Given how much we had enjoyed our experience in Bath before Christmas, Mike, Sam and I agreed it was time for some serious riding and we needed mountains for that. After scouring the internet for ideas, we settled for the Granfondo delle Alpi, a relatively low key sportive in the Italian Alps, set between Bergamo and the border with Switzerland. Its patron was Gimondi and he was scheduled to ride part of it. As he is one of my childhood heroes, I relished the thought of meeting the legend so we registered.
Then disaster struck.
While playing football during a lunchtime kickabout, I was tackled hard on my right ankle and it swelled up really quickly to the size of a Zeppelin. A brisk, yet hoppy, visit to A&E revealed the break in the bone. This was six weeks before we would leave. Talking to the physiotherapist, she assured me that after resting it for a couple of weeks it would have been ok to start exercising the muscles around it and that cycling would be perfect as long as it wasn't too vigorous. What I actually heard was: "All clear, do as you like".
As we had already paid for the ferry, Mike and I decided to go after all (Sam had by then booked a different holiday). I couldn't predict how much cycling I'd be able to do and I didn't want the pressure of a timed granfondo. The best option for us would be to go to Italy and just ride.