Flying to Europe from Melbourne is always a long haul, but using a mid-east airline (Qatar Airways) involves a 14 hour flight MEL-Doha as the first sector. This gets 2/3 of it away in one hop but not sure how it'll be on the way home.
Anyway ..... I arrived in Venice without problem and was met at the airport by Larry and Davey from Veloski Tours and met my roomie Rich Swenson from Minnesota as well. Rich and I both arrived a day early and so on Sunday we took a warm up ride to Asolo and thereabouts to get set for the start of the tour proper on Monday.
I'll admit to some apprehension leading up to the trip - I was about to tackle more riding and climbing in two weeks than I would normally do over a month or more back home. And the big climbs, which come almost daily after the first day or so, will be equal to any I've done previously. Think successive days of Falls Creek, Mt Buffalo etc and you can see what I mean !
The rest of the group arrived just as we returned from our ride and consists of Larry, Davey, Rich and I, two couples from Canada (Brian and Christy, Scott and Laddie), two younger American guys (Richard and Will), and a cameo 3 day appearance by Colin, a Scot via Canada and, now, Switzerland. A good mix of happy folk keen to ride a lot and enjoy themselves on and off the bike.
I'm really looking forward to the next fortnight - weather looks ok and the riding will be fantastic I'm sure.
|Rich (my roomie) and I after a warmup ride.|
|Venice lagoon on the approach...|