Ruth tells me of her last visit to Bergamo, some 30 years previously and it sounds appealing enough to drop by and at least take in the historic centre. Having parked up by the city’s sports stadium, we get on our bikes and make for the téléferique that takes us up to the heart of the old town. Being a sunny Sunday, the narrow cobbled streets are brimming with visitors but it’s only when we turn a corner onto a small square that we realize why quite so many people are there. It’s the opening race of the Soap-Box Derby season that afternoon and the assorted vehicles and their suitably kitted out crews are buzzing around making their final preparations. There is a team of officials taking their work very seriously – weighing, measuring and inspecting the wooden wheels and breaking systems.
We are fascinated enough to wait until the planned start and go to the top of the course and take our places in the ‘Grandstand’well, at the first corner! As we had not had much of a night’s sleep after the Milonga by Lake Garda, we doze on the grass overlooking the expansive plain below the old fortified walls and wait. As ever in Italy, the planned start-time is out by almost an hour and I have to say we are somewhat disappointed by the fact that it is a time-trial event – I had been expecting a massed grand–prix style dash for the first corner, but instead each 2 man team sets off individually.
Having seen 5 or 6 career past us, we make our way back to the cable-car and after a steadying hot chocolate find our bikes and make our way back to Emma. A great day out !
Here are some more photos of this chapter.
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