I seem to always take on more than I should. Things always just seem easier in my head, and I don’t realize my mistake until I’m in the middle of it. Right before my trip to Europe, I decided that I wanted to travel unlike I had ever traveled before. I thought it would be awesome to cycle from Italy to France. I told myself, “I have ridden a bike before, how hard could it be?” Little did I know that my three weeks of riding 20 miles a day as training would not prepare me for what I was about to experience.
Originally I was going to ride through Switzerland, but luckily an avid cyclist convinced me that I should ride along the Tuscany Coast. I was lucky, because I would have died trying to cycle through the mountains of Switzerland.
When I arrived in Milan, I bought the cheapest bike I could find and strapped on my sleeping bag and two water bottles. Unfortunately, I approached this trip like most of my other trips and did not make any plans. This resulted in me spending most of the day riding around trying to figure out how to get out of Milan. I felt like I was in a maze, and I am terrible at mazes. At one point, I ended up on the highway. People were honking and yelling at me. It was in Italian so the closest interpretation I can give was, “hey, guy on the bike, you’re awesome!”
After riding all over Milan, I found an internet cafe and printed out some maps. Four hours later than I expected, I was on the right road headed south. By the time I got out of Milan, I was exhausted, my legs were about to fall off, and I hadn’t even begun my journey. Not a good start.