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  • Elizabeth Cameron-Smith

Day 63- Milan to Brescia, Italy

SIX THOUSAND kilometers done and dusted!! Woohooo!!! Go Crazybikeguy!

118 km done today - eight and half hours in the saddle....

Grant needed to re position his back tire on the rim. Sometimes when replacing tub less tires it happens that they don't sit on the rim correctly. Grant couldn't adjust it with the small hand pump that he had, and he needed to find someone who could.

Nino was that guy!

He owned a small specialty bike shop and he was happy to help, sending Grant away without charging him anything for his trouble.

Selfies, some pics of Grant's pizza delivery bike and a bit of a communal chat with all his mates that were hanging around the shop was all Nino asked for.

Crazybikeguy was simply blown away by the kindness and consideration shown by the Italian people, cementing both of our faiths in humanity and really encapsulating the feeling of "ubuntu" that we always talk about in South Africa. This is what it really is - making every one's mission to do something good for others, one's own.

A very enjoyable ride followed, mainly on tar with the occasional very muddy or sandy track thrown in for good measure. It was sunny in the morning but by midday the clouds had started to roll in and Grant knew that when the wind started to pick up, the rain was definitely on it's way.

There were some navigational issues, some of the segments of the route were impossible to ride on,some closed off and some were in fact steep steps!!

It was difficult to leave Milan. Grant eventually found a circular cycle track on the outskirts of the city that branched out in the direction he was headed and he was thankful that he had found it after the challenge of leaving such a bustling metropolis!

After his rest day, and all the walking to and fro in search of bike shops and doing some site seeing, Grant's legs were still sore but he was feeling so much better now that he had sorted out the tummy infection and got his water source properly disinfected in the hope of avoiding any other bacterial issues.

The route went in a north easterly direction and after cycling for a couple of hours, Grant, yes GRANT, headed into a Mc Donalds for a cup of coffee after looking for a place nearby and being unsuccessful.( What? in Italy?) For those of you who don't know him - going to McDs for Grant is equivalent to an act of torture. When he sent me a pic on Whatsapp proudly showing me his ( industrialized) pastry and cappuccino for a bargain 2 Euros, I nearly fainted. I thought he had lost his marbles!

" A very good capuccino, I have to say. At McDonalds of all places.Only 2 Euros! the pastry was included."

- Grant ( Whatsapp)

( sorry G, I just had to put it in here, I've been so good about not writing about strange washing lines, weird rooms, odd food and pics of your washing and socks and your very messy room and of situations and people...a little McDs has got to make it in here)!!

So, with that out of the way; Grant reached Monza by riding through a wonderfully scenic forested area that is Parco di Monza - one of the largest urban parks in Europe, and then onto the most beautiful tree lined avenue that leads into this historical city, very well known for it's Grand Prix motor racing circuit, Italian pride and the massive Italian support shown for the Ferrari team.

He stopped for a photo op in front of the most majestic villa and rejoined the path back into the park and followed the canal. There were people riding horses, running, cycling and enjoying the wonderful park. He then got a bit lost in getting out of there, on muddy tracks that required a bit of a walk and the pushing of the bike.

Getting into the stunning city of Bergamo proved to be quite a challenge as Grant faced a very complicated system of roads with interlaced national roads and paths that were not pedestrian or bike friendly.He got through, enjoyed the wonderful vistas and loved the encircling Venetian walls, cobblestone streets and the funicular access that this beautiful town that is perched on a steep hill had to offer.

The wonderful vistas and quaint historical towns dotted the route from Bergamo to Brescia which Grant waxed lyrical about.

A very friendly Italian man stopped Grant and offered him a place to stay while Grant was cycling. He stopped on the road, got out and approached Grant and wanted to know all about what he was doing and where he was going. Unfortunately Grant was going in the opposite direction, so he didn't take him up on his offer, but it was such a wonderful gesture that Grant took some photos and exchanged contact details with him and set off to find his spot in Brescia.

He arrived quite late in the day but was so grateful for the amazing light for photos as the sun set, walked around this fascinating town and ate the most delicious dinner.

A really fantastic day in the region of Lombardy - fantastic scenery, wonderful hospitality, delicious food and a fabulous place to be.

Our mission. Their future.

'UBUNTU' -is a Nguni Bantu term meaning humanity .It is often translated as ' I am because we are" or " humanity towards others" but is often used in the philosophical sense to mean " the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity".

Crazybikeguy is riding to create awareness of Autism. Neuro diverse adults need your help to find their place in our world.

6000kms done! 2800km to go!

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1 Comment

Jun 27, 2019

Bravo, Nino... and the kind gentleman who offered Grant a place to stay! Makes one's heart swell to hear happy stories in this day and age. OK... G and Maccas in the same sentence... WOW!!! Would never have believed it if I hadn't seen this with my own eyes!! Not just one pastry, but two, nogal (unless the doughnut doesn't count as a pastry) :). Thank goodness there were no burgers involved, otherwise I may have fainted. Gorgeous green forest and stunning views of Brescia from the castle atop the hill... not to mention the gorgeous photos of the Lombardian countryside!! Had a good giggle about not getting enough exercise... typical G humour. Loving the travels! x

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