3. The Jitters – Day 1 (May 26)

What a lovely surprise to see so many friends pitch up to see us off. Simon said he wanted a cappuccino at Wunderkaffe, and there they were! Thank you everyone, for the great send off.



A little wobbly along the Appia Antica, still getting the hang of my panniers. They weigh about 14 kilos all together.

Someone with a sense of humour placed a rock in the middle of the bike path. It catapulted me horizontally into the bush. I was quite pleased with my elegant landing though – no injuries!

Birds and bikes, poppies flopping in the heat, the wet smell of sheep… the Appia is so ancient it transports you into the Eternal City with big stoney bounce. Perfect for breaking in a Brooks saddle in record time.

We can’t skip lunch. On the Flaminia Vecchia we plonked down to a gourmet pasta. Paccheri with creamed aubergine, mint and sun-dried tomatoes. Simon had Amatriciana of course.


A long afternoon under the sun, along the cycle track and then on all sorts of little tracks, hills, big roads, and steep corners. I can only photograph the tranquil spots, for the rest it’s full concentration. Thank goodness for my battery! love that thing. Simon is doing very well without one.


Arrived in Formello, feeling various aches – wrists-back-bum-neck….. but nothing that a Spritz and the lovely company of Alexandra couldn’t cure. Dinner in the square where a drag queen suddenly exited the giant door of the municipality and proclaimed her existence with with a loud haaeee!!! (Dressed in black lace and a massive wig).

For my photographer friends, these images are unedited due to complete exhaustion. I will do better tomorrow.

Happy Sunday to you all. We pedal on…


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Albert Einstein said: "Life is like riding a bicycle, to stay balanced you've got to keep moving". So to keep moving at my age, I'm wobbled off on my bike on the 26th May 2018. Starting from home in Rome and aiming for Oslo in Norway, to visit my family. (We are South African scatterlings). In a few words, I cycled up the spine of Italy along the hilly Apennines, across the Po valley and up over the Alps. Slightly west at Lake Constance to get into the Rhine Valley and heading up to Hamburg and then over to Denmark. A long haul up the west coast of Sweden into Norway and arrived in Oslo on the 24th July 2018. Admittedly it's much quicker to jet back and forth, but this time I'm going green, hoping to inspire others to ride their bikes too. E-bikes have made it possible to travel around much more easily, even for the unfit 'over-the-hill' grandmothers like me. Along the way I stopped to paint watercolour sketches, take photographs, visit beautiful towns. I hope to put this amazing adventure into a little book for those who fancy doing something similar.

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