Picos Original Riders

Picos Original Riders
Highlights of 2010

Last of the Picos Riders - to Rome Alone!

Our first two charity rides were a huge success - raising over £20,000 for the South East Cancer Help Centre.

The Centre does a fantastic job of supporting patients and carers at the most difficult times of their lives. They make a real difference and you could help them in their work by contributing to our fundraising. Donations can be made via JustGiving.comhttps://www.justgiving.com/Tom-Vaz/ or directly into the Centre. For more details of the Centre and their work see their website at http://www.sechc.org.uk/

After 3 years of rest it seemed time to dust off the old muscles, bones and sinews and do one more spectacular ride in aid of this fabulous charity.

This time I will travel alone for 25 days, mainly following the ancient pilgrimage route to Rome, the Via Francigene, covering a distance of around 1,400 miles.

The route travels through Newhaven - Dieppe - Paris before I eventually reach the Via Francigene in Eastern France. From then on it is pretty simple apart from having to cross the Alps without an elephant!

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Day 23 Siena to San Lorenzo Nuovo

This is the real Day 23, I got carried away last night! Just for a change I thought I'd write the blog as the day progressed so you can plan your own cycling trip to Tuscany...
After weaving my way through the narrow streets of Siena I was on the SR2 and just a few minutes later Siena was a distant blur but a lasting memory.

The SR2 is a cyclist's dream. Smooth surface with lovely curves following the contours of the land. So far no climbs as they have even had the sense to go AROUND the castle on the hill. Even with my luggage in cruising at 17 mph!

10.45am As I sit in a lovely cafe in Buonconvento,  nursing my cappuccino in the shade it seems to me that Tuscany has more than its fair share of these quaint villages. I've been blessed with choice when it comes to a coffee stop.

11.15am Well what happened to the world during my coffee break? It was going so well but shortly after rejoining the SR2 the temperature started climbing and so did the road! Gasping for breath up a long drag, in blazing heat and desperate for some cool shade I finally reached a tunnel where I stood with my legs shaking for 5 minutes. Warm water is not the tastiest stuff but I guess it hydrates and it's all I have in my bottles. I promise myself a long cold drink in an air conditioned room later...

12.05pm Another couple of miles down the road I reached a petrol station where I found a vending machine and despite its obviously venerable age, I managed to buy a can of Coke - not air conditioned but al fresco! My bike hugs the machine in relief!

1pm After some calmer cycling I spy lunch in yet another delightful Tuscan town - San Quirico d'Orcia.
Lovely church 
Lovely alleys 
Stunning castle/turrets/fortifications 
Somewhere cool to eat 
Good stop for macaroni with tomatoes and veg!
2.45pm Time for another drink before the long climbs up to San Lorenzo Nuovo. I've just met a group of scouts walking from Rome to Siena 200km in this heat! Mind you they are sitting in the shade but it's still 30C even there!

5.15pm Finally climb over the brow of the hill to see Lake Bolsena ahead. Looks nice but I'm too knackered and dehydrated to stop and take pictures.

5.30pm Having cycled 67 miles I arrive at Casa Reminiscenza Farmhouse B&B to be told dinner is chicken. Nearest restaurant is a 5mile round trip. Oh well I can always drink the wine and go to bed early...

19.15 Great news chef can do me a salad with boiled eggs and cheese. I have a beer to celebrate. Not a good idea on an empty stomach.

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