Cruising towards Ragusa
What with getting lost, and with the obstacles of bad weather and worse signposting, it was a difficult morning. However, things took a turn for the better this afternoon, as I continued my south-eastern journey today, from Piazza Armerina to Ragusa. Just after lunch, and after passing by (the edge of) the town of Grammichele, I swung onto the lovely new SS514 highway — a road that my friend Conrad recommended I take, when I dined with him last night. And once I was on that road, I managed about 2 hours — and 30 k's — of fun and solid riding. The road is new, smooth, wide, and straight, and it goes dead south towards Ragusa. It's reasonably flat, with some nice downhill stretches at the start, and with a mild uphill tendency towards the end. And the weather decided to cheer up, and to be a lot more kind for the afternoon. So today turned out to be a relaxed, sunny, and productive day on the road after all.
All's well once you get on the shiny new SS514.
Not too much to report scenery-wise, about this afternoon's ride. The countryside started off uninteresting — just patches of forest, patches of small farms, and patches of blasted mountainside (to make way for this road) that offered no views at all — and then gave way to large plains of orchards, greenhouses, and crop-growing fields. As I got closer to the southern coast (of which the view got better as I went further along), the terrain got hillier and the farms more rolling. I had a funny issue with my bike: at times, it seemed to give me a lot of resistance, more than it usually gives me even with my heavy back load; but it wasn't constant, and there was no obvious cause for it, so I hope it's nothing serious. Anyway, it didn't stop me from getting in a good run, and from finding some shelter before the day disappeared completely.