Cassine – Savona
I left the flat lands of the Po Valley today and headed over the Apennine Mountains to the Mediterranean Sea. The stage was rather short and had a bit over 1,000 meters of climbing. Already the first climb had ramps of over 8º and I immediately noticed the added weight. I was going up a narrow and old road when it suddenly ended in a small footpath. After checking my map again and also the surrounding area, I noticed that the road had been buried by a mudslide and the footpath was to get over the muddy hill that had formed.
I hadn’t been happy with my tire pressure all morning and even though the rear tire still had enough air it felt muddy and flat. So I decided to add a bit more air before the climbing of the day really started. I have a small travel pump that folds down very nicely, yet it’s still powerful enough to get enough pressure into gravel tires. Instead of being a push-on, this pump head screws onto the valve. When unscrewing it, however, the valve core got unscrewed from the valve and remained in the pump instead of the other way around. A fair amount of tire sealant spilled out—through the coreless valve and also along the rim. To make things worse, this happened a second time a few minutes later, before I could finally screw the valve core in tightly enough, that the pump didn’t take it out.
The incident had easily cost 45 minutes and with sealant-sticky hands, I finally continued. Just to hit a part of the mountain with a minimum incline of 12% going up to over 16%. No way I could ride this up, it was hard work pushing the bike up a slope this steep. It continued on for a good 700 meters—even though this doesn’t sound like too much, imagine pushing 30 kg up a 12-16% slope. Finally, I could get back in the saddle and slowly ride up the rest of the mountain through Cimaferle. After a twisty and fun descend on a narrow road, I left Piemont and arrived in Liguria. The headwind was as constant and as annoying as the previous day.
Following a second climb, there was a long descent into Savona. By getting to the Mediterranean Sea, I had fulfilled a small goal—I didn’t know I had, and for a brief moment, I felt overwhelming content. I took a long break by the beach, and booked a hotel just a five-minute ride away. To my surprise, they gave me a room with a sea view, so I fell asleep listening to the waves of the Mediterranean Sea.