Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, your body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, "Woo hoo! What a ride!..attributed in this form to either Maxine Cartoon or anon
Monday, June 28, 2010
please welcome into the world my new road baby baum, brother to track baby baum - already patiently waiting to be made up and set up....check out the classy work.
It looks double plus super good and now I just have to recover and attempt to justify its existence(!) I went out for a cruisy 45km ride yesterday and had to have a sleep afterwards, so I'll just have to pamper myself a few more days before putting in some real efforts, by which time BB should be ready to roll..
Friday, June 25, 2010
- 1 week in Bourg D'Oisans (and our apartment is actually at the bottom of Alpe d'Huez), so the French alps..we plan on driving over to Como one of the days to see the cycling museum and Madonna d'Ghisalla church.
- then 1 week in the Pyrenees.
- then we are joined by my sister for 1 week in Tuscany and
we're staying somewhere between Venice and Padova and plan on seeing not only Venice but also the ice man in Bolzano, the Pinarello factory in Treviso and if Alex is up for it, he will ride (and I will drive!) the Passo del Stelvio
- Alex then flies home
- and my sister and I then have1 week in Slovenia ..nothing planned yet and
- 1 week in Austria (St Johann for the world road champs) after which she returns home
- I fly to Manchester for 2 days then to
- USA (San Diego) for 1 week and then home again
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
- Something I forgot to add in "things I learned" ......we discovered that the very best place for coffee in any village or town was always where the old men were sitting, solving the problems of the world. 100% guaranteed
- Phil and Paul isms did feature in my mind.....not much "dancing on the pedals" but lots of "turning myself inside out" and Jens' "Shuttup legs" got quite an airing in the last few days
- the big question...would I do it again?..yes definitely but if I did I would take a break from Rome to Venice..which is where we crossed a part of Italy that is very flat, great for crops and very very like where I lived the first 18 years of my life, the fens of Lincolnshire with ditches, canals, raised roads, dykes , locks etc etc and so it held no interest for me. Others liked the area,(no hills) but really I felt my physical condition went downhill around this time with overwhelming fatigue becoming a major feature. So a week away from the bike would have, in retrospect, been a wise move.
- Of my electronic woes...the phone just needed a charge from the mains and the Garmin has finally decided to download the last 14 rides. I guess for both of them there just wasn't enough oomph in the computer to nudge them into life, but , sniff, gulp, the iPod remains dead.
Our small group of 4 eventually decided to stop for coffee and discovered the rest of the group already there..total coincidence.....the poor women doing the coffees freaked out big time....far too many people all at once for her to cope..ran out of cups and brain.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Well we’ve finally had everything….sun, sea,hills mountains, villages, towns, great views..you name it…
We’ve also had all weathers..hot, humid, warm, cold with rain, thunderstorms, hail and finally sleet and snow!
A coupla days ago we sat in our tents while outside raged THE most scary storm ever..talk about a son e lumiere show and the wind…..it was just as well we were in our tents..else they might have flown away.
That was our introduction to the Dolomites and we’ve not really been dry since.
So today was Stelvio day..a hard day in anyone’s language but we just chose a day when the word hard just doesn’t go far enough:
these guys have chipped the snow off their saddles and are about to go on down…some of us opted not to! I managed to get to the top but was distraught with cold when I arrived..I guess I don’t DO cold very well.
Anyhow ..got the T shirt! Only 1 day’s ride left…sooooo sad.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
- Baby wipes are great degreasers..bike, chain, hands..the works. Makes you wonder about the poor baby does it not!!!
- Some Italian camping grounds (?the cheaper ones) dont provide toilet paper..strictly BYO..a fact one only forgets once.
- Totally unexpectedly.... squat toilets abound.
- Consideration to cyclists moves closer to an "Australian level" when near a big city..although still far better than what we're used to.
