The last few days in Italy were so crammed full the blog didn't get a look in.
On Thursday, after class I drove to Trento to register for the UCI World Masters TT Championships. As always I arrived a bit early and after circling the centre of town a few times found a multi-storey car park where I felt it would be safe to leave my car which was loaded with bike, spares and all my worldly goods and chattels except for my laptop and passport(!) Much, much later (hours and hours later) when I returned I expected to have to take out a mortgage to pay to get out and so was a bit gob smacked to discover the bill was only 5 euros....in Melbourne I would have had to have done the mortgage bit.
I wandered round the old part of the town to kill time, ate something and then went over to the rider's briefing which was at 2pm...the same time that registration opened. And that is where the problems started:
1. there was no-one to tell us we could just go in, so initially we all stood in the queue until I went in, asked the question and then suggested to someone official that it might, just might be an idea to let those waiting for the briefing know that they didn't have to queue.
2. since the briefing was in the same room as the registration, just separated by a partition, it was well nigh impossible to hear the briefing!!!
3. After the briefing we then had to join the back of the queue to register..initially standing out in the sun.
4. Some 2 hours later I had registered and drove to my BnB, which was situated actually on the TT course, at a time much much later than anticipated.
5. Despite the lateness I went for a ride to ease the blocking of my legs brought on by all that standing...just the flat part of the course.
6. I then dashed off to get some food at the pub which was a the foot of the climb at Ponte Olivetti.
The next day all went smoothly until I forgot to attached the timing chip to my leg and had to sprint back to my car just a few minutes before my start. I was first off and so had none of the issues with timing that others did when the starter just followed the list of names rather than the list AND their start times!
I rode a rather ordinary race and was well beaten by Gaye Lynn who rode an ace race. I came second ..my time on the course continues to improve but is still pretty pedestrian. Weight loss is good until it impacts on your power output (I've lost ~10kgs since Xmas and am now a better hill climber than a TTer!).
Back to the BnB and it was time to pack my gear which as always seems to take forever. Once I'd finished, showered and eaten it was time to get to Trento for the presentation although first I had to wait for the road to open and so was able to watch from my driveway and note how the really fast guys tackled that part of the course.
The presentation was good with Tracy Gaudry..Oceania President and now VP of the UCI presenting us with medals, jersey, flowers and wine. Getting a bit tired I thought it was time to go and so left a bit earlier than was polite, but I had a long day ahead of me.
So next day I took off early as I had stop off at Sankt Johann with various bits of gear before making my way to Munich airport and I didn't really want to rush.
After about an hour of driving I suddenly realised I had failed to confirm with the car place that I was definitely departing that day. It was a Saturday and the phone and email were unattended and so panic set in....if they were not there I would have to stay another 2 days with added costs for: car hire, accommodation, airline ticket change,car and travel insurance. I costed it out as between $600 and $800. I was distracted to say the least.
I decided I needed to get a wriggle on since if he was to be there...he might, just might stay until early afternoon. I stopped at 3 places to get one of those annoying vignettes that allow you to use the Austrian autobahns and finally managed to buy one. Stress was mounting! I went to my home from home in Sankt Johann and managed to keep polite but not stay very long(!). Hans commented on how little sun tan I had on my face...I think I must have been pale with worry!
Then the real problems started...
I put the address of the car place into the Tom Tom but put it as a Munich street and so end up in the centre of Munich. Too anxious and stupid to realise in advance that I was nowhere near the airport I finally cottoned on and took a good look at the instructions...you idiot Halbergmoos NOT Munich! Reconfiguring the Tom Tom took a while until; finally I was away.
By this time I was clearly mega distracted cos the first instruction was to turn right...which I did and saw what I took to be a line of parked cars and I since they took up most of the road, I assumed it was a one way street and so drove ...on the left of the street. I approached the lights just as they were turning green and realised my mistake......so there I was on the wrong side of the road on a minor road at a crossing with a dual carriage way and I wanted to turn left. I stopped threw my hands in the air, then buried my head in my hands and finally looking sheepish and apologetic manoeuvered my way around the cars who had, thankfully all stopped to allow to to extricate myself.
10 km later I was at the gate of the car place and was delighted and relieved to discover it was open. Phew!
That, however, was not the end of the day's blunders!
The first of which was to walk from where I'd been hanging around into the the queue at the check in leaving my bike bag behind. Some 10 minutes later I realised what I was missing(!) and went to wrench it from the grasp of a police man who was about to...confiscate it/blow it up! The second was to leave the trophy I'd been lugging around forever in the lounge and was nearly in the plane before I realised my error. I had to give my passport to the official in order to be allowed back to get it.
All in all...I think I was beyond tired. What am I saying...I know I was.... I spent virtually the next 24 hours asleep...the "quickest" and least boring long haul plane trip I've ever taken!
We arrived 45 minutes early..I was one of the first through the passport control and on arriving at the carousel my bags were already there. I was surprised!
Then I looked over at the oversized carousel and bugger me ...there was my bike case...I was reall really amazed. From getting off the plane to walking out into the arrival hall it was probably 15 minutes and needless to say there was no-one to meet me. A quick telephone call extracted Phil from MacDonalds and I was on my way home.