It's difficult to reconsider a life dream. It's difficult to admit we are too ambitious. But the soreness in our knees makes it all too real. We sleep in, slowly do our laundry, and think about what is important to our tour.
We love cycling. We love astronomy outreach. But if we cycle for 13 hours every day, there will be no time for astronomy, barely enough time for rest. We will pass through incredible landscapes, and contact new and interesting cultures, without an ounce of time to experience it, because we always have to get there.
So our goals are in conflict. We want to cycle from city to city, but the distance and the hills in Italy make it impossible to spend any time in the cities where we stop.
Yesterday, when Brendan thought about giving up, I reminded him that we can do it, and that each day is only 1% of the entire tour. If today isn't what we want, then we still have every chance to change tomorrow. When I thought about giving up, Brendan cheered us on, and assured me that we can climb the next hill, the next hill, the next hill. In our moments of doubt, we each hold the other up. That's why we're brothers. That's why we're Moon Men.
We decide to take a train to Perugia. Even so, we must descend 500 meters and ride 20 kilometers to the train station. In the rain. So we do it. We board the train, and in minutes speed by the lakes and landscapes that we planned to conquer but could not today.
On the train my doubts boil over. On our rest day, we must still climb 200 meters up another hill to our AirBnB. But a dinner of pasta and antipasta calms them. The sky was clear, so we set up our telescope in Piazza IV Novembre. In spite of the cold wind and relatively empty streets, we still engage with many groups, and inspire everyone who passes with the beauty of the Universe. Some people linger, and help us with our Italian so that we can tell people that they are looking at what Galileo saw.
Rain knocks all the dust out the atmosphere, so this clear hilltop waxing gibbous makes all our doubts melt away. This tour is about astronomy, and about sharing it with the world.
If we must modify our plan to make that happen, so be it. We are not here to prove ourselves, we are here to learn and enjoy ourselves. The Moon Men will persevere, even if it means retooling our plan.