The Smart Travels in the Course

Day four of my trip by bike to Venice. I have crossed the Alps and yesterday met with Daniel at the hotel. From Como we ride the rest of the way together, that’s three more full days. Then we’ll meet up with three ladies who prefer the train in Venice. At least that’s our plan. After a really good breakfast, we’re on our bikes at just after half past eight and meandering out of Como. Timing not quite according to plan, but we are in good spirits!

The Cathedral of Como

What we knew beforehand, of course: The next mountain will not be long in coming! Out of Como it goes over a neat steep mountain with unfortunately far too often around the 14% slope for about four kilometers. A fierce start in the morning and after the last three days with two passes my legs are like jello. Accordingly I need of course much too long until I am on top. Dani is doing a little better, with his condition he is miles ahead of me!

Despite the traffic and the again enormous effort it is fun, because the higher we get the better the view. Once at the top, we continue relatively flat for about five kilometers before we destroy all the laboriously earned altitude meters again in a rapid descent. If I go to Venice a second time in my life, I plan the route a little further south with a little more kilometers but significantly less altitude!

Dani and I at the outskirts of Como

At the bottom we go around the Lago di Alserio and past the Lago di Pusiano. We don’t see much of the two lakes. The track here is partly very demanding and I am glad to have choosen my gravel bike and 40 mm wide tires. Dani has to fight much more on his race bike with his narrow asphalt cutters. The first time I have a little advantage. I admit that I enjoy that a little bit. But that won’t last long, because the rest of the route to Venice is almost entirely on asphalt. Advantage Dani.

After almost 20 kilometers, for which we needed almost three hours because of the slope at the beginning, including short breathers, we take a first break with cool drinks and ice cream in Mojana at a gas station with seating. It’s almost eleven o’clock and the thermometer is already close to 30 °C, so we could use a cooling down. We allow ourselves half an hour of relaxation in the shade. Then we pull ourselves together, because we still have a lot of kilometers ahead of us today.

At about kilometer 30 it gets mountainous again. We cross a few beautiful villages, but again have some climbs with 10 to 13% gradient. I’ll be honest: after the passes of the last few days, this gives me the rest. I can not go on, there would still be 110 km to the day’s destination in Brescia. With my burning legs and exhausted muscles absolutely utopian. I should have left a day earlier and planned a rest day in Como. But that does not help me now.

Bamboo at Lago di Alserio

We confer and decide to drive to the next bigger town with a train station and cover the remaining kilometers of the day by train. This will be our joker day. So that our legs (especially mine) have enough time to regenerate, we decide to divide the Joker Day into two half days: This afternoon and tomorrow morning. So we shorten not only today’s route, but also tomorrow’s route. Hoping that the legs are then strong enough for the remaining 150 km to Venice.

The next town with a train station is Cisano Bergamasco. In German, “Berg” means “mountain”, but I’ll make it! That is still about 10 km, which we can drive after our decision, however, also without time pressure. So it happens that we make a lunch stop in Brivio on the way to Cisano Bergamasco. We are quite lucky with the choice of our restaurant. In the meantime it is 32 °C and we find a restaurant directly at the river Adda with very nice seats in the shade under trees directly at the water. Here it can be endured. We stay here for almost an hour eating and drinking.

Then there are only four more kilometers to the train station. Of course, there is an ascent with 9% shortly before. Actually, no big deal, but by now my muscles are whistling on their last legs. Then it is done! After a good seven and a half hours, of which only a little more than three in motion, we are at the station. It was today only a little more than 40 kilometers but still another good 600 meters of altitude.

Duomo Veccio: Round medieval cathedral with crypt

Getting a ticket for us and our bikes at the station was anything but easy. There are no ticket machines at the station itself. Also no counter. And no staff that you can ask. We try to get info from two locals, but the language barrier is too big. We wander from one side to the other. Then we meet a teenager. Surely he has English in school? Yes, he did! He is not from here and just visiting, but he calls someone. Then his buddy comes to the station and takes us a little way into town to a kiosk that sells us tickets. They stay in front of the kiosk until we have our tickets and then say goodbye. We want to thank them with a tip, but they don’t want to accept anything. There are still decent young people! And who asks, gets also (mostly) help, no matter where in the world.

We don’t have to wait long and the regional train to Brescia arrives, where we have booked a great hotel very close to the station. This has a bar on the roof terrace, which we also immediately take in sight to drink before dinner. How wonderful! Then we look for a restaurant nearby and here we are lucky again and were allowed to enjoy a great meal before we fell dead tired in the hotel in the feathers.

Overview of the route

More details about the route and some photos can be found as always at Komoot and at Strava.

Yours Marcus

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