Here we are again friends - my fourth lap of Italy. Only this time the organisation had some tricks up their sleeve to celebrate the 100th running of the Giro. Namely, sending us island hopping. Firstly to Sardinia for the teams presentation, then to Sicily, before finally landing on the boot. I know, I know - it’s a tough gig.
Enter the Stuntman
Needing a first-rate wheelman to get me around, I had brought along my cycling buddy from Sydney, Stuntman Mike.
Arriving in Sardinia, our first job was to go back to the airport after accidentally leaving without our bike bags. Our second job was to try and fit those same bags into our very small, but very Italian, car.
Mike had been losing sleep at the thought of driving thousands of kilometres around Italy with a bike bag pressing into the back of his neck. I assured him it would be fine and, sure enough, we managed to shoehorn everything in. We even had some extra room for a couple of cans of birra and, of course, multiple packets of everyone’s favourite Beardy's Caravan staple energy food - grissini.
Team presentations aren't really my cup of tea. I generally prefer the excitement of climbing a cliff or racing round the countryside in a euro hatchback with overloaded suspension.
However, they are amazing for the fans, and a great place for people watching. Accordingly, all of Alghero seemed to be out and about to watch the celebration.
Escaping old town
After the excitement had died down, Mike and I stopped in at the corner pizza shop for a quick bite and a couple of beers.
Our B&B was in a residential area far away from the tourist trap of the old town. The pizza place was legit and when we ordered (and finished) 2 longnecks of Birra Ichnusa, it was quickly replaced by a third.
We were soon part of la famille; the boss had us taking snaps of the pizzas cooking and his skills with the paddle. We were so impressed by the pizzas and the hospitality we gave them a 5 euro tip, which was politely accepted. Not to be outdone, the boss reciprocated and we found ourselves walking home with a bag full of beers. Grazie mille!