The term practice makes perfect crossed my mind a few times today, as I spent most of it watching my friends backsides growing smaller and smaller as they disappeared in to the distance.
Our alarms were redundant this morning as the early sunlight and barking dogs ensured five blurry eyed boys emerged from our four tents all rocking the same look. Sleeping bag held up to waist (to hide the fact we'd all slept in leggings and socks) t-shirt (all of dubious colours) and sensational tent hair.
A breakfast of chocolate brioche and bananas was wolfed at 6.30am while we listened to Tom complain about the quality of his tent. He found no sympathy although was offered a place in Harry and Billy's spacious 4 man tent. He declined it stating he'd rather have his own space, despite it not being water, wind or dog proof.
We hadn't even set off before we got our first puncture. Luke had picked one up late the previous day leaving his tyre as spongy as the brioche he'd just eaten. While he fixed it Billy led a quick yoga/ stretching session by the road, something he assured us the pro's did. We weren't convinced.
We were in danger of breaking our PB of a whole hour without an issue when Harry decided that his panniers looked better on the floor than they did on his bike so we unsympathetically watched him reattach them on the side of the motorway (did I mention we're still cycling on one?). Having had a flat start we were just starting to think we were in for an easy day but in a completely predictable plot twist we were wrong.
In a bid to fit in with Italian culture we stopped cycling at 9am to have a second breakfast, Coffee and croissants in a beautiful town square. In my mind this would have been the perfect place to stop, we'd done a bit of cycling, we could have a long breakfast, followed by a long lunch, a siesta and a long dinner. Apparently this was not the aim of the trip though, so it was back on the bikes as we headed to the foot of our first mountain. Luckily it was still early and the sun wasn't as relentlessly aggressive as it could have been, all five of us made it to the top at our own speeds, with two different groups opening up. Billy, Harry and Luke riding up front, with Tom and I choosing to take in the view.
By the time Tom and I got to the top Harry was taking photos of Billy asking a donkey for directions while Luke was trying to tan his chest hair. Clearly the heat was getting to us. I managed to make it down the other side of the mountain without introducing my head and hip with the concrete, so to celebrate we stocked up with lunch and began the journey to our next mountain. A 500 meter climb approaching the heat of the day proved far more difficult than the previous climb, with Harry suffering cramp and Tom falling off his bicycle while it was standing still - chump.
In order to properly enjoy the views on this climb I thought it made much more sense to push my bike up the hill and was even offered a lift by a passing local. As this is for charity though I felt I probably shouldn't cheat, and actually by arriving to the top last it meant someone would have prepared some lunch for me. Again, Tortoise > Hair.
As the road flattened out we managed to cycle as a group, taking it in turns to set the pace at the front while the others sat in their slipstream. This worked perfectly but required a degree of communication as it turns out Sardinian roads have more potholes than white lines. To combat this the first person would shout "hole right" or "hole left" if they felt generous, or just "hole" if they wanted to see if we could spot it before we hit it. The next person in the line would then repeat this and so on to make sure the message was passed down the line.
The roads through towns here are essentially one giant pot hole, so I feel we owe an apology to all the Sardinian citizens that today had five dirty, smelly British boys cycling through their town shouting "hole" at each other every 10 seconds.
An easy afternoon made up for a brutal morning and we found our target town with enough daylight left to go for a beer and find a shower.
Turns out there is not anywhere we're allowed to shower so we had another beer instead. Bring on day 3.