The day that just kept going

June 17, 2014  |  The real thing

Day 3 – Pistoia to Siena

When you are cycling on a day that feels like it is never ending you have to remind yourself to take a moment to appreciate your surroundings and the simple things. The sunshine, breathtaking scenery that looks like it’s from a picture postcard, sweeping downhills, a public cold water dispenser, a Tarmac road.

We have just finished riding and it’s past 9.00 pm. It’s so late we have temporarily ditched the shower and headed straight for a restaurant. We have found a lovely man who managed to provide us with food, water and wifi within about 5 mins so we are munching antipasti, sipping beers, wine and prosecco and winding down after an eventful day.

It took us less than 2 hours to put the first 20 miles away then things went downhill (or more accurately, uphill) from there. We stopped in Florence for a bit of sightseeing – beautiful. Bought strawberries in a market, admired the architecture, had our picture taken by some tourists.


But getting 5 of us back on the road was hard work. Andy lost his chain and we lost him, which caused a delay. We had planned to stop for lunch just outside Florence but the next available place turned out to be after the most vertical incline ever. After all of us, except Mark, who struggles to let a hill beat him, had to push, we had to stop to eat up our haribo and cereal bar supply overlooking the Tuscan hills.


Lunch was shortly after, with pasta and gelato, finishing about 3 pm and 40 of our 72 miles still to ride, with most of the up ahead too. Straight after lunch we had another vertical hill before pushing up, up and up. And then after a short reprieve the up continued. I think we all agree that it’s the hardest day we’ve ever ridden. 5300 feet climbed in total.

But it’s over now and we shall look back and remember Andy and Ian sharing the ouch badge, the dirt/gravel tracks, still with up and downhill, (painful on the hands) one way streets, cars pulling out in front of us and the first restaurant we came to being closed when we finished.

So, tomorrow looks better. Not sure yet about the weather. Spirits are lifting as we refuel and the beer goes to the head.

And just to end with a look back to yesterday after I’d blogged, this is what you have to do when you have wet shoes in the hillside.


By Becci Johnson

Chief blogger and haribo coordinator.


  1. Is Andy ok? or have you not found him and his chain yet, or is he still in Florence?

  2. Sounds an exhausting day, perhaps you should load mark up with all the luggage on the steep hills and see what he does then.

  3. great blog becci,
    looks a real adventure.

  4. Sorting out comments, had to get help from Molly next door
    As I told you Italy is very hilly so all the churches will be needed for you all to pray that it gets easier from now on
    I will not tell you about the football, I think you need to pray for them