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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by AntiHero, Aug 8, 2014.
Can't wait for another amazing adventure
Congrats on getting the new trip started! I missed your first several posts as I was in Indy watching Marquez demonstrate to the world, yet again, what a goddamn beast he is.
Looking forward to some nice scenery/bike porn and your always thought-provoking narratives. If you write a book someday (have you hinted at this before?) you can count on a sale to me.
Also... trading your Italian supermodel in for a newer model once the old one starts to get bitchy and worn? I like your style. You aren't travelling with a donna matronale, after all.
Thanks for the best wishes. Italy has been mostly good. The great thing about driving in Italy is everything just flows. You could be on a one lane street and as soon as you pull left to overtake a car he/she moves over to let you by. The autostradas are the same....except you have three lanes, all moving in a zen-like, organic flow. There are speed cameras, but they're well marked (yes, marked). There's even a warning several hundred meters before the camera. Everyone slows down, then everyone speeds up. It's brilliant.
There have been sections of traffic here and there on main highways, but I've missed most of the traffic related to everyone shutting businesses down and heading down South for holiday. Over half of the places I went to today in Rome were closed. Milan is even worse.
Fortunately I had my title in CA and was able to have it FedEx'd to customs. It all worked out, it just took time. I think there' might have been some Hazmat issues, too....and then it was trucked all over northern Italy before arriving at Ducati Milano. They wasted NO time at all prepping it. Thanks again, guys!
Thanks! I started a book after I finished the first ride. The beginning and end are done. The middle is being reworked. I'll continue to bleed paragraphs into it, but I suspect this ride report will consume most of my writing. I do have a coffee table book of photos/quotes that's up on Blurb, though:
I did not want to do this trip on a new bike and miss my old one! But that's the way it goes. If I waited any longer I'd have had to delay my trip till next year.
Great looking book .....I know what friends will be getting for Christmas this year. ( Should be in every Ducati dealership)
I'll agree with that!
dcawd: I think I would have bought a bicycle. Seriously.
One of the things I enjoy most about traveling is becoming an inhabitant. I hate hotels and I don't ever just want to see the sunny side of a city. I want to see the best and worst (and a lot of the average stuff) that it has to offer. One requirement (other than staying as long as possible) is holding these in my hand:
Keys. My first apt. in Milan was relatively cheap and in a very unromantic part of town.
The first thing you notice about Milan is the graffiti--or rather--the tags.
I thought LA was bad, but 6 vertical feet of the entire city is covered in it. It's what would happen if you taught feral cats how to spell their names AND pee spraypaint. I'm all for graffiti art, but scrawling your name everywhere in your own neighborhood is equivalent to shitting in your pasta bowl. I guess people like the look of their own shit and love even more the taste of it every day.
There were those who knew what they were doing, though:
I was sick. Really sick. Conscious fever dreams during the day and during the night, waking up soaked in sweat. At one point I went to the balcony. I was on the 8th floor if you recall. No, never thought of jumping, but at some point the view turned against me.
That's what the view looked like in 'reality', but to my fevered brain it was a predator waiting to be shot.
Aegri somnia, a sick man's dreams. I'll get into the details later, but this journey for me was to do the things I love, to follow my 'passion', which is more akin to obeying the demands of a corrupt nervous system, but none-the-less, the painting captured a very particular and unfortunate moment right at the beginning.
Those early days in Milan had me not leaving my apt. but maybe a handful of times--and for only short durations. The fever was just too much. I was on antibiotics, but they were taking their sweet time. I hit up Dr. J (the one and only, from C2C) said to get Augmentin as soon as possible, what I had was basically useless and infections that spread the way mine was spreading can easily get to your heart or brain. You'd never think a tooth could kill, but I won't be postponing any Dental appointments from now on. A friend from SF with a sis living in Milan got me into a Dentist (Dr. Petrelli), who turned out to be an incredibly wonderful doctor with a wonderful staff. Unfortunately they spoke as much English as I spoke Italian, but even without language rather complicated communication is possible. He didn't even charge me for the exam or X-Ray.
After a visit to the Farmacia, I had what I needed:
I was out of immediate danger at least and ticked the "emergency visit to a doc in a foreign country" box.
For those who want to see lots of great food pics, I went about the cliffs-notes-version of culinary delight that entire first week. Everything I ate looked like this:
Not kidding. I ate tuna, bread, and fruit morning, noon and night. Around the third day I got some salami and chips. And it was damn good, I might add. A little pepper and olive oil go a long way.
By the time I checked into my third (and last) place in Milan I was feeling normalish.
Cool place, too. Was at one time some sort of storage shed that was turned into a loft apt.
The best part? Milan skies poured down rain every night while cracks of lightning hit so close I could hear the after-fizzles of electricity right after the initial crack. (We're talking zero seconds between light and sound.)
I was in the Navigli neighborhood, which was undeniably the best location in Milan as far as I was concerned.
Though at this time my bike still hadn't arrived, I was enjoying the mobility permitted by curiosity, made possible by health.
Love those rainy pics. I've walked those same streets and my photos aren't that good
WOW Dennis, you really have developed a good eye for finding the prefect photo. Good work.
Every post of yours is a cliff hanger for me. Can't wait for the next.
Subscribed! Haven't read your other two RRs, but I'll get caught up on those now...
Question for you: appreciating this trip is just beginning (and you may or may not have your bike yet), how are you planning to handle parking? Are you able to find apartment's that have secure parking, or what's the plan?
hey AH, glad you whipped that infection. 1g tabs of that augmentin ... megadose those germs! Very nice painting, which makes me wonder...are you packing art supplies on this trip, or did you pick some up while waiting things out in Milan. Either way, nice to see your art again!
Parking won't change the trip much. But theft while parked will. I ignored theft concerns in the US - and had no issues - for two primary reasons: 1) thieves steal bikes to break 'em down and sell parts. Being brand-fucking-new = no demand for stolen parts. 2 years later...not the same circus, not the same monkeys.
2) It's Europe. Everyone I've spoken to--including guys who've had their bikes (and scooters) stolen--can be believed. Simply cannot park outside for very long without my bike being gone. No way I can park outside at night unless I'm in a really safe area or am camping.
Oh yes...add to all of the above the fact I cannot purchase theft-insurance here (or comprehensive for that matter), means I am proper fucked if anything happens. I've got GPS on the bike which alerts me to movement and tracks the bike, but none-the-less, I'm out a significant amount of cash if some asshole throws my bike into a van and drives to Croatia.
Still have a fever. But I'm more in control of it than it is of me. Brought painting supplies with me. More to come.....
I'm in!! I see your skill with a camera is just getting better and better!
Nice to see those places from your point of view. I've been there but just barely going by and didn't capture nearly any of that atmosphere.
I agree with the other replys, I hook up to your RR every morning to see those new pic's and to follow your wherabouts
Thanks for your inspiring photos and writing