Viva l’Italia!

On Friday the Four Mikes crossed from Austria into Italy over Brenner Pass (4,495 ft), on their way to Borgo Valusugano (53 miles). The scenery continued to be beautiful and the weather thankfully dry. As the Mikes are coping well with the long miles, weather conditions, steep climbs and bike repairs, it was clearly time for an additional challenge, and fortunately, Italian motorists are there to oblige. Embracing Mario Andretti’s advice that “if everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough”, the local drivers are ensuring the Mikes keep their wits about them. Although Mike Burton says its is still a calmer experience than cycling the A412.

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Don’t Fear The Reaper

Readers may recall from an earlier post that Mick Claridge reported seeing an unearthly figure on one of his training rides. It seems that individual – we’ll call him Grims – has taken a shine to our Mick, or to Mick’s cycle. (It is hard to tell which.) During a recent rain-filled climb on the mountain, Mick once again spotted his new friend. This time Grims was close behind him – evidently even a Reaper needs to conserve energy by drafting once in a while. Mick told the LASR:

I knew he was behind me, I was too scared to look around so I pretended it was Fr Mike! But it was him – it was the Reaper! I could hear his bony feet hitting the pedals. Doesn’t that guy wear shoes I thought?”

Once they crested the hill, Mick lost his companion on the descent. It appears that Reapers, like most sensible cyclists, are not that keen on speeds greater than 40mph. Good to know.

Mick & Grims enjoying the climb

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The Hills are Alive….

Wednesday brought an end to the perpetual rain of the past few days, and not a minute too soon, as the Four Mikes on Bikes Tour left Germany today for a 51-mile ride to Steinach-am-Brenner in Austria.  Mike Burton gave the LASR an update on the day:

Today we saw something that had been severely lacking so far – SUNSHINE !!! 
After a slightly cold drizzly start from Garmisch Partenkirken we were soon climbing the 1300 metres up the mountain towards Seefeld. The drizzle was a blessing as the climb was hot work, and it was nice to put away the heavy “waterproof” coats from the last few days. 
The suffering of the last few days, out in the cold with no respite and no alternative, made me think about the homeless people we are helping, who have to deal with that sort of thing every day. 
As we headed down towards Innsbruck we were now on the South facing side of the mountains, in sunlight rather than shade, hence a luxurious 19C temperature. 
The sun meant nice dry roads, so no more tip-toe-ing around slippery corners, we could finally let the bikes loose and make up for the slow 2-3 hour grind up the hill by travelling down at 8-10 times that speed.  Top prize goes to Mick at over 52 mph –  I could only manage 48.6!  Of course we keep brakes and tyres in good order so that such treats are quite safe.

Normally, the Editor rejects all photos that don’t include a member of the Tour, but she is bending this rule for today’s post.

weds start jpeg

Ready set go!


Tag, you’re it!


Emergency Haribo rations





mikes diner

Dinner time

The Tour is raising money for the London & Slough Run; you can make a donation at