May 12 – Friday

Woke up super early but didn’t actually get up until after 6. Had a nice hot shower (only used 1 token this time), did some laundry, did some yoga, picked up my fresh bread and some hot tea from the store.

Decided to ride into Bevagna to try to find a proper fuel canister for my stove, and get some more food. Took a bit of a tumble from my bike as I was leaving – couldn’t get my shoe out of the pedal clamp quickly enough when I was stopping just outside the office and fell on my left side. Luckily nothing damaged or hurt, except my ego – there were several people having coffee at a table, and Luisa came running to see if I was ok.

After going up and then down on the little road that connects the campsite to the ‘main’ road’ (the one that the Giro will be on) it was all downhill into the town.

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Followed directions they gave me at the campground and found the store they said might be able to help with my fuel canister. Kind of a cross between a hardware store and a home/garden store. Found the canisters myself in a matter of minutes – the clerk didn’t speak English but I had brought my stove with me and she knew exactly what I meant and needed. She opened up the cover and we tried it on – perfect!

Next I rode into the actual town – it’s surrounded by a wall and has big stone gates and is totally beautiful.

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Rode around slowly and found a bank machine – luckily there was an option for ‘different language’ (about five of them) or I wouldn’t have know which buttons to push to w/d cash. Next found a cheese/cured meat/wine store and pointed to a block of cheese. Again, the nice lady didn’t speak English, but when I asked ‘is it really strong’ she replied ‘dolce’, which I know means sweet (I figured it must also mean mild or something). Indicated with a gesture how much I wanted, then pointed to some cured meat – not prosciutto, but something ready to eat. She sliced it up for me, then wrapped it in layers of paper like it was the most precious gift.

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Just a few doors down I found a fruit/veggie shop. Bot the first fresh produce in days – carrots, cherry tomatoes, salad mix, mushroom – I was actually shocked when he told me how much it was – I had to look at the cash register receipt – only 1.53 euros (about $2.25)!

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Rode back to Pian di Boccio – the ride to the turnoff was all uphill, but fairly gradual – I actually made it up the whole way riding, and only stopped to take a couple pics and try to get my odometer working. Finally got the magnet on the spoke to face the receiver on the frame properly and it seems to be working – must have shifted position in transit on the plane because it hasn’t worked since I got here.

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Ate an excellent fresh lunch at a table outside the bar – had a nice visit with Roland and Nell. They’re not leaving now until Monday, and the special dinner that the campground is putting on is tomorrow, not tonight.

Just near the showers/menagerie I met a gentleman walking his two little dogs. We started talking about the baby goat, etc, and it turns out he’s from England, although now lives in France. His name is Colin and he’s here for the same reason I am! He’s a former serious amateur cyclist, and travels around in his camper van watching many races and taking photos. He’s been ‘behind the scenes’ and is experienced in the before and after portions of races, as well as how to pick the best spot to watch/photograph from. Monday is the first rest day of the Giro and all of the teams will be spending it in Foligno getting ready for Tuesday’s time trial. Colin has invited me to go with him in his van and experience the atmosphere – it’s going to be great! We can scout out locations on the way back, and be able to watch the ITT from the perfect place. Took some food to his place and had a picnic and watched Giro highlights on his TV.

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