Food, of course, is very important on a cycling trip. The main challenges are 1) finding time to on-load enough fuel and 2) keeping the processing plant moving. Most off-the-bike time is spent either searching for food, waiting for food, up-loading food, or off-loading food in the privy.
Markham is the food champion. It takes a fork-lift to bring his restaurant order, then a garbage truck afterwards to collect everyone’s leftovers and deposit them in front of him. The reason is obvious—he’s the strongest guy on a bike—and his muscle output (i.e. calorie burn) during the day is immense. It requires constant feeding.
After a few attempts and limited success early in the week, we finally found a cyclist’s best friend last night—a local restaurant with great food, excellent local wine and everyday prices. It was a pizza place, of course, run by mom and pop, and we were the only non-Spoletans in the place. You could see the wood-fired brick oven when you entered.
Three bottles of wine were prominetly placed on every table, awaiting expected patrons. After opening the wine and addressing our thirst and conviviality, the signore brought out platters of coarse Italian bread soaked with olive oil, garlic and salt, toasted in the brick oven. We knew we were in good hands!
An assortment of pizza, pasta and local salad greens followed, and two hours flew by as we recounted cycling stories from past trips, speculated on Olympic doping and learned that Italy makes more wine than the rest of the world put together.
A walk to a gelato shop up the street completed our perfect culinary evening. Light raindrops then chased us back to our hotel.