Messages from friends and a Friend

I honestly don’t write this blog for anyone apart from myself and to begin with that was fortunate as no-one else read it. However, as Google began to pick me up and as links began to appear elsewhere on the Internet directing people to this blog, I have developed a small audience; the list here shows the locations that have logged on to the blog in the last seven hours alone. It keeps me writing. What is really nice is when people email me or post a comment on the blog.

One person who has been in contact for some time is Massimo Mazzone. He is a keen cyclist who lives on the Eurovelo 5 route in Italy, in Benevento, half-way between Rome and Brindisi. He commented on my first attempt at an itinerary:ย “Iโ€™m happy that you will spend a rest day in Benevento, weโ€™ll do our best for a warm (and refreshing) welcome! After Rome, itโ€™s nice to stop in Fiuggiย but you will face quiteย as steepy road to get to the town. The following day you must stop and overnight in Cassino, possibly near-by the famous abbey. Afterward Cassino โ€“ Benevento is a bit long leg but mainly flat and pleasant”. I love the word steepy – it doesn’t sound anywhere near as threatening as the more stark steep. Thanks for that Massimo. He has his own blog – read it here!

Todd Rygh, who had asked some interesting questions as why I am doing this rather than what and where. I posted my response below last week and he has emailed back the following:ย “Thanks for the thoughtful response. I will take the time to read and digest and comment fully on the blog. And I will keep following your writing. Thanks for willingness to share your plans and thoughts. And, if you choose to go, please report on the meeting of the Pilgrims to Rome! Last year when I was living in the UK I went to the Confraternity of St. James meeting and found it useful for practical matters. (Granted, it was the walk to Santiago, but the two organizations share the same mind set, building and most of the same individuals.) Several small but important details about the experience–usually particular places to stay, off-beat things to see or people to meet–I would have never known without a word of advice.”ย Again, thanks for that Todd. Now that I have been re-assured by the organisation themselves that I won’t beย thrown out simply because of my own lack of religious belief, I’ll pop along to the meeting on the 6th March. See earlier post for details.

I don’t mind who you are or where you live or what you believe or what you think; I’m just glad to have the audience. However, it is especially nice when the celebrities of the cycling world get in touch. So far three have been in contact; Mark Beaumont, who responded to my question on Facebook about his tent with a nice email, Alastair Humphries who picked up on a comment I had made on here about visiting his home village in North Yorkshire last summer and now Bernie Friend, author of Cycling Back to Happiness, the book that I am currently reading. Bernie decided to cycle the North Sea Cycle Route to conquer his fears of travel and I recently quoted his saddle sores advice on here via my Twitter feed. He emails:

Hello Andrew,
Glad you picked up on the advice about how to use your fruit most effectively out in the field.
Hope you don’t ever have to go “Pro” during your five weeks in the saddle.
Sounds like a great trip and I have found the website very entertaining.
Good luck with it all. You are going to have the time of your life.
Yours very envious,

What a nice message! Thanks Bernie.

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