The ride of a lifetime, quickly turned into the pain of a lifetime. Since I’m no cyclist, my legs felt like shards of glass Jello (my favorite flavor) after riding 4 hours in Milan, an estimated 35 miles, and four hours toward Alessandria. Several times I thought about stopping for the night, but because I was behind schedule, I decided to push through the pain (that’s the kind of man I am) until Vigevano.
During this ride, the only thing keeping me from falling off my bike from exhaustion was the beautiful scenery and my rippling muscles. As I got further south from Milan, the more beautiful the scenery became. For me, the highlight of the day was making it to a river just outside of Vigevano (I believe it’s the Ticino River). I threw my stuff down on the rocky shore and jumped into the water. The water was cold, but it felt great after almost nine hours of riding. After I finished cooling off, I decided that it would be cool to camp along the river instead of staying at a hostel. For dinner, I had some peanut butter sandwiches, fruit, and a granola bar (whenever I travel, I bring peanut butter to cut down on food cost). When I finished my gourmet Italian dinner, I threw my sleeping bag on the ground and tried to relax. As I was getting eaten alive by insects, I decided that it would be better to get a good night’s sleep at a cheap hostel.
Little did I know that I would have been better off with the bugs. With no fan and 1 small window, the summer heat turned the room into a sauna. I barely slept that night because I was constantly taking cold showers to cool down and rinse off all the sweat (this reminded me of camping in Southeast Asia, the heat made it impossible to sleep). As expected, the next morning I woke up sore and tired with a 50 mile bike ride to Alessandria in front of me. The one bright side was that my padded biker shorts made it somewhat bearable to sit down on the bike seat.