Another good and relatively Via Cassia free day. Our route is created from a mixture of AIVF, local VF signage and some masterful GPS work from Paul - of which more later. Having found our way out of Viterbo, using the fastest and least convoluted route possible, but nevertheless involving a degree of traffic dodging which will be unpleasant for riders, cyclists and walkers, we spend a fair amount of time and kilometres on pleasant minor roads.
A good day all in all. No desperately steep climbs, a reasonable percentage off road, all of it perfectly acceptable for cyclists and better still minimal contact with the via Cassia - so very, very different from our experience with Lubie last year for which we have to thank both the VF signers and the knowledge gained from often all too painfully won experience.
Now we are really on the home stretch and I am two minds about how I feel. An end always brings a new beginning, which in our case will be a winter spent translating GPS traces and audio notes into guide book form, as well as gathering all the information we have not been able to acquire on route. In my head I have at least three possible designs for the layout, each with its own specific advantages, but no doubt the reality of the printed page will change all that. In the end I can only hope that we achieve our primary aim which is to provide a simple, easily identifiable route, with options to meet the needs of each specific group - riders, cyclists and walkers. Our secondary aim is to support this with all the supplementary information pilgrims need for a comfortable, safe, enjoyable and well informed journey - accommodation, historical background, local detail etc. Finally all of this must be presented in an easily accessible and durable guidebook format - easy!!
We have done pretty well so far in avoiding the dread via Cassia without adding too many kilometres or mountains, but today we have to come up with a solution to that stretch of dual carriageway where the pilgrims (and their horses) are asked to walk the wrong way down the hard shoulder with the Roman commuters honking in amazement.