Took myself off for a bicycle ride this morning before a forecast 24 hours of rain set in. Destination was the Parco della Caffarella, which before I had been to only with organised rides and somebody else doing the navigating. Getting to the park is straightforward, but I wish I had been paying more attention during those earlier rides (or maybe checked on the tracks for those days) because I did get myself a bit lost and that led to some hairy sections.

Graphic showing the route taken on the left and the summary details for the trip on the right

My general practice is to leave the trip running from start to finish while I pause the phone activity monitoring when I, er, pause. As a result, average speed is slightly less on the trip than it actually was when moving. No biggie.

The trouble came when I decided to cross over the little stream that runs through the park. The north side of the stream is a lot more rugged than the south, the paths are not nearly as broad and there are some very steep and rutted sections. On one of those I came a cropper, plunging into a gully, front forks bounced down and the wheel did not climb out of the gully, resulting in me coming to a sudden halt and toppling over sideways. No harm done, to me or the bike, but a spill all the same.

Wide panorama looking south from a high point on the north side of the stream

Once I got back onto the other side of the stream it was all more or less plain sailing to get home, apart from a little detour down an ill-advised path that seemed to end with a couple of rusty cars in front of chained gates of corrugated iron. I turned around sharpish when it became clear I could go no further. Rome is full of places like that, hidden away in the greenery and hiding who knows what.

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