Monday, November 16, 2009

Leaving the Lake Area (Quando Lasciato il Lago Como)

The day we left Como and started the trek to Florence was best described as 'absolutely perfect' weather. You know, that kind of crisp clear autumn morning that demands even the laziest person to go out for a walk just to enjoy it. So I locked up the Bellagio villa, rolled down windows, then drove up the hill to the Eastside 589 highway.

Well, highway is not exactly the best way to describe it. In some sections, I might have been able to touch both sides of the road at the same time. But that didn't matter, we were enjoying this perfect morning with no traffic or stressful situations. So, I picked up the pace and drove a bit faster.

Then, a car approaching on the other side of the road that looked like a police car waved me over to the 'side' of the road authoritatively (there wasn't much room since I was driving next to a mountain cliff). Was I speeding? I was wondering how much I'd have to pay. My imagination quickly ran with enormous sums and I couldn't help but wonder if it would have been better to have just taken the train.

After a minute the car that waved me down didn't turn around, so I decided to chance it and just start driving again. I cover less than a kilometer and then two cars dart past and both are pointing at my right side of the road next to the cliff wall frantically. Huh? Falling rocks? Danger? They were pretty convincing, so I reason that maybe I should just stop and wait for a few minutes.

I couldn't really see around the curve because of the mountain, so I stopped and waited.
Not twenty seconds later, about three bicycle riders *zoom* by. And then about twenty more, quickly followed by what had to have been hundreds of cyclists. Not just the 'wannabe' amatuers who try to emulate Lance Armstrong that I see around where I live, but honest to gosh professional atheletes in a real race.

I finally had the presence of mind to raise my camera and take a picture of the spectacle on that Lake Como cliffside on an otherwise perfect morning. Eventually, the number of cyclists dropped and finally the support cars and ambulance drove by, followed by a little red caboose.

In retrospect, I'm really glad that I pulled to the side of the road. I'm not sure the windshield wipers could have handled it otherwise.

Quando lasciato il Lago, uomini in auto puntano a ciglio della strada. Perché? Non capito... Era una gara di bicicletta! Nessuno è lesi :)


  1. Forget the wipers, not sure if your car would have survived the onslaught...

    Are you saying I'm lazy?

  2. I don't get bikers. Spandex? Really? If I'm going to be in danger of being road kill, I'd at least wear something a little more...cute.

  3. I thought you were about to ride of that mountain cliff. No picture of their behinds???

  4. Windshield wipers? lol ... that's bad. But what a great shot that would have been? Love the stories Eric, thanks for sharing!

  5. I love it when stuff like that happens. Fun story and I'm glad you weren't faced with any ghastly aftermath :)

  6. I can't get the image out of my head of your windsield wipers flinging cyclists around.

    And, as for my things I have been making beads and I can feel that I will start blogging soon!

  7. Have you checked your radiator grill, cos those things can get trapped in there, and if they survive they nest and breed and play havoc with your distributor cap.

  8. Mo,
    It *was* a German engineered car, but ... no nevermind.
    I wasn't calling people names...

    Yep, bikers are over-accessorizing for sure. They're almost as goofy as the recreational non-professional scuba divers that by 'regulators' and 'air tanks'.
    Wait, you said ...cute? Elaborate.

    Dutch Donut Girl,
    I thought I was too! No, no pictures of that, my camera doesn't swing that way if you know what I mean.

    If they run into me while I'm parked, it's not my fault, right?
    How is your new member of the family doing?

    It was completely unexpected. It is the kind of thing that we don't see much in the US.
    Aftermath is never ghastly, it was always Earth Science or Chemistry.

    Great, now I can't either...
    I can't wait to see the posts, I'm still plodding through glass tech manuals and ordering smalti from a US supplier. Look for actual art before too long, there is a contest I'll be entering.

    The Jules,
    Haha, I told the guy at the car for hire place when I returned it. Normally I'd check, but it would have been slightly inconvenient since I was busy.

  9. I really like the picture of the cyclists through the windshield! Very cool.

  10. Wow what a story, I had to have hubby come and read it.

    Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.
    I'm a follower!

  11. Great to catch up with your epic trip Eric , Italian cyclists - multo serioso

  12. Lidian,
    Thanks, it is a fun but white-knuckle drive around Bellagio...

    Thanks for stopping by. I've been kind of recapping my trip in October to Italy.

    As a girl who has traveled the globe more than most people I know, I'm sure you are aware the Italians like only soccer more than cycling...

  13. You know. Like a summer dress or something. Cute.