When in Rome

June 20, 2014  |  The real thing

Day 6 – Tarquina to Rome

When in Rome with a bicycle you have to have eyes in the back of your head, the side of your head, and everywhere else as well. The drivers here are crazy, as are the moped drivers, and the pedestrians. Makes for some scary miles, where concentration is everything.

Today started out with a gorgeous downhill towards the sea as we left Tarquina. The road was easy going and the sun quickly dried the damp shoes leftover from yesterday. We managed a fantastic pace this morning and had time for an ice cream by the sea.


The speedy start continued and we made it to an early lunch about 12, beside the seaside, with 36 miles ridden and the half way point crossed. I have to say that we enjoyed the best food that we’ve ever eaten in a beach cafe.


After lunch things continued to go well. No rain and no falls. The terrain as we got closer to Rome became undulating but we were on the outskirts of the city before today’s adventure began. Mark’s chain snapped and in trying to fix it, so did the tool. I understand it sparked.

Andy was kind enough to wait for him (good boy badge for him) and they ended up pushing/ free wheeling for the 6 miles to our apartment. The rest of us continued on Mark’s well planned sight seeing tour of the city, which took us past the Vatican and the Colosseum. Unfortunately we were not quite in the right frame of mind by that point and, with the detour and hustle and bustle / chaos of tourists, locals, and football fans (including an old man in an Italy shirt trying to header a ball across a zebra crossing) we arrived at the apartment only a short time before Mark and Andy. We did manage a quick tourist snap with the bikes though.


Luckily the guy who owns the apartment was able to point us in the direction of a bike shop and Mark fixed his chain in about 5 minutes. Andy’s bike, which has had gear issues today, took a bit longer. (Good boy nomination for Mark)


We headed out for a late dinner to the recommended restaurant, which was lovely, but they were clearly having staffing issues due to the football and dinner took forever. Apparently they usually only have reservations at the weekend so not really sure why they let us in. When we tried to ask for the bill the chef, who was also waiting tables, offered us some grappe as an apology, which was very sweet but meant we had to wait even longer before we could escape. Unfortunately the delays have put to bed all plans of sight seeing today. We have decided to get up early and see what we can tomorrow, because, when in Rome, there are places you just have to visit.

As England crash out of the World Cup I shall close with a pic from last night’s bar.


And now to bed – we have a tourist hour in the early a.m.

By Becci Johnson

Chief blogger and haribo coordinator.


  1. So sorry your sight seeing has been thwarted. Hopefully it’ll be a bit quieter early doors tom x

  2. When we visited the Vatican we had be breakfasted and sitting on the coach at 6.30am and we still queued to get in. So good luck with your early sight seeing trip. Hope you enjoy it and have a problem free day with the bikes.Your blog is very entertaining and we enjoy reading it every day.

  3. Well done Andy and Mark keeping the show on the road, enjoy.

  4. glad you are back on the road I will cancel the message to BIGGINS and the POPE

    I warned you about the hills

    Comments about the cup not as bad as it seems

    Weather great here Carl on phone all about the tennis SAY NO MORE