We devised a cycling trip to Rimini as a way to promote the College and our mission of sustainability. Our ride was a representation of our commitment to a future without carbon emissions. We also set up a fund in order to raise money to install Eco-showers (which use solar-heated water) in our residences and managed to raise over 430 euros.
Our ride began on Friday, where we rode 25k through the rain to Cervignano. We stayed with an incredibly generous host-family, who even fed all eight ravenous boys. In the morning, we began the longest leg of our trip, 110k through to Venezia Mestre. With a few early breakdowns, cold winds, and an ever-present downpour, it was a very tough ride and we were all soaked through. However, we managed to reach our destination right as it was getting dark. We spent the night at a kayak tours trailer, owned by the father of Marco Pamio, who works in Information Technology at the College. The next day was a 70k ride to Mesola, where we had no planned place to sleep that night. After a hard ride, we found an enthusiastic and generous priest who put us up in the local boy scout center. Our next planned stop was in Ravenna, which was only around 65k away. We set a good pace and were met with beautiful weather. As we were entering Ravenna, we noticed two road signs saying RIMINI 35. Feeling good, and with a couple hours of daylight still with us, we decided to push on. We had thought the distance between Ravenna and Rimini was 65k, so we were really excited to cut a day off of our trip. Unfortunately, after several kilometers and a particularly dangerous stretch of road behind us, we noticed another sign saying RIMINI 58. Not prepared to turn back, we decided to push on as far as we could. Unfortunately, exhaustion, breakdowns, and dusk caught up with us, and we were forced to pull into the town of Cervio. We found a hostel room with three beds, and piled everybody in.
With an early start the next morning, we managed to reach Rimini around noon. We were all excited and relieved to have finally arrived, and happy that we had enough time to make the way up to San Marino. Unfortunately, we had a miscommunication and we could no longer get into the apartment we had expected to use that night. We traveled the city, trying to find a place to stay. We eventually found an organization that helped homeless people, where we helped out and spent the night, even helping with a large leak in the room we stayed in.
The next day was sunny as well, and we enjoyed the short ride back towards Ravenna. We stopped at an ancient church, which was on our path, and visited the Duomo upon arriving in Ravenna. We found the church that the priest in Mesola had recommended to us, and they put us up in a hotel designed for pilgrims: our only day of actual beds in the entire trip.
Early the next morning, we caught a train and returned home to Duino.
In seven days, we managed to do almost every objective of Project Week, at least a little bit. We fundraised for the College in order to install Eco-showers and promote sustainability. We experienced the cultural of Italy by visiting historical sites throughout our trip. We promoted the College by distributing the UWCAd book wherever we stayed, and rode 400 km wearing College jackets. We engaged in Social Service by helping at a soup kitchen, and very serendipitously being able to prevent structural damage to their building. We were 8 guys riding bikes for 7 days, and managed to take only 4 showers in total. Now THAT is sustainability!