So, 2am today, I was awakened by my demons.
Usually they like to nag about my manifold employment-related failings, but today they had some concerns about this trip, such as;
1/ 'am I actually doing the rides I want to do, or am I just goofing around?';
2/ 'am I in a holding pattern pending the increasingly unlikely arrival of CTB?';
3/ 'will I go home in 2 weeks and be pissed off because I didnt go further, faster, higher, harder?'.
Eventually I packed the little bastards back to the black hole of my subconscious, and enjoyed a few hours sleep.
I was out of Toano before 9, plummeting to Villa Minozzo before clambering up to Ligonchio.
At Ligonchio the demons pointed out that by turning next left, instead of the intended right, I could ride over the 1500m Passa de Pradarena into Tuscany.
Obviously, this would mess with my carefully composed itinerary, but, what the hell, I'm on holiday.
The first couple of kms were steep enough to have me out of the saddle in the 34 x 28 and ready to take the demons to the nearest priest, but I persevered and eventually the gradient flattened out to permit comfortable seated climbing, still in the 28.
I was hoping for a sign marking the top, preferably with a Japanese tourist to operate my camera, but instead I found a restaurant staffed by two luminous beauties, where I had a bowl of soul fortified with some sort of grain, and a desert.
Despite putting on all my warm kit, the descent was cold until about 1200m where I rode into the warm mediteranean air.
The bottom of the descent is 15km from Castelnouvo di Garfagna (hereafter CdG), and since it was only 2pm I considered riding on to Massa, which was scheduled for tomorrow, though in the other direction.
So, cutting to the chase, on this side of the hill it was 28degrees at 3pm (and still at 5pm) so I found an hotel in CdG, did the usual showering and laundering, and am now rehydrating in a bar.