Travelsonabike2 Italy This Day 31st-May-2010

This week’s Travelsonabike2 bicycle touring on this day post comes from Italy on the 31st-May-2010, and I’m in Italy. It seems I may have had a scare the previous day.

There is a more embellished version of this post, along with all the posts from my ride to Italy, in my “Travels on a Bike 2 Italy” tour book available to buy from Amazon.

Monday 31st May. Alessio Siculo to Catania. 83 Miles.

What a brilliant start to the day, especially as I didn’t wake up with a horse’s head next to me! The ride first thing this morning was stunning, riding along the SS114 coastal road. Mount Etna was smouldering away on one side, ominously in the distance. And on the other side, the crystal clear waters of the Ionian Sea.

All was going well, and I was having a good ride until I reached Catania. There I was, cycling along quite happily. When the road I was on turned into a “diversione!” Keeping an eye on the road signs so as not to get lost. As I mostly do when it comes to cities, let alone when I’m heading off on some diversion. I cycled on.  It wasn’t a pleasant ride. The roads were busy. And to make things worse, I was now going uphill. Then suddenly, without any warning, I was on a motorway. What? How did that happen? I did contemplate turning around, but with the amount of traffic coming at me, it wasn’t an option. Well, there wasn’t anything I could do about it. The only thing to do was put my head down and pedal like mad. And hope that there was an exit soon.

Palm trees in front of island
The lovely coastline of Sicily

Now, over the top of the hill, I was flying along and was doing about 40mph when a police car came past me, with its lights flashing and siren whaling. That was it. I thought I was bound to be stopped. Thankfully, they carried on. Phew, that was worrying. It certainly made my bum twitch. A few miles further on, I saw the police car in a service area, but no sign of the policemen. I needed to get off this motorway. My nerves couldn’t take much more.

It Had To Happen Sooner Or Later

Another 5 minutes down the road, my luck ran out. And I was pulled over, not by the police, but by highway maintenance, I think? The man was very polite, and in his broken English, he seemed very concerned about my safety. I tried to explain that I was following the diversion and had ended up on this motorway by mistake. From what he was saying, I managed to work out that there was an exit about 6km away, and I should get off there. Don’t worry, I will.

With that, he got back in his car and headed off. I, too, headed off, and after about 6km, sure enough, there was an exit! Off the motorway, I found the road I should have been on. I continued cycling along, thinking that maybe I’ll stop soon. Unfortunately, I stopped a lot sooner than expected.

The road had run out. There should have been a bridge here. Instead, there was a fence with a sign on it. The sign read “Ponte chiuso fuori Strada” road closed bridge out. Now I think back, the man who had stopped me on the motorway kept saying something about a Ponte. Maybe I should have got my phrasebook out. Anyway, there was no way around the fence; even if there was, the ravine was too deep. Reluctantly, I turned around. Back in Catania, I decided to give up on Sicily and head back to the mainland.

Subscribe to my blog and follow me as I travel around on my bike. Plus, as a subscriber, you’ll be among the first to receive news and updates on future tours. And, of course, you can always follow me on social media: Facebook, X, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest. I’m also on Flickr, where photographs from all my tours are.

If you want to find out if Garry’s away touring at the moment and check his location, visit the Where’s Garry web page.

Follow Garry on his travels

Subscribe to my email and follow me on my travels

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial