The astute among you may notice the teenie tiny time lag between my previous post announcing my entry into the Tuscany Trail event and this write-up…..
Yes, yes, over four years have elapsed since I last updated this blog [insert shock face emoji here] and this write-up is, in fact, about my 5th time riding this event!
Oh sure there are highly exciting reasons and top secret explanations as to why that is and what’s been going on in the meantime but for now let’s get on with the show shall we….?
This years event very nearly didn’t happen for me due to a flare-up of an old back injury. I was in a bad way and doubted I’d make it if not for a combination of multiple physio sessions, über strong medication and even a dabble in acupuncture.
And so I found myself in Massa along with +700 other loons with glorious weather predicted for the next five days and nothing to do but ride bikes and sample a few of the local culinary delights – win!!!
The first thing that became apparent was that it was insanely, prohibitively warm and that this would most certainly be an issue.
The next thing I realised was that the pain and anti-inflammatory medication I was on was seriously impacting my ability to perform at the level I knew I was capable of in my current form – next to zero energy or strength – boo!
Finally, on the the first significant climb of the first day I realised that whilst my back was mostly functioning for everyday actions there was no way it was going to last more than a few minutes of serious and strenuous exertion.
So, I had a choice to make…..quit and go home or accept the limitations of the situation and adapt the trip to fit within my reduced capabilities.
And so a pattern was established…..I set-off each day and rode the route as much as I could until my back dictated that I should take road short-cuts and meet up with Dave (a dude I rode with throughout this years event) in the evening for the compulsory massive 3(+) course meals and far too drinkable local wines.
And so I found myself riding into Capalbio after 4 days and 5 hours a sunburnt and happy man! I had finished and yet not completed this years event but most of all I’d had a thoroughly lovely holiday which was unexpected considering just how much pain I’d been in previously – I’ll take that!
I’ll most certainly be back for more silliness next year though hopefully in better shape and with the aim of doing the whole route justice and putting in a better performance.