This is one of three articles written by the brilliant Dave Johnson about his experience of riding with Sicily Cycling Club in Sicily. Every article is followed by a little roadmovie.
WORDS BY DAVE JOHNSON / PHOTO AND VIDEO BY THOMAS OPSTRUP
VC10 Sicily training camp, day 1:
A Family of Otters.
And then the sleeping was rudely interrupted by my alarm's inconvenient and untimely truth-telling. Arising and bumbling to breakfast, it was a deep joy to discover :
1. A young lady of excellent bottomage bent over in front of me just inside the breakfast room door
B. A wide and deep range of delicious, and mostly inappropriate food items
iii More coffee than any sane human could drink. I drank it.
4. The gently, but not overly, delayed arrival of Harris, and his eloquent, biologically improbable and overdetailed tale of toiletary woe where the only repeatable quote was, "swimming about like a family of otters".
"yacking interminably about the only thing that ever happened in Sicily,
or wherever the hell we are, namely The Sodding Godfather."
The ride started late, as I understand it, because none of the bikes needed de-icing. A sinking feeling ensued - traffic is never my favorite environment and I discovered quickly, Syrian (or wherever the hell we are) traffic is jaw-droppingly terrible. How anyone here is alive is beyond me. "They're SO laid back here that it's mañana without the sense of urgency, but when they get in their cars..............."
Normally a disciplined and elegant squad, our riding beauty was thrown into the ugly-bucket by our guides Tom and Tom (yep, honest). While speeding up and inexplicably slowing, they were constantly waving, weaving and wearing me out, yelling about where we were going, but not giving directions and yacking interminably about the only thing that ever happened in Sicily, or wherever the hell we are, namely The Sodding Godfather. All the culture and history of the place - Greeks, Saracens, Romans and even Normans, as well the vulcanarchic presence of snow-streaked and steaming Etna have deeply and uniquely influenced the place, but no, just the ploddingly dull Sodding Godfather.
Anyway. We went up some mountains, and were chilled by some descents* and my eyeballs got sunburnt.
Now, closing for the night, I'm told I must apologize for "doing a Johnson". Essentially, moaning. A lot.
Ride of the day - Baker. No training. Rode the whole thing.
* see a future post: "A Masterclass in Wheelsucking and Backtracking"