THE MARTINI CONNOLLY FAT LADS AT THE BACK ITALIAN TOUR IN AID OF THE ALZHEIMERS SOCIETY Day 2
33 miles and we had climbed 8,500 feet and 2 mountains. You’d think you’d pray for the descents but in fact, you resent them because you know the pain that's going to follow. We stopped for ice cream in the ski resort of Abettone, knowing that we still had a further 45 miles to do and 3 hours to do them in.
2. SHORT BACK AND SIDES:
Rob has become increasingly concerned with his chaffing. Something about the salt content in his er… shorts! I have no sympathy as he has brought it on himself. At 43 he has never ‘male’ groomed. A troop of gorillas could happily hide 'there' for years without detection. I on the other hand have always partook, not for the hygiene but for the aesthetics and because in the mirror my **** always looks a good couple of inches longer with a short back and sides.
3. NO CHANCE:
Go back to my first script. Rob saying 4,000 feet of climbing on consecutive days was too much to ask. If you would have said to me I could do what I have done, I would tell you NO CHANCE. If you would have said that my bro’, with his maturing derby (male pregnant tummy) could do what he has done, I would have said there’s more likelihood of him stopping a pig, running thro his little Iti bow legs. If u would have said that Conno could do it, I would have spat Prosecco in your face.
But, we did do it.
Here are the Strava Stats:
7.25 hrs in the saddle.
6,637 calories burned.
16,344 feet climbed!!!
4. THERE ARE MOUNTAINS AND THEN THERE ARE ITALIAN MOUNTAINS:
As Conno said, it’s pointless trying to describe what we did to people who were not beside us, living the sheer pain. The first 20 miles was a mountain climb, every turn of the pedal hurt, every single rotation was an effort. For 20 miles. We didn't just climb one mountain, but frickin 2!! And I ain't talking the pathetic hills we call mountains in Blighty. I am talking proper mountains with ski lifts on the top and everything.
5. MANCHESTER TO LIVERPOOL:
After the ascent we did 30 miles, pure downhill clocking up speeds of 40mph. Braking like billio into the corners and frankly crapping ourselves that we we're going to smash in to the stone walls which keep the landslides in check.
30 non stop minutes of pulling on the brakes takes it toll and at the bottom I felt like I had white finger. I haven’t felt vibrations in my in my left hand like that since I was 16! Imagine, hurtling down a mountain at break neck speed, never pedalling once, for 30 miles, that’s the same distance as Manchester to Liverpool.
And then think, to come down you’ve gotta go up.
6. RESPECT TO THE GHINGER MAN:
I cannot write enough about the love, admiration and respect Rob and I have for the Ghinger Man. What an inspiration he is and boy, can he cycle! The man has rhythm, he climbs like a goat, he’s a natural even though he’s never ridden a big boy racing bike before, let alone with cleats.
He beats me, hands down and I’ve been riding bikes all my life.
Let’s talk about his training - 3 weeks. Let me say that again, the man did 3 weeks training for this and is living proof that human beings can achieve ANYTHING when we set our mind to it. Think of all the bullshit excuses you have come up why you couldn’t do something. There are a million reasons why G Man could have said no to Rob and me and lots of them were genuinely good reasons and we would have understood. But no, G Man is more than that, “Life is for living” he said and he grasped it and HE DID IT!
Next time you think of how difficult something is and you’re about to come up with an excuse, just think of G Man and DO IT!
3 WEEKS I tell you!
7. PREPARATION PREVENTS PISS POOR PERFORMANCE?
So, to last night and the local bar, owned by Mirko the Memory Man. A few pints, a bottle of wine (shared), a Limoncello digestivo, some Grappa, another cheeky 1am pint and some 2am Sambucca later and we were ready to boogie woogie all night long. Yes Sir!
The mention of a beach party at Forte di Marme, being held by the Italian guy who owns QPR was more than appealing. Safe to say it was a good job Mirko’s Mini Cooper S Works does not have 6 seats as undoubtedly he would have driven us and his brother and bezzie along the narrow road (think of the road in the Italian Job and make it smaller) like a crazy motherflipper!
8. HANDS OFF THE SAUSAGE:
But I have to say, the fact that Mirko’s phone was full of numbers of local lap dancers and ‘such like’ was off putting to us at all. Honestly! In addition to the fact that I / we object on moral and fidelity grounds, Rob was also keen to point out on Wednesday that despite the giddiness of being away from our wives and sleeping alone for a few days, certain er…… ‘self massage activities’ were absolutely forbidden lest we lose the umff needed the next day to get up the mountain.
9. PASSPORT UPDATE:
I’ve just been told that UPS has a technical problem and they cannot get Conno’s passport to us until Monday. I will tell Conno tomorrow. What's the point of him worrying about his acting abilities now!?
Paolo, Rob and Conno are raising money for the Alzheimers Society.
If you're enjoying Paolo's bog you can donate a couple of quid here: