Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Montecatini Terme

So we are in a place called Montecatini Terme now. We packed up all our stuff in Bologna and said See ya! We are going to be racing down here this week end and then off to Reggio Calabria. It is at the toe of the boot of Italy. Our roommate’s mom has a summer home there that she rents out and is giving us a very special deal to say there. It will be super fun considering we will be right near the water. I know we didn’t get enough of the ocean while living right on it! Today is Sat. and Dan and I walked around the town. It is different from any town we have been to so far. First of all there are a lot of houses with yards that remind us of Australia or the States. There are some huge ones here. Plus this seems to be a super rich town…we fit right in. Right. We had a good walk and spotted a few cats but they are rich snobs and paid us no mind. We found the start of the race and there was an expo going on. There were even little kids on road bikes doing a little obstacle course! They start super young on road bikes here. They even had race jerseys on. We found some friends that work every race so we said hello to them. Dan is ranked 4th among the elites overall and we are thinking one of the trophies we saw will be in his hand tomorrow. That will be great. He has worked so hard this year training and racing. He deserves a huge trophy. This town is famous for all the thermal fountains here.
Well I will tell a little more about Mont. Terme. It was one of my fav places. It was a rich area…I fit in nicely. Ha! No, but we didn’t stay in an agriturismo which we normally do. I am glad we didn’t b/c we got to walk around town all week end. Plus we were close to where the race started and finished. Let’s see…about the race. I didn’t cry when I was racing but I think I did as soon as I saw Dan again. It is hard to explain but your body is so stressed and it just wants to stop and at some points I think it believes it never will be able to rest! This race course was hard. They all are but usually there are a lot of ups and downs. This had a lot of ups and then more ups. I would be climbing and climbing and I thought I was at the top b/c I was looking all the way down the climb and couldn’t see anything else above me…then I would turn a corner and there is more climbing!! Plus there would be a sign saying the climb would be 10K when in fact it was like 15 or 20K. Sometimes when you go up for so long going downhill still feels like you are going up. That is so frustrating. Dan and I are pretty sure the guys who win these take drugs. The one guy who wins any race he enters apparently was in the Tour De France but was kicked out due to drugs. In these races you can take whatever you want…that’s why some girls can hang with the lead guys and look like are just chillin. No way, man. So Dan had a rough day. He got hit by a car, along with a few others, and then had three flat tires! And he still finished! Most people would have given up. It was so hot and he had to wait b/c the support cars flew by him and didn’t even stop and help him! I was very proud that he finished in spite of all he had to deal with. So by the time we both wheeled in there was so more pasta at the party! All we had was a few pieces of prosciutto and some bread. But they did have a cooler full of popsicles so we had like 6 each. We went home and showered and then went out to eat. We sound some good soft serve yogurt we had, too. The next day we went to this public swimming pool and lounged there for awhile. I had heard people here were more open and they sure are. We were quite surprised at how many girls were topless and were wearing barely a string for the bottoms. Plus the men find it okay to wear French cut bikini speedos. Gross! So we hopped on a train at about 8 that night for a long night to go to Reggio Calabria. We took a nite train and got there at 9 a.m. It was a cramped space with two bunk beds. Dan had to share his with his lovely bike. I don’t think he minded. J He loves her so.
So Max’s dad picked us up from the train station which was so awesome. I thought we were going to have to ride our bikes. So we are staying at one of his 5 houses which is in the middle of fruit trees. Let me see…there are fig trees, lemon, orange, grapefruit, pear, cherry, almonds, plums, and peaches. He also has apples. His brother in law lives nearby and is the gardener. He talks like your classic Italian. He lived in Canada for awhile so he knows English. We will wake up or come home from the beach to a basket of fruit he has picked for us. Oh, he also has strawberries, as well. We chat everyday with him. SO today I crashed on my bike and I was so mad. I hit this cheese grater speed bump that I thought I was okay to go over. I flew off head first to the ground and skidded with Lady due to the fact that my leg was stuck under her. My shoulder got some skin taken right off and my head hurt. Plus my leg hurt…my groin muscle that I had pulled!! Oh no!! Lady got some new grip tape…red and blue to match her and it got ripped. Plus my shifters got wrecked. She is okay. We will take her to our friend at the bike shop in Bologna when we are there next. He will fix her right up. Dan has bbq’d the last two nights. It has been super good. I have mainly just watched and sat on the rocking swing chair. We went to the beach yesterday. The water is so beautiful and we can see Sicily from here.


The Haslam Clan said...

wow you guys are having an amazing time over there...do you know how lucky you are to be able to do that? It sounds beautiful!

Nana said...

aascnyso did Dan win a trophy? I thought the last time we spoke he didn't win any prize? By the way, you guys are going to be so let-down when you return to "normal life". But what great memories!!!

J B & N Rawlins said...

Robyn, OK in my first race (NOTHING compaired I know) BUT I hyperventalated TWICE becuase of the hills that I thought I would die on - WORST feeling ever! Sounds fun though - where are some pics?