Resistance is Futile - 9 1/2 Weeks - CycleBlaze

October 24, 2019

Resistance is Futile

Quistello to Formica

We actually slept pretty well last night, considering the 'thanksgiving belly' we went to bed with. When the alarm went off this morning we fell out of bed and gravity pulled us down the stairs to breakfast. 

Romano's effects were still being felt, but now it was unfortunate as the breakfast that Loredana and Sandro had laid out for us was sumptuous.

We did our best, and in the process had a engaging chat with Sandro, mainly in French spiced with Italian and English (if you can call English 'spice').

Today's weather forecast called for rain starting after noon, so we were motivated to get moving and get as many km's done before it came. Much like yesterday, today's target was Formica.


'Cause it's ~80 km down the road to our next defined target in Tuscany. 

This may sound like  we are on a 'tick -the -box' tour, but it's almost the exact opposite. 

We do have  a few places we want to go, and I guess that fits the tick the box mold, but more or less we are content to ride through some more unknown (to us) areas and take what comes. That was today ... more latter.

So today was another day of crossing the Po plains. This is Italy's version of Manitoba. I mean in terms of elevation profile. To the best of my knowledge, Manitoba does not have vineyards, orchards and Maserati factories.

So, another easy day of flat, but interesting, cycling. We hit Modena (of Balsamic vinegar and super car fame) at lunch time and found a lively, quick, cheap and good cafe. As we were eating, the forecasted rain started on cue, so there are no pic's after this.

The rain was pretty constant for the last 30 km's, but it was warm and there was no wind. Thanks to Mr. Gore, it was a reasonably comfortable ride into Formica.

By the time we reached the eponymous Hotel Formica, the intensity of the rain increased and we were glad to be done for the day at just after 4 pm.

This allowed us time to get cleaned up, get yesterday's unfinished blog business done, and get a start on today's musings before heading out for dinner. Like yesterday, the dining choices that were within walking distance were limited to about 3 - 4 places. 

None of them were in the Michelin guide.

We picked the place that was closest, Trattoria Dell'Oste Vittorio, that promised 'down home cooking'. 

That it did.

Needless to say, neither K nor I were particullalry  hungry, and were looking for a simple and quick  dinner. We got quick. Relative to last night we got simple. But this is Italy, and this, as advertised, was a family Trattoria. So in the grand scheme of things, it was not simple. 

Good? Oh yes.

Welcoming? Oh my yes!

Just a little bit to eat? Hell no.

Within a minute of being seated we're presented with a glass of bubbly. Two minutes later the 'antipasto' trolly comes by. Next a bottle of red wine is plopped down and we are implored to partake of the 'salad table' for want of a better translation. 

We manage to restrain Vittorio (just a little) and just have one pasta dish before dessert. 

As we are finishing this, the postprandial shot of Nocino di Modena appears and we strike up an extended conversation with Vittorio (aided by Mr Google). This ends up with the bottle of Nocino (a delectable full strength walnut based spirit) being left at our disposal while Vittorio heads off to tend to a large table of Germans who are also in attendance.

It is now 11:45 and this should have been done long ago ... but resistance is futile.

Although the specifics  of tonight and last night are different, when subjected to 'root cause analysis', they are essentially the same,  dining Italian style.

My liver fears for the next 4 weeks.

The rest of me is content.

K will be on constant watch!

Song of the Day, In Spite of Ourselves by John Prine .. and in this version, a duet with Iris DeMent.

This has been a major ear-worm for me over several days, and today with the rain returning, it intensified. Our engagement with Vittorio tonight made me quite certain that we are in fact 'The Big Door Prize' as we had so much fun out of not that much.

Today's elevation profile is the inverse of the last few days .. a gentle reminder of what's to come for the next fe days ... the Apennine's
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Leaving the lovely Villa Camilla this morning ... dry
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Before we could leave though, we had to have a RIPE persimmon ... the first one ever ... it was delicious. Thank you Sandro and Loredana for a lovely stay. Word of warning ... do not ever eat an unripe persimmon. Not enough time and space to explain. Just trust me
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Cool and foggy morning riding across the Po plain. Very rural with some places more kept up than others
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And for all you folks back home in Alberta, the roses are still in full bloom here!
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The vast majority of today's ride was on dedicatd bike paths, split 70/30 paved/gravel. When we were on roads, this was it. What's not to like?
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Our route today took us through Modena. For Foodies, this is the home of balsamic vinegar. For Car nuts ... well you know.
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The second cousin to Enzo ... these guys make four door 'family super cars'
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The entrance to Modena from the north took us right past the Maserati factory. It was right around lunch time and starting to rain so we never even contemplated looking for the Ferrari place
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A few pics of the old center of Modena before we ducked in for lunch ... and the rain started (as predicted by the precinct Norwegian weather service)
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cruising the streets of Modena 'looking for lunch'
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... a rainy Thursday sure keeps the crowds down!
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Thank you Vittorio for your hospitality. You are on par with the ‘Pope of Quistello’
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Tonight’s sign-off features Proseco. We are in Italy and this is how we get welcomed into family restaurants! We like this place.
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Today's ride: 89 km (55 miles)
Total: 2,222 km (1,380 miles)

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Comment on this entry Comment 1
Karin KaarsooYou are making me hungry! Time for lunch I think! I am sure you will be earning those meals in the Appenines. XO
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