This trip could have a smoother start than having the guy at the ferry check in telling me in the most dry way possible "ferry's gonna be here an hour and a half late". Especially when next day is prognosed rainy and any delay on the expected arrival adds driving at night to the next destination. Ferry was 2 hours late actually, the trip to Ancona lasted another hour more than usual (all these with no explanations) and when we finally made it to Italy after sunset we got stuck in the garage for another hour. Through this last hour of delay we were packed in front of the garage door only listening to announcements that our garage will open later than the rest ones. 4 hours later in total. Brilliant.
Since we were the last ones to leave the ferry I had the whole convoy of truckers ahead to overtake. Soon it was full dark, then it started raining, often dogs and cats and I had 230km to arrive at my Airbnb south of Florence. My bridgestones A41 offered enough confidence to do 150km/h on wet in the straights on my efforts to not arrive around midnight, while I also tried to keep my hosts informed about the whole thing. Nice feature to have a waterproof phone in such conditions since I travel gadget free and that's my gps as well. How much we depend on these things ... well, this thought was about to be confirmed...
Dark and wet, somewhere halfway, after a fast left downhill corner, I am doing past 120km/h on the straight when I hit a pothole, a bump, you name it - it was too dark to identify but felt like a punch in the stomach and boom...my phone flies off my X-Grip mount and disappears in total darkness. Now get the picture: it's late, it's dark, it's wet, on an unlit highway, desperate to find my way to that village of my hosts and I have no phone. I was almost sure it fell on the tarmac but took a quick look on the bike just in case I was lucky. Nope. And how can you find a phone in such conditions? After I slammed on the brakes I parked on the right with the bike on and all blinkers on. Walked back hoping to find it...no luck. Easier to find a needle in the ocean. At some point I see a broken piece of plastic with the same colour. Pick it up, wasn't it. Hopeless in the dark the only option of decent light was to use the lights of the bike which means...U turn it - no other way on a loaded bike like this on uphill. At a point the traffic allowed so I had the nerve to do that, not the most politically correct thing in the world obviously but unfortunately there's a first time for all things. No results no matter how intense I scanned. I could spot a needle of mine in the emergency state I was but no phone anywhere. I didn't even want to think it was ditched. Turned the bike back on the right way again, double scan, nothing. I stop again at the spot with the "it's gotta be somewhere and I gotta find it". In my last hope as there was nowhere else I could search further in such conditions I have a closer look on my bike just because the first one I took after the incident was a bit quick - I was rushing to save it from being run over by the traffic. As I look under the handle bars I see a bit of light on the left. I look closer and...guess what...I see the bloody thing facing down stuck in the left plastic cover of the bike, next to the radiator! Fun fact, both plastics, left and right, have a V shaped bottom (to hold the cable trays I guess) and this acted as a pocket for my phone and saved it. Want more fun fact? I thought a couple of times about storing some stuff in that space and if I had done so my phone wouldn't take a nap there. The fact that it was facing down and (more importantly) the night mode of the gps app which reduces the light drastically made me miss it on first glance. If it was on normal mode I would have seen its light in the dark easily and that would have saved me time and heartbeats. I don't have to explain you how it felt right? Why it flew from such a sturdy mount? I think it was a combination "slippery when wet" in the least sexy way possible, high speed over high bump and probably the last time I put it on after I took it off to contact my hosts I wasn't so careful so I misplaced it in the dark.
Well, think of a funny alternative: Let's say I drive rock bottom "without it" trying to find the first town to seek help when suddenly I hear my helmet's intercom "in 1 km take the exit on the right"...and then eyes go wide open like headlights.
Time to grab me some wine and watch the sunset now, safe rides everyone, it's all nice as long as we can tell the story with a smile.