Just received an email from a chap called John Davies in Willesden. He writes:
I am also planning a ride to Italy next year. I will be starting from Shropshire, where my father was born and riding to Rieti (about 50miles) from Rome where my mother was born. I haven’t really considered how long it will take but I don’t really want to take more than three weeks off work to do it.
He goes on to say that he is an experienced audax cyclist. This is a word I had never seen until a few months ago and has various definitions on the Internet. The simplest I found is this “A non-competitive long-distance cycling event that originated in Italy”. It is, I think, a Latin word and using an Internet translator, I am alarmed to find that it translates as “daring, bold, rash, foolhardy”. Great! I suppose it is linked to the word audacious in English.
Anyway, he has cycled audax events in France and Italy before and has kindly offered his advice so I will keep in touch. His trip is planned for late August 2010 – accommodation will be easier to find and the heat less intense – so perhaps he will be able to pick me up off the road when he passes me.
In replying to John, I did point out that if I followed his idea of cycling from my father’s place of birth to my mother’s, I would make my life a hell of a lot easier: I could do it in under an hour!