Tuesday, 9 December 2014


May 2006

The journey to Genoa had been a long but ultimately thrilling one, with the ride around the starting location of stage 6 of the Giro and some fantastic food for good measure.
We reached the Ligurian capital in the evening. My parents' house is not far from the centre and only a stone's throw away from the football stadium. I was exhausted but thrilled to see them. Mike, my adventure companion, needed some help to make sense of our quick conversations in Italian. While recounting our journey at the kitchen table we savoured more delicious food made by mamma's own hands and some helpings of local focaccia, an amazing delicacy not found anywhere else, accompanied by a few glasses of wine.
During the conversation I learnt that next day my dad would travel to Casale Monferrato, between Milan and Turin, to play the cello for an amateur orchestra travelling there for an evening concert. He had been a professional cellist for Genoa's Teatro Carlo Felice for the good part of 30 years and since his retirement he has kept his skills sharp by playing for a small local orchestra, made up of wannabe and retired musicians.
Quick on the calculation, I came up with the idea of riding there late morning, so we'd have time to catch up with some sleep. My dad simply thought we were crazy and, not knowing how we were on the bike, he was more than concerned we wouldn't make it, thus worrying him while he had to concentrate with the task at hand.