Day 1: Chesham to Mirano

Friday June 25, 2004, 68 km (42 miles) – Total so far: 68 km (42 miles)

All in all a very trying day…

Heathrow airport was a nightmare and the bikes didn’t exactly arrive in Italy in tip-top condition. I spent half an hour truing the rear wheel on my bike. Agata’s back wheel was not so fortunate and would need replacing. After leaving the airport, we struggled into Mestre to find a cycle shop with the rear wheel going up and down like a circus clown’s bike.

The staff at Bici Mania in Belfredo were very helpful. Italians are not really into cycletouring, everyone here rides a racing bike. We were unable to get hold of a touring wheel with a 9 speed Campagnolo hub so a racing bike wheel would have to do. We just have to hope it will take the weight.

The hotel “Cinque Colonne” in Mirano was excellent; they whole place has recently been refurbished, we had a brand new air-conditioned room and a fantastic bathroom. I would recommend this place to anyone, they even locked the bikes away for us.

Agata loads her panniers

Agata loads her panniers

Chalfont St Giles in the Chiltern Hills

Chalfont St Giles in the Chiltern Hills

Agata's bike, ready to limp to a bike shop

Agata’s bike, ready to limp to a bike shop

Outside the hotel "Cinque Colonne" in Mirano

Outside the hotel “Cinque Colonne” in Mirano

Added 24th September 2004:

To their credit British Midland have paid in full for all the damage caused, they made no fuss whatsoever, I got a cheque yesterday.

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