- For some unfathomable reason some ski hotels dont have drying rooms
- Extended climbs of up to about 12% are now within my grasp
- Short bursts of steeper are doable
- however when faced with 19% 5 hours into a ride, I tend to throw in the towel
- I still can't resist snaffling ALL the soap and shampoo freebies when staying in a hotel..even when I really dont need them...and I can't now pretend they're for the kids to play shop with!!
Day 32- Canazei to Latsch...107km, 1212m climbing
Day 33- Latsch to Tirano ...110km, 2482m climbing
Disappointing Dolomiti so far with cold, wet weather, white outs and generally not what we'd hoped for.
Me...I got back ache..too much climbing and had to sit out an afternoon's ride and then the next day the wet weather made the downhills too dangerous for those of us struggling with 20 km of downhill braking.
The weather tomorrow is destined to be as bad if not worse, so maybe a trip to see the ice man at Bolzano might well be the better option. Sad but. The EFI award (see previous post) has now been whittled down to just a handful...although protests, rule revisions and bribes are in the air(!)
Today the ride passed over the Portoi pass, the location of the Coppi memorial statue
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Day 27- Chioggia to Venezia...25km, 0m climbing
Day 28- Rest day
Day 29- Venezia to Tramonte di Sotto...140km, 525m climbing
Day 30- Tramonte di Sotto to Cortina d'Ampezzo...121km, 3255m climbing
Day 31- Cortina d'Ampezzo to Canazei...71km, 2134m climbing
The ride into Venice was to be an easy tootle of a coupla kms and 3 ferry rides. However…a transport strike intervened and the day stretched out for at least half the group as they had to wait and wait and wait for the very irregular ferries. 10 of us were lucky and didn’t have to wait too long
So for the lucky ones a really great lunch was waiting..
Decisions were difficult
but in the end there was little left
Friday, June 11, 2010
The reward was not only great downhill hoons, but also a night in a hotel.
This morning the announcement was "good morning people..today you have the first of the flat days..virtually no climbing.....its also pretty well the last flat day also......."
So today we had 152km of flat, flat flat land, with the only rises in the road being over canals, rivers (including the Po) railway lines and other roads. it reminded me very much of where I grew up in the UK ...the Lincolnshire fens. We rode it the only way you can..in big groups with strong motoring legs on the front and the rest of us sucking the wheel in front......
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
One of the value added aspects of the ride has been the wild flowers all along the road. Most of them we’ve been able to identify, but these have us all stumped.
even the veggie shops are special
and although the hills aren’t as soul destroyingly long as in the south (or maybe we’re just alot fitter now)we still have this situation, where the road ahead is NOT the one we want to have to ride up…
ok, that’s enough…. back to normal..
transport and 2 wheeled rules:
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
With the 2 Kiwis gone the awesome threesome have had to pickup the navigational duties and have managed to stay focussed and on course with a high level of skill (unlike our revered leader and organisor who managed to get lost the other day leading his usual string of cyclists, who once they were with him, stopped bothering to navigate ;-) We''ve also managed to arrive in first into lunch and have beaten the so-called "A team" a number of times..nothing competitive about us of course and no comments please about the fact that we set off straight after brekkywell before the official start time!
Sienna was great,well worth a visit and very steep..walking anywhere is an added challenge after days and days on the bike
but in the end ..walking gets to be a bit tiring.
The second bad thing happened yesterday morning in Siena…. I dropped my iPod in the toilet..luckily while it was still clean(!)..but now it’s playing up a bit…and is more than likely officially dead.
And the third thing?..my Samsung aussie phone has decided to die..no reason given, just turned up its toes …….
I think I can hear an iPhone coming my way….
but wait there's more..I managed to leave my Garmin chest strap in the showers…but hours later, when I realised the omission I shot back like a bullet out of a gun …it was still there…..phew! think fatigue is setting in...
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Yesterday's ride from Rome started off with a 4km peleton to get us out of the confusimg and busy area and after that we were yet again climbing and descending, skills all of us have improved over the past week or so.
Lunch was at a very nice spot and gave me the chance to take pix of the 2 following signs both of which made me smile