towards Bologna. We were on quite a few busy roads, with a lot of trucks. Thank goodness for a wide hard shoulder.

Thankfully we hit the very outskirts of Bologna which enabled us to avoid having to deal with city traffic and also gave us a beautiful view.

Once we had left Bologna behind, the scenery became greener, with rolling hills around us and this is the image of Italy I had in my head.

We will have earned our cold beer tonight. We had a bitch of a climb to reach our bnb, but just enough energy in the legs to get to the top. We arrived dripping with sweat. Lucky hosts.  

It's odd, I don't really drink beer at home. But all I can think about is the cold beer at the end of each day. What's that about?!?

Food wise: two coffees, bread and jam, some apple strudel, a banana, a nectarine and a kiwi for breakfast. Espresso and a small slice of pizza mid-morning. A lemonade and an Italian sandwich (which was pretty much pizza in pastry and delicious).  250ml chocolate milk-very much an emergency mid-afternoon when I needed something cold. One tribe bar.

Some stats for today:

4: the number of Ferraris we saw around Marinello.

0: we did a shocking job on the gelato front today.

15mph: the Murray Brown city express was moving nicely. That includes a ten min stop for water, traffic lights, sorting water bottles, lifting bikes over barriers (!) etc...

2: itchy mozzie bites.

35degrees: its hot!!!!!!!

Day 2 of rich turning into a local wouldn't upload yesterday.  So a double treat for you today... 

Day 3 :

Tomorrow the real climbing starts.