Two wheeled Kintyre charioteers Roman odyssey

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A pair of Kintyre cyclists were roamin’ all over the place during a cycling event in Italy’s capital.

That was literally the situation when Marjorie Leighton and Leone Shaw Tulloch took a wrong turn and ended up on Rome’s version of the M8.

Allegedly incorrect road markings.landed the saddle sore pair on the autostrada (motorway), circling Rome’s historic centre and finally entering on the opposite side of the city.

The intrepid cyclists, who recently competed in the Granfondoroma, had packed their bikes into boxes for a flight to Rome.

Ms Shaw Tulloch said: ‘Wow, what a day Marjorie and I enjoyed.

‘It was amazing cycling through Rome on closed roads as the sun rose.

‘Followed by hills, hills and more hills….6900 feet of ascent, unbelievable, what a great feeling of achievement.

‘Especially, given that I was not confident about it, but, once committed , determination took over.

‘It was tough, with a real mix of sights and landscape.’

The ride started at 7.15am at the Colosseum, round Rome and out south east into the hills of Parco dei Castelli Romani, past Lake Albano.

The route wove through old villages and pretty wooded areas.

Ms Shaw Tulloch continued: ‘We were a little late getting to the cut off point, so the roads opened and the rest stops started closing.

‘I had stuffed a pile of rolls into my bum bag, thank goodness, I needed them.

‘We were on our own after the cut off point, but I was glad we were together as we passed a really dodgy area, with what appeared to be street walkers at the side of the road and a couple of dodgy men in a car nearby.

‘On the way down, due to incorrect road markings, we ended up on the autostrada hard shoulder , next to all the mad Italian drivers, with lots of horns going off.

‘It took a while for us to find our way off, we have never cycled so fast!

‘Unfortunately, because of our wrong turn, we ended up coming into Rome on the wrong side.

‘I had hoped at least we could have a sprint finish, but no, everyone had gone home except a couple of guys packing up.

‘We arrived at the expo village and a very kind Italian gave us our medals to end a fantastic day.’

Marjorie Leighton and Leone Shaw Tulloch with their Granfondoroma medals. NO_c48rome01_Leighton_Tulloch