Mt Vesuvius, Italy

I got up very early on the 7th of November, too early.

4:15 to be exact, in order to be in time for the start of the Two Volcano Sprint bikepacking race.

The weather was pretty miserable. Rainy, dark and a little bit cold (maybe I shouldn’t have worn my flip-flops…)

But the racers were all in high spirits and the race set off on time, with the Major of Ercolano starting the race by cutting the tape.

And they were off, on a 1000 km bikepacking adventure!

They had to start by riding to the top of Mt Vesuvius and I decided to follow them up. I was soaked already, so I might as well!

On my way up, I met Andrew, my coldshowers host who had told me about the race, in the lead on his way down. In fact, as I write this at the end of the day, Andrew is still in the lead after close to 300km and has been all day!

I reached the top long after most of the racers and was rewarded with an excellent view after 950 meters of constant up, up and up.

Down was a lot easier, but a bit cold instead and I went back to my room for a warm shower and a change of clothes before I went to have a look at another Mt Vesuvius sight.

The Herculaneum archeological site. Pompei was not the only city buried during theĀ eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79, and I had been told that this site was actually more interesting than the Pompei one.

I had a nice look around and then walked home to a warm room and a soft bed as I though about the racers that were still out there and would probably keep going long into the night. After all, they are still less than one-third of the way to the finish..