[ blog » 2021 » 07_Tour_Italy ]d18: Rome ( by Philipp Gesang, location: A Roadside B&B at the Tiber)


After an hour or so of prowling through the suburbs I reached the Cinecitta area where back in the days so many iconic movies were shot. Some of the stages are still standing tall but most of the buildings appear to have long been converted to offices.

Not far from there two of Rome's aqueducts run in parallel to the Via Appia which I rejoined to get to the center. Already outside the city walls the road is lined with ruins of basilicas and villas of enormous size.

I took some time to marvel at the central area surrounding the Forum. Less tourists than I was expecting, but these are Covid times. The sun was brutal again, so much that my phone shut down because of the heat. That's something the Garmin never did.

From the Colosseum I circled around the Forum, barely able to digest everything. From the Circus maximus to the Castel Sant'Angelo I went with the traffic flow which was amazingly relaxed. The overall mood on the roads is much calmer than what I remember from Napoli, plus the roads themselves are orders of magnitude better.

After a brief visit to the Vatican I returned to the Tiber to follow it upstream to the campsite.


On the right bank of the Tiber there's a decent bike route on top of a dam. Quietly riding up there I noticed that noise again that the bike had developed during the last two days. I can't quite pin it down from hearing alone but I guess it's either the spokes of the rear wheel, the bottom bracket or the freehub. I kind of hoped it was "just" the spokes because the other two possibilities would be utterly fatal to my trip.

Tough luck though that I had not brought a spoke wrench. I low key remembered there was one on one of the multitools in my toolbox but it's not the one I brought. Attempts at improvising a pliers failed, none of the tools in my bag would work. So where to get one? I was very fortunate to stumble on a bicycle repair shop next to the Tiber bike path just minutes later! They even taught me the Italian word, tiraraggi. With the wrench I could go about tightening the spokes at the campsite. Speaking of which ...

Camping Woes

Arriving at the Tiber camping ground I found the facilities inhabitated by what must be refugees from their looks. They kindly informed me that the campsite was closed and I had to look somewhere else for a pitch. If that's the case then why wouldn't you at least remove the signs at the road that clearly indicate a campsite? And delist it from the usual directories and maps while you're at it, thank you very much.

None of the alternative campgrounds are even remotely near my itinerary and the closest would incur at least a 20 km detour. So again, this means booking a room somewhere instead of camping out. I'm not getting to even use that new air mattress as often as I'd like. I had some time to kill before I could check in so I went through all the spokes on both wheels and tightened them. None were particularly loose though. I'm curious if I could at least contain the mysteroius noise.


